It was a chilly evening in November
We walked through Greenwich street, my mum and me,
Our toes and fingers frozen, I remember.
The Cutty Sark is what we’d been to see.
It was quite a day as I recall.
We’d stood, one foot in East and one in West
And seen the standard measures on the wall,
And so many telescopes impressed.
We looked out from the hill across the river,
Passed through dwindling crowds as we descended.
The icy wind caught crinkled leaves together,
Now and then to fade, its force expended.
Our coats pulled tightly round our back,
Arms linked in unity, we strode
To chance upon a brazier, glowing black
Beside a scruffy trader of the road.
Pink digits poking from his woolly mitts,
He raked the embers on their bed of slag,
His voice directed to the empty street,
“Hot chestnuts? Six pennyworth a bag!”
Our eyes glowed bright, mouths leaking inward willing.
A stiffnecked, halfglanced smile we gave to us.
“Two bags, please!” she said, extending shilling.
Hot chestnuts, handrolled, gave in with no fuss
And warmed us, waiting homeward for the bus.