No, forget it, it isn’t blossom after all.  They’re snowy crystals growing on the trees; they’ve been accumulating all week, it’s from all the fog.

It won’t be spring for at least another month, but at least the fog is clearing.  We’ve been living in the clouds for a week, and I’ve been reading a biography of Le Corbusier. He grew up in the Swiss watchmaking town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, in a valley in the Jura mountains.

He was obsessed with sunlight – not a bad quality for an architect – and that’s perhaps because for half the year La Chaux-de-Fonds gets an average of three hours of sunshine a month day (scroll down in here if you don’t believe me). During the summer, the figure soars to five or six hours of sun per month day. So he had every reason to worry about sunshine, poor old Corb; he loathed La Chaux-de-Fonds and fled Switzerland at his earliest opportunity.  He reinvented himself: he changed his name to Le Corbusier from Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, and spent the rest of his life designing in warm places like Rio, Marseilles and Algiers, and building Chandigarh, in the Punjab.  By that time, 1950-ish, he’d learnt that the sun is not always our friend.

But in March, in Norway, I tend to think it is.

 

 

Tomorrow, Part II:  Adolf Loos & Josephine Baker.

 

 

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