We met for lunch in a café with rooftop views. Earlier I’d seen one of a terrace of houses that had been completely removed, like a tooth – continuity being reconstructed as a new place was built in the gap. Now we watched a roof opened across the street, wood and tiles being replaced.

The tables filled around us. ‘What is the soup of the day?’ – ‘Tomato and basil’ – ‘Very good’ (as if she were a student who had given the right answer). He and his dining companion watching, waiting for us to vacate the window seat.