Perhaps what I regret most of all – perhaps with your insatiable curiosity about the people, scaffolding and minutiae of my life, it’s what you do too – is that you never saw – have never yet seen – my life as I saw yours. You’ve never yet come to my house, or seen the landscapes I’ve so often written about. I know I am not tied to this place as you are to yours, but still. I’ve grown to love the common of heather and gorse and birds and the distant hills which from the right perspective form the body of a Sleeping Giant; the common of hidden declivities and roots of gnarled trees whose distinctiveness could easily stand as marker to the box-buried treasures and tokens of a secret love affair. There is of course always the deep uneasiness, the guilt when a lover treads upon ground where no lover should be treading, as there was when I trod on yours, but oh, I’ve wished you here so often. Over and over I did. Still do. I would have you trace a finger along the spines of the books on my shelves, nodding in recognition here, taking out an unfamiliar title to peruse there; smile at the order of my record collection and the relative disorder of my CDs, and be generally overwhelmed by the mass of both, as increasingly am I, if I’m honest; and quiz me about the pictures on my walls – the art, the cartoons, the moody poster under glass, the letter from an admired broadcaster. I would be embarrassed about the hole in the carpet underneath the swivel chair in which I so often sit as we talk, too long ignored; and shy too to show you the slope-ceilinged bedroom, the one in which you and I have so often made love, yet also the one that some strangely illogical mental block would probably not allow me to share with you in the flesh. Instead I confess I think it would have been the spare bedroom, two floors down, two floors cooler and looking out through a frame of wisteria onto the garden – the garden that perhaps more than anything I long for you to see. I would work that garden to rambling, lush, profuse perfection if I knew you were coming to see it. Because standing on the bridge between the two little ponds with the water trickling underneath us, it was – is – the garden in which I wanted – want – to kiss you, and so much more. I may no longer be sure of my tense, but I am as certain as ever about the dream, and the love which informs it.