This is me (on the left) with my brother, Rob, who has been staying with me for a few days. We have another brother, Paul, and a sister, Sue. The four of us are sufficiently different from each other to suggest that Mum and Dad had no clear 'game plan' for us; nevertheless, we share an unbreakable bond of family love. It sounds sentimental but is profoundly important.
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous ... the marrow! Amongst the gifts of wine and a pot of plants taken from a clump in Mum's garden, Rob brought me a giant marrow. I'm not sure whether to go into my culinary past and steam it or to delve into my new Lebanese cookery book and try something new. It wasn't quite Marcel Proust's 'madeleine moment' but the marrow reminded us of our grandfather's garden and his frequent gifts of produce to Mum's over-stretched larder.
One of the memorable moments of Rob's visit was the encounter with Jens, in Haworth. He was on his weekly amble to attend to the church clock and asked if we would like to help him wind it up. We climbed the alarmingly narrow (particularly for the rotund Jens) spiral staircase and then a free-standing ladder to reach the Victorian clock mechanism. I did the minutes, Rob did the hours and Jens wound and adjusted the clock.
I know that Rob's visit helped me to unwind a little from my natural state of neurotic tension. One indication was that I suddenly found the way to start a poem I have been thinking about for a number of weeks. Like all of my other writings, it will sweep through the literary world like a hurricane!
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