The Map of Antarctica

Fictions for Unseen Spaces

Month: June, 2014

The Smiley

The Stone Age where men and women carved symbols onto walls in an attempt to ordain the origins of language and communication, the Olympics so that people can run as fast as humanly possible and we can sit and watch them, Christopher Columbus who was prepared to sail until his ship fell off the edge of the flat earth, ball point pens so that you can scribble your notes down, breakfast cereals with free toys, war photography by individuals risking their lives to document a moment of death defying conflict, The discovery of penicillin that has created decades of foundations to medical study and progress, The bones of dinosaurs exhibited in museums for all to observe the wonders of the prehistoric age, corkscrews so that you can open bottles of wine easily, the compass and understanding of the magnetic poles, hydro-electricity so that we can channel the power of the rivers and the oceans into power for our homes, astronomy so that we can gaze upon other planets and wonder if there is or ever will be life up there even though it doesn’t matter because we would never be able to reach it maybe its just because telescopes are nice that it will always retain its value, justice systems whereby peoples identities can be defended against wrongs and ill doing in the face of criminal will, parks so that people can walk their dog, roofs to stop rain from getting on the carpet, coins that allow you to buy food, work that allows you to get coins, education that allows you to get work, mums and dads that allow you to get education, dishwashers so that you don’t have to stand around scrubbing the plates – especially useful when some macaroni cheese has got crusted to the side of that pyrex dish you like, deciduous trees that allow us to appreciate the changing of the seasons, cookers that allow you to heat up those baked beans – they are not very nice cold lets face it, history books that allow us to study and work towards a brighter future, supermarket discounts so that when we are a bit broke we can still afford tea bags, electricity that powers cities and keeps big buildings in London lit up so that bankers can work through the night, aeroplanes to take us on our holidays, big brothers to supply us with records and music when we are struggling aimless teenagers, maps to help us get around, coffee to help us wake up in the mornings, pigeons because cities would actually be quite strange without them, cars and roads so that dad can pick you up from almost anywhere, bees that transfer pollen and are crucial to keeping alive millions of species, benches so that you can have a little sit down and gather yourself, spades to dig with so that people can discover arrowheads and copper jugs that inform us about life in the past, midwifery so that babies don’t just fall out on their heads, housemates to tell you off when you haven’t tidied up and to sit around and talk about people and stuff that you’ve been doing, jokes so that you can laugh at things, music so that you can dance, the World Cup so that you can stand in crowds with beer and cheer and feel together even though you don’t know who plays up front these days, peacekeepers who risk their lives in the line of fire and provide stability and understanding to troubled nations, leaders who lead so that when we can’t lead we only have to follow – which is easier and less demanding, tin openers because it can get dangerous if you open tins with a sharp knife or by banging them on the side, artists to think about things and to tell us things that we would never have learned about or thought about or seen, showers so that we can clean ourselves without having a bath all the time, The Yorkshire Dales for being all open and full of sheep and hills and having those little stone walls that look like they’ve been there forever, shipping containers to take goods to other countries, towers so that we can get up high and have a look around, mushrooms so that we can put them in omelettes, Americans so that someone is good at baseball, home economics so that we can learn how to burn bits of bread, maths so that probabilities can be figured out and everything can come together nicely, The River Thames and its centuries of trade that built London.


All of the wonders of the world and everything got condensed into the smiley.




First Impression Writers Residency – Lisbon

I am currently involved in a writers residency in Lisbon, working on my next piece of fiction.


Beautiful city, great apartment, amazing sun!


A photoblog is available here —–>  

The First Impression website is here —-> 


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