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Dear Amy,

Thanks for your card. I’m glad to hear that James is coming too. I look forward to meeting him. You should plan to fly into Gatwick--it's much closer and much less congested than Heathrow. What kinds of things does James like to do?

I’m glad Emma is back.  It has been tense and quite lonely here. Simon and I have separated, at least temporarily. I’m so tired of trying to figure him out. We had a big fight over a Harley (it seems stupid, but it really wasn’t), and I told him I needed some time off. As usual, he seems oblivious to what a mess we’ve made of things. He told me to let him know when I got over it. Apparently, he thinks I’ll wake up one morning and feel better, like you do when you’ve recovered from a bad cold. Anyway, while I’ve been rearranging things, he’s been strutting around the house, quite pleased with himself for having won the local cricket match.

Although we're apart, I'm still living here--I've got nowhere else to go, and besides, it's my house too.  I’m camping out in the study until I can fix a space upstairs that’s far enough away that I don’t have to see him every time I go to bed or get up in the morning. Simon’s staying in "our" room for now. We’ve only managed to make a few other rooms livable. One is occupied by his dad, who seems destined to outstay us all, and the other is housing Emma and Frank until the Hermitage gets repaired. Hopefully they’ll move back before you come. If not, I’ll figure something out.

Shirley is also upset with me and has been fairly miserable to be around. I had to testify in court against her friend, Jerry Anderson. He’s an antique dealer who was stealing stuff from our house, and got caught when he tried to take my desk. His trial was on the 18th, and both Simon and I were called for the prosecution. Shirley, who has known him for years, testified for the defense. In the end, he didn’t stand a chance, since he was caught red-handed. He’s been found guilty. Somehow this is all my fault in Shirley’s eyes. I don’t see how...

My friend Dave Redmond teaches at Elgin College and has been encouraging me to apply for a job in his department, and now I'm beginning to wish I had.  I am so attached to this place, but I can't stay here forever if things between Simon and I continue as they are. 

In any event, I'm not going anywhere soon, and certainly not before your visit.   Let me know when you plan to arrive. I’m really looking forward to seeing you.