I'm at my partner's place in Manchester. I know I'm in Manchester because yesterday, on the same road behind the hospital, I saw three people on their own, in their cars, smoking.

I am sitting in the kitchen of a terraced house with one small window partially obscured by the garden wall. What can be seen of the sky is grey, but it occurs to me that the lack of light is less to do with the environment and more to do with the design of the houses and gardens. The walls of the house are thick, the walls of the yard are high, the windows are small and rare. The design is left over from a time when retaining heat was the central concern of an architect.
  I live in a set of 1960's low-rise maisonettes in Bow. In the front room, one of the walls is covered in windows which let light flood in to the living space throughout the day. This design was an attempt to raise expectations and aspirations beyond the simple necessities of working class life. It is lovely to be able to read without turning the light on, to look up out of the window at night and see the lights of the Docklands redevelopment blinking at you and to sit in the morning sun and eat your breakfast. It is also fucking cold. The windows are single glazed and metal framed, and in the winter we will have to cover them with cling film to stop all the heat escaping from the (incredibly inefficient) storage heaters.
  This switch from neccesity to aspiration is what Modernist thought acheived for a large proportion of the working class. Rather than building on basic needs, and seeing what could be acheived once those needs had been catered for, needs and wants were reversed.

A cold house with wonderful light.