Creased-white hands circle the plastic cup, steam rising into the cold damp air. Matching scarf and hat, woollen, fir trees, Christmas is due soon. “All right, mate? What’s it to be?” I can’t decide whether to go for the baking potatoes or the butternut squash. I settle on an apple strudel from the stall next door. And a small focaccia. I am nothing if not cosmopolitan.

A trip to the market.

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