Then my brain took in the larger picture and I noticed other lights to the left of the chimney and above it, and- sudden shock to the system- realised I was looking at Orion and the light I'd seen first was Rigel.
Most years I watch out for the coming of the winter stars. This year they've taken me by surprise. Mid October and the days and nights are still wonderfully mellow and warm. This summer (now officially the hottest on record) is just going on and on and on.