First of all, it seemed to me that he was very calm that day. And the principal reason that I remained so perfectly happy was that he reflected something in me that I thought I’d lost.

When I was a little girl, I liked nothing better than to climb a tree and dangle my bare feet into the thrilling silence. I sat quite still, wondering what thoughts my mind had seen, but I could seldom put a name on a fresh thing in my heart – a little girl on the cusp of a new feeling. It is a subject that I am interested in, the way we perceive. That’s to say my interest is personal and not strictly academic and my searching can be nostalgic and my perspective rather naive at best as I tend to lead with my heart. I think it has something to do with love. I think I am one of those souls who deliberately seeks it out in everything and it can be merciful or obliterate me. Or something along those lines.

I may as well mention now that I have spent the past while studying under the supervision of some very gifted academics at Trinity College Dublin and their ability to construct an invigorating opinion in response to things I mention never ceases to impress me. And all of this has everything to do with me now by the way and my perspective. I won’t be able to climb a tree and dangle my bare feet into the thrilling silence again you see – that’s to say I won’t be able to feel that for the first time again. And that’s really what I had been chasing since I was a small girl. So I ask myself, what makes being up a tree for the first time so exciting? I believe it is a feeling and sometimes I catch glimpses of it through interesting conversations like things whispered by the world through the branches of an ivy-clad apple tree when you’re small. Each thing Paul Smith said to me that day took me further upwards…