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A fall of thin snowflakes as I cycle to work this week. Damp wool mittens and the worn out parts of my old coat – a little too flimsy for this weather but comfortable all the same – the collar soft scratching on my chin.

Curry with the girls around the long table, singing a round with fingers in our ears and the other tables turning to look. Outside we loop arms into each other.

On the bus to London Bridge and there are lights everywhere – in wine bars and the clear letters 521 Waterloo and office buildings where someone types at a desk and a cleaner slowly pushes a vacuum cleaner in grasping lines. At Monument a cyclist gestures to someone who steps out in front of his bike and across the aisle the man on the bus smiles at something he reads in his book. Black ink of the river and the clock face is exactly six twenty. Inside, Lori and I sit face to face over the table with others to our left and right, bodies and laughter and swift little waitresses moving around us. It is great to see her: the heart of her face, the way she says her words. When I walk home it is snowing, silent and thick. I like that I could have caught the bus or the tube but instead I am walking along the empty riverside with hands deep in my pockets and wet snow caught in my hair.

Sunday morning on the Heath and there are children and dogs and sledges on the worn snow. When Katie and I meet at the Overground we squeeze each other tight. In the woods a large tree has fallen, perhaps it rotted and fell or was blown over in a storm. Snow has rested on its trunk and yarns of coloured wool are looped and re-looped around its scraping roots. Wooden table and coffee, the gestures of her hands and her familiar silver rings.  

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