In which David in­vites me to watch the sky light up

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ONMONDAY, DAVID sent me this: ‘ Hi lovely, ev­ery­thing OK? Sort of miss hav­ing you around. xxxx’ Sort of?! Sort of?! So I typed, ‘Sort of?!’ ‘I didn’t want to ap­pear too needy. I am noth­ing with­out you.’

I don’t think peo­ple should type things like ‘I am noth­ing with­out you’ when they wait un­til af­ter you have arrived af­ter an eight-hour drive to get fizzy wa­ter. But still, I let that go. Who says it’s not pos­si­ble to change?

‘I’m sorry the dogs made a mess.’ In London, Mini re­fuses to eat (she takes af­ter me) and she had buried her sup­per under his kitchen rug. Gra­cie had had a lit­tle chew on his skirt­ing board, though she’d been de­lighted to see Pru­dence. Gra­cie sim­ply loves cats. If you are out and you say, ‘Gra­cie, where is Leo?’ she sits up, ears to the sky, and scans the hori­zon anx­iously. She can­not wait to get home to see him. Leo, a mus­cu­lar, very solid black cat, even comes on our evening walk, which is why I think all my neigh­bours are re­ally scared of me.

‘Not a prob­lem. I love them al­most as much as I love you.’

Any­way, he has in­vited me to some­thing at long last: an evening watch­ing the Per­seid me­teor shower. He sug­gested we have din­ner at The Sad­dle Room (his treat), then go with the pup­pies to the mid­dle of the moor, where there is zero light pol­lu­tion, to watch the me­teor shower. It sounds quite dan­ger­ous. What if one of them lands on Mini Puppy?

I ex­pect it will be cloudy. Noth­ing ever lives up to the hype. I once got up be­fore dawn to see the sun rise over Angkor Wat with my ex-friend Kerry (she might deny she’s an ex-friend, but I didn’t get so much as an email when my mum/sis­ter/horse/Sam/Hilda died, or when I was made bank­rupt and home­less) and was dis­ap­pointed that ev­ery­where just seemed to get lighter. It turned out we were fac­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion.

I’ve just bro­ken the news to David that I’m no longer com­ing to London on Thurs­day as the last time I drove back it al­most killed me: ten hours, due to peo­ple think­ing their hobby of cy­cling should im­pact ad­versely on me, mak­ing me sit in a traf­fic jam in London for sev­eral hours due to all the bridges be­ing closed. He replied: ‘That’s dis­ap­point­ing. What about your view­ing on Fri­day?’

I’d ar­ranged to see a house near Bath. I fig­ure Bath might be the way to go: near The Pig, Babing­ton House, Wells, The White Com­pany. My friend Iso­bel is so sweet that when I told her my plans she said, ‘Well, I could rent out my house and come with you.’ I don’t think she wants to be in North York­shire with­out me. She’d miss our Scrab­ble nights.

‘I will try to go to see it, but Fri­days are al­ways a night­mare, work-wise. Which is why I want to move nearer to London or, as Basil Fawlty said sotto voce to Mrs Richards of the sea, ‘prefer­ably in it’.

See­ing Lawn House, the home I lost to rev­enue, on the cover of a glossy mag­a­zine last week re­ally threw me. I keep think­ing of Hilda, buried in the garden. I’ve been study­ing pho­tos of the garden makeover to see if it’s pos­si­ble they might have dug her up. I’d buried her in her navy Christ­mas tank top, with a heart shape on the back picked out in span­gles. I asked Nic if she’d read the ar­ti­cle. ‘No, but I looked it up on gor­geous-cot­tages. com. It made me feel sick.’

I’d had a frank dis­cus­sion about my sit­u­a­tion with David in his aw­ful kitchen be­fore I left on my ter­ri­ble journey. I kept telling him that I don’t think he re­ally un­der­stands what has hap­pened to me. We never talk about my fi­nances. He never once said, ‘Oh dear. I read you sold your chest of draw­ers to pay for my birth­day week.’

‘I do un­der­stand,’ he said, al­most in tears but still un­able to look at me. ‘I lost my home too, you know.’

‘Yes, but you had an af­fair. You were mar­ried, with a son. Of course your wife would get the house. But I did noth­ing wrong!’

I ex­pect it will be cloudy. Noth­ing ever lives up to the hype

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