Winter

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Festive cheer…

So the snow kept falling and falling and falling, for 4 days straight. Everywhere was shrouded in a beautiful white blanket. And for a few days it really was beautiful. I flew in the face of Sir Ranaulph-type danger of frostbite and exposed myself to the elements to take lots of photographs. But after about 2 days, the temperature continued to creep down and down and down, and the fluffy white carpet turned deadly, and it’s now basically a massive ice rink. It’s man down at every turn, but people are so used to seeing a slip that no-one even looks when you hear the squeal. You have to walk like a geisha, sort of shuffle along without picking up your feet too much. I’d seen so many casualties of the ice that I’ve been mentally preparing myself for my turn. Today it came, and no sooner had my foot gone and my ass hit the floor than I was back on my feet and continuing with my day. It was weird. Like I’d been in training for that moment my whole life.Image

I took a walk to the forest last week, and it was definitely worth the wait. The snow was almost untouched, the sky was blue and the air was crisp and silent. I passed a few old people on their daily constitutional, but mostly it was just me wandering about. Such a big beautiful place in the middle of a busy bustling city, and not a single student to be seen. I asked one why there weren’t any students there, and the answer was that they’re frightened – it’s dangerous. I asked what was likely to happen to me in the forest, in the middle of the day, and she couldn’t really give me an answer, just that it was scary. They also don’t like walking down back streets, or out at night. I’m telling you this place is safer than a Sunday afternoon stroll around Wepre park, but many Chinese are fed horror stories about anything non-urban. Suits me though, I now have a lovely, sparsely leaved oasis to retreat to.

In an effort to feel more Christmassy, I’ve bought a little tree and decorated it. I’ve made origami trees and hung them from my front door. I’ve had the Salvation Army Brass Band Christmas album on loop on Spotify, and I’ve drip fed myself John Lewis adverts. But still I feel about as Christmassy as a brick. It feels like the whole year has been leading up to nothing. It’s a weird feeling, like someone just decided to cancel Christmas this year. I’m sure it’ll perk up nearer the time!

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