Now here’s a poser for you – how do you dry supposedly waterproof gloves?

In the recent wet weather, all my “waterproof” gloves became absolutely sodden during five hours of relentless mucking out, bedding down and carrying water for my equine dependents.

I have several pairs of PVC products, but every single one was saturated by the relentless rain.

They range in price from £20 supergloves to £1.45 bargain basement affairs, but I can vouch for the fact none is as waterproof as the manufacturers claim.

For some reason, they always come in various shades of orange, which poses problems when casually leaning on a stable door, as my stubby gloved fingers are frequently mistaken for carrots by hungry horses.

I usually leave my wet gloves in a foetid steamy heap in the back of the car with the wellies, leggings and rain jacket. Each morning I have to select the least wet pair, and try to put them on without a shudder. It’s like putting your hand into a five-headed slug.

It usually takes at least until the fourth stable before circulation starts to get back to the fingers, and body heat causes little puffs of steam to escape through the cuffs.

I have forgotten what it feels like to don a dry pair of gloves, but when I suggested to Mrs Hextol that I bring a couple of pairs of wet gloves into Hextol Towers and shove them in the airing cupboard overnight, she was appalled.

“They stink!” she declared – a fact which could not be denied. “They are bad enough outside, so how do you think they will smell when a bit of heat gets through them in the airing cupboard, and the warm air starts circulating round the house? We will smell like a farmyard!

“I already have to put up with your horsey t-shirts and overalls going through the washer, but I can’t put gloves through there as well!”

The best solution she could offer was hanging them on the washing line for the afternoon, along with the eau de tom cat waterproofs from the back of the car, in the hope that the wind would dry them out, as well as blowing away the stench.

They were duly pegged out, and then we were called away to Hexham, so the gloves and other equine accoutrements were forgotten about.

That night there was a hard frost, and when the alarm shrilled the next morning I looked out of the back bedroom window to find both pairs of gloves rigid and white as bone.

I was in a quandary because I had no other gloves available, and could not muck out in -6C temperatures with bare hands

I dashed outside in my tartan underpants to prise both pairs of gloves off the line, and the fingers were sticking out like a cow’s udder.

I tried to beat some flexibility into them with a rolling pin, to no avail, and gave them to the dog top chew some life into them. But she stalked away with a “you must be joking” expression on her face.

I thought about running them under the hot tap for a while, but I didn’t want to go through the wet gloves routine all over again.

The inspiration bloomed – winking at me with its bright blue eye was the microwave, and I reasoned that a quick zapping would be just the job to force the ice crystals out of the frozen gloves.

I wrapped them in kitchen roll, and hit the button to watch them whirl round for 30 seconds before the enormity of what I was doing hit home. Mrs Hextol was still slumbering peacefully upstairs, but I knew it would be only a matter of seconds before she realised sacrilege was being committed in her kitchen.

I opened the microwave door half expecting to find the gloves a molten mass of goo but they were in fact only pleasantly warm, if still a little damp . However, there was a ripe gorgonzola smell emanating from the cooker, which I had to work hard to vigorously waft away before slipping out of the back door and setting off for the stables.

I returned at lunchtime in some trepidation, because Mrs Hextol always instinctively knows when I have misbehaved.

But all she said was: “There was a real smell of drains in the kitchen when I got up, but it seems to have gone now…”

Rather wisely, I maintained a diplomatic silence.