Wednesday, December 30

Faux spring

Two days before Christmas: a train ride to Brighton. It's unseasonably warm, and the sole bright blue day amid weeks of windy wet. Though I am streaming with a cold, I have to peel off layer after layer walking the salt-laced stones to Hove. It feels like spring. Runners in shorts pass by and everybody is wearing sunglasses. A couple emerge from a sea swim, their skin whipped pink by the waves. I almost forget it is Christmas time, until I am a road back from the water amid harried (mostly middle aged male) shoppers, tinsel-clad lampposts, a long queue outside the butcher's, a one-man band playing Ewan MacColl outside Wetherspoons, and people rushing along the pavement with turkeys balanced on their shoulders. But there is no snow this Christmas, just daffodils that have woken too early, and a surplus of hats and scarves in the shops. I wonder whether this will be enough to change the narrow minds of climate change deniers.
It just makes the coming three months of winter more cruel, this faux spring. Like waking from a really good dream to the crushing realisation that none of it was real.

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