I'm in Germany at the moment, visiting my wife's family as we do every other Christmas. Last time I was here for Christmas, in 2012, I wrote one of the title songs on the album - Winter Sun. I don't usually remember the time or place when songs appear, but this one I remember clearly. It was a beautiful day, just as today happens to be: expansive blue skies, brilliant sun, icy cold, but with a welcome warmth from the sun. The family were all out and I had a few rare hours to myself. It was a strange time in my life. We'd had a lovely Christmas with our boys, and my wife and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. There was much to be thankful for. But they were difficult times for me too, for different reasons, and a heavy shadow had been cast over the holidays. Being alone, I felt a need to make some music. I remember looking out of the big picture window in the lounge and just starting to sing what I saw: 'Winter sun in the trees. Breath your warmth upon all the scattered leaves'. I didn't have my guitar with me, but there was an old classical guitar with nylon strings somewhere in the house. I worked out the melody I'd been singing, and within an hour most of a song had been written. It is (to me) a hopeful song, and writing it gave me a hopeful feeling. It turned out to be one of my favourites on the album.
It's good to be here again, in better circumstances. Time to go and enjoy this gorgeous weather...
Wishing you all the best for the season, and for 2015.