I have gone South, to a tiny village in the Corbières region where old people call me by my mum’s name, and like to tell me about the time she fell off her bike and cracked her head when she was eight. I go for walks with my uncle and aunt, we pick wild leek and thyme. The rugged land is covered in spiky bushes, vineyards and rosemary, a mad wind chases the clouds across the sky and messes up our hair. I think about the snow-melt from the Pyrenees swelling the rivers, about how perhaps one of my great grand parents walking the same paths, looked down at the river wishing it could wash away their sorrow.
The church bell chimes seven, this used to be the time my cousins and I had to drop whatever adventure we were up to nearly thirty years ago, to run home in time for dinner. Five hundred kilometres away, it is my children’s bath time.