The house is hoovered and dusted. There are thirty-one mugs on the kitchen table. (For twenty prisoners, ten guards and a driver.) Didcott is nine months old (for the moment) and sitting on my knee.
I can hardly bear it - within a couple of hours, he will be gone.
Strangely, over the last few weeks, I have grown to love him.
He is determined;
- and always 'there'.
If I go to the shed, Didcott is 'there' - watching.
When the phone rings, Didcott is 'there' - listening.
When it is time for him to go to school, Didcott is 'there' - with reasons why he shouldn't have to go today!
But - now the moment has arrived for him to take his place in prison - he offers no excuses.
And I will miss him.
I clasp him tight.
I bounce him on my knee.
I wish he didn't have to go
To distract myself, I've spent the morning planting flowerpots.
Every day, from now on, I'll gather a good harvest of slugs; one from beneath each.
slugs sleep alone.)
Then, having returned the pots to their semi-submerged places in the earth, I'll fill them with water. It will seep gently and economically only to the roots which need it. Precision gardening!
I've been out at the front too, pulling the last teasles and checking on the clover.
(Bright, green - and spreading!)
I've planted the first Romanesque.
I've planted the first nasturtium.
(If they are still there tomorrow, I'll plant more.)
(If they aren't; I won't.)
I hear someone mowing grass.