....yesterday I bought a duvet, thick and heavy......for the sofa.
Outside the world is white and brittle.
On the mornings where the boy has woken early and we have stepped out shivering, briefly for him to pee, the pale lemon sunrise has been chasing whorls of mist along the river ahead of slowly evaporating shadow.
(When I was younger I thought I knew that jack frost was real. I thought I knew that he was a small child, naked and pale and encrusted in a silver white frigid anguish and made to roam the world of winter night by his guardians; blind, ebony granite, spade handed giants....spreading cold crystal agony like pearlescent leprosy across the roofs and stubble fields of my childhood (that came from I know not where, except perhaps my mother who had a fearful trove of myth and love of gothic horror)).
Later we walk and the boy plays amongst the fallen, frosted leaves. He seems to have a new lease of life, a joie de vie, a second wind that I share on chilly mornings like these. There’s something in the crunch and crackle of one’s footfall, the way that the semi solid air and oh so fragile sunlight hurts your nose and ears and lungs if you take too deep a breath that has.....quality. Yes, that’s it, quality.
Quality (to me, in this shape) is the precursor to the realisation that what you observe is the world as you alone see it.
From a passing train window a passenger in warm, upholstered comfort would not see the slender poplar avenue in the enforced monochrome of this chill day, guarding a path of virgin white. This is mine, my context, a moment just for me.
On the way home we lay a little rock upon the cairn that we have started for Charlie. Toffee sniffs the foundation and wees on a corner, an emotion that Charlie would have applauded. I spend just a moment remembering what a smashing, cracking and awful little git he could be and how much he would have torn up the silence of this day.
I’m already thinking of tea, and toast, and my snug, warm, stupid spaniel...
..and our new duvet.
good boy Charlie, you're still here while we remember you