There are two Newfoundlands in the neighbourhood. Their owners usually walk them in the Grove, and the two dogs are apparently friends. But today their meeting is special. Off their leashes, they bound towards one another. Snow, you suppose, is the habitat of the breed and they seem to recognise their inheritance - two bulky black silhouettes gambolling in a field of white.
As the snow flakes race down outside the window I listen this April afternoon to Chaucer's Prologue read on CD in Middle English by Michael Bebb:
"Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droughte of March hath perced to the rote..."
No, there is no escaping the snow today. That goes for an early bed of flame-like tulips where the collapsed petals, with a distinct sense of drama, spread like blood in the snow.