Snow brings out my inner child. The thrill of waking up to a snow day hasn't faded after all these years. Maybe it helps that I'm not a driver.
At 8 am on Saturday morning I prised my partner out of bed to catch this Narnia-moment at our local park.
I loved the way the sky colour kept changing as the sun pushed through the trees sluggishly. This is my Blue scene - light that reminds me of the Arctic.
Another thing that reminded me of Iceland was the way my fingers froze whenever I peeled them out of my gloves. And the sweetness of plunging them back after the frostbite!
Look at all the blacks and whites and the extraordinary baroque curves of this bench. Or the skeletal forms of the trees on the skyline.
I find this kind of landscape utterly unique. Time seems to stand still. Details are etched in vivid monochrome. Sound is muffled but the eye sees everything with an ice-lit clarity.
And here's that fallen sun burnishing the ice on the canal. The trees, arching impossibly in a Gothic gesture, make one of those accidental poems in the viewfinder.
How can I not feel that I've stumbled into the territory of the White Witch? I'm happy to be under her spell, having no impulse to look for the lamp-post and the way home. In the end it was only the prospect of hot porridge and honey that dragged me back.
Writing is a journey, both imaginary and physical. My first book took me to the Arctic to 'catch the colours' of the Northern Lights. Then I hunkered down to catch the wind-blown voices of polar explorers on Shackleton's 1914-17 Endurance expedition. More recently I'm obsessed by space: the race, the rockets, the final frontier.
Hear a BBC Radio Leicester interview about my space poetry at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03wfpyp
Explore my digital narrrative PHILAE'S BOOK OF HOURS, published by the European Space Agency, at:
My prose-poetry collections FIREBRIDGE TO SKYSHORE
and MAD, HOPELESS & POSSIBLE are both published by Original Plus Press at:
Contact me for signed copies or bookings at:
- Leicester, East Midlands
- As a storyteller, my work crosses boundaries of myth, science, history and spoken word. It has been presented in the British Science Museum, Ledbury Poetry Festival, National Space Centre and the European Space Agency website. In 2014 I ran a digital residency on WW1 for 14-18NOW and Writing East Midlands. I teach Creative Writing at De Montfort University and have experience of leading school events, workshop tuition and mentoring.