We aren’t alone in using the small piece of wasteland that is due to be built upon for our garden. The other day the ‘house-husband’ who I’d always thought of as Dutch, on account of his tallness and amiability, but is in fact Eastern European, was sitting on the edges of it with his little daughter having a tea party. He’d wanted to go somewhere on the bike with her but she’d insisted in placing her red plastic table and chairs there. Does she always get what she wants? I asked him. Mostly, he said with a rueful smile. At least that is what I took it as. One has to be so careful about other people’s children. It wasn’t a criticism but could so easily be taken as one. She clearly is a tour de force. A beauty, with her cloud of blonde hair, but a handful. And then a day or so later our 101 year old neighbour turned up. Are you sitting in the sun? she asked. Yes, we replied. I usually sit here for a bit each day, she said and promptly turned her back on us and perched down on the edge of a pile of metal fencing. She sat there for about ten minutes staring back over the estate. We continued with our crossword though I felt distinctly uncomfortable sitting on a chair when she had to sit on some bent fencing. But she seemed happy enough, till she eventually raised herself up and shuffled off. Why shouldn’t they use it? It’s everyone’s but it unsettled me and him I think.

She was lovely. And I wish that nerves didn’t assail me so. The writing will happen if I just sit with it and let it unfold, open out. All will be well, is well.

I walked in the rain. The air smelt nice, clean and wet. Can’t you just knock it on the head for one day? he’d asked. No, I need some fresh air, I replied. And I do. I did.

To work. 1,000 words to do today. First draft. Get it down. On that white.