I illustrated my story, set in ancient Greece, with a photograph I took last year of gladioli standing in front of a wall. It fitted, though centuries have passed since that ancient Greek society, for flowers have continued to open every Spring.

If I could gather those gladioli into a bunch and give it to you as a gift, it would prove that I could reach back into the past, because the weather is different this year and there are no gladioli by the wall.

Those who saw the photograph for the first time would believe that the gladioli still exist and are standing there now. The fiction in their minds would be so strong that they could project it onto the natural world, making a collage on nature itself. The top layer would be last year’s flowers, the second layer would be this year’s wall, and at the back, who knows? Perhaps the natural world as it would look if no-one was there to see it.