28 September 2021

Winter is coming… just as soon as we get through autumn. Now many people will lament this fact. Not me. I love winter.
There is something magical about living in a place where seasons are real. The ‘cold, grey, rainy England’ in my head was replaced with a summer that felt like I was actually living in Hawaii – I have never worn as much shorts and flip flops, and never became as sun-tanned, and never spent so much time outdoors, as I did in the past six months.
Summer is a time for that. The city is set up for making summer that.
Spring and Autumn are two short transition phases – but the changes they bring are dramatic. The leaves either leave completely or stun you with their cheerfulness.
And then comes winter – with the wind howling outside, the crisp air making you feel fresh and energised, and all that life the city had outdoors transferred to the indoors. It’s not that life slows down – in fact, the opposite. You simply truly appreciate the development of a culture that had the benefit of learning close quarter social skills. Winter markets. Shows. Lights being turned on.
We have an Oktoberfest to kick things off this weekend – although I will be missing it, as I’ll be on the road again. Also, beer has never been my thing. But I do hope I get to pass through next year, because there is something about the warmth of a large group of social people in cold weather that reminds me to be grateful.
Also on the plus side… despite the events and the functions and the powwows and the do’s… the default isn’t being outside enjoying the sea. Winter is a time of lots of productivity for me.
I take a break over Christmas – but right up until mid December I’ll be rocking and rolling. Now I’ll be doing it with the inside of my little place nice and warm, as the wind howls outside and the sea rages, wearing fluffy bunny slippers as I plot my next murder, psycho, battle for power, love triangle, or rags to riches.
When I do go out, there’s nothing bleak about the winter.

Peter van der Walt is a fiction author, although you may find some non-fiction and the odd essay out there. Fans can find his newsletter, posts, updates and developments at petervanderwalt.com. Currently, he is hard at work on his next story. When not writing, he has far too many interests to reasonably keep up with. He lives with his partner in Devon, England.