We found the children dredging the canal in their back garden. Their mother was nowhere to be seen, apparently at work. When they fell silent we looked up and saw their father at the gate.
‘We are not allowed to speak to him’, the elder girl explained.
There were no rules governing the actions of me and TPR, so we were free to leave the girls and engage with their father. He gave me an over-long kiss, then led us along the road. He told us that he liked his new flat, and he knew where the three of us could find a nice ice cream.