I’m sitting outside on the bench and the sun is bright and it is warm, but the wind is the dominant force today. It is strong and swift and it bends the trees and lifts the cover from the barbecue and every time it does it makes the cat, who is lying on the bench next to me, jump up in alert tension. Something is creaking; I’m not sure what it is but I suspect it’s the eucalyptus tree and suddenly the height of the tree, which I’ve been so proud of, seems a hazard though the branches seem sturdy enough and they flex without any suggestion of weakness. The tree is young, it is flexible. The cat turns onto her back and begins to attack the arm of the bench, she licks it playfully and then turns again, jumps off the bench and goes to sniff at a fallen leaf on the grass. Then she comes back, launching herself onto the high back of the bench and clambering over then sitting on the arm, and I realise she is showing off for me, showing her flexibility and skill at climbing and I am proud of my little cat. She looks at me and meows and I scratch her behind the ears and she closes her eyes in pleasure and then we sit there for a while, just next to each other, neither talking nor touching but sitting in companionable silence. But all the time the wind is whipping and her repose lasts as long as it takes for the barbecue cover to rattle again and she tenses and claws at the bench. It is time to go back inside. I get up first, open the back door and wait, holding it open, until she follows me in.