Going for a walk in the November cold snap brought the following pleasures:
- saying good afternoon to a very well-dressed older lady wearing a Russian princess hat. I am not sure which was more Imperial – her deportment or the wolf curled up on her head.
- glancing at the crumpled pond, holding in its fixed ripples a scarlet leaf like a flattened flame.
- tracing the crystallised condensation on the glasshouse windows: tracks furred with quartz.
- vandalising panes of ice on a roadside puddle.
- rushing down to a brushed-steel sea, calm against an eggshell sky and the promise of snow.
- breathing in the freshest of air – it pinches below the nostrils and I think ‘That’s killed a few germs’.
- hoovering up the smells of woodsmoke, maybe apple; soup from the surfers’ cafe and cinnamon-scented hot chocolate.
- passing lighted windows in the evening, feeling the pledge of homely warmth to come.
- coming home with the glittering stars thrown in front of a haze-free moon.
- sipping hot tea and chomping butter-dripping crumpets by the fire.
Oh what wonderful observations – I so related to F – I remember thinking just that when I wandered through Hyde Park Sunday before last.
But a word on wolves, dear, they never curl up on people’s heads simply because people’s heads are far too unreliable, they all too frequently fall off (the heads, that is, not the wolves.).
Thanks, my dear wolf experty person. It was, I suspect, a dead wolf. The old woman must, of course, have been a witch.