There’s a street – no, a piece of a street – in Leiden which is highly magical. It’s stuck onto the end of an uncharacteristically (for Leiden) ugly street that leads to the train station, and is on the side of a similarly ugly square-cum-boat parkade the most prominent feature of which is a McDonald’s. And most of the time, this particular piece of street is quite unremarkable. However, there’s one special element – there are about ten trees forming a small alley on this particular sidewalk, and they are lined with twinkly lights. And on certain, miraculous, cold-but-not-raining, quiet Leiden nights, this unremarkable makeshift alleyway becomes magical. A few times, when Ive managed to find myself walking there alone – and I mean alone in the whole 3 meters of alleyway, with no one but a couple of straggler pairs around – I’ve been overcome by a magical state of mind. That feeling that some thing wonderful is about to happen. And that doesn’t happen to me a lot, being a die-hard cynic. Somehow, in the right frame of mind, that sidewalk makes wishes come true. Or at least gives one the feeling that they will. It’s like a little piece of Christmas Miracle in the most unexpected of places.