1. First thoughts

  • “Four dry logs have in them all the circumstances necessary to a conversation for 4 or 5 hours. Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.”

  • “As the end of the century approaches, all our culture is like flies at the beginning of winter. Having lost their agility, dreamy and demented, they turn slowly about the window in the first icy mists of morning,... [then] they fall down the curtains.”

  • “Memory is the best of all gardens. Therein, winter and summer, the seeds of their past lie dormant, ready to spring into instant bloom at any moment the mind wishes to bring them to life.”

  • “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

  • “The English winter — ending in July, / To recommence in August.”

  • “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

  • “Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.”

  • “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”

  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...in short, the period was so far like the present period....”

  • “There’s a certain slant of light, / On winter afternoons, / That oppresses, like the weight / Of Cathedral tunes.”