Got a small spam problem, so I'm going to moderate comments for a while.
1. The rain has beaten rhododendron flowers to the ground. They lie everywhere in white and pink and purple piles.
2. Halfway up a cupressus hedge, for reasons of their own, are a dozen snails. While Nick waits in the rain I look closely at their deep-wrinkled flanks and their questing eye stalks.
3. Nick shows me his favourite film ever -- The African Queen. I like it, too, despite the rafting flashbacks and the leeches. I like the story of two people transcending their natures to become something better than the sum of their parts; and I have more affection than I care to admit for rough diamonds.