Tag Archives: city

W is for winter


I might not be terribly find of the thought of the nights drawing in or the prospect of endless grey drizzle, but there are actually lots of things about winter days I love.

Snow in particular has a strange power over me. One of my best friends is Canadian, and she thinks I’m mad. But then I’ve never had to deal with the drudgery of it – the blackouts, the snow ploughs, the military precision required just to leave the house. For me snow is magical: transforming city and countryside scenes alike as it deadens sounds and amplifies the light.

I love what it does to people – to total strangers. This picture was taken in London Fields, in one of the particularly impressive bouts of snow we’ve had in recent years. Everyone seemed to be transported back to their childhood, real or imagined, as they built snowmen, made angels with their arms or pelted each other with the white stuff till they collapsed giggling into it. And all of this in what seemed like silence under the branches of trees heavy with their own liberal dusting.

We’re much less likely to get snow in Brixham – being by the sea tends to ward off the coldest of the winter weather, which is one of the the only things I don’t like so much about living here. You don’t need to go too far inland to find it though: frozen ponds and crystallised leaves, delicate icicles and impenetrable frosty ground.

I think it reminds me of the fairy kingdoms I liked to inhabit when I was growing up, the supreme delicacy of the patterns in the ice and the way it makes everything sparkle. There’s something humbling about those moments when nature reminds you of its presence, too: the way it transforms the landscapes we work so hard to control and makes everyday life just that little bit more difficult.

W is for winter.


Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.

H is for Hackney


Whenever the sun peeps through the clouds overhead, people begin to spill out onto London Fields: with their bikes, their beer, their barbecues, heading for the lido or taking a moment to sit and rest after a night spent partying.

That was me once: staking out my tiny plot of grass, watching as the park filled with a teeming mass of life. I remember hula hooping in the sunset, leaning back on a lion to catch some rays; picking out a picnic in the Saturday market, laughing off a hangover with whoever happened to be passing by that day.

It’s hard to imagine any spot in Devon getting quite so crowded. When we first moved out of London I found its emptiness so exhilarating, and the thought of my friends jostling for their space in the sunshine made me feel slightly sad.

But there’s no doubting that Hackney is exhilarating too. I love the new world I’ve discovered out of London, but being back there reminds me of a whole other pace of life, one with a richness that it’s hard to capture out in the sticks.

H is for Hackney.


Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.