This house by the lakeside.

We have so much time, the air is so fresh, so invigorating, the lake so blissfully clear and cold, I’m half surprised you didn’t write a novel, Mary.

While Johnny and I were tramping the hills, setting the world to rights, swirling our words like sabres, daring to dream of a world undiscovered, shaking off the trappings of luxury and content, fixing our weary, basic, forms against glorious, unmoved nature, you were hemmed in by convention – in fact, your hems made for you a convent (hah!) – and you cooked and tidied and shifted clutter from room to room, while my legs hammered through gorse and across thawed streams.

What, you have been writing? 

Gracious me, well done! – I knew you could; I didn’t just fall for your beauty and your charms, as fulsome as both are, but equally for your mind, and your spirit. And you want to come walking? How? You’ll wear long trousers like a man? By god, yes! You are fearless, M, truly, you are midnight’s daughter. So, tomorrow we’ll walk together across hillside and burn. We will!

But tonight – tonight there’s a storm coming.

So let us all stay indoors, safe from harm. Tonight let us entertain each other with stories of life and passion and madness.