The past two weeks have begun the cold. It has crept into my bones slowly, dropping a degree or two each day. I pass a few canals along the way to school each day and I’ve been waiting to see how long the ducks will continue to paddle in them. First, only the narrow sections of the canals froze over. The surface was speckled with imprints from fallen leaves and webbed feet. Trotting over the bridge to cross the Neva (the largest canal – really a river) each morning, I look across the water and see fast approaching icebergs elbowing each other as they rush like the busy commuters above. A few days later the burgs have mended their differences and stitched themselves together like a patchwork quilt with varying shades of off white and blue-green. It snows 5 days straight sometimes with huge clumps of cold fluff drifting past our window as we sculpt. It covers the tops of the leafless tree branches and ornate black iron gates around the school giving beautiful contrast to an already exquisitely designed block. Our school is mammoth. Stalwart and stout it stand a full square block overlooking the Neva with two now strangely snow covered sphinxes as sentries. I’ve been told they are actually from Egypt. On my way back I see the Neva once more. With all the new snow it looks less like a quilt and more like potatoes Gratin. Yes, when it’s cold I eat even more.