In a chocolate intoxicated dream I am aware of the flames in the wood burner. Improbably, I have been reading part of a short story to my teenage children. My husband takes a turn, and reads us a thrilling piece from ‘The Essex Serpent’. The more he reads, the less I listen, as I become aware that he is so absolutely in the right chair, at the right time, in the right house; that perhaps he has always been here, like this, and perhaps he always will be. He has rarely looked so comfortable, rarely fallen into place within and without himself, so that I am moved to feel that this is one of those moments I will always remember. Like the time at Heaven Farm, watching my children running up a hill, framed by a rainbow. I thought, I bet I will find a three-leafed clover in this vast field. I looked down, and picked one at my feet. Now we are all together, in this stone-walled room, and I think to myself, if we were to open all the doors, it wouldn’t get hotter, not here, not like that hideous play, instead the sweet cool air of the Mayenne would flood in. He was so wrong, wrong, wrong, Mr Jean-Paul Sartre. Hell is not other people, it is the absence of them.