This surprising year.


This morning’s write is populated by a surprising jumble of images – the giant blue Christmas bulbs on the giant tree at the Distillery District’s outdoor Christmas market. A market that featured a Christmas Angel who wandered through big fat snowflakes and the crowds, occasional a capella singers, a snow-covered booth selling mulled cider and warmed the whole area with the smell of cinnamon, apple, nutmeg.


Warm sunlight through the golden curtains of the curved tower room windows, spilling over the shoulders of my lovely daughter and across the old worn carpet. The clink of cutlery on breakfast dishes, cup on saucer beneath the rise and fall of engagement, conversation. The simple happy of my Mother’s rich red sweater.

A painting of Guido Fox on the wall at The Duke of York. Ah. He was Spanish. Of course he was – why else would his effigy be burned in ritual these past 413 years, by inebriated English people?


The welcome pause there, the sprint-walk back past Margaret’s house to the B&B, the gathering of family from across the city, our arrival like love spilling from the car and through the door, the all hands on deck preparation of feast, the sit down in gratitude and conviviality.

Between us, ten countries and four continents traveled. Gathered at table from five different cities. All of us altered, in this surprising year.


The Shape of Water – with courage, we find a way to move into what we love, no matter how fearsome or impossible the obstacles seem. Thank you Del Torno, for giving us this beautiful tale of a specific kind of defiance.

Let the lanterns be lit and set on the sill.  Like thoughts, like mulled cider to warm those we love who cannot join us in body, but join us nevertheless. 

I’m going to savour every one of these final days of the decade, the surprising year of 2019. May we all find a way to move into what we love. Happy Solstice, everyone.