Since deciding on the crazy notion of producing a free booklet of short stories (orders still accepted!) I’ve given myself the treat of driving to work without guilt. It’s a fourteen-mile round trip which I managed on my bicycle much of last winter, but I decided that I couldn’t be climatologically virtuous, compile the booklet, do Christmas shopping, sort out something to send my parents in Spain and yet not run myself down into the cold that has hovered like a cartoon cloud over the heads of many of my friends and relations this past couple of weeks. I’m still walking to my weekly shop, so I’m sort of trying.
This means that I’ve been largely distant from the circadian stretching and distorting that happens this time of year: the bullet-time mess of circumsolstitial near-darkness that’s currently messing with bluedevi’s moods, among others’. The nightlengthening’s headlong gallop has slowed, like a man reaching the extent of his bungee, and is clawing at the last few days of this solar year, but I’m missing it. I’m missing the atrocious weather too, of course, although the force-8 gusts that plagued the north of England this weekend nearly wrenched the front passenger door off Hrududu. Even now it won’t shut properly.
Tomorrow, and certainly next week, I hope to return to cycling. To the dark and the silence, backgrounded by the thin milk of my bicycle lights and the hum of my tyres on the road. For now, though, I’m indulging in an entirely different wistfulness, as the interior of the car and the pouring rain dredge up old memories of caravan holidays, late-night trips, lifts from my mum and dad.