Since Laura’s death I’ve become the hug thief. I steal hugs from anyone – doormen, kindly shop assistants and small children. I am shame-proof. Gone is the awkwardness born of growing up in a country where Downtown Abbey standoffishness was the norm. So imagine my glee when I read online that a 20 second hug releases a huge dose of the happiness hormone oxytocin. And then in Earthing, Clint Ober ‘s wonderful book, I read that with hugs we replenish each other’s energy. The flow goes from the person with the higher balance to the person with a deficit. Hugging animals or people who walk barefoot outside is best. They pick up the beautiful balanced energy of the earth with their feet and pass it on to us and keep us grounded.