1. I lean on my fists in thought. The skin on my metacarpus is dry and smells faintly of chlorine. It reminds me of a year ago, when I swam three times a week – the shocking cold of the nearly empty pool, pushing myself to go forever faster, floating in my own world as the reward for my hard work, then the light, energised feeling of the walk home. I *must* start going again.
2. When life gives you lemons… I can’t face a journey along the icy slush to buy nice bread for lunch so just get a loaf of cheap sliced white from the nearby convenience shop instead. It’s too bland to eat on its own but perfect for toasties. Cheese, beans and tabasco – sizzling pockets of joy.
3. In the colourless, muffled world of snow, my other senses are enhanced to compensate. Standing at the bus stop opposite Kebabish is hell. I’m nearly drooling by the time the 670 arrives.
4. Returning from dinner with Katherine, I find there are pretty ice patterns on the inside of the porch windows. The first time I’ve ever seen that happen.
5. Boron cuddles close for warmth. With the duvet around him, he’s like the Cheshire Cat – just a head – but just two giant eyes instead of a smile. In the low light, they’re two black orbs surrounded by the thinnest lemon ring, with white flickering into momentary view as he looks around.