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Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Cold Snap

The Frozen River

My brother's apartment is situated in a contemporary riverside development, built in an old part of Northampton Town's industrial centre that has been in the process of being renovated in the last five years.

The apartment's view overlooks the wharf, and waking up yesterday I was greeted by the sight of the river having frozen over from the night before.

I sometimes joke to say that we from the Mediterranean regions have flowers in place of genes, as we seem to open up in the sun, but I love the winter in equal measure when it opens up to us in its most picturesque ways.

For me, traditional winter scenes are one of the best things about the colder months. Whenever it snows, or the land freezes over, I feel as though I've been transported into a Christmas movie, and I always rush out with a child-like enthusiasm to enjoy it.

So, literally running out of bed in the early morning light yesterday, I took some snaps with my phone of my first winter scene in December to share with my readers.

Ice coating riverside plantsIt was a perfect moment in a most poetical sense.

With the cold sting of the air rejuvenating skin and the ghost of my breathing playfully hanging out in front of me, the frost's sugar-coating seemed to make everything look like someone's home decorated for the season.

Moments like these always take me back to my childhood and my father, for whom pictures like this were as if the postcards in his childhood, sold in Cyprus during its colonial past, had come to life.

In my father's time in Cyprus, apart from the tips of the mountains, snow or frost was an infrequent visitor as winter in Cyprus is usually bright and mild and not in its nature a cold, dark stretch of months that open up to show a snap of beauty and brightness now and then.

Consequently, when he came to England with his family these scenes were a new experience for him, and he not only unashamedly shared, but imbued this sense of wonder in me. When I was small he would always wake me up in a great rush of excitement to watch the first fall of snow from my bedroom window.

As my parents have now retired to Cyprus, and since I came back to England this year, they are never far from my thoughts. However yesterday, I felt my father very close to me, and I was so warmed by his image that it almost insulated me against the sprightly cold as I took my pictures.

Giving Thanks

Naturally, news of his recent failing health and having an opportunity to capture the welcome winter scenes he loves so much played their part in making him more vivid in my mind, but there was another reason, too.

It was you, dear reader.

The responses I received after my letter to B that disclosed my father's current health problems were, to say the least, heart-warming. During a period of dark, both you and nature have knocked at my window to brighten up my day. I've been walking around with renewed strength and a constant smile on my face.

And although I don't want this to sound off like a thank you post, there are so many people I feel I need to publicly thank for their support during this time: From the get well e-cards sent all across the world to my in-box, including countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, Latin America and China, to notes of a more personal nature: such as a cake recipe from a dear reader in Poland (which will be sent to Mum to make for Dad to cheer him up) and one dear friend in America who, as always, manages to send her best wishes with just a word or two.

You all know who you are, but I just want you all to know how large you all are, how much you all are, and how you have all kept the light burning in my heart. Thanks to you all, I know that everything will be just fine.

For those asking, there will be a concluding episode from B to her special Christmas visit coming soon (UPDATE: here it is), and to calm everyone's worries, the blog is still here for now, right beside you. It goes on, as life goes on. How far and how long I don't know, all I know is that, thanks to your support, we're in it together.

I will be relaying everyone's well wishes and prayers to my father personally when I call him, and if I can adequately pass on the kindness you have all shown, his personal cold snap will be over in no time at all.

Read more: My parents | About my life >>

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