Heat wave! I spend a chunk of the day reading in the shade of a tree in a small local park. I avoid the big parks when it’s this sunny because they are crowded with families and children. Barely anyone uses the small parks between the tenements. I was in the shade of that tree for about three hours today and my only companion was a young Japanese woman who brought takeout sushi to a bench on her lunch break and then vanished after five minutes. Later, when Samara comes home, she complains that the trains were out and that she had to walk and get the tube instead. The heat had apparently melted various materials in the signalling system. Samara wears a uniform in her new job. “A lot of polyester for this weather,” she says.

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