Index finger on right hand in plaster tonight. A result of an overly efficient vegetable peeler and plain downright daydreaming watching the swirl and twirl of the vegetables fall as if in slow motion into the sink, like Autumn leaves that my youngest son would catch and bring home, like they were treasures. I was bewitched by the shapes the peels threw. I recalled how when I was a kid I used to try to peel an orange without breaking the skin and if successful, threw the entire peel over my shoulder believing the letter it formed would be the person I would one day meet and marry. Now when I cut my own skin with a vegetable peeler I bandage it up myself, quietly with no dramatics. How lonely we all are in the end, coping and moving along, digging out the first aid kit, running the gash under a cold tap and wrapping up the wound...... probably mentioning it casually over dinner and relishing the varying degrees of sympathy that ensue. Thats what life does to you. You learn to cope without too much aid from others and it is only when you wnat the aid you announce it. Youth is different or it should be. I have learnt to read my sons' minds. If something is bothering them I can detect it a mile away. I can even tell if they have a headache before admitting one. When they were young and moved on from the stage when they suckled at my breast, I would run my face across their foreheads to check on suspected fevers, Then if my suspicions were confirmed I would wrap them in a blanket and lay them on my bed, soothing their way, singing a light lullaby, reading them a little story, The Windy Day, that thinking about it now was surely a methaphor for life..........I guess it is stowed now, somewhere in the attic. Tonight if you looked in the kitchen window you would have seen a family at a table. All united but all separate. All wanting the same thing and all having their secret dreams. That is what astounds me. How this night my sons came home and instead of dispersing off to computers and mobile phones and tvs they sat at the table before dinner to talk and share and I thought my god, all those lullabies I sang and the nights I stayed up fretting and worrying over a fever and the time I called the man whose son had a birthday party and invited everyone one in the class but my son was worth the difficult phone call. At the time the birthday party dad said it was all about ''dynamics''. Well, I say screw dynamics, a trendy word for downright insensitivity. And I say only a thank you for my family, for the way we sit at the table and talk and for the cosy house, the house in the country that keeps out the howling winds and the cold rain. Well, the Windy Days at least and all they bring with them.