There are crows on the roof outside my studio. Two of them, preening their plumage in the morning sun. Then they are off, caught up like black plastic bags in a sudden gust. Before diving down, out of my sight.

Lemn Sissay on Desert Island Discs. I am ashamed. I didn’t want to hear him. He’d had something I’d wanted. I wanted to not like him. But I couldn’t help it. I was charmed. What a joy. That luscious Northern brogue. Lancashire. So open, so generous. Kirsty Young was captivated. So where we all. Marvellous.

I was up there early this morning. Opening for the new curate. Still the same theme, he said. Winning and losing. Is he eloquent? I cannot judge. He doesn’t walk up the hill any longer. He used to remind me of a tortoise. I don’t mean any offence. It was his bag. That big bag strapped to his back. And the hill making him walk slowly.Trudging slowly, tortoise-like up that slope. And all in black. Perhaps more like a turtle. He is a little withdrawn since being ordained. More serious perhaps. World-weary. Carrying the world in that bag.

When are you coming? she asks. Soon, I say, soon. Oh, that is good, she says. I think of you a lot, I say. I think upon you too, she says. There is little else to say. She sounds well. Her voice, on the phone, is alert and lively. She remembers me. That is enough. That is enough.


Ratatouille, moans Jazzer in The Archers, too many vegetables in one dish, it’s not natural.