Five-thirty, mid-March, and already day has begun. Frost lies in strips across the park, across our lawn. Soon the sun will have licked it up, skimmed the air of cold. I want to kiss the fistfuls of buds the half-dead pear tree is offering, the winter-thin honeysuckle clinging to the once-climbing frame. Above the iron spidering of Alexandra Palace three-quarters of the moon is jutting from a slit in the blue of a sky clear as a bell. The tube train that’s just left the station is weaving its glinting body between roofs and laceries of willow. I don’t want…

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