So tell me, Augustus, what are your
pleasures in life? Mrs Smallwood chirped.
She was an amenable soul, the sort of
person who put you at your ease. Mr
Smallwood sat silent and awkward in
his lazy-boy, a mute, hen-pecked man.
I was tempted to say that Laura was my
main life pleasure, but this would have
been misjudged, inappropriate. Instead
I told her I wrote. Mrs Smallwood was
taken aback. I’d curdled the conversation.
I was hastily offered more reviving tea,
another chocolate digestive biscuit. I