A mile east of town a lonely cottage nestled amongst the grassy mounds created by shell explosions. Within its white walls were two simple rooms, one for cooking and eating, the other for sleeping. The artist was hunched over his table, hand moving furiously across the paper. Eventually he sat back to consider his work. Around him dozens of sketches of a man playing a piano, drinking beer, talking, laughing, all carelessly scattered, different angles, different sizes, some in pen, some in pencil, some in pastel… a combination of well remembered features and a nameless stranger. He sat silent, motionless, surrounded by images of who the man he had loved may have become and dreams of a life that they would never have lived.
Just short of a mile east of town a woman in a practical warm coat and sturdy boots made her way through the gloom along a path she knew like the back of her hand. She carried a basket full of hot food and a bottle of red wine. She could see the outline of the unlit cottage dark against the grey sky; she sighed, he had forgotten to light his fire again. You would think a man from such a warm climate would feel the cold but there were times when she thought he couldn’t feel anything at all. Being stuck out here with his ghosts and regrets didn't help. Fortunately she was a patient woman, content with her situation; and there were enough attractive strangers passing through to keep her occupied whilst she waited for the man she loved to remember life was for living.