In the hallway: the dusty telephone that sits and waits on its tired oak table. Up the stairs: the familiar, quiet-evening mystery of adult space. Down here, in the living-room: the radio, murmuring to itself, tuned as ever to the Light Programme (though there is, as we know, no such thing yet). Through there, in the veranda: my bed, the good pack of cards, the poker dice, a china dog and some violets. And beyond: apple trees, the swing he made for me, determinedly three-leaf clovers, strawberries. 

Everywhere: the permanent dusk of worry about bills. 

Mrs Byrne is at the door, offering some beef which Mr Byrne acquired yesterday. A brief exchange, as ever. Mrs Byrne doesn't like me very much. And she never comes in. 

This is not like Czechoslovakia. These people cannot speak Yiddish. They cannot speak German. So I don't really speak to them. A relief in many ways: רעליעף, as my father would have put it. 

Ah, father. The day Mrs Byrne finally did set foot in the house was the day I finally killed him.