After one day without rain, while in the vegetable garden, I forget for a moment about showers, and down comes a heavy one. I stand in the greenhouse while the drops clatter on the roof and slide down the glass. I watch the paving begin to shine and the earth to absorb the water. A moment of mindless happiness.
Workmen have come to replace our old, very old gas-boiler, and shout to one another from floor to floor and room to room. One is called Flash and another Stew. They are efficient and cheerful and noisy. The kitchen is inaccessible. I buy a couple of sandwiches from the Italian shop at the bottom of the hill, open a chilled bottle of Prosecco, and we picnic among the books.
In the street, I pass a baby in a push chair. Father pushes the chair; the mother holds the baby's hand as though the baby was walking rather than sitting beside her. The thumb of the baby's other hand is in its mouth. A fleeting family portrait, which, probably, no one will remember except me.