It's cold but not cold enough for snow. It seldom is in Kentigern this time of year. With the Gulf Stream keeping December mild and wet, White Christmases are few and far between in Kentigern, so the midwinter season has a darkness that you don't get in many cities round the world. Lit by the orange streetlights glistening on wet pavements, the decorative lights in shops, the long nights in Kentigern lack that blue-white quality of snow in the air or plowed along the gutters of New York or Berlin. It's more the light of bonfires built for dancing round, of Yule logs crackling in the hearth, candle-shaped bulbs in brass candelabra in a warm pub where you go to meet your friends. You can live through days without a glimpse of natural light here, going to work in the dark, going home in the dark. It can be miserable or it can give your life a strangely artificial air, a chiaroscuro that makes everything at once more solid and more staged. Like the whole world is a Caravaggio painting or a Rembrandt. The Prodigal Returns.
Kentigern is a somewhat-alternate-universe version of Glasgow in Ink, the sequel to Vellum in the Book of All Hours series by Hal Duncan, and the above paragraph captures Glasgow very well. I'm most of the way through Ink, and enjoying it as much as I liked Vellum - it is full of ideas and inventiveness and playfulness.