Winter Brane will not parse anything new: well, is unwilling to parse anything new- so I'm now re-re-reading The Merlin Conspiracy and enjoying it immensely. Because almost all Diana Wynne-Jones' works are imbued with a kind of Don't-See-Me spell, which makes the memory slide off them, I might as well have never read the work before. I vaguely remembered the King's processions, and when I came to it the flower classification as well, but Roddy's grandfather? Nope. Romanov? Nope. *Anything* to do with Nick? Nope. The elephant? You'd think I might at least have remembered the elephant. But nope nope nope.
I suppose this is a plus in an author. But Merlin isn't even one of the twisty ones, like Hexwood or Fire and Hemlock; those guys you don't know what you're reading even as you read.
Meanwhile I walked the bike over bumpy ice to my cafe, and bought more salt for work against Tuesday's promised freezing rain. This year is a replay of 2005 when it isn't replaying 2008, and as in both those, one simply hangs in until it's over.