Tuesday, 24 September 2013


What is it about fog? Everyone seems to have a slightly different reaction to it, but it certainly provokes a response in us all. I find it comforting. It's like being wrapped in a duvet and being handed a hot chocolate by the person who loves you the most. For me, it is also full of hope and expectation. When I wake up, as I did this morning, and see that London has disappeared, my heart soars. I think, "Ooh, anything is possible today...." and I wonder what I will "see" when the fog lifts. It seems to offer the possibility of change.

It renders the world quiet and peaceful and gives a sense of time frozen. How nice, like closing your eyes amidst the chaos and having a little space to pause and reconsider, perhaps see something in a new light, make a different decision, see a habit that is no longer serving us, or grasp hold of an idea that has previously been percolating just out of our reach. There are opportunities in the fog that get me all fired up.

I wrote a piece in my writing journal about fog back in 1991. It was the first time I had really thought about it consciously and I just went and unearthed the book to see what I said about it back then: It's like looking at something that, in a way, you can't really see. It seems alive and I can't stop looking at it. It evokes images of Sherlock Holmes hurrying down a cobblestone street, and makes you want to use the word "Dickensian" in some context or another. It's so thick and murky, as if you could actually put it in a jar and observe it. It smells so distinct, the way an outdoor wood fire does, but it is a warm, slightly sour odour, steely and damp. People always used to say not to go out in a fog. Why? There is something ominous about it. Everything is quiet in a fog, as though it swallows sound. Sounds come through at a distance, muffled, like a dog howling far from where you are, but always feeling perilously closer....but in a direction you cannot discern.

Ha, I can see my dramatic 20-something self in there, but the observations still hold. It was nice to revisit my thoughts from all those years ago and to get lost again in some this morning. The photograph above was taken this morning on the Thames. My dear friend Loralie and I were out on our weekly walk, putting our worlds to rights, as usual, but this morning there was definitely something mystical in the air moving alongside us and I, for one, was very grateful for the fog and all that it brought us today. What about you? Do you experience fog in this way too, or do you have another response altogether?

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