In the cool steel of the late winter twilight, jasmine topples sweetly down peeled and cracked wooden fences. I teeter home along the cobbled back access lane to my flat and somewhere up high birds trill an echo of the coming summer.
I like this lane with its patchwork of fig and lemon trees, gates and fences, bricks and palings and invisible dogs that bay at my footfall. Occasionally hairy muzzles snorting like steam trains appear under gates. I stop and watch until they retreat.
Stolen glimpses into backyards reveal artefacts of lives I doubt I'll ever know. Dog beds, plastic chairs, barbecues squat like greasy altars. An abandoned tricyle lies lame on its side.
This is a suburb-street for families. But my little yellow bird and I stay anyway.