Sarah Salway reveals that she would like to be called Syd in an interview on Norm Blog, and she also demonstrates that she has excellent taste in blogs :-)
1. Nick peers through the curtains and says: "There's an enormous black bird sitting on our tree."
I am feeling oversensitive and superstitious. "Crow or a raven or what?"
"No, a blackbird."
Which is somehow all right -- because no-one ever used a blackbird to create an ominous atmosphere.
2. The park is full of children in sledges and extraordinary hats (the pointed turquoise felt pixie affair is my favourite, followed closely by the Spiderman mask). Their shrieks of laughter are dulled by the snow.
3. The mother says there were men clearing the ice off the pavements outside the station... "So I thanked them as I went by."