Nearly nine o’clock in the evening and the sun dazzles as it shines into our back bedroom, leaving, on the walls, shadow squares from the window frames. Earlier Mrs Llew was in the garden reading. She wore a soft summer dress and, as I pottered about, checking on the plants and our runner beans – flower buds are forming – I looked at her, as she sat, absorbed in a history of Jerusalem. She’s just finished re-reading the whole of the Old Testament and repeatedly says she can’t see that anything much has changed in the Middle East since those books were written.
In profile, on the (plastic) wicker chair, as she sat reading, she reminded me of paintings by Gwen John. Fifty one years we have known each other, since we met one February night at a jazz pub on the corner of Kings Road and Oakley Street, Chelsea. She is as new and mysterious a being to me now – more so indeed – as she was then.