After one, crisp day of brilliant sunshine, the Arctic Blast has returned and we have been warned to expect to host this unwelcome Scandinavian guest for another five days. This means that I have re-donned my old, moth-eaten polo-neck jumper which sheds black threads all over the floors of our compact but adorable city apartment, like the one above which I photographed last night.
In the way young virgins (when there were such things over the age of 16) would throw an apple peel over their shoulders and read the initial letter of the name of their future betrothed, I think my old jumper is trying to tell me something, but I am not mentally imbalanced enough to understand what it is.
I am too old to believe that I will marry someone whose name begins with 'S' now, but I cannot help thinking that if I collected all the woollen strands that the thing sheds everywhere on a daily basis, then rearrange them into a well-known phrase or saying at the end of the winter, I might be imparted the secret of the Universe or something equally as important. Maybe I am imbalanced after all.
I once wandered down to the weir on the river, one warm summer evening, absolutely off my head on L.S.D. Because of the warm weather, the algae in the water had formed a thin froth on the surface, as it cascaded over the ledges and stirred itself into a frothy gloop.
I leant on the railings of the bank and as I looked down, I watched the layer of foam break up and disperse as it slowly drifted away from the waterfall. Then I noticed that the fragments of froth were forming themselves into the letters of the alphabet - a whole stretch of river was turning into a giant bowl of alphabet soup.
'If only', I thought, 'I could arrange these letters into something meaningful, the river might let me in on a little secret'. The letters would drift apart and toward each other in a random fashion, occasionally - and tantalisingly - almost forming words in the English (or some other) language, but never quite managing to do so.
After about a half an hour of this tortuous lexicography, I began to realise that this way madness lies, so I went home.
A few years ago when I was working in Hamburg, I went to a bar on the Reeperbhan with a couple of friends, and we stayed there drinking until the small hours of the morning. Actually, the hours turned quite large by the time I left.
On the ceiling of the bar, there was a large, illuminated glitter-ball which slowly rotated, sending fragments of reflected light dancing up and down the floor, the furniture and the people sitting on it.
By about 3.00 a.m. my friends became tired and got up to leave. One of them turned to me on the way out and said, "If those dots of light start to mean something to you, then you know it is time to go."
By about 4.30, I suddenly noticed myself straining to understand what the dots of light meant, so I got up and left. Sound advice.