My mate Rodney can be very hard to get hold of.
He's also very good at coming up with an original excuse for why he's failed to return your calls.
But the following, received on a voicemail yesterday morning after several days of me attempting in vain to track him down, is possibly his best yet.
Delivered in a simple matter-of-fact tone of voice, here's what Rodney said:
"Hi Barry, it's me.
"Sorry I haven't been about for a couple of days. I had to do that spacewalk thing.
"You know, the Chinese Government couldn't trust one of their spacemen to do it so they had to get me to do it.
"So, I'm just back."
You would never know he's a barrister.