Under the door of the shop there is a gap, and a thin straw of cold enters quietly, all day long. I have fingerless gloves. Excellent for typing. For looking up any possible gossip about Virginia Woolf that I may have missed. Winter is always bright with possibility because to stay in is acceptable.
One couple came in this afternoon and said, it’s warm in this little place.
He looked like Terry Pratchett, sort of intensely occupied. She looked like Vita Sackville-West, so was probably looking for Virginia Woolf.
They stayed in the room furthest from the warmth for ages, but didn’t seem to notice it. They had, each, a mighty selection when they finally came to the counter and noticed me. I said wisely, ah, the winter reading….
He straightened up in surprise, well, yes of course. He had three Terry Pratchett books.
I said, with a glass of wine….
He straightened up again, this time with joy, well yes of course. We have the place for it at our house, an old place, space for books. The shelves are all bending. Her stuff. He looked at her with an expression of acute happiness.
She presented her Margaret Atwoods and nodded, nursing that private power that comes with Margaret Atwood and husbands like him, and said, it’s winter, time to stay in.
They bobbed back out into the weather, serene, parting the winter into two fields with their own bright path right through the centre of it.
Old House in Stepney, Adelaide (photography by me)