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:

Visit the writers' development service I co-run at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWritersShed/

About Me

My photo
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. In addition, I co-run The Writers' Shed, a service for writers, at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWritersShed/

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sea Lines

Some places just seep into the silt of your imagination ...

Friday 16th November 3pm Low Tide

Sea mists rolling in from a grey horizon - grey skies swallowing the town long before dusk. Dark colours on the beach - strands of wrack livid as purple-black bruises on the green boulders. Gulls squabbling in a cleft above. The shore eerie as a Susan Hill story, desolate even with other beachcombers strolling in the gloom. Far off at the sea's edge, a line of groynes seem a spooky gathering of figures, watchers stilled with their own grave purpose.

Saturday 17th 11am High Tide

The waters just turned, sea mud slathered onto shingle, the waders smacking shells on the pebbles. One gull repeatedly swooping up to drop a hapless mollusc from the air, to hear its crack.

When we return after lunch in unexpected sunshine, the same sound-scape rises of march warblers, sea cacklers, bird calls curling up to haunt the foreshore. We crunch over broken razor shells, the barnacled feeding grounds. Striped and punctured bootprints between the spiky Vs of claw tracks and tiny fingers of sand, casts poked out by the worms below.

I follow silvered rivulets looping and unfurling like yarn in the sand to run into pools of skywater, blue puddles. At the tide-line, we are mesmerised as ever by the sprawling ribs of a wrecked boat, a skeleton that might have been Viking wood or gun-boat metal but is now welded by sea-creatures into their own thing.

As we turn for the harbour, we curve back into the fortified lines of vivid green rocks, the shambles of the cliffs - shattered red and white stone. A thunderous blue is moving across the glittering Wash and we know how quick it changes Hunstanton's skies. Only minutes from this surf-boom lies our retreat, Cori House. Time for afternoon tea and complimentary cookies at our favourite B & B.

Any time of year, this place enchants. Lucky me - this weekend by the sea was my birthday treat.