Richard is spending quite a few evenings away from home lately, away from me I suppose, and I stay here with James and Christopher. This is when I feel most lonely, far lonelier than in the daytime when I am by myself.
One evening I sit on the swing on the lawn, blowing bubbles for the boys to chase; but they spill the mixture and bring out their trucks and tractors, making an aggressive noise, like roaring.
I try reading Wind in the Willows to them but after a few minutes they run away from Mole and Ratty because they do not wield guns or blow each other up, and soon I can hear the pounding of the PlayStation from upstairs.
So I kneel in the window seat with Bailey and watch the lights go on and the curtains close along Main Street and Peter Hopkirk striding purposefully to the Lone Gelding for his evening pint of mild, waders gleaming under the street lamp. He passes the rough stone sheepfold where straying sheep were once confined and now misbehaving dogs are imprisoned by Mrs Hunt until she has rounded up and reprimanded their owners. The villagers call it the Hound Pen.
Three of the apostles are setting out for the sidesmen’s meeting in the vestry at seven. I must definitely go to church soon, despite the congregation; but it is difficult to be resolute in this village.
This morning as on several mornings this week Brunt’s cockerel Russell crowed every half hour from three o’clock, sapping my energy with broken nights and prompting abuse and dreams of retribution around the district. Richard left for work dark-eyed and cursing, a zombie in a very smart jacket.
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