We are all about to go home for Christmas. A. has a sideline where she collects fist sized round stones and paints them so that they look like sleeping smiling orange white marmalade cats, and then varnishes them. I browbeat her into making a whole lot of them for me to give to my new friends as Christmas presents, apart from the ones I give the tankardy things with sculpted faces on them, from the tiny pottery near Phil S’s house. She does this unenthusiastically, even I can see that, but I am shoring up something, something I am making.