Cracks in the Darkness

The light will always find a way in, eventually. Sometimes you just have to look for it. 

|A. Nothing On, But The Radio|

Let me tell you one of the best things about owning a car. It gives you an uninterrupted, gently forcing opportunity to listen to the radio. My father could drive from our home in to St Andrews in 15 min at a push. But the drive could also be extended to 30 minutes so we could listen to comedy shows on BBC Radio 4: I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, The News Quiz, and Just A Minute. A late-night program on the World Service about Middle Eastern facial fashions once sustained my mother through an entire festive season of social chat.  Although the crisp English tones of the British Broadcasting Corporation are something I miss, I try to adapt to my surroundings. It turns out that NPR (National Public Radio) is a good substitute for BBC Radio 4/BBC World Service. Several times I’ve parked at my chosen destination, only to kill the engine and spend a few more minutes listening to the culmination of a particularly entertaining anecdote or dispatch.


|B.  Red Hot Saunas|

There is this thing I like to do in NYC. I’ll trek down Manhattan to an unassuming Avenue where I will enter the Russian & Turkish Baths to burn up a good chunk of a Sunday afternoon. There are a lot of sauna complexes in New York (I’m aware that most of my Edinburgh-based readers will assume I’m talking about brothels) – some are deliriously swanky, others are shamelessly indulgent. I’ve yet to find one that packs as much heat as the R&T Baths. There’s a seedy, underground-neon-lit vibe to the place; clientele ranging from rabbis to hipsters, with all intermediate points…but that just adds to the charm. There are two steam rooms, one feels like you’re sitting inside a kettle, you can barely see an inch in front of your nose. There are 3 sauna rooms: the first one smells of warm sandalwood, the second has the power to make you uncomfortably hot after a few minutes, the third is hotter than the fires of purgatory. But in a good way. The sheer force of heat in the saunas relax me completely. In between bouts I will lounge on the decks, nothing whatsoever going through my head. It’s brilliant.


|C. Long Time Coming, But Now The Snow Is Gone|

I’ve set my alarm to 6.30am once more and seem to be disciplined about getting up instead of switching the alarm off. Why? Well, I know that shortly after I finish my breakfast I will be able to look out of my window and see the first glimmers of blue in the black night sky. Before I’ve even reached the bottom of my morning espresso the sun will have risen. I love this time of year – knowing that the days are getting longer and the light is getting brighter. That even if there is darkness now, soon there will be light.

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