The wind is hard and fierce today. The side gate, apparently, isn’t latched properly; it slams shut every so often, making the walls shudder; sending Nelly into my lap and the cats under the sofa. When I took Nelly out, we went the short way to the end of the street, running past a creaking tree bent, by the wind, toward the road. Two boxers and a poodle live in the last house we come to before we turn around. Nelly sat, as she invariably does, refusing to budge, until they came outside. Then she stood, stretched, cocked her head and watched them behind the bars of their gate: two menacing and muscular; one high-pitched and frenetic. On the way back home, we stopped at the water’s edge to see the restless waves up close, until cold sea water flooded my boots.