To London and back to see two of the children and potter around Highgate, hand in hand with enchanting little Omi. Then back to Belfast, to a forlorn and empty house and the ghost of our Clementina - a small, white-throated, black and amber shadow, glimpsed for a moment, then gone.
As always, it's books that help me through bad times: Penelope Fitzgerald's wonderful 'The Beginning of Spring', the quirky 'Lonely Life of a Peculiar Postman' by Canadian Denis Theriault (thank you, Kelly McCaughrain) and Deirdre Madden's 'Molly Fox's Birthday'. I'd only read one other novel of hers - 'Time Present and Time Past' - now I'm looking for all the rest.
Little Omi, not yet two, has a room full of books already, as do all his cousins - even 3 month-old baby Cian has a shelf. I can't bear to think of a childhood without books. I was lucky: my whole family wrote - father, mother, brother, sister - and we all read voraciously, and widely. Although I really don't think it matters what you read - I hate to hear anyone's taste in reading being mocked - so long as you have the habit, books will get you through a lot of life's disasters. And the one thing you can be certain of is that disasters will occur.
|Helping to edit|
|Listening to Mozart|
I was surprised to get an immediate and grateful response, and when I wrote back to explain what had prompted my gesture, I was promised that when 'Another Day in '98' is made, the credits will include the name of Clementina. Our beautiful, adored, imperious cat may no longer gaze at us with her yellow eyes, or purr in my ear at the dead of night, but her name will be up there in lights. I'm pretty certain she would feel it was no more than her due.