The telling sign that the fireworks were soon to commence was the dying sound of the jazz band which played from a platform built out from the ante-room on the far side of the house. The second sign was the gradual slowing of canapés and finger food trays that wandered past. Freya and Francis had been dancing French rock ‘n’ roll and as the clarinets resounding notes faded away Francis kissed his wife’s hand and was greeted by the pocky-faced organiser, dressed in black tie and sporting an ear-piece which coiled to his collar and then was seen no more. He escorted Francis down to the bonfire whilst Freya mingled with the guests and gathered two by each of her arms and began walking gently towards the gardens, herding them in a gathering ball that she considered her flock. Francis could now be seen speaking firmly, his hands gesticulating in punctual movements, his index finger extended.