At the end of January I travelled to York to see a friend. It was a long, arduous four and a half hour train journey, but the snowy landscape alone made it worth it.
The world seemed to have become entirely monochromatic. Dark trees, heavy with snow, raised their branches against the white background, while magpies flew up out of the icy tangle. Black and white ponies huddled together against the cold, heads down. Huge black chimneys with swirls of smoke contrasted with the pure and beautiful expanse of whiteness. As the train glid past a tarmaced car park, I saw that the tracks of tyres had formed two intertwined hearts.
The sky was eerie, grey and glowing and reflected in the frozen canals below. As the train moved further north, there was a shift in colours-red brick buildings standing out sharply against the soft white drifts all around them.
Everything seemed quieter, somehow. The blanketed platforms of small stations were silent, with no footprints to mar the perfect whiteness.
Even the roofs of ugly, industrial buildings took on a magical quality.
It really was the most inspiring journey. I drank in the beauty, and I arrived in York ready for an adventure.