Back in Liverpool, the same hotel, but the roadworks have gone so it was much easier to find. Before leaving for the train I was frantically picking raspberries and blackberries. I don't know why I feel the need to make jam before I leave for somewhere, but it has been a feature of this summer that I'm bent over the hob stirring boiling fruit and filling bottles just hours ahead of a journey. This morning I was in the cemetary with Giya, doing our usual round of the good blackberry spots, although she decided it was much too embarrassing and slumped by an angel as I filled my plastic bag. She did, however, take down some names which will go on labels later.
It seems colder here. I can't believe I was thinking of swimming earlier today. I didn't get round to it, but it was warm enough. I fear, though, that might be it now. I was sidetracked in ASDA, where I went to buy more sugar and left without it, but with bags of food, socks and boxers plus a cheap school skirt. This is why I have been trying to avoid supermarkets. It was packed. A beautiful Sunday afternoon and what are we all doing? Shopping. Admittedly we had nothing in the fridge apart from bottles of gherkins, some potatoes and yesterday's veg curry. So I felt under some obligation to stock up. But I know when I walk through those sliding doors, my brain stays outside.
Passing through Clapham junction, on my way to Victoria, I remembered a very old friend from Portsmouth Poly and a beautiful flat she had where I stayed once. For some unfathomable reason, as I looked at the towerblocks from the train I had a memory of a Japanese paper lantern and a mutual friend of ours called Kevin who might have had a brilliant career but who died of Aids at the height of the epidemic.