I got home at about 5 past 5, in radiant sunshine and crispy clear and biting cold air. As I sat down with a cup of tea thinking about how beautifully the red winter sunlight was colouring the garden, things went dark. From the skies poured that kind of not quite hail not quite snow that the Germans call Graupel -- little white grains like rocksalt which rolled off the neighbours roof like so many marbles. The sun was still out at this point. I went upstairs to put on the computer and as I opened the blind in the study to make use of the last few minutes of daylight, the clouds swallowed up the sun completely and it began to snow. Gently at first, then in a brief near blizzard. Now, it's all over and just a light dusting of snow remains on some of the roofs.