19th December

I woke up in the early hours - about 3.30 I think it was - and peeped out through my bedroom window.
I don't like snow because of the difficulties it causes, and I worry about my daughter going back & forth to the stable yard to do the horses safely - cars and ice and snow don't mix.

Snow is wonderful if you don't have to travel anywhere. But when you do....

However, the view from my window (ignoring the wheelie bin, compost bin and recycling boxes) was lovely. The hedge draped in snow, the tree decorated with snowy tinsel. The school opposite with a white coated roof and artistically natural festooned windows.

The street light rather spoilt things as it is right outside and too bright (although it is one of those "downward" lights that are good for the night sky environment.)

What was beautiful was the moon. Almost full and hanging serenely in a black, black sky watching, protective over us with her benevolent smile.

Tuesday is the Winter Solstice - the Festival of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun, and this year is special. This year there will be a full moon at the solstice. And an eclipse.  The last time this happened was 456 years ago.

One other thing struck me as I snuggled back into my warm bed. I always have the small window partly open (can't sleep with a closed window). I lay there listening.

Not a sound. Outside was absolute silence.

I live in a busy north east London town. About 100 yards away at the end of my road is a busy main road. Not far away the even busier North Circular A 406 and the Billet Roundabout, a very busy junction leading to the M11 motorway.
When the wind is in the right direction I can hear the traffic clearly - including the blare of horns and squeal of tyres.... brace yourself for the following crump of a crash.....

Most nights a police car with Blues & Twos - Lights..... Music.... nah, nah; nah, nah (add your own Doppler effect)

Or a fire engine races past the other end of my road (the quieter non main road end, about 10 yards away) The fire station is along this road, so the engines often come down.

Then there is the ordinary traffic; cars, vans, that bloomin' diesel truck that pulls up every morning and lets his noisy engine idle for at least ten minutes. The slam of upstairs' front door. I swear one day they will have it off its hinges or a window will break. They slam it with such force the front of my place shakes.

But last night - not a sound. No noise from the flat upstairs. No noise from any neighbour. Not a car, a van, a fire engine, a police car. No engines, no exhaust, no siren. Nothing.

Silent night.
Holy Night
All was calm.
All was bright.

Then one small, tiny, contented little noise started to grow steadily louder and settled into a soporific rhythm.
From the end of my bed the kitten was purring.

Don't know what happened after that. I fell asleep.