The winter sun is low on Merringdam. The wide street is light and the side streets are shadowed. The shop fronts flicker with pedal bikes, pedestrians and old fashioned cars. Bright voices spill from the courtyards. Transistors, a clapping game, neighbourly chat.
‘heartbeat, pygmalion, blonde.’
Ray’s ex-wife, Sylvia, is in the back garden at his old house in north London. It is a pretence of the past (the early part of the century). She kneels at the rose beds where Pip S and I buried Ray’s ashes. She has a mask on and I remember that everyone used to talk behind her back for wearing one. Now it would be the other way round.