His house lay in a remote spot far up North, the usual woody one with sloping roofs.
It stood against a backdrop of wooded plains that ran all the way to the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
The trees, thin and pointy and harpoon-like, would make great Christmas trees, but only if your ceiling was well over 20 meters in height.
To the other side and standing across the lake, you could appreciate how the house was dwarfed by the setting,
as well as get a measure of the blanket of snow covering the whole vicinity and running in a track alongside the trees, racing them off to the east.
It was as if the snow, unable to scale and top the trees and having largely melted away from them, decided to still beat them in that other dimension.
The lake itself was only half-frozen now; only a thin sheet of ice remained in the middle.
The house with its light-brown paint looked like a small candle flame, and was probably just as warm inside.
The paint was new in one section from when he had tried to redo it, in an effort to hide the big ugly scratches before the kids came to spend the summer holiday.
But there had been snowfall at the time, and when the paint dried it looked patchy and blistered.