Today has been one of those days when it never really seems to get light. Waking in the halflight of morning with grey fog thick around me, it never lifts, and morning blends into afternoon, and the halflight of dusk seamlessly. Not, you might think, the kind of whether that inspires creativity. Not that is, except for me. It might just be this story, that harsh, bitter weather matches the harsh, tough environment in my novel.

This evening, driving home, I worked out how it was that the story was going to move forward through chapter five. With no immediately obvious reason behind why this helped, I was listening to Madonna’s Music album, and in particular, What it feels like to be a girl. On my first visit to Iceland back in June 2001, in my first morning in Reykjavik we turned on Popp TiVi in Snorres Guesthouse, the video to this song was on. Even now, hearing that song, transports me back to that then, alien land; now an old friend.