The snow scream

Half an hour set on the oven timer. Why half an hour ? Just because its about long enough to construct something of any sense.

The gas fire on pumping out its whoooos and its cracks and fuzzes, taking the edge off the cold in the stone flagged front room. A tin of deicer, dinner candles almost burnt down, a metal pot of tea, tube of germolene, two pillar candles lit on a plate, kitchen roll, soya “plant power” milk, a clay effigy of Jimi Hendrix, a bowl of sugar and spoon. A sip of tea.

Lying in bed arm around Naoise, I listened to his snores, so warm, so cuddly. I tucked him in with the extra duvet, best to keep him asleep, I want to write and he has had too many late nights.

Blank. Lying in bed all I could think about was what I might write. Write about snow and screaming. Write about sledging down the hill and the release of girly squeals of delight. Write about the boys screeching as they repetitively jumped on my body slouched on the sofa. Write about the screams of an unborn child in a womb. Write about the sreams of a mother giving birth. Think about Munch’s silent scream emanating out of painterly gesture and expression. Write about snow. Snow screaming as it melts in the sun. Then you think about Pieter Bruegal paintings and the greatest Christmas card scenes ever.

Here am I sledging through the greatest christmas card scene ever. Screaming like a girl. Reconnecting with my inner child before I march off to the supermarket to buy food for the family visit. I enjoy marching off and leaving the boys on the hill. I pass the farm shed with the tree embedded into the roof causing collapse around. Two squirrels freeze on the bridge of the roof. A robin shows me its red breast. Not much battery left on my phone to capture the picturesque, the quiet, the aloneness. The blissful aloneness. Falling back into the valley floor the cars annoy me.


The supermarket is busy with food buyers. Food so much food. Food glorious food. I am pleased that I have hunted down some reduced deluxe pizza. My sister, Niece and her children are visiting today. The house will be cramped and busy and filled with adult talk and children’s laughter on the stairs.

The gas fire. A blank.


I talked to my sister about all my dad’s slides. She is the eldest. There are a lot of images of her as a baby. When it was just her, the number one, they probably had more time, more time to construct images of their lives. I talked about the image of my mum holding her in the garden in Orpington. She was just a day old. My mum looked so young. My sister looked so unfurled in the face. Would have been spring, but the London sun was bright as a summers day. I show her my hazy documentation of the picture in question then the one of dad holding her. We talk about the photographs the one of us in Matlock in the snow. Mum’s fantastic coat. She didn’t like the coat at all, it was “different” made my mum stick out, “wasn’t like the other mums coasts” and “she hated that it was made of animal fur”. I just thought that it looked cool. She looked like Abba arrival. Dad loved Abba. Dad loved my mum.

The children’s drawings that hang above the gas fire move like leaves on a tree with the rising of the heat. The candles occasionally burn smoke as well as light. Still a little dark outside. Snow still clings to the top of the car. Glistening.

Today I will take Syd ice skating in Manchester. Its our last day together before he departs for a week with his dad. I will shower him with my attention. Me and him will waltz around the outdoor ring and I will imagine that we are part of a Bruegal painting, but instead of hunts men and trees we will be surrounded by shoppers and towers of metal and glass. It will be fun.

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