I backed out of the bedroom on tiptoe, lifted the metal latch as silently as humanly possible and, door shut, lowered it into its cradle. Only then did I realise I was holding my breath.

Cat-like, I descended the staircase and entered the kitchen, where he stood at the sink with a ready smile.

“Bertie’s asleep, Wilf’s listening to night-time meditation and the baby’s dropping off to Reiki Chakra-Healing music,” I informed him.

“It’s official,” he replied. “We’re hippies.”


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