Winter, and other Archetypes

The view from Mt Roy.

As a glance at my photo gallery will immediately show, Winter arrived in force at the end of last month. Since then we’ve been having uncharacteristically cold weather. It’s been cold enough that each night I’ve watched fascinated as the ice forms on the inside of my windows – and the scent of cold drifting in the toilet window is exactly identical to my childhood archetype of that same scent coming into the toilet from outside our now long-abandoned bach in Clyde. It’s an indescribably delicious sharp conflation of ice, wood, grass and thyme. I love the feeling that envelopes me when I discover that smell. Minus 10℃ is cold, though. Cold enough to freeze the water pipes and make me wear socks to bed.
During my last holiday break I made the unusual move of leaving my beloved town and travelling, first to Nelson, then to Wellington. The Nelson component was to attend a conference on the teaching of English, but Wellington was simply for pleasure. I stayed with my brother Hayden and his wife Carina and their kids Annika and Jan. I enjoyed being in their nice Ngaio house immensely. I discovered Maysie and Tallulah and the importance of taking snacks to the supermarket when you have toddlers in tow… We saw both my excellent Wellington Aunts and I kept coming up with pretexts to use the train to get places.
I also met a man – Gavin – I’d been talking to online. It was already exciting enough to be talking online with someone who I liked with whom I at least share a country of residence, but it was even more exciting to meet him in person. Far too little of that happens. Spending time with a man I like, well, how about that? Going for a swim, a coffee, looking at a view, clambering over a monument and pausing to stare and remembering to breathe are all activities I’ve discovered somehow seem more rich and fun when there’s a guy you like there with you. Being happy on ones own is one thing, but this, well, this is something else…

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