The trees, abandoned by all their leaves in a hopeless flurry, are like the castles of wizards in a particular kind of fantasy film; they stretch twisted black branch spires towards a sky that, even when blue, is grey. They look old, even in London, but then London looks its oldest in winter. It being November, there's no promise of snow, no bright-white skies that seem to let you breathe them in, nothing but resentment for the Christmas decorations, and no excuse to stay away from work, to spend one random spare day with your daughter on your lap watching some version of Narnia and explaining about fauns, or go and watch the effect winter has on graveyards, or letting someone bring you hot chocolate in bed and listening to them talk about what Christmas was like when they were six. November falls over itself in its attempts to be more unpleasant than February. Thomas Hood's little poem is oddly right in some places - November robs things and people of their shape and purpose and kindness.
And I'm having a November that's as hard and cold as the ground, right now. And I can't pretend I'm happy about it.