Melancholy is a February word, though not without a certain charm. The horizon, or tree line that surrounds our small valley is shrouded in damp mist this morning. The light somehow filters out the dullness producing a palette of soft hues that chases away the blues. This soft grey morning does not enervate me; it moves me to take pictures and to write. The mental cogs grind slowly because there is no rush. The wood burner is spluttering to life in the same slow way, sparks becoming small flames until the full energy of the fire brings the room to life. This is where I write until the warmth of the fire permeates the rest of our small stone house. There is a wonderful smell coming from the kitchen where a casserole of red cabbage has been cooking in the oven for the past hour. I like to cook in the mornings, although morning and afternoon tend to slide together on days not filled with urgency, like today.