I’m always telling myself I don’t have many feelings. Even when something does affect me I’m only moderately moved. I almost never cry. It’s not that I’m stronger than the ones with teary eyes, I’m weaker. They have courage. When all you are is skin and bones, feelings are a brave thing. I’m more of a coward. The difference is minimal though, I just use my strength not to cry. When I do allow myself a feeling, I take the part that hurts and bandage it up with a story that doesn’t cry, that doesn’t dwell on homesickness.

Sometimes John had recorded new compositions, or lines from his new poems. Sometimes he’d just record a busy night in The Green Man. Sometimes sheep, seals, skylarks, the wind turbine. If Liam were home there would be some Liam. The summer fair. The Fastnet Race. I would unfold my map of Clear Island. Those tapes prised the lid off homesickness and rattled out the contents, but always at the bottom was solace.