Tony was cycling downtown to work. It was the highlight of his godforsaken day. It was freedom. It was control. It was revenge. He clenched his whistle between his lips, ready for the inevitable. The bastards. The lousy bastards. They were everywhere. Total losers. Inconsiderate, unthinking, totally narcissistic goofs. It wasn’t once or twice. It wasn’t the occasional driver making an innocent mistake. It was an epidemic.
There is a familiar quiet across the gardens, the usual character of a Sunday afternoon in autumn. Visitors are thinly scattered across the grounds, the tea room and the house. There is no guided tour of the house at this time of year; people wander round in twos and threes. They speak in low voices to each other so that they are nearly muffled by the sounds of their own footfalls. Their shoes knock slowly on the floorboards and receive creaking replies.