Winter is here, dark nights, cold rain, the wind blows us along the seaside streets. We pull out the sofabed, hide under the duvet and watch black and white films as the Christmas tree lights flash, red, green, red, red. Winter, the low sun casts our shadows like zebra stripes on the mustard sand. We push ourselves to walk alongside the waves that roll as thick as lion's manes. Winter, our eyes are tired when we wake in the morning, fill our mouths with hot Chung Mee green tea, sumatra coffee and long to lie in bed. We eat homemade bread, that I bake weekly, dough rising in tune to the smell of pine needles scattering over the toy-ridden floor. Winter, our bedroom is filled with boxes, brown cardboard masking endless delights. Winter, soon we'll be crossing the Channel, sliding over great waters to England, to family and friends, to tuck ourselves into a red-brick cottage, eat, drink and make merry. Winter, you are a half-loved season, sucking the blood from our too tired bones, wrapping us in cheery darkness, lit by a twinkling star.