This is an odd time of the year, it's not the run up to Christmas, it's not Christmas Eve (which is a bigger deal in France because that's when French people have their big meal - fresh oysters taste best with the anticipation of opening presents), it's not even Christmas Day, or even Boxing Day (which is a newish one on me and as yet doesn't feel like a proper holiday - what's Boxing Day anyway?), it's not that lovely limbo of a week between Christmas and New Year's, it's not New Year's Eve (thank goodness, this year's was off to a slightly dramatic start which thankfully peetered out to an anti-climax before fading into oblivion - we were so grateful to have a really quiet one), it's not even the weekend following New Year's Eve...
...What it is is the end of a sad little Bank Holiday of a Monday redolent with foreign students catching the last Eurostar home in time for classes tomorrow and the last of the holiday makers making their way home: Liverpool Street station is a happening place. As was the canal tow path (I prefer toe path) that runs between Islington and Canary Wharf: bikes, families on bikes, joggers, fit joggers, joggers in tee-shirts and shorts, new year resolution joggers, couples jogging together, canal boat owners returning after a visit to Cornwall, and the odd cat or cormorant looking for their next meal.
I'm not depressed. Oh really? I've simply run out of Haigh's chocolate puddings (which our dear friend Melissa sends us without fail every year from Sydney where Haigh's has finally opened a branch. It used to be that you could only buy them is South Australia's Adelaide and they still won't ship outside of Australia...) and it's time I went back to taking my vitamins and going to yoga class.
Then there's the death of Pete Postlewaite and the thought - as when any artist dies - that a light has gone out of the sky, never to be lit again.
The thing is, the days are still so short, the sun is still so timid, and there's nothing to look forward to until the end of the month when my sister turns a year older! Then there's Valentine's Day, our anniversary, then there's my birthday in early March, and then more family birthdays and before you know it it's Spring and all is right with the world. But in the meantime?
So come on, New Year resolution number 310!!! To weave a little magic into the world and lessen, even for a moment, winter's bitter but necessary hold.