Insectile tapping at a blackberry.
Across the aisle of the tube train: a woman in a white Jane Austen dress, bunched under the breast, chiffony below. Naked legs: white-pink skinm, but with the visual texture of flesh tones applied in watercoloru over cartridge paper, rather than oil over board. Her toes were all of them visible. White plastic sandal flipflops with a diamante clasp on the thong between the big toe and the foretoe. Unless it was actual diamond. Unless it was actual diamond. The toenails were all painted flamingo pink: large, smooth tabs of colour that served only to throw into less flattering relief the blotchy tincture of the skin of feet and legs. The little toe on each foot was tucked neatly but rather repulsively in at the side of each foot, like landing gear undeployed: years of unconscious Geisha-like squashing of the feet have caused that shifting about of the phalanges. The toenail on the little toe wa srotated almoost 90 degrees from the orientation of the other toes.