David Mitchell: “Letters From Zedelghem”
After supper, the three of us might listen to the wireless if there is a broadcast that passes muster, otherwise it will be recordings on the gramophone (an His Master’s Voice table model in an oak box), usually Ayrs’s own major works conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. When we have visitors, there will be conversation or a little chamber music. Other nights, Ayrs likes me to read to him poetry, especially his beloved Keats. He whispers the verses as I recite, as if his voice is leaning on mine.