Indulge me with this.
I'm into the home straight with my novel, Second Hand. This morning I had someone address Francine in words which took on added meaning and immediately I recognised I had a strand of the final chapter in place. I went to lunch damned pleased.
I decided to play some music. From a wide selection of Haydn string quartets I picked one at random; it turned out to be possibly the loveliest - the second movement being the melody for the German national anthem, played slowly and yearningly. I sang along.
As I did so I recalled my best friend, Richard, dead these last 17 years from motor neurone disease. He shaped most of my musical tastes and was a Haydn enthusiast. Said H was frequently superior to Mozart. I reflected on the link between Richard and the music then playing; even more so on the fact that I - guided years ago by Richard - had been the instrument that had today reached for the Haydn. An accidental tribute to someone I owed a lot to.
I thought about another best friend, Joe. Remembered how, on the top deck of a London bus, I had recommended the LvB Grosse Fuge quartet and how Joe had subsequently played it almost until the day he died. How he, on the other hand, had introduced me to the novelist George Eliot, how I'd read through everything (Felix Holt the Radical, re-read last year) ending with her masterpiece, Middlemarch.
A week or so ago I had a feeble go at defining happiness then gave up. But the above cat's cradle seems full of that elusive quality.