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A day without anything

Woodgate February 3, 2020 It was a palindrome day, but I only found that out later. 02022020 I woke to find that the power was still out, and so were the coms. No cellphone network because the tower batteries had died, no electricity for Wi-Fi. Thankfully I’d filled up the water tanks the night before […]

How I learned to love pumps.

Woodgate January 2, 2020 I’ve been here twelve months and what have I done? I’ve found rhythm. I know where the moon is. I see the stars. One night sitting by the fire we looked up and saw a string of satellites in formation, one following the other at equal distances like a pulse. So […]

South Georgia on my Mind

I underestimated South Georgia. I thought it was just a stop on the way to Antarctica, a necessary delay in getting to the good stuff. I was so wrong. South Georgia is a gateway to a rich and delicate wildlife world, full of creatures that survive on the edge of the unendurable. Adapted to long […]

Albatross and Cape Petrels in the Southern Ocean

Riding the Currents at 60°S

Drake Passage, 11 December 2016 A southern Royal Albatross dipped his smoky wings past my window as we officially entered Antarctica. An announcement from the captain comes seconds after I sight the birds to say we have just crossed 60°S. As if someone turned a switch, the air outside grows thick with mist. That’s what […]

Forest Fantasy (The House That Chunkie Built)

A red lourie feather. A strip of lichen-covered bark. The husk of a protea flower base, seed indentations spiralling out in Fibonacci whorls.  A starfish skeleton. A broken pansy shell. These are the coastal forest keepsakes gathered on my desk, reminders of a place where I long to be.   Forests coloured my early imagination. […]

The Seed Thief among the Best of 2015

“A poetry-infused whirlwind of Southern Hemisphere mysticism and botanical espionage. An understated triumph.” – Nick Mulgrew on The Seed Thief This past weekend The Sunday Times Book Reviewers choose their Top Reads of the Year. So pleased to be on this list. (And for the chance to recommend some of my own favourites too…)