If there is one thing that I love it is serendipity. Faced with a file box full of vintage postcards I plunge my hand in and pull one out at random. It is a postcard which was used in 1905 and sent to a certain Wallis Cross who lived on St Leonard's Street in London. It shows a picture of a chateau in the village of Esches which is twenty or thirty miles north of Paris. The message is limited to the picture side of the card and it notes that this is the house where the writers' sister is staying in the country. The writer - as far as I can make out Millie - stayed there for her Christmas holidays and an "x" on the card marks her bedroom.
If there is another thing that I love it is the internet. You can go online and search for the chateau. You can download photographs of it as it looks now, 105 years on from the postcard. You can walk down the village street using Google Street View. You can read detailed descriptions of life on St Leonard's Street, Victoria, South West London in the notebooks of the famous social investigator and philanthropist, Charles Booth. You can even track down the family history of Wallis Cross using on-line genealogical databases.
Blend serendipity and the internet and you have as good a reason as you ever could require for not going out on a snowy, cold, January day.