It’s a madhouse on the elderly ward, the person I am visiting is cogent so it’s bad for her. Last night an old sparrow of a woman – posh, obviously once beautiful and well to do – wandered over and tried to organise an escape with us. It was fascinating and heartbreaking as she flitted between the here and now and the places and situations of her memory. She offered me a job as her gardener.

I think it’s healthier, curiously, to be confronted by madness and death. There’s a tendency to ignore them, we pretend they don’t exist or touch us, so they lurk like bandits on the road ahead, to leap out and accost us. But they are there, and it is chance or fate that determines whether we are their victim or not.

On the elderly ward everyone sits facing nothing. Ill. Prepared.

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