It was a cold morning but one knew, from the stillness of the air, the strength of the sun and the absence of clouds in the sky, that it was going to be an extremely hot day.
As I drew back the curtains I could see, from the upstairs windows, the whole landscape spread out to the south – the gardens, the line of trees, the fields beyond, and the church at the end of the lane. The church has a battlemented tower, rising above the surrounding chestnut trees, and in each corner of the battlements are small pinnacles like little metal flags, covered in gold. This decorative ironwork is so small as to usually go unnoticed, but when caught by the sun at a particular angle (as they were this morning) they gleam gold. I always regard this as a lucky sign.
I left the house at 7.15am – the early morning sun was casting slanting shadows in the long grass, there was a cornflower blue sky and, most lovely of all, an almost-full moon as a round ghost shadow on the heavens.
It was a boring day at work. Lunchtime I went to Ricos in the city centre, a café serving hybrid English-Italian food (I had a toasted ham and cheese ciabatta, a Cappuccino coffee and some Bakewell tart). It was good to get away from the people in the office for a while and be on my own. I sat in the window and watched the waves of lunchtime shoppers go back and forth and thought how much I would prefer to be at home.