I've no idea who it was who wrote absence makes the heart grow fonder but it certainly wasn't Captain Povey about the crew of H.M.S. Troutbridge. For some months now, with Troutbridge at sea and well away from Portsmouth dockyard, life in Captain Povey's office has gone smoothly. Except for the day he told a disreputable looking old gentleman cutting the hedge outside the Admiral's house to smarten himself up a bit if he wished to continue being employed. Unfortunately, the disreputable looking old gentleman was the Admiral in his gardening clothes. However, after abject apologies, polishing the Admirals gardening boots for half an hour and finally ending up having to cut the Admiral's hedge himself, Captain Povey managed to survive with his commission intact. Whether it will still be intact after what is going to happen to him in his office today is another matter.