The little group of trees and shrubs in the centre of Berkeley Road is known locally as The Village Green. That is because it is in fact registered as a village green despite the fact that there is no grass on it as there is on most village greens. It is also a lot smaller than most village greens. For a long time it was carefully tended with the help of the Council by Col Tony Wade, who lived beside it and who died 18 months ago. Nowadays the Council looks after it once or twice a year. The Scots pine in the foreground will never amount to much because it is so precariously rooted, but it remains an ornament. With the snow forming uniform shapes on its branches, it looks like a formal tree in a Japanese picture. In the Spring there are daffodils among the bushes. And sometimes, if the Council gardeners spare them a mass of lesser celandine.
Walking in the snow has cleaned the soles of my boots and extracted every little bit of mud or grit that usually insinuates itself into the patterned grooves in the rubber.
Teddy bears are usually brown or black. This is because they are called after President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, whose bear hunting expeditions and one in particular in 1902 which involved an American black bear, were widely publicised. There is therefore something anomalous about a teddy bear made of snow. Unusual though. The snow teddy, in a corner of the The Grove this afternoon, is the size of a grown man. A man , surrounded by children, is, in fact, putting the finishing touches to the bear's nose, and at the same time looking the bear straight in the eye.