Blue enamel sky; foliage breathless in the summer heat; the wooded, craggy mountains ascendent, impervious, immemorial.

Later, the evening sun turning salmon-pale over a hazy Atlantic. All the beautiful people thronging the Camps Bay beachfront. Wine – the Splattered Toad from Cape Point Vineyards – with crayfish and prawns. Palm trees blotting up the golden dusk.

That was yesterday. Today there have been tufts and pillows and duvets of cloud, coming out of the south-west, only to dissolve over the pale blue waters of Table Bay. Pockets of wind, in unexpected corners.

Conversations with my mother, late into the night, long into the afternoon.

A sense of being pinned affectionately into place, an adult being, returned from abroad, who has been marked and identified by a child, and placed at the right spot on the family chart, in some bright primary-school classroom, filled with innocent talk and laughter.

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