To sum up.

This image of the view of the sky from my flat's balcony (at about 3 p.m.) pretty much says everything about today, during which sun and gloom contended right to the time the light vanished.

Now, at dinner, we talk about evening dresses, formalwear for feasts, where to find good shoes, what to do when the college's kitchen closes down in two and a half weeks. I've ordered an Italian cookbook, I assure my Canadian friend. I'm going to learn to cook real, good Italian food. You should be happy about this. You won't starve during the break.

I don't tell her how I stood at Heffer's yesterday lingering over the section about risotto, dreaming of finally learning to make stocks, of making my own egg pasta, of feeding people. Of richness and warmth in the dead of winter.