'In late sunlight on Brixton Station Road, Jeff the Chef cooks jerk kitchen on the oil-drum grill that stands beside his food wagon. The smoking meat makes my stomach growl. Spiced smoke drifts past men drinking coffee outside Max's railway arch cafe as a commuter train rumbles over their heads. Cigarettes on the table. Phones and prayer beads.
A week of unbroken Indian summer. These warm days are deceptive. Cold and darkness are closer than we think. For now, men whose shops and food wagons are in shade sit in the sun on the other side of the street from their businesses, on holiday from their lives. Some have beers open - bottles of cold Sagres. I'd love one. The hum of many voices speaking many languages. All the different stories. The oceans people have crossed to be here, the people left behind. How good the beer must taste after history.'