You know it's finally winter in Tottori when you go a whole week without seeing a mosquito. It seems they've finally died off just in time for the end-of-the-year flurries that started burying us yesterday. We've still got birds flapping through the white stuff, though. They must be confused by the climate change.
Last year around this time I seem to remember having trouble opening my front door, so I suppose it isn't so severe yet. At any rate, the sidewalks haven't been shoveled, so if you're on a bicycle like I am you have to push the think uphill through the snow until there's a lull in traffic and you can ride on the road for a few seconds and cover as much ground as you would in a couple of minutes pushing. (You can't stay on the road, obviously, because it would infuriate motorists. Probably. And plows make a habit of burying the shoulder, so that's out of the question.)
One thing I like about this time of year is that it's easy to find a space for my bicycle, because no other bicycles are usually parked anywhere, unless they've been abandoned. On the other hand, it's hard to get past the snow drift to get into the bicycle park.
Today, however, is clear, most of the snow of the past week has melted, and it's possible to negotiate the streets. It may snow again before the eve of the new year, or it may not. Do what you will, wherever you are, and have a very happy new year.
The office will be closed for the next few days, so this is the last you'll hear from me in a while. One of my New Year's resolutions is to make more of an effort to coax blog updates out of myself even when it seems like I have nothing to say. It is part of my job, after all, though never getting any comments at all is kind of a downer. I'll make an effort to persevere in 2012--and to all my silent readers, thank you for your attention.