A week of red fingers, cold nose, freezing streets. Jamie has fixed my bike and I feel so happy to be cycling through the city again.

A pottery class, run by a friend of a friend. I love the feel of the clay, cold and soft in my hands. A screening with Sian for her work, it is good to see her face. Later a friend joins us, making me smile that they have met over the dimly lit table and empty bottles of wine.

Managing to fit writing in, working from a café with the voices around me – something about the movement of people, shopping bags, Christmas wrapping is everyday and special in the same moment. Waking in the middle of the night to fumble around for a notebook, the need to write.

Alice and I get blown down Tottenham Court Road, looping our arms together and heads down against the wind. There is a girl singing in the Underground station at the bottom of the escalators. As I go up, those coming down crouch to catch a first glimpse of her face. She sings a song about love that was a summer number one, repeated on every talent show and busking street corner. But here, it feels suddenly new.

In the coffee shop next to me is an old man in a tweed coat and red trousers. There is silk in his top pocket. I think of my Grandpa. When my client arrives we talk about work and then – in the best kind of way – the conversation slips into one about life and places and family. He is from New Zealand, “so far from the rest of the world” he says and I miss my friend, working as a chef in Wellington.  

Seeing Keri on the Friday and university friends on the Saturday night. Glitter on our faces, a frozen trampoline, the night bus home at dawn. I run along the river with JA and the lights are white and gold and pink on the black water, the dome of St. Paul’s a white moon, pregnant in the night sky.


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