Wednesday 28 December 2011

An Odd Winter

After the rigours of the pre-Christmas workstorm, it's really rather pleasant to return to the office after the festivities and enjoy the short lull between Christmas and the New Year. Part of the pleasure is in the relative quietness of London at this time - and especially the all but deserted commuter trains. I was enjoying the comfort of a quiet, roomy carriage as my train drew into Victoria this morning when, gazing out of the window as we neared the station, I saw - of all things - a row of sunflowers rising above a boundary wall in front of one of the less upmarket of the apartment blocks to the west of the line. And the sunflowers were in full bloom! I know the weather's been mild - but surely not that mild. And why hadn't I noticed them before? It is an odd winter, this one. A bumblebee flew past me on Boxing Day... Oh and yes, it was a very good Christmas - as I hope was yours.


  1. I hope I'm one of those short Lulls nice people like you Nige might be enjoying between Christmas and the New Year, and at other times of the year too. The winter here in northern Wisconsin, on the shore of the western most tip of Lake Superior, is odd too. We almost enjoyed a brown Christmas and were kept from doing so by the slightest of snowfalls on Christmas Eve. That snow melted over the next few days because of unusually high temperatures for this time of year (we often experience lows here in December that are below zero Fahrenheit, and snowfall of many inches just in a day (e.g. on Christmas Eve 2009 we had snowfall totaling 11 inches)). Odd winter indeed.

  2. Here in the south of Spain the weather swings seem to mirror Wisconsin. In '09 at around this time of year I had to leave my car on a hill-side and 'wade' down to my place near the sea, across a motorway that had simply vanished; in its place a rather beautiful lake.
    This morning, thinking ahead to the lemons I would need for the G&T's, I strolled across a small pine wood to a grove of avocados (still too hard)and beyond to a single lemon tree, groaning with fruit about the size of my grandson's head the day he was born.
    On the way back, a raptor drifted across the sky looking for a meal, and London seemed a world away.

  3. And here in Derbyshire, we enjoyed a sunny spring walk in the limestone dales on Boxing Day, divesting ourselves of gloves and scarves as we strode (or, in my case, hobbled) out. After a while, dark grey clouds banked up in an ominous mass but then the sun broke out again, flooding the hills with the most celestial splendour one could possibly wish for at such a time. Later, we drove across the hills to Sheffield, meandering through lanes suffused with a brilliant white-gold light as the sun launched its last rays before retiring for the day. We've never seen anything like it. Very odd indeed.

  4. Postscript: The sunflowers lasted right through January before the February cold snap finally got them.

  5. we had a glorious day on last boxing day 2011. It's cold(er) but when the sun's out I don't care. I wish there is pleasant weather on coming Christmas & Boxing day and we enjoy it fully :).

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