Winter is dragging on in London. There's a tree outside my window, perhaps I've told you about it before. When I first moved here a year and a half ago, its branches were bare and through the gaps between the ends I could see a dead building made of black and glass and a solid grey sky. It's like that now. Every time I look out my window I hope to see flowers budding or leaves growing, telling me that Spring is really here.

It's odd to care so much about it, and to look for those signs. In Australia, so many plants are evergreen, and you have to be as far south as Tasmania for seasons to mean much. Flower buds and singing birds are the sort of metaphors you read in books and have to be explained to you, in much the way that the rain-in-a-dry-land metaphors in the Bible have to be explained to the British.

I've spent the morning replying to personal correspondence, most of which has been sitting in a virtual drawer for months and months. I confess that a part of me saw it as a duty that had to be done, but that part quickly shrivelled once I actually started to re-read and reply to the emails. What I dreaded from a distance as a chore quickly became a pleasure when up close, and I truly am blessed to have such friends.

Now there are lazy Sunday chores to do before I'm off to church. Cleaning, organizing, reviewing lists, making lists and carefully avoiding becoming lost in code, books or video games.