The morning I first walked down the street that was to become mine, and visited the flat I was to buy, was a sunny one. Surprisingly sunny, in fact, for early April. I can remember what I was wearing that particular day three years ago, and even which way I walked down the street. And I remember being struck by all the trees - old trees, some as tall as the three-storied houses themselves - that lined the pavements. I met the estate agent by the biggest tree of them all, and she led me up what were to become the steps to my front door.
Each day since I moved in, descending those steps I have looked onto the wide trunk of the biggest tree of the street. I have swerved round it countless times as I headed out into the city, dragged my wheeled-suitcase over its uneven roots en route to airports, cursed the way those same roots have been pushing up the paving slabs. Just a few days ago I watch downstairs' cat almost get stuck up it chasing a vociferously protesting magpie. On Sunday, with the news of the approaching St' Jude's day storm, the Accidental Father had looked at my tree and wondered how shallow its roots were, and whether it might come down in a strong wind. Not wanting to alarm me however, he had kept this thought to himself.