Darling! Aren't you special, giving me that little smile - beautiful, you are, like an early morning in the countryside; sun all over the place. Must wash that spot from your cheek, though, mustn't we. It wouldn't do to go out with little frecklespots on your face.

There's Doreen from next door, look! Shall we wave at her? Shall we wave at her, darling? Do you remember last Christmas, when she gave you the nice dolly you liked?

That's okay, darling, you don't have to wave at her. We can go visit her another time, maybe when it's raining out and there's nothing else to do. You'd like that, wouldn't you. Tea and cakes and crackers - we could have the best time ever!

No, dearest, mummy's gone.

But look! Look! Daddy's here! Shall we play a game? I'll tell you what. You can be the fairy princess, and I'll be an ogre who's coming to get you. And then if I find you, then I'll be the fairy princess, and I'll have to go hide, and you'll be the ogre who's coming to get me. Do you see? Wouldn't that be a fun game?

Yes, okay. You go and watch the telly. You'll feel much better soon. Much better. You can sing along with your television friends. Television friends are better than real friends, you know.

They laughed at us, they did. Pudgy eyes creasing round the sides, their mouths coating the room in a layer of downy spit, their sides churning up and down. Aching, we were - both them and me.

Well they're not laughing now, my pretty, and I don't think they ever will again. Washed up? Banged around the block too many times, like a worn-out Lada, ha ha? That's what they said about me. But we've heard the last of such nonsense-talk, my dearest, and we can live happily ever after. Just you and I, here in our home for ever more, cosy as can be. It's done now. All gone. Nothing we can do but support each other, my precious.

Come here and give daddy a great big kiss.