Sunday 3 August
Early hours spent poking the fire at Daisy’s. Sadly she is staying with friends. It is Hogarth and I who sit round their outdoor wood burner, discussing life in the light of another departure (across the oceans, up the aisle or into the cells they go). Hogarth concludes I’m a hopeless writer; I inform him he’s a useless footberballer. We must have been drunk to countenance such opinions!
I wake on the kitchen floor, having slept on a latticework of crusts. Squinting up I see more stark and unsettling evidence of Daisy’s injury. Cups, plates and cutlery litter the surfaces along with stripy drinking straws – trademark of the invalid, or idiot. Hogarth has my sympathy (it was Daisy’s offer to keep things shipshape that forestalled his replacement of Miss Marsh, who famously ran off with the Vacuum) but Daisy my undivided. After a quick slurp from a watering can I make my way to her friends’ round the corner, one of whom makes the lass presentable while downstairs I try to scrape off whatever is making my tongue that shade of yellow.
My luck is in – not in the old sense of the cliché, but in escorting Daisy home, making her a drink (not forgetting the straw), setting up an old favourite on her portable puppet show, I gain a sense of selfless happiness, which isn’t quite the point but… we can chat without my lusts protruding for a change. For who would pounce on a defenceless woman incapable of using her arms? Whether you choose to believe me or not, I leave Daisy fed and watered and stocked full of the steely determination one forgets at one's peril.