I look at the unknown sky of the new year. It is so blue it seems almost impossible that anything bad ever happened. All of my mornings used to start the same way. Blackbirds would line up on the trellis of the roof garden opposite my window. The Beast sat there close to me and stared outside, a daily, intense standoff with the blackbirds. And he made that chirping sound with his throat, both curiosity and hunt, a salute to the morning. Yesterday I took a walk in the park adorned with their beautiful presence, and I suddenly realised that no blackbird has ever showed up again on the roof since he died two months ago. Not one, not once.