Earlier today I helped my mother by trimming back some branches on her huge lilac tree that are providing a little too much shade for part of her garden. Chainsaw in hand, manhandling hefty branches in the way only someone built like me can, very blokey indeed.
But strangely it provided the backdrop for a conversation I wish I'd had with her decades ago. About the "girl moment", that stab of GD grief that hits you unawares and gives you a little trough of depression. She's expressed her concern about my depression for the whole of my adult life, and only now can I tell her about it. The catalyst for today's moment, Serena Williams of all people. Yeah, I know. BBC slow-motion analysis makes t-girl swoon. Stupid, isn't it, you could write my knowledge of tennis on a postage stamp. But she is amazing.
Then since we were in the garden we progressed along a fairly usual path for us, plants, flowers, vegetables and apples. Sweet peas, in flower in the UK at the moment. Except I think we were both aware it was a girl conversation. Magic.
A muntjac deer crossed my path only a few yards in front of me as I did my usual weekend exercising of my mother's dog. They were once the most timid of creatures, now they're so bold as to be almost unconcerned. They're a voracious pest, a foreign species escaped from the private collection of a stately home, but there's still something special about seeing one this close.
I feel very fortunate to be able to have these conversations with my mother. She'll probably never see me as physically anything other than bloke, but mentally it's another matter. She understands.
And that, as I hope you'll agree, is very good indeed.