Category Archives: Seasons


There is so much that could be said about Christmas, about its meaning – lost for some, found for others – about its power to stir feelings of warmth and loneliness in equal measure, and about it being a time to give thanks, about it being a time for children, and about it being a state as much as a time of year. The following  quotes reflect some of my own thoughts.

“I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”  Bob Hope

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” Washington Irving

A happy Christmas to you!



Aesop, moderation and Christmas

It is just two days until Christmas, and as I write this, it is pitch black outside my window. A window that is open enough to let something of the swirling, roaring wind making merry with itself, come inside. It makes me think of Aesop and his sun versus wind fable. There was a time when I willingly bought the idea that the latter, cheeks full of puff, lips pursed malevolently, was the villain of the piece, while the sun was like a gentle old lady caressing the traveller out of his cloak. In this age of climate change, Aesop might have written a different tale. A tale in which the sun, the wind, the rain have all become very accomplished demons, willing at the drop of a hat, to unleash havoc the world over. He might have written about moderation, and how when it comes to the weather, excess is not the best policy. The same, he might also say, is true of Christmas.

The wind between the trees as the darkness began to turn to light

Snow graffiti

I had been going to write something else about snow today, but as I stumbled through it on my run this morning, I saw this image. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Happy winter.

Snowy flakes are falling softly

I remember a line from a song at primary school that went… “Snowy flakes are falling softly, covering all the world in white…” I don’t know how it continues, but I do know that every time it starts to snow, those words start singing to me. What’s more, they are often accompanied by the taste of Dutch Shortcake. Proustian? Maybe. Maybe not.

Both the words and the biscuits came to me today – the latter in a blue and silver packet – when I looked out of the window to see a sky positively laden with snow. They are with me now, dancing around me like the snow flakes the song describes, and leaving me in no doubt that wherever I was when I first experienced their delights, must have been good, comforting places.

Perhaps that is why I have always loved snow so much.

Category: Berlin, Childhood, Seasons | Tags: , ,

Small World

Each morning has its own look and feel, it’s own little something that stands it apart from those that have been and those that have yet to break. Today I stepped out into a velvety autumn dawn, my feet silent as they touched the leaves beneath them, and my head grazing the mist that framed the street. Such are the mornings I love. And I love them because they turn the world into a quiet, intimate place, in which everything seems possible, and everyone appears as a perfectly-cast player. Yet perhaps that is always the case, and it just takes fallen leaves and a fallen sky to reveal the obvious.

Category: Seasons | Tags: , , ,