Monday, 14 January 2013

On a Winter's Day


It’s snowing! A cyclone over the Adriatic Sea is blessing us with lots of tiny flakes gliding down from a deep grey sky. In Graz we often get snow from the South, above all when humid air from the Mediterranean mixes with cold air from the continent. Since yesterday noon, above all during the night, the city has been covered with estimated 10 to 15 cm of crystallized frozen water. That’s not much compared to the snow blanket in the Alpine regions of Austria, but it’s more than enough for a city like Graz to sink into chaos. In January snowfalls aren’t much of a surprise really because we’re right in the middle of winter, and yet… I had hoped… 

Frankly, to my taste this season is too unfriendly and too wet and too cold. Grrr. Nothing but looking outside I’m getting goose bumps and a depression! Is it a surprise that I prefer dark clothes during winter although this can be very dangerous after nightfall? The low clouds, the often dim light and the cold temperatures seem to call for it. Maybe I’m driven by an old instinct to camouflage. At any rate vivid colours don’t feel right when the world is painted in black and white. In fact, a look out of the window is like watching a photo printed long ago when colour films were rare and cameras working without film at best a crazy idea of science-fiction writers.

I’d prefer to be tucked in my bed and fast asleep now until spring, but I’m not a marmot, nor a turtle, nor a hedgehog. As a matter of fact, I’m human and I am awake. Every morning I have to go to work and bear the freezing monochrome surroundings. At the moment the snow is fresh, clean and shining white – a beautiful sight! I admit –, but it will mix with the dirt and the dust all around in no time. Then the white splendour will turn into a disgusting brownish grey mass everywhere close to streets and pavements. It’s inevitable. Graz will remind me once more of the ugly industrial town of Coketown that Charles Dickens invented back in 1854 for his novel Hard Times 

The only practicable solution for me is to stay at home as much as I can while the conditions outside are such that I despise. It goes without saying that I don’t mind at all! I can hold on in silence, too. At least for a while provided that I get a chance to express myself in writing.

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