Trying to snow.

The prosecco corks it seems to have hardly stopped popping to welcome in a New Year we are promised on all sides will be grimmer than the last, and already it’s February. And arctic. The coldest end of January since the previous coldest end of January. Yesterday evening your Lucy took to bed at nine o’ clock under a tumulus of blankets, a last resort to fend off terminal bone-chill. And hasn’t she, I hear you asking, a brave and beefy arm to hold her tight? The wrong arm at the right time, the right arm at the wrong time, the wrong arm at the wrong time, everything but the fourth permutation, you know how it goes. And all those broken hearts weeping under her balcony, suicide notes left fluttering on canal edges . . .

Right now it’s actually trying to snow, that feeble minimalist snow, like midges in a summer lane – it’s not so much that it doesn’t settle as you wouldn’t notice if it did. It used to be the case in days of yore that the lagoon would freeze over and you could skate to Murano for lunch, but not since 1929 (pictured here) – there’s global warming for you. Keep busy, that’s the trick, ignore the ice floes jostling with the gondole, new projects galore. This year will bring ‘Abandoned Monasteries of the Serenissima” (no.2 of a series? To be followed by: ‘Abandoned Dogs’? ‘Abandoned Women’?), an anthology of Venetian poetry, and more, much more, besides. So, can’t be sitting around here wool-gathering with you-lot, turning into a stalagmite. ‘-tite’ did I hear? ‘tight’? Not a bit of it.

Nothing drippy about Lucy, and only a smidgeon of rum in the morning cappuccino. Brrrrr.