Last night Cherub Child and I went to visit W in the hospice. We are moving into new territory here. Since his 13th birthday Cherub Child is no longer cherubic, and since we split up W is no longer technically The Love of My Life, so between the three of us we are designing some new non standard visiting rules and conventions.
Convention 1. It is Cherub Child's job to wake W, whilst I try to look that obviously I'm just passing through the hospice anyway.
Convention 2.We catch up with details of who's been visiting - and some of the better presents he's had. Thank you the beer lover who travelled from Glasgow to bring finest bottled beer, the music lover who bought an mp3 and filled it with music, old friends who've been doing washing and ironing, new friends who've sent cards and photos.
Convention 3. We move through to the lounge of the hospice. W shares a room, and last night, e.g. there was a woman sobbing over the comatose man in the next bed.
Convention 4. W's dog, Jock, comes on hospice visits too. He gets the place on the sofa next to W.
Convention 5. We dim the lights in the lounge so it feels more comfortable. W's bald head and drawn face are less obvious.
Convention 6. The coffee machine in the lounge is temperamental, and we know this. A good ten minutes can be spent trying to get drinks out of it.
Conversation keeps to the general:-
What Cherub Child is doing
The latest X Box game
Jock's Ongoing Flea Problem
Me being made redundant as of next month

Convention 7. Future plans, e.g to meet up and take W out the hospice for Sunday lunch will be kept vague.
Convention 8 .We do not discuss the latest prognosis in detail in front of the Cherub. The official line is that doctors are doing everything they can.
Convention 9. Visits need to be kept short as W can only manage to stay awake for half an hour or so.
Convention 10. Any crying will be done in the car on the way home very surreptitiously so that the Cherub doesn't notice.