Autumn in Berlin and the grimy guy begging outside our supermarket is absorbed in a book. When I come home he’s set it down to thank a woman who dropped some coins into his smashed paper cup. It is Sylvia Plath.
I prefer him to the punker dude who spreads himself with a large dog either side right in front of the sliding doors, then leans far across the pavement to make elaborate drawings in chalk which people then have to step around. His begging seems to me a form of veiled aggression. It is a set-up that forces compliance on every passerby, lest we tread on his art.
The two months I was away I compared the daily forecasts and found Brisbane, in its winter, was invariably a degree or two warmer than here. Summer has been short and late. Just last week on the canalside two boys in the late sun were playing chess. These are the last days, and it will be so cold til June next year we will see nothing of each other but our faces.