There is a sweetness and pleasure about waking, on a Saturday morning, to the light as it softly steals into the bedroom, instead of being roused, in the dark, by a rude alarm. It is the difference between being yanked, squalling, from the womb, under the dazzling lights and surgical steel of the operating theatre, and being birthed, gently, into a warm pool and supporting hands.

Saturday morning. I have cleaned up the kitchen and am sitting out on our little porch, in the mild warm sunlight of August, about to open up data files on undergraduate throughputs in Engineering. Rob is off buying groceries. She is planning to make a big pot of chili con carne, which will help see her through the week, when I am in the Cape, for the Engineering Education conference at Stellenbosch. I will be making an oxtail stew, with beer and red wine and tomato and herbs, which we will leave to gather its flavours overnight and will eat on Sunday. Towards evening, depending on our mood, we may head out to 4th Avenue, to one of the little bistros, and sit out on the pavement with a glass of wine, and enjoy for a moment the cafe life.

In other words, an ordinary, contented, busy yet easy Saturday. But this is also a link in a chain, one of 18 more Saturdays, stepping stones that pave the way to our departure, in mid-December, for Toronto.

Time, in all its ordinariness and majesty, marches beside us.