Winter – London gleams in the dark as the seconds tick towards midnight.
There is snow reflected in the burn of yellow lights and there is a diamond frost on the ground.
There is magic gathering for when the old day bumps into the new day and Big Ben bongs twelve.
Struck deep, the magic twists up fast as a flash – good London magic, midnight magic. It flies like slivers of sunshine, like lickety seconds that split through the city, and find you even in sleep. It fizzes in fox-coloured gold and jumps inside you so that when you wake up on snow days you won’t be able to sit still.
Jo, aged five, says he’s never seen the magic but he’s felt it. Just today he felt all tingly when he woke up. Sofia’s never felt it but Jo knows the magic’s got her. He says it’s burst like a sizzling star inside his sister and she can’t stop skipping.
Sofia is four. Jo says five is when you feel the magic best – five when you can jump high, when you’re strong, and you mostly don’t mind snowballs.
Tonight in London Big Ben stands tall for midnight. The great bell will be struck twelve times to sound the hour that ends the old day and to scatter children’s dreams in splashes amongst the stars.
May their names, bright and strong, light tomorrow.