Over the reassuring hum of the boiler, the wind hisses its wild way across the Quantocks. Anything loose is sent flapping. As the birds try to fly, they are suspended in the frustrated sky, then suddenly released. The yellowing leaves that remain in the hedge across the lane quiver continually, as though planted in jelly. From time to time, huge gusts batter the windows and come draughting down the chimney. There is shooting in the distance. My nose is cold. The lane runs red with mud.
Title — from a poem by John Milton 1608-74.