It is a sunless and snowless December here in Montreal and from my window the city looks like a sea of grey fog with islands of soggy red brick poking through. On the news, reports on terrorism are followed by stories about refugees and my Facebook feed is loudly complaining of the lack of Christmas mood. It is the eve of my daughter’s second Christmas and I can’t help but wonder what kind of world will she be living in.
Have you ever noticed that time is a living thing? That you can touch it, smell it and wrap yourself in it? I hadn't until I had kids. All of a sudden, time became real. I woke up with time by my side, late at night I heard its heart beating. I indulged in its various smells ranging from chocolate-flavoured ice-creams to mango lip balm, and its yummy tastes I had never tried before. I saw it race, linger and lurk in the most improbable places. I watched it cry, laugh and feed pigeons on gorgeous squares of Venise.
People, who believe in magic, know that fairies exist. And if fairies exist, there must be fairy houses tucked away in different corners of the world. No use to search for them. They emerge out of nowhere in the middle of your journey at the very moment when you feel lost or exhausted or desperate for a little magic. We found ours on the Route of Cheese somewhere in Normandy and even if you asked me I would not be able to show you a short way there. First we passed a tiny village of Camembert: three-odd houses bathed in the brightest sun-rays and a closed cheese museum.
It seems that winter has finally come to Moscow with its heavy snowclouds and crispy, cold breath. Let it wait, let it linger for a while, while we are roaming our closets and drawers for a precious pair of white hand-knitted socks and nesting our toes comfortably in their warm woolen bellies. Let it hang about while we are getting ready to taste its pleasures. After all, when winter comes to Moscow, it will not last but six long months.
A five-year-old girl standing behind the curtain was blushing from being despicably ashamed. You might think that she has broken her mum’s favourite vase or spilled her juice over a new dress, but, actually, she just ate a caterpillar a couple of minutes ago. There is nothing wrong with eating a nice juicy occasional caterpillar, you would argue quite rightly. The girl, however, thought the opposite and mistaking-a-caterpillar-for-a-cucumber seemed so much more of a deadly sin for her than it really was. Then there was the elder sister (cousin, in fact, but some cousins do become real sisters, don’t they) who sewed the most amazing doll dresses and organized single-handedly doll catwalks on the sofa. The small girl will never be able to tell afterwards why she will remember the unfinished wedding dress forever after and buy her own of the same kind 20 odd years later.