┬┤Flu struck us on arrival, so the necessities of life have become much smaller ones, more close to home. Crossing the room, making a meal, eating a meal, keeping awake, going to sleep. We’re doing OK.

Meanwhile, it snows, and snows. Our first days here are usually spent clearing paths around us, releasing our car from the garage, preparing tracks and storing places for all the snow to come over the next few months. These days are usually full of activity and purpose, but now all we can do is sit indoors and watch nothing happening, just snowing and snowing.

It’s a lesson in patience. It’s also a lesson in faith, that when our time comes we really will manage to deal with it all, we will get that snow cleared. We need patience, and faith, and we need a way to manage the boredom.

We don’t have much to entertain us in our sickened states. We watch snow. We change position, and watch yet more snow. The days seem very very long. I’m on the internet, looking for something, something to help pass the time. I remember that today is the day that Mercury is crossing the Sun in view of the Earth. Now that’s a suitably cosmic subject for us, up here on the top of the world.

We click on a link to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and there it is – that lucky old sun, and a tiny tiny tiny black dot, which, we’re reliably informed, by someone there at the Observatory, is, in fact, Mercury. There’s some groovy cosmic music to tune in to as we try to get a feel for what we’re watching.

It’s hard to see that the block dot is moving. It’s hard to believe it’s a planet. It’s hard to believe that is the sun. But we watch. ‘We hope you are enjoying it,’ they say, all the way from LA. We continue to watch. The dot doesn’t appear to move. Then I realise it’s a bit of dirt on my screen and the dot we’re supposed to be watching is a bit more to the left.

OK. We’re watching that dot now.

Meh. I look out the window. It’s snowing.

Did you know that a day on Mercury lasts for (literally) two years?