Let It Snow


December is upon us. At times I wake to a light frost and those times I feel young again. You may think me creaky and cranky as an old door badly oiled – but Christmas is coming and that is the one time of year I like to shed my crotchety ways for good cheer and warmth.

The reason is simple, I think. Christmas is the one time of year when the world colludes in my illusions of better times. Christmas is a time for old, tried and true stories. A time for movies we’ve seen before. A time to revisit favorites: the basted goose of Dickens and the bravery of King Arthur and his knights. There is nothing new-fangled about it: we are allowed to rest in the memories of childhood and other childhoods before that.

In fact – there is only one new thing about Christmas, and even that is the same every year. The Christmas gift of a heavy book, pristine, to be unwrapped with reverence and devoured before the fire. When I was a child, this book would be a gift from my mother – now it is my gift to myself. I haven’t yet decided on what it is to be this year: the requirements are very specific.

– it needs to be a proper novel, and long, too
– it needs to be a classic, or a classic to be

Last year it was Wolf Hall. Any suggestions?

From the comfort of my oldest cardigan,


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