10616734_270340436492072_1578405582_n

We are at the flat.

Everything has worked out fine: the journey, our connections and now amazing sense of space. We unpack and go for a walk to find our bearings. Our host has left us a bottle of fizz to say welcome. Soon there is the sound of a cork popping as we drink in the last of the evening sunshine.

But I can tell the book is not happy. ‘Shouldn’t we be working?’ it says.

‘Of course,’ I say. ‘Tomorrow. For now, though, let’s just concentrate on this. Being in the moment. Look at that sunset!’

‘You always say that,’ the book says.

And with that, the book vanishes.

I don’t see it again till the next afternoon, looking very much the worse for wear. It has been for a walk into town where it got lost and went to a bar.

‘I’ve had a fantastic time!’ The book is pacing around and waving its arms. ‘You should have been there! I found this incredible American bookshop. It sells only American books! Incredible.’

The book is rootling in the kitchen drawers. It picks up a knife, thinks better of it, puts it away again.

‘Aha!’ it exclaims. ‘Crisps.’

The book is off again, marching round the flat, stuffing its mouth with crisps. ‘These crisps are amazing,’ it says. ‘Where’d you get them?’

‘We brought them with us,’ I say.

The book ignores this completely: ‘I can order drinks in Spanish!’

‘But we’re in Holland,’ I say.

‘The bar was Spanish,’ the book says, enunciating each syllable as though to a two-year-old.

At which point the book collapses on the sofa and begins snoring, spilling crisps everywhere.

‘We’ve got a whole week of this,’ I say to the empty flat.