The beginning of February is marked by Imbolc, a traditional Celtic festival which heralds the start of spring. I swear winter gets later and later each year, and there are few signs of spring yet here in the UK. Personally I love the cold dark seasons, so this suits me fine, but I feel for my friends who find the dark days disheartening.
Back when I lived in Sussex as a teenager I’d go walking across the downs in February looking for Imbolc snowdrops, but now that I live in London it’s less easy to find time to head into the countryside, although I do live near several parks and a nature reserve on the river Thames. Read more
I turned thirty this year, and uncharacteristically for me I both spoke about it and celebrated it a little bit. In the course of reflecting on leaving my twenties, I thought about some of the things I’d done over the last few years, and it turned out there were a lot of them.
As the end of the year creeps closer I always find myself reflecting on what I’ve done over the last twelve months and what I might like to do over the next twelve. However, in the words of Bill Gates, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” I really saw this clearly when I looked back over the last decade: there were a few patches of time in which I felt I wasn’t doing much, or moving forward with my life, but when I reflected on the decade as a whole I realised how much I’d got done. Read more
This week I called the boiler people out because my radiators weren’t coming on and I had no hot water.
The man arrived to fix it and spent about twenty minutes banging around in the kitchen before he called me through and we had the following conversation.
I wake up. It is still dark outside, but it’s never really dark in my London bedroom, with its double windows surrounding the space. Rolling over, I see that the cat has jumped onto my chair and I mumble at her incoherently: ‘smychairgeroff.
I was watching Buffy and having a nice evening with some wine and a curry. Then I looked at the clock and realised it was quite late. I turned off the computer. I turned on the light.
And there it was, hanging on a scarf across the room. A big black juicy spider.