I grew up in an extraordinarily cold house, where getting dressed under the bedclothes in winter was essential, there was frost on the insides of the window panes, and we used to put the gas oven on with the door open to get a little heat in the kitchen. Probably as a result I am miserable in cold weather and have a powerful addiction to the moment when you step out of the cold into a warm room.
I walked to the end of the road this morning, my last day in London, to pick up the newspaper. It was that kind of bone-chillingly cold day I'd forgotten all about, where your ears and face start to hurt with it just walking along; like any visceral pain it's impossible to remember it properly when you're not experiencing it, and it made me appreciate once again the fact that I live in a climate where it never gets colder than 10 degrees.
Every day there's some sharp reminder of how lucky I am to live in a bubble; today on the front of The Guardian, a picture of a man in Gaza with greyed and bloodied face, reaching for help from the hole he's buried in. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, focuses on something much more important; the headline shrieks about benefit claimants PAID 20,000 NOT TO WORK and you have to wait till page 6 to read anything about Israel.
I hate to sound trite, but this seems to be a time to work out what really matters: the people you love, little things that make life better, being positive even if there's uncertainty ahead. To quote Harold Pinter (1930-2008) out of context: what else is there?