It has been an interesting two weeks in New York. First, the news was dominated by an NYPD officer accused of planning to kidnap and eat several women.
He was bumped right off the headlines by the terrible killings of two small children, allegedly by their nanny.
Then came the hurricane, and that horror slid out of sight.
And now it is very cold, and snowing.
It is bittersweet. I find snow enchanting. It makes the air fluid, like soft white curtains in a breeze. But there are people without power, without heat, without their own walls. My attempted delivery of food to a shelter has failed, twice. We'll try again, tomorrow.
The streets are now slush - it can't stick. But up on the rooftops there is the magical whiteness of snow flurries.
Trees already under pressure will suffer, because many still have their leaves. Each leaf is surface to which wet snow clings. Thousands of leaves bend their branches to snapping.
Emergency personnel strained to the maximum must now cope with the accidents that the first cold white weather brings.
And I sit here and look at the upside-down and crystallizing terrace with pots all safe from the wind. I feel warm and lucky to be seeing a new season.
If the Mayans were right about the end of the world, it isn't such a bad time to go. I have learned to make the perfect omellete, after all. I have found the man I was made to love. I have not yet had to live through losing my parents, or closest loved ones. I sold my first book. I saw Mandela walk free and Barack Obama elected president. Twice.
But I have not made a grand marnier souffle. Or learned to skateboard. Or camped in an Airstream (or a Scamp). Or had a bigger garden. Or stayed on a Scandinavian island. Or cooked for my mother in France...