The last fingers of autumn prostrate themselves before the winter breeze. A small woman coming the other way starts in the middle of a conversation, something about seven degrees. I put my thoughts down on the footpath, shake them free of my ears, and straighten my eyes for her. “I beg your pardon?” I say politely Her face has a pointiness leading in to chubby cheeks and her brows are the sort that squint indefinitely. She hasn’t really stopped. “Tuesday and Wednesday,” rushes her tongue “top of seven. We just have the worst climate!” Her head is shaking earnestly. I smile and nod and utter some non-words of agreement. We pass each other, then and it’s only when I get home that I remember where I left my thoughts two hundred metres back, icing over as evening falls.