At the bottom of the steps, in front of a house, which has been turned into flats, is a small gueridon table. On it is a vase containing white roses.
A neighbour has made a tiny strip of garden off the twitten behind our house. Among his produce is a lemon tree, bearing three lemons, and behind it a kaffir lime tree (the leaves, and fruit which, when ripe, are about 4cm across, are popular in Thai cooking). There a two or three white, embryo fruit on the lime tree too. The lemon tree and the lime tree are sheltered by a mini-greenhouse, rather like a giant cloche, made from a plastic frame and polythene. It is light enough to be removed and positioned by hand. Inside it he has installed a small, tubular heater.
I stand under an awning to shelter from the rain, and watch a man walking up the hill, his head tilted back to catch the rain. He has a grey pigtail and a crude metal cross hangs on his chest. An aging hippy, a hedonist, he smiles to himself with sheer pleasure as the rain streams off his face.