It’s the end of June, I’m in France and it’s grey outside. How happy I would be if that statement was an oxymoron but in this current annus horribilis, which is as horrible as an annus can be, happiness is seasoned with bad shit, in all its many and varied disguises. Were I to travel back through the pieces which I have written over the years, I would not be surprised to find that I have written similar words at the end of many Junes past; yet I still dream of the sun filled Junes that my mind conjures from the fragmented memories of long gone childhood summer holidays. There was a smell to rented summer holiday homes that was only evident at very particular moments; coming downstairs early on a summer morning when I was the only one awake in the house or, for a split second, if I was the first through the door when the family returned from sailing or the beach. I smelt that smell a few days ago when the sun was with us and it felt as warm as bread at 6.30 in the morning. It was a proper summer morning. Getting up meant waking, throwing off a sheet, putting on a pair of shorts and quietly going down the stairs to the kitchen for coffee; half way down the stairs it was there and was wonderfully comforting and full of optimism. It troubles me that I can’t define or expand on something so clear and present; it’s reminiscent of being asked to clearly define happiness when you were 5 years old.