I write this, dear reader, having just come back from a trip down to Devon for a few days’ holiday.

Following a hectic couple of months, it’s safe to say that both I and Mrs Luxford were a bit burned out. Thus, we decided to head to a friend’s gorgeous holiday cottage for a few days of doing precisely nothing.

Now, loyal readers of the column will know that I have a hard time doing nothing – as a freelance journalist it’s tough to ‘switch off’, and there’s always an important email that pops up on my smartphone. However, I made a concerted effort to chill out – I read Dennis Bergkamp’s autobiography (another passion of mine is Arsenal Football Club. I am from North London, after all), had some great food, went for walks and even rescued a chicken (long story). It was a slow paced few days, but that’s exactly what I needed after weeks of tube strikes, pitching, interviews and deadlines.

Eventually, however, the time would come when we wanted to watch a movie. It puts me in a weird space, because while I love all things cinematic, it is inescapably linked to my work. Thus, the insecurities and issues surrounding the job sometimes creep through, but happily I’m starting to get around that. In fact, looking upon movies as a fan (not a critic) is helpful in many ways; you remember why you got into all of this in the first place.

I’ve written before about the need to keep realistic as a writer without veering into cynicism, but we all started off as fans staring up at a screen, being inspired by the work that was unfolding in front of us.

I strongly believe that mind-set is what good, accessible film criticism should be about – a written version of meeting up with a friend and telling them about the great film you’ve just seen.

So, perhaps becoming a better film fan would in turn help me become a better film journalist.

So, I return back to a flooded, windy Oxford re-energised and with something of a duel personality – one side grizzled journo, the other wide-eyed film fan. I immediately went out and purchased box sets of Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar (both directors whose work I love but have always meant to explore more fully), and renewed my film streaming subscription.

How long these two personalities can co-exist, who knows, but for the short term at least that enthusiasm gets to creep back in and my wife gets to catch up on the films she’s missed.

PS: I’d also like to tag on a brief retraction to my article on the film Third Contact in last Thursday’s issue. I mistakenly stated that the budget for the film was £40,000, when in fact the film was made for a much more impressive £4,000.