This morning the sunlight making the washi paper screens glow in my room was of the South African kind. I almost thought I caught a scent of the coffee percolating on the stovetop and imagined that my housemate, Martin, was making scones today. The only thing missing was the sound of Steve whistling guinea fowl chants at the front door to announce his arrival with madeleines.

It was still a good day. I was welcomed by one of Charles’ sayings in the kitchen, “Ah, it is a good morning now that you’re here!” A shameless flirt but very endearing.

I spent the day finishing off some prints and then slowly wound up my workspace: packaging prints, sharpening and oiling my carving tools for storage, cleaning brushes and sweeping away stray wood chips as the warm afternoon light started to fall on the tatami mats. That amazing Japanese pace: a whole day for cleaning studio today and tomorrow a day for packing.

We all enjoyed a last meal together at the local restaurant, nicknamed The Village. Now I am wondering how I will fit everything into my bag tomorrow!