We sit, the three of us, in a living room approximately five metres by four. The walls are painted a Mexican-style terracotta red and our three recliners form an arc facing the window but more particularly the flat-screen TV in the corner. On the shorter wall, next to the TV, a laptop sits on the dining table where Alex is doing some work.
Clare is in the middle recliner happily informing us that Francis Wilson is claiming this is the coldest winter for 25 years.
The fourth member of our little entourage is the cat. Shadow has been here long enough to determine that the flat is effectively a giant cat-box. He has views over the Thames (Swans! Geese! Ducks!) and over the town on the other side (Feral youths with weapon dogs!). He senses there’s a world out there which he wants to be part of. His tiny brain can’t figure how to get from here to there (not that we would let him). His response is to howl a high-pitched mewling which would break a heart of stone.
Obviously we are quite unmoved.
Did I mention I am getting a cold?