This morning at home for two weeks, I begin to tackle the vegetable beds. Bindweed has encroached from the building site next door. I take pleasure in the slow work of loosening soil and picking out the insidious roots. The thickness and intense white of the bindweed roots make the job easier. Earlier the bell-shaped white flowers have usurped the stakes originally intended for sweet peas.
For various reasons people nowadays enquire about my age. I respond with the modest admission of someone who has run up a reasonable score in a cricket match. I think I must have been six when my age first became a topic of interest to me and it seems to others. Six was a bench mark to leave behind, I remember; seven one much to be desired. How old are you? Six and a quarter. I would say...six and a half...six and three quarters. Nowadays the sense of achievement in entering an age group is revived, but longing for the next birthday is rather less intense.