Here in Oxford, England, March started with the ‘Beast from the East,’ a polar vortex that came spiraling in from Siberia. Temperatures plummeted to -10oC, 15 centimetres of snow fell, and with a Red Alert weather warning issued, people all over the country were advised to stay inside. I couldn’t. Two days in a row with no traffic on the roads, and a lucky break in the snowfall, meant I made it into and out of central London for meetings in record time. In fact, I was left twiddling my thumbs.
On the first of these two unusual nights, I put on a pair of La Sportiva hiking boots purchased and worn only once in Reykjavik, Iceland, to hike the well-known Sólheimajökull Glacier. What an opportunity in my own backyard. With my Cairn terriers tethered to their stainless-steel dog coupler, we were off. They trekked along, excited by the severe conditions, while I took everything in—empty streets, fully lit homes, frozen ground and streetlights blind with snow. Hardly a dangerous journey, but there was something about it that called to me—the darkness, the wind, the cold, the quiet. The unexpected. The dead set?