Out at daybreak on Tuesday to photograph cobwebs in the freezing mist, I literally bumped into a professional photographer doing the same. He gave me his card and we both turned to go in opposite directions, disappearing into the fog to go our separate ways along the river. It was a great way to start the day before my final lectures of the year.
Taken on my sunset walk along the River Colne tonight, in the freezing fog, looking across to Rowhedge and their Christmas decorations. Every season, and each change of the weather, has its own beauty. The fog muffles sound and alters light, bringing quiet and calm, slowing life down.
Welcoming Advent on my morning walk along the quayside at Wivenhoe, before starting another day working from home.
As a drawn-out, unpredictable, emotional rollercoaster of a sober October (my canine-supervised sobriety has been raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support ) draws to its inevitable close, Frank and Zoe-dog prepare for winter. They begin to tolerate each other in close proximity for the darkest months; sharing fur warmth and firework worries. Tomorrow, Zoe-dog will celebrate her seventh birthday. A rescue from downtown San Jose, CA, where she was dumped as a tiny puppy at Christmas 2012, I gave her Hallowe’en as her birthday. The math works and so do her spells.
The air is milder, the days little-by-little longer, now, I feel it is but a short hop to Spring. In the morning, I leave for work as the sun comes up, and in the evening, I leave for home just as it sets. Winter is clocking off.
It’s day three of a big freeze here in the UK. In my part of East Anglia, the east wind is currently taking the temperature down to – 12 Celsius and turning the back garden into an unruly snow globe. Powdery snowballs from the trees, dodged by puffed up birds, mingle with fresh snowfall. I filled the bird feeder in the apple tree this morning, for the blue tits (which speed feed before the resident robin can object) and covered the garden table with the remaining seeds for larger birds. Here, we aren’t used to these temperatures even at this time of year, and nor is the wildlife. I hold on to my love of the peace and light the snow bring. I’m hopeful for Spring.
Last night, I left work with a colleague – we both walk to work and when we work together our paths cross awhile. We chatted about Spring – it was a mild evening for January and the birdsong was loud, there was an air of hope. As we do, we went our separate ways just outside the Roman walls marking the boundary of old Colchester. As he headed due south, up Balkerne Hill, I headed due north to cross the River Colne at the foot of North Hill. I stood on North Bridge and took this view as it took me. The warmth of home reflected on the river as I reflected on similarities with Hopper and Van Eyck and the intimacy of painted detail. Lighter nights are coming on, but real home comfort is now.
Walking to work along the River Colne in the first frost of this winter, with the ghost of the moon and a reflective swan.