It was Sunday and TPR was in a terrible mood. From my corner of the garden I could hear him swearing as he dug deeper and deeper into the hard ground to prepare a spot for repositioning the pond. From its depth of over 6 feet and its tight circumference, however, I feared that the purpose of this new hole was to bury the pond shell, rather than create a pretty garden feature.
My husband was further annoyed when four little girls rushed through a gate in our garden wall, then scampered across our lawn and disappeared behind a white door that led into a courtyard of New Town mews buildings. How could we have lived here for almost 30 years without the knowledge that our neighbours had a right of access over our property?
The following Friday I turned up very late for the regular lunchtime network meeting at our New Town club. Such was my delay that TPR was coming down the glass stairs on his way out when I arrived (by taxi, with a man who paid the fare, and expected something in return). When I called up to TPR, he openly criticised my ‘banshee shriek’. In return, I felt like making fun of his frilly white 1970s dress shirt, but then I thought better of it.