Why do the birds all stop singing at two? Across all the gardens by mutual consent, they fall silent: the gossips, the warnings, the whistles and songs, the clatter of wings, the anxious enquiries from pigeons, the chattered arpeggios out of the hedges, the "smorgasbord will you?" from next door's Swedish bird, hoarse rasps: "Gerra grip! " from that badly raised crow, "bread and no cheese" no longer requested by finches perched in the hedgerow.
And now all we hear are kids calling out, falling out over the road; the workmen whose clanging began around eight; the hum of the bees who've been working since seven; Heathrow and Gatwick; the A3 in spate.