I confess at first I didn’t realise he was asking me. When finally I understood, I expressed to him that I was both flattered and surprised. I explained to him that I had never expected this request and I was a little daunted in the face of it. I nonetheless promised that I would do my very best to accomplish a task which was, for me, as demanding and difficult as any I’d ever contemplated. Additionally, I thanked him for the trust he placed in me and indicated that I was, in some ways, very close to being moved by it.
It later transpired that I had said none of this out loud.