Seaweed (smellingbottle) wrote,


I have a ticket to Pete Postlethwaite’s Lear tonight, but I may decide not to risk the tube having already stopped for the night by the time it ends. Or maybe the snow is an excuse. I honestly find Lear difficult to reconcile with the average notion of an evening’s quiet enjoyment, and good ones are harder to bear than mediocre ones. The alternative is an evening with a glass of wine, mushroom soup, and either Un conte de Noël or a stack of books from a wonderful recent haul at a Tunbridge Wells secondhand shop.


The flat was oddly quiet all day, as though the snow muffles – the skylights in the kitchen roof were completely covered in snow and the view out the window was smoothed roofs and branches outlined in white, with one hunched, fat woodpigeon. The other thing is the relative absence of traffic on the street, and the flat white reflected light indoors. I. has been away for the last few days, and the weather has meant that the Cambridge friend who was coming to stay cancelled, and my own plans to go to stay with S. are on hold, so I’m hibernating, making cakes, and working on the new chapter, reading Angela Carter, wearing two woollen jumpers and a pair of ski socks. Not thinking about D, who passed through for the weekend and brought his usual crackle of mental static.


I went out to walk in the park this morning as soon as it got light enough – I wake early when I. isn’t here for some reason, and had been reading the Mitford sisters’ letters (a hoot – even the one I always thought of as the dullard, Debo Devonshire, she of Chatsworth, Shetland ponies and recipes, has impeccable comic timing) and watching the snow fall for while – and was passed by a serious-looking woman on cross-country skis, with a baby in a backpack wearing a pink hat knitted to look like a strawberry. Later, the place was thronged with people making snowmen and children sliding on teatrays and roadsignsdown the slope I can see from my window. One group of adults and children even made a surprisingly competent igloo using snow tamped down in the green local recycling boxes. (North London survivalism.) I went out to the park again as it was getting dark, when all but a few feral snowballing stragglers had gone home – dirty mauve-ish sky, the trodden snow silting over again, and endless snow figures standing silently about in the trees. The relentless human tendency to anthropomorphise - put two balls of snow one on top of the other, stone eyes, stick arms, someone's scarf, and there you go, us.

I hate it when I. is away - I get visited by imaginary burglars nightly between 2 and 4 am.


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