There is a man whom I used to know when he and I were younger men. He was the press officer at company which I worked for. He would give me lunch sometimes at The Press Club in Fleet Street. After we had both retired, we would bump into one another in Tunbridge Wells. It seems that he and his wife drive here from Crowborough and stroll through the town on fine Saturday afternoons, and in recent years we have become used to these encounters. Forty years must have passed since we were first colleagues. This afternoon we see Derek and his wife in the Pantiles. When he stops to talk, his wife wanders on not realizing that he has stopped. He looks up worried. "Where is she?" "She's gone into the garden shop, " I say. We say good bye and he walks on looking for her, and misses the door into which she has disappeared. In a moment or two they are reunited. A few minutes later I see them ahead of us walking slowly up the High Street. They are hand in hand. I believe they have been married for at least 50 years.
Fat rose hips with their sepals like trumpets. Rose fruit.
This morning I go into the garden to see what's in the air. There is a hint of spice, fruit, leaves, acorns, a trace of bonfire. Just a hint of all these things, their faint imprint in the air. I think of wine, gewürztraminer, to be precise.