Things change when I go away. A tortoiseshell kitten is lost and recovered, leaving a rain-drenched memory of escape. The kitchen floor is gouged by some mysterious thing, creature or machine. The city grows buildings and bridges overnight, spiky with flapping bunting.
I come back, weary and itchy, after a week of broken fiddle strings and seaside amusements and walks past famine graveyards and pints under a circlet of hares, painted on the window of a dark sepulchral pub in a dolorous, development-riddled city. I want new skin, but I must wait for another year or so.