1. The swan stand on the frozen canal, tall and proud, waiting for its photo to be taken.
2. The ice reverberates as the rock hits it. It sounds like electric power cables humming in the wind.
3. The instinctual knowledge is us all – knowing when it’s “too cold to snow” and to be able to recognise the colour of the sky, the quality of the light, just before the flakes start to fall.
1. Even without my glasses or raising my head from the pillows, I can tell the world’s gone white again. Our plans are abandoned and we give ourselves a snow day of relaxation.
2. The cheese stretches between my teeth and the toasted bread shell.
3. I rarely play PvP battlegrounds and forgot how much fun killing other people can be. Fighting NPCs is rarely as exhilarating – it’s often just a case of going through the motions – but my half-hour in Warsung Gulch is electrifying.
4. Katherine & I discover we’re having the same soup for dinner. Katherine types “smiling now” and I am too. For all our differences, we’re so alike.
1. The world is white when we go to sleep but grey with mist when we wake up. Even on the dullest day though – when the tree line and the ends of the fields are all but invisible – the walk to the post office never fails to cheer me up.
2. I rest my head on Carla’s head, my eye socket accommodating the curve of her skull. Her fur is so soft against my cheek as we breathe together.
3. The moment we realise we’re wearing the same cardigan.
1. I have breakfast in the newly re-emerged garden – the first time it’s been snow-free in nearly a month. I count up how many of my garlic bulbs avoided being stolen by squirrels and watch the cats as they refamiliarise themselves with all the smells of the neighbourhood. The pond is still mostly frozen but the beck is flowing quickly, filled with melted snow from the hills.
2. We go out to the Dogs Trust and meet a beautiful but very shy dog called Scooby. The trainer explains Scooby’s social problems and we laugh because they match mine almost perfectly. The trainer admits they match his too.
3. We slide the mints from their packets at the end of the meal and the wrapper sticks to our fingers with static electricity. We walk them between our digits for a few minutes then store the wrappers in our pockets for future enjoyment.
1. The olive oil has turned gelatinous on the cold window sill.
2. The thrill of seeing the Twitter textbox count rise from -55 to 0 with rewording and careful cropping.
3. John decides it’s time to leave the house for the first time in 2010 and even though I’m starting to feel ill, I decide to join him for some fresh air. We walk the short way to the shops – to the chemist, to the grocers – to pick up supplies. John decides to do a running-slide down the slope near our house on the way back. Our neighbour in the house at the end of the slope watches and laughs from her kitchen window as he rides the ice around the corner. By the time we get home, my floating head pain has dissipated.