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Spring in winter

Thus far, it's been a mild winter, with very few frosts here in London. Since early December crocuses and daffodils have been poking through the soil in our back garden - though they haven't yet had the temerity to consider flowering. Yesterday, on New Year's Day one of my community spotted a few more green tips - premature harbingers of spring's eventual advent. They were a welcome reminder, on such a raw, grey day, of the hope and promise of new life; even though they were also a reminder of the effects of climate change, and our topsy-turvey seasons.

A New Year

I had thought I saved a big long bit that was going to begin this blog entry. Alas, no. It’s okay, though…a chance to trim up the edges and tighten up that which was lax in thought or expression.

I have been reading two different yet connected books this last week or so. One is Daemon Voices a collection of essays by Philip Pullman on stories and storytelling. The other is a fiction book, Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. It too pulls heavily on storytelling and adds the elements of midwinter, mystery/miracle/magic, and the snugness of a pub.

Ruthlessly impersonal love

Over Christmas I managed to read my way through several old copies of the Guardian Review. And yesterday I found myself stopping, re-reading and then re-reading again these few sentences in Terry Eagleton's review of Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind, by Tom Holland, a book which describes the history and impact of Christianity: