About eight years ago you plant a wisteria to scramble up the side of the new extension to the cottage. It is a tiny slip of a thing. People tell you, "But it'll be seven years before it blooms". And you think "Yeah, so what, I'm not going anywhere". Last year it has, what, two or three flowers. They aren't super-long or anything, but there they are, a reward for patience. And this year the damn thing is absolutely covered in pale lilac flowers, crowding each other, jostling for space. And it's no longer yours.

It was a week of loss, last week, loss that went well beyond the wisteria, though that was the most obvious.

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