There are some people who have such a capacity to describe things, such an acutely creative and yet accurate way of using words… But it’s not just that. Sometimes you can sense when it really is just playing with words – just that ‘knack’. Sometimes, however, you sense a real depth of maturity behind what is written – a quietness, a thoughtfulness. Not being one of them myself (hope makes me add ‘yet’) I am struck by the kind of writing when you can almost ‘hear’ the tone of voice of the writer, conjure up the very images they are talking about, and so you read every word, never skimming or scanning, for it would not even occur to you to do so. It is utterly beautiful.

I, however, am merely putting off washing up from last night’s dinner, as we had a powercut and it was difficult to see by candlelight. But candlelight on Valentine’s Day was hardly inappropriate. And thankfully dinner was just about cooked when the power went off.

I have an eye test this afternoon. How supremely uninteresting.

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