Of Snow and Stories

Last weekend brought snow to Caithness, two days of respite from the unchanging nature of lockdown. As it fell that first evening, my 11-year-old ran into the street without a jacket while I watched him from the door. There was a simple kind of magic to seeing him spin under heavy, lamp-lit flakes, like parts of the moon and stars were falling. We ran up and down the road, making first footsteps on its blanket.

Back inside we dried off, hoping that the snow would still be there when we woke up.

To widespread delight it was, heralding a weekend of rosy cheeks, snowballs, chalk-topped roofs, hot chocolate. Our teenager emerged to build a snowman, reminding me that the best thing about snow is the way it brings out the child inside us all. We tramped wet boots through the kitchen, walked around the corner to the sea, visited the trees to see the weighted branches. Everything known was wondrous and amazing.

The snow was magic, our proof that fairytales exist.

In the early morning, I tapped away on my keyboard, as I tend to do in the periods while my house is still and quiet. I wrote 800 words of my novel, punctuated by trips to the window to make sounds like ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’. I wrote on the storytelling and folklore traditions of the Far North for another website (you can read that here), and dreamed of stories told around a peat fire.

I explained that stories add meaning; connecting people to each other, to nature, and the past.

As I gazed out of the window, our weekend of white felt similar. Our snow was a story, with a beginning and an end. As the world returned to normal we looked back on it fondly.

Grateful for those days of magic – days made of stories and of snow.


My first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, is available in eBook and paperback format on Amazon. As a special lockdown offer, prices have been reduced to £4.99 (Kindle) and £7.99 (paperback) until the end of February 2021. You can find more details about the book, read some early reviews and purchase it here on Amazon. You can also read more about the story in the blog posts here and here.

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