It is a Saturday, late July, 2000; we are in Reepham, Norfolk, at Owl Cottage. There’s something we have to do today, but we are trying to postpone it. We need to go across the road to see Mr Ewing; we need to ask for a valuation, and see what they think of our chances of selling. Ewing’s are the local firm, and it was they who sold us the house, seven years ago. As the morning wears on we move around each other silently, avoiding conversation. The decision’s made. There’s no more to discuss. About eleven o’clock, I see a flickering on the staircase. The air is still; then it moves. I raise my head. The air is still again. I know it is my stepfather’s ghost coming down. Or, to put it in a way acceptable to most people, I ‘know’ it is my stepfather’s ghost. I am not perturbed. I am used to ‘seeing’ things that aren’t there. Or – to put it in a way more acceptable to me – I am used to seeing things that ‘aren’t there’. It was in this house that I last saw my stepfather Jack, in the early months of 1995: alive, in his garments of human flesh. Many times since then I have acknowledged him on the stairs.