I should be writing my formal letter of complaint to the PCT.   I will get there, but it is going to be a long missive, copies of which will be going to at least one interested MP and to my lawyer. 

 

At the moment I am stuck on the second paragraph. Oh, there is so much to write and every word is very difficult.   

 

So I thought I would tell you a little story instead. It is a happy story and should bring you some cheer.

 

In the spring, a very late spring for us, I insisted that Jonathan come out to the garden and look at the blossom on the old apple tree.  It was so covered in bloom that it seemed to generate its own light: white and pure; incandescent with life and with promise for the future. 

 

It had never looked so beautiful. 

 

Jonathan dutifully admired the blossom – he had a keen awareness of the beautiful.

 

(He did add that it would probably save us a few pounds a week when we harvested the apples – but let’s not lower the tone.)

 

Now the branches of the tree are nearly snapping with the weight of the fruit – they are literally bowed down with the brilliant red apples. 

 

And so we get to the heart of this little story. 

 

You will understand that after a loss like this, even the most skeptical amongst us might be forgiven for looking for ‘signs’ – any indication that ‘it’ is not the end. 

 

I am very skeptical, but this has not prevented me from looking for ‘signs’ – frantically - any tiny, tiny sign would do.

 

Last weekend a friend of Jonathan’s, a fellow artist/craftsman, came over to tie up some loose ends concerning an unfinished commission.  He brought with him his Slovakian girlfriend. 

 

In my new role as the Mourning Widow, I have not been socializing much.  When I have, as you know, it has been fraught with problems. 

 

So, of course, I was all in a dither when they arrived.  

 

There was nothing to eat. 

 

The remaining hounds are quite embarrassingly excitable.

 

I hoped, so fervently, that my guests would go as soon as business had been washed down by a swift cup of coffee.

 

But they didn’t go. 

 

Several hours later, after we had all exchanged edited highlights of our rich and varied pasts, my new Slovakian friend asked to see round the garden. 

 

Completely ignoring a part of the garden of which I am rather proud, she homed in on the apple tree.

 

“What do you do with the apples?” she asked, giving me a look that might have come from a time prior to the Velvet Revolution – a look gently loaded with criticism of the wasteful West. 

 

Of course, in the circumstances, I had not given the enormous crop of apples any thought at all. 

 

As I shuffled my feet guiltily in the neglected grass, trying to think of an appropriate reply, we all started munching the apples. 

 

‘What is the variety of these apples?’ my new Slovakian friend inquired. 

 

I hadn’t a clue. 

 

“In Slovakia they are called ‘Jonathan,’ ” she said, taking another bite from the pink flesh.  (Except, of course, it is the Slovak for Jonathan which she translates.)

 

Well, as you can imagine, skeptic that I am, I was almost choking on my apple in surprise. 

 

The business with the apples was strange enough.  What was even more strange is that The Hounds, despite the fact that they bounced and woofed and licked and generally were their very boisterous and completely out of control selves, have found some potential dog-sitters. 

 

Next weekend these new friends and I are going to harvest the ‘Jonathan’ apples and I am going to work on some serious hound bonding.

 

Looking for ‘signs’?

 

I think Jonathan might have bequeathed me some angels. 

 

Now to bed: tomorrow the letter …

 

Lots of love.