Am well and truly in touch with my feminine side after a hen do weekend away in the country with 14 women and not a single man. The only testosterone I encountered in 72 hours was that of the groundsman, a spritely septagenarian who turned up at 10am this morning riding a lawnmower twice the size of my car.
We had taken over a sprawling country mansion hidden away in the Lake District and surrounded by sheep and lambs roaming free on the moors. Behind the house's sturdy thick-set greystone walls lay a cosy interior of giant fireplaces and candlelit passages.
It is of course said to be haunted - although if there was a spirit there he/she kept a low profile during our stay, even when the electricity went out at 10.30pm on Saturday night, half way through an 80s-themed disco we threw for the bride-to-be in the lounge. Unless that is, the reason for the powercut was that Mr/Mrs Ghost needed a bit of peace and quiet.
At the best of times I do not always fare well in all-female groups, and I was apprehensive about spending the weekend with a feisty group composed almost entirely of journalists and ex-journalists, most of whom I hadn't met before.
But cocktails are a great equaliser and before long we were all happily exchanging life stories over increasingly potent concoctions mixed in ancient Wedgewood milk jugs.
We must have seemed a daunting prospect for the young beautician who came along to give us all manicures - city slicker that I am I opted for a French Polish that promptly chipped off as I scraped candle wax off various surfaces and polished the aga before we left.
It's the kind of place I dream of disappearing off to write novels in - my imagination fuelled by long windswept country walks and brandy-laced cream teas.
Except there is no internet or mobile phone service, and it nearly killed me. The nearest cashpoint was a 20 minute drive away and that was nowhere near the nearest town. It would have been a very short novel.