Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Winter in Newcastle seems to me far more like glorious spring than any of the shivering complainers, busy news anchors or weather worn workmen seem to realise. If only they could muster the courage to face the driving wind head on and square shouldered, they would appreciate the reinvigorating qualities inherent in the North East's particular brand of prolonged chill. When the snow is heavy and driving, they must learn to revel in it! It is as criminal to maintain eye contact with the pavement during this winter spectacle as it is to walk with eyes closed through a spring forest, thick with boundless, budding new growth. Just as the joyous, youthful forest thins towards its edges to allow the pale sun's rays to dapple and dance across the neck and back, so the blizzard eases and snowflakes die tenderly on eyelashes and cheek tops. To some, the allure of springtime is rebirth and renewal, a time to start over. I say look around you! Every house is transformed from a red bricked, mundane doppelgänger sitting cosily amongst identical neighbours to a majestic white beast, with curves of snow and spines of ice. For a month or so each house is covered in billions of unique crystals which collectively announce it's singular shimmering, transitory individuality. The fields of spring are no doubt charming. It is easy to lose yourself in the gentle hum of new life, the drowsy smell of grass very close to the nose. Newcastle's parks and fields hold an all together more captivating charm whilst under winters grip. The stark tundra, when glimpsed with the aid of the low white morning sun provide the most brilliant blank canvass. The mind which could easily grow lazy when presented the scene early on a balmy spring day is, in winter, alert and racing. No insects drone or frivolous birdsong congests the ears and the eyes have even less to occupy them. The result being that every sound is magnified and crisp and each image is clear and sharp focused. So to everyone tucked away, remove yourselves from hibernation early! Spring is pleasant yes, but presently it is winter and it is beautiful. Get outside! Leave your scarves at home, unbutton your coats and soak up every detail. There will be plenty of time for lounging around come the next season.