Hello, and welcome to my diplomatic residence, Hector’s House, where my loyal staff are preparing a lovely meal for me as I speak. Every day they care for my needs with all sorts of culinary invention, and they never seem to spill a drop down the bright white coats they wear as their servants’ livery. The only quibble I have is over the cutlery, but apparently it has to be soft plastic for safety reasons. They do so look after me.

Anyway, as I start this ‘blog’, as I believe you call it (I prefer to think of it more in terms of a slightly too frequent ‘round robin’), you may be wondering who this Hector Ringtone is? I will illuminate you with many more details over the coming months but suffice to say I represent the interests of The Whicker Island Republic overseas in a diplomatic role, and I am currently on a ‘cold posting’ to your lovely Ununited Kingdom, formerly known as Colonial Britain and the Territorials.

It has been somewhat of a shock to the system to find myself on a posting in the temperate zone, but it was at the direct request of El Presidente so, hey ho!, here we are. I do miss the constant temperature of 70 degrees back home (Fahrenheit that is, not these new fangled Celsigrade thingies) but at least the date daiquiris come ready chilled.

The really good thing is I’ve made some new friends since I arrived, and we have put together this really jolly good band and called it The Boxwood Chessmen, and do you know what? It seems people do quite like what we do, judging by the number of engagements we have. Just look at our ‘gig list’ as I believe you call it.

My new friends are all very nice to me and have accepted my ‘funny foreign ways’ as one of them puts it, but I just see it as an opportunity to spread Whicker culture into new areas of the world. And to that end, as we tour the land, I shall be writing this journal for you. The band think it is a good idea, I’m more than happy to do it, and my staff all say if it gets me out of the house it has got to be a good thing. They do so look after me.

There will be more from me next month, when I will chatting to you about some of the things the Boxwoods have been up to, and giving you a potted history of The Whicker Island Republic.

Pips for now!