Life is beautiful today. Scent of lilacs and smoke, tiny mouse fingerprints in the butter, the trees glitter and sparkle in the almost-hot sun. Tried my first loaf in the wood oven. We arranged to foster a cat for the summer from the local shelter. “Eskil was brought here because he was boxing with other cats,” said the nice lady. “You can loan him.” A. follows me around, in and out of the house, shirtless, reading aloud from The New Yorker (“Deities can own property in India, but they are treated as minors and must be represented by a guardian!”). True joie de vivre: he plays jazz on his phone in the kitchen even though it runs the battery down.