Today I drove the border between England and Wales, a glorious green journey. I stopped and drank coffee from a flask in a layby full of lorries, overlooking fields singing with vivid blocks of green and gold, the Black Mountains of Wales rising away towards the horizon, half hidden by scuds of rain against the sunshine.
I thought about family. My brother is still in hospital, four months on from his stroke. Today he made me laugh and, driving home when no one could see, made me cry. I marvelled at his wife's strength and his own determination to hold onto himself.
I thought about all the things I am doing and not doing, gathering in lists of duty and interest and clamour. I will carve out time to plant things and to weed endlessly, mindnumbingly, and have been mining for hogweed root in the native tree walk and planting hardy geraniums. I will cook and clean and prepare the cottage and talk to my parents and children on the phone. Somehow I have not rung the bank or sold things on ebay.
There is Malvern from Wednesday. That will be good.