Notebook extract:

Some days I long to leave; not forever, but a few hours at least, a day, maybe even a night. I crave aloneness – physical freedom – and space in my head too. Daydreaming requires the lazy spiralling of hours – not grasping hands and hungry mouths and shitty bums.

But when the time comes – as it has this morning – and I am free, in a chintz-filled hotel bar, waiting for an old friend, all I can do is put pen to paper and write of them. I am thinking of those two little faces in the backseat. J asking, ‘why do you have to go?’ and with those six simple words I feel the love for my family pour out of my heart and wrap itself around them all … stretching with them as they drive away from me, like an unsnappable elastic band.

Sitting here in the hotel bar with enough time to notice the condensation running down the side of my glass, I realise that sometimes you have to leave, if only to remember just how much you love them and how you could never fathom life without them; not for more than a few hours, anyway.

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