Still. Cold. The sky is white with the glaze of the early sun but will soon turn a crisp blue. It is bigger in winter, a backdrop to the bare branches, the dark bones of sleeping trees. Frost has numbed the air and the leaves but not the birds. There are blue tits in the tree above me, and a robin who comes to call each time I am here. The sounds of the street are muffled and seem a world away. For this moment the garden, the air, the peace, are the only reality.