We have had children in the house for a week. Fairy children; groovey children; zen children; to-the-max children; sleepers; bright stars….

One child eats only meat and bread but would die for a carobar or white chocolate finger that you ‘can’t get in England’; another thinks anything she has never eaten before is a ‘good plan’ and heartily engages in wrapping offal in something weird and skinnish for the barbie; another thinks anything ‘marseillais’ (our equivalent to Silvekrin if you remember that) is so cool; another teaches us an African washing song and we dance madly in the field at midnight improvising and stomping our feet to it; one craves her baby grand and teaches me the true meaning of the word ‘whence’; one reads a book a day; the other reads…well, maybe a half a book during the week?….

We do yoga, talk about meditation, music, life…they are very, very good company.

What are we? The childless couple who (apparently) are cool because we listen to Elliot Smith and watch CSI and the O.C. and with whom they stay up till three touching toes on the table with our mad artistic invitées?

I hope we are The Eccentric and Slightly Rebellious Ones, and that Here is where they are always welcome.

There are plans afoot for yearly reunions.

They leave on their Easyjet flight. We hug, but not enough because people are waiting. I forget to tell them I love them.

I am glad to have the space again. I have cleaned and organised. I have swum under stormclouds and bought an expensive organic steak for two. I have printed Julian’s invoices. Julian has learned to use ‘excel’ through a bland downloaded tutorial even though A would have given him a mistressclass had she still been here.

‘My room’, which was Julian’s studio and which I spent the previous week clearing out, is not empty. It has two beds in it - still warm, and I haven’t been in there to reclaim it, only to visit the emptiness.

I top and tail the beans. Sometimes I wonder where the romance has gone. Suddenly I miss them horribly. The world has certainly become a more colourful place because of them.



Ah yes, children!I love that photo of feet. I can't quite figure it all out, but I think that's part of why I love it!

With my nieces and nephews, I always tend to think that I am the crazy one, the window on another world of possible lives...with my own child, I wonder: am I the crazy one to his eyes and is he longing for normalcy?the magic of childhood. so delicate.

you have captured it so well and i adore the photo of the feet by the

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