Time’s up!

If you’re not a broken heap by the end of ‘On The Eve’, get someone to check your pulse, as you may well be dead. I found those fleeting carefree moments in Venice so bittersweet, and so cruelly snuffed out. It was heartbreaking. That Elena should carry on to Bulgaria and devote herself to caring for the wounded in honour of her love, instead of returning to the dull entitled comfort of her previous life, made me weep.

These things moved me certainly, but it was the passages on death that will stay with me and make me brood when I’m doing the washing up or taxi-driving children to piano or gymnastics.

But death is like a fisherman who, having caught a fish in his net, leaves it in the water for a time; the fish continues to swim about, but all the while the net is round it, and the fisherman will snatch it out in his own good time