Coming home late one night was like driving in another world: empty streets, hardly another car on the road.

You seem to be surrounded by echoes. Not a person anywhere, but there are animals who thrive on darkness. We sighted several prowling cats, glimpsed rats darting about in the undergrowth and a slither of foxes.... I saw three foxes on the short stretch between Clydach and Pontardawe. One of them darted into someone's garden, another crossed the road in front of us and disappeared into the shadows and the third was so small, I thought it was a cat at first. Where do all these foxes go in the day-time? It's a thrill to see these creatures of the night, although I did wonder what the foxes were eating... not cats, I hope?

Everything's growing so fast in the garden. The tulip tree seems to have grown leaves overnight. Elaine tells me that it will take another 20 years or so before it actually flowers and then, if I'm here to see it, the tree will stun me with its glorious huge flowers. I'd never have bought it if I'd known its history. I was in a garden centre at the time, 20 years ago, and I heard a woman say 'Oh, a tulip tree; how wonderful!' Well, I had to buy one too, didn't I? I was browsing round a garden centre last Sunday: no sign of tulip trees, but there was a large bamboo plant. I've got a bamboo plant; it was here when we bought the house... otherwise I wouldn't have one. It was priced at £93!