'Want to hear an interesting fish fact?' I say.
'Of course,' says Wilson.
We are sitting together at Khalid's fish stall on Golborne road, swaddled in winter coats and scarves, eating calamari and chips. It's two o'clock in the afternoon and two days before Christmas.
'The blue whale...' I pause, partly to fish another chip from my plate and partly to inject a little suspense, '...has a heart the size of a small car.'
'Like a Toyota Yaris?' says Wilson.
'More of a Nissan Micra,' I reply.
'What about a Nissan Pixo? Or a Renault Clio?'
'Now you're confusing me,' I say. 'Let's just stick with the Yaris.'
Wilson nods and takes a sip of his mint tea. 'Although technically, a whale isn't a fish.'
'Nit picker,' I say, popping another calamari into my mouth.
The sun is startlingly bright and the sky Barclays blue. Behind us, a group of Moroccan men are sitting outside the Oporto café with tall glasses of milky coffee. Next to them, Shaky Dave is selling a job lot of chocolate Father Christmases.
I glance over at Wilson, thinking about what he's just told me: that he and his girlfriend split up eight months ago; that she still acts as if they're together when other women are around; and that this had led to their argument following Meg's exhibition. They haven't spoken since.
I want to believe him. I really do.
'Did you know that octopuses can open jars with their tentacles,' says Wilson, selecting another calamari for himself.
'I thought that was just an ocean myth,' I say.
Wilson chuckles. 'Octopus - fish or mammal?'
'Tricky one,' I say. 'Bit of both?'
'Cephalopod,' says Wilson.
We've already done the 'what-are-you-doing-for-Christmas-bit (Wilson's going to his brother's and Geoff and I will be at Meg's) but my mind is scampering ahead, wondering if we'll spend New Year's Eve together.
Stay in the moment, I repeat silently to myself, echoing Eckhart Tolle's advice from 'The Power of Now', whose contents I endlessly regurgitate for the website and studiously ignore myself.
Bring the attention back into the body. Focus on the physical sensations.
I can feel the cold air nipping at my cheeks, my red scarf slightly scratchy against my neck, the piece of calamari lodged between two upper right molars. I zoom in on the calamari which up close, is really quite big.
With my tongue I try to coax it from its hidey hole but it's not budging. I remember how my Gran used to hold up her left hand and discreetly conduct removal operations from behind her palm. But a similar gesture coming from me would look a bit nineteenth century prim. Like Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, only with a hand coyly fluttering in front of my face instead of a lacy fan.
'You look worried,' says Wilson.
'No, no,' I say. 'Just very relaxed, here in the sun, with my calamari.'
'Me too,' Wilson grins then chinks his glass of mint tea against mine. 'Happy Christmas, Hannah.'
To be continued next Friday...