The old lady sits down at the table next to mine in the café. Her head, with its bulbous eyes and straggly hair plastered against her skull, reminds me of Rottcodd from Titus Groan. She takes the complimentary square of chocolate she received with her coffee, and spends a good five minutes trying to open it with her soft, trembling fingers. Once she has succeeded, she drops the dark tablet into her milky coffee and stirs. On the tray in front of her is a large tiramisu, as well as a not inconsiderable slice of cheesecake.

My three year old daughter, on her way back and forth from the play area to our table, pauses to stare at her every time she passes.