It's the evening of New Year's Day — an overcast day, all day, though seasonably warm. The street is quiet, no sign of human activity. An unseen bird gives an insistent chirp. Then I realise it is two birds answering each other. I watch as they fly briefly into view from out of the treetops, to disappear over my neighbour's fence and away. I leave my doors wide open, letting in the cooling air.