It was snowing when I walked down the road into the West Dean Estate this morning. I could feel the little pills of white plocking against my coat. I shivered and pulled my hat further down over my ears. I stuck my hands further down inside my pockets and felt the northerly wind pass through my all-too- hastily chosen trousers.
My back curled protectively around the heat of my heart. I wanted to hold it in. I inspected a puddle by my feet . Was it frozen? I rushed on, feeling my thighs glowing. They would look an attractive shade of day-glo pink, I thought.
I thought: I could have just looked the way I was going. Could have just focused on the job in hand. But what I would have missed. The snowdrops’ heads dangling on threads, each petal fingerprinted by jack-in-the-green. The aconite a globe of promised sunshine and the crocus tribe mustering to see off old Winter.
And now at home, I think of my characters. Which of them would see the Jenny Wren tip into the hedge? Which of them would keep their gaze on the grey and haily road?
What about you?