“Haibunny, I’m home!” I shouted, as I entered; “Get the kettle on!”
There was no sound from the house; the ubiquitous radio was mute; the various electrical items (vacuum cleaner, washing machine, tumble dryer and such) they all seemed as if under a vow of silence – and the kettle was definitely not chugging its way to boiling point. I hung up my coat – out of habit – before ploughing in to see what was wrong; for, surely, something was. I searched the house from top to bottom and then from bottom to top (this being one of those strange places where you enter at the second floor and all is below; which meant that we had great views across the valley, not so great views into the cliff face). Anyway, I digressed there; as, to be truthful, there was nothing (and no-one) to find or see. I stood on the veranda, a thousand foot or so drop just a few steps away. The mountain ranges where magnificent come the sunset; and I stood and watched the colours of the world etch themselves across the vast and unfathomable surfaces.
I brought myself out of this reverie and stepped back into my reality. I was alone in this vastness of a house; perching, as it did, on the side of a mountain. There was no cause for alarm… now. I went through this same ritual every night.