It is both Candlemas and Groundhog day, and you can take it from me that the signs are very auspicious – at any rate, if you live in the south-east of England they are, and if you don’t then I have it on good authority that all you need to do is change the name of the place where you are living and it will all come right. For there is thick snow on the ground and the slow, white stuff has been falling all day. Everything has ground to a halt, as it does in sweet Albion whenever there is anything that one might call weather happening. So people don’t go to work or school or anywhere, unless there is a dire emergency like running out of milk for one’s essential caffe latte or to get a copy of the Guardian newspaper (the latter is Mr. Signs’ emergency, for the sport and crossword pages wait for no man). According to a commentator on radio 4, people are out having fun in parks with sledges, throwing snowballs or just chilling warmly at home and we need more days like this (says the commentator) because we are completely losing the plot in terms of work/life balance and becoming a nation of dull and stressed-out Jacks and Jills. Be that as it may, my life dances to a different drum beat so a bit of weather doesn’t particularly affect me personally, other than worrying about children of Signs having enough winter thermals and son’s bicycle slipping on the ice.
I had planned, though, to get a few things done today and stuff printed off, put in an envelope and posted. But today was migrainey – not quite the same as full-blown migraine but a kind of weaker, younger sister of the real thing. So a nothing-very-much day, other than looking from my bed at the snow that kept falling on the rooftops and swirling around the trees; and thinking about how auspicious it all was because:
If candlemas day be fair and bright,
winter will take another flight;
if candlemas day be cloud and rain,
winter is gone and will not come again.
(If I had changed “rain” to “snow” it would not have rhymed).
I have been given a particularly dense and fragrant beeswax candle by the ancient woman who is the nearest I have to a godmother and looks like Mother Holle herself. I will be lighting it.