By ten o'clock this morning we are parked at Newbury Hilton Hotel. Boy is launching into Part 1 of the Umpire's course, so he can learn how to assist a referee in bossing a fight. He has two cheese sandwiches, a sparring kit and a bottle of water. I have a poor girl's croissant (granary slice with butter) and a plastic flask of Lavazza. Light shakes through the leaves of the boundary trees. Outside is aching, incisively cold. New buds pucker on cold branches ne'er the less: that is the intuitive optimism of Spring. Gloves on and car locked in case some crazy thief wants to steal dog hair and log bark: a walk, I will have: around big shops: quite the novelty. I am twirling frocks on hangers, stroking fluffy jumpers, my eyes are slurping up all the colours and the forms of the piled up aisles like I'm in an art gallery. Such fun, all this Stuff: one does not need so much of it but there is no denying the Fun.
(Boy did well on his course, incidentally, and will be debuting his new skills at a competition soon. And I bought a £4 sale rail dress.)