Spent a weekend in Norway, such a beautiful country and a fascinating part of the world. Stayed in a little village not far out of Stavanger, in the South. Went for long walks in the snow and explored some beautiful towns along the way. Can’t believe how lucky I am to have started and ended 2012 in Scandinavia!

I’ve just returned from a week in Yllas, Finland. It’s been like a breath of fresh air to mind before the new term starts next week!

The snow, the quiet, the incredible scenery… I have honestly never felt such a close affinity with another country before, besides my own, found somewhere I could see myself living far beyond England and Wales. Of course the quiet and isolation that seems so appealing at first could drive me the other way, to want noise and crowds and the amenities of a city again. I feel that way in Wales sometimes, I find myself missing the hustle of London, feeling like I am missing out tucked away in the North West corner, but the space out there, in Finland! Space for the body creates space for the mind and that is a tantalising thought right now.

The final lines of Shelley’s ‘Mont Blanc’ reflect this desire perfectly:

“And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind’s imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?"