The first of the blue, climbing beans called Blauhilde look spectacular next to the more usual yellow variety.
The tuneless singer is addressing passers by in Chapel Place. He wears a bowler hat pulled down over his head today. Last time I saw him it was a black, conical wizard's hat. He makes up the words as he goes along. Most people ignore him with a faint smile, but some schoolboys with skateboards, mock him. He hurries off, chanting : "there's no need to panic, no need to panic.
A pigeon passes me at eye level, as I walk along Berkeley Road in the direction of Mount Sion. It must be a regular flight path, because this is not by any means the first time we have met. Its wing squeak as though in need of lubrication.