AFTER a half-term week of Constituency engagements and Remembrance events, marred only by the sad death of my old friend, my horse, Mr Kipling, it was back to work with a vengeance, so here is a taste of my week.

Mon 13/11: Up to London for lunch with Norwegian ambassador and veterans; the excellent Ruth Davidson addresses the 1922 Committee; briefing from Commons Defence Committee clerk and dinner with my daughter, Olivia.

Tues 14/11: Breakfast with (Wiltshire) General Jones (H Jones’ son), just back from commanding in Iraq; then whole day chairing committee stage of Nuclear Safeguarding Bill (part of Brexit – replacing Euratom). Brexit Bill committee stage stretches through until about 11.30pm. Government wins all votes by 18 or 20.

Wed 15/11: Appear as expert witness in front of Commons Defence Committee discussing military threats and tensions in Arctic. Rather odd appearing in front of committee I used to chair! Lunch with Lord Mayor at Baltic Exchange, chair meeting of Parliamentary Arctic group Advisory Council; then (intermittently) attend Antarctic meeting in Royal Society (and dinner) in between more Brexit votes through until 11pm.

Thurs 16/11: Up to RAF Northolt to see BFPO parcel up Christmas boxes for our troops on operations at Christmas. (I am patron of the charity). 30-minute grilling on ITV South West to be broadcast tonight; then it’s off to Cambridge to speak at the Union about Scottish Devolution with co-speaker Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Home to London by 1am.

Fri 17/11: Train to Wiltshire to wade through paper. Tired, so cancel a couple of small engagements. Dinner with friends in Holt.

Sat 18/11: Surgeries in Calne and Royal Wootton Bassett, look into a Conservative event in Box, then dinner near Sherston. Another late night.

Sun 19/11: Bit of R and R at home, despite an hour or two at desk clearing backlog...

Mon 20/11: Attend first National Security Committee since my appointment by the Prime Minister, and speak at a NATO dinner at think tank IISS.

Tues 21/11: Walking with Wounded breakfast, chair debates in Westminster Hall, ask a question about environment at Foreign Office Questions, meeting about Western rail services, meet delegation from Chile.

Wed 22/11: Breakfast with RAF, PMQs then it’s the Budget.

Thurs 23/1: Skip rest of Budget debate and head back to Wiltshire for dinner with REME at Lyneham.

It’s a mixed bag of parliamentary, constituency, charitable, family and social events, which keeps me out of trouble.