It is bitterly cold in London town. If you’re outside for more than 5 minutes, your fingers cramp up and you can imagine how ice sets thing, just as they are.
I got home early from a meeting last night and wrapped myself in duvets until the warmth finally got as deep as the cold had. It took longer than I thought to thaw out. I understand why animals hibernate now. Later, I slept 8 hours and then some. There is something tiring about battling the elements. An unconscious urge to co-ordinate with the longer nights.
At the same time, the sky has been a soft pink in the morning and, if I stare out of my office window over the top of London, the puffs of smoke curl white on the sharpest blue and I can’t help but stare. Today, the sky was a deeper turquoise-tinged blue: although I remember winter as grey, the moment I look up I realise how wrong I am. There is something alive in the chilled air, too. It is like sucking hard on a polo. A freshness that hits the back of your throat and cuts through the lingering stuffiness of clammy tubes and central heating.
I don’t know what the odds of a white Christmas are. If the snow is going to transform the landscape yet again. I have been keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen until I get where I am going but there’s no telling, really, and it feels arrogant even to wish. I don’t think there’s been a year in which, whatever the way, nature hasn’t surprised.