Aimée has started growing plants.

Mostly chamomile, lavender and marigolds. She intends to grow a few things, probably several dozen things, that have healthy properties.

This is for the dogs, of course.

Still, it sounds something like kinesiology to me.

The plan is: she’ll grow these plants and let the dogs sniff out what they want, because their instinct will tell them what they are missing and whatever that is will smell best to them. I have decided to keep a healthy distance from this. I don’t understand it but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

My own background with the green and growing is near infamous. I overwater to the point of drowning the plants, and then they die of thirst. Or, conversely, they’re utterly parched and then they fucking float away.

I’m not good with plants.

Usually, they begin to grow and within moments, they need replanting. So, I repot them, I talk to them and they give up. Or maybe I do. We’re not good together is what I’m getting at, I suppose. However, because I can get them from seed to sprout, but not much further, Aimée has sought my advice on when the jet black surface will pucker with greenery. I suspect she is full in the knowledge that once they get to that point, she’s on her own. I will be no use.

My mother could grow any plant, or bring it back from the edge of death. When I think of my dad’s mother, I can smell the acres of geraniums in her lean-to.

My uncle was a heathlands warden, and made a study of everything that grew across the Hampshire countryside. He knows all the names, lay and Latin. These are my people but I am not blessed with their gifts. He knows trees and plants and fish.

He once spent an hour and a half explaining the difference between fly-fishing and spey-casting to me. I will never get that hour and a half back. I have been fishing. Just once. When I was eleven. Even then, it wasn’t a fly-fishing or spey-casting situation, it was merely dangle the bait and sit in the sunshine.

Fly-fishing is the act of whipping the rod back and forth to cast the line a long way into the distance.

Spey-casting is when you can’t whip the rod back without the risk of hitting a tree. As such, you angle the rod to about forty-five degrees, and let the line out in loops to one side in front of you. Having let the line out for a sufficient length, you hold the rod a little closer to you and then snap in forwards, and the line spins out to a decent distance.

There. I have saved you an hour and a half. If this wasn’t in written form but rather, in person, I could explain it in twenty seconds in a very compelling mime, featuring some very brave dramatic choices, but sadly the written form is what I have, and reading this may have taken a little longer.