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Location: Norwich, United Kingdom

I'm one of those people that temp agencies, and ordinary employment interviewers, don't know what the heck to do with. I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, which is still an interest, but I don't want to do the kind of work I did in that area ever again. Besides, I left it 15 years ago. I then worked in publishing as a production editor, and then freelance copy edited and proofread. But that was by hand, in the US (while I now live in England), and I don't yet know Quark. Then I got a degree in textile design and worked for a fashion company. None of these skills are apparently of any use in finding work in Norwich, UK, at the age of 57, so I'm working a very boring office job three days a week. Have a suggestion? Please speak up.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The most wondrous fog

The fog has cleared now, but it was wondrous. For the past week, all day long, every day, there has been thick fog throughout a large portion of the county of Norfolk where I live. At the same time, the temperature wavered just above or just below freezing. The result was beautiful. Up until the temperature suddenly dipped to freezing and the fog came, it had been unnaturally warm here. Even under normal circumstances, these days, there are some flowers right through winter, but this year, many flowering plants had been fooled into flowering. So when the fog came with the temperature hovering around freezing, all the leaved and flowering plants became etched with frost. The longer the fog and the just freezing temperatures went on, the more layers of frost were deposited, and the results were magical. The news has been shoing the pictures that people had sent in. Whole bushes apparently made entirely of delicate white ice crystals, a rose in full bloom, each petal and stamen edged and etched with sparkling frost. And what made it all especially magical was the fog. I traveled on a train this last Friday. With the fog, these visions appeared suddenly out of a white blankness only to disappear again a second later. You get the same experience walking a familiar path. A tree you had seen every day was suddenly a work of art.

At the same time, the fog has made the sidewalks carpets of moss and lichen. Even my doormat has moss growing. Fences of all materials are topped by moss. With the fog going on for days on end, it almost seemed as if we had somehow moved through a doorway between eras, returning to a time when it would not have been a surprise to see a faerie sleeping in the hollow of one of those roses, or to meet the green man, his features edged in frost. You begin to understand on a heart-deep level the England that faerie tales were born in. Perhaps there's still a bit of druid in each of us. I felt my part stirring this last week.

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