Keeping a diary gives the calendar a special hold on one. This morning I looked at the date on this weblog and was suddenly ambushed by grief. I was transported back to June 1 last year. It was a beautiful English summer day. Sue and I took our daughter to a Guides Summer Camp in the morning, and after watching the (hilarious) process of tent construction etc. for a while, departed. Our other children were elsewhere, so — unusually — we had the day to ourselves. She was in terrific form and looked wonderful in a pearl necklace I’d bought for her birthday a few weeks earlier. In the car she observed ironically that if she hadn’t known she was dying she would have said she was fine. We went out to lunch at a good restaurant and had a lovely time, enjoying one another’s company and the incomparable lushness of England in early summer. When we got home, I asked if I could photograph her. “If you must”, she said, smiling. So I did.
This photograph is the most important one I’ve ever taken, because it turned out that June 1 was the last day when Sue felt really OK.