Just the Time of Day

The focus was sharper in real life!

I’m looking across at a harbour, late at night after the sun has gone down, and the dimensions of the port are not as I remember them in the daylight. There’s a series of white markers that link to some low level uplighters, standing proud and indicating something of importance. To the left of this, and after a period of drab pipes and beams, are a dazzling array of white beacons, broadcasting their resilience into the night. In front of this are long tubular rays, shimmering like warning markers before the industry behind them.


What I find remarkable is the change between this view and that of the daytime where the actual structures that stand out are those that are not lit up this evening. There’s a whole building that stands as an impressive roundhouse, iconic to a degree but which at night looks like a failed bus shelter. And the water in front of the structures in this dark becomes part of them, increasing the visual depth and warmly leading us to the dazzling lights beyond.


So what, you say? The what is that depending on the time of day when stories are set, the whole ambience and the perceptions of the characters are changed, producing different levels of fright, perception, awe and awareness. Approaching this harbour during the day it looks like a Scottish ideal, whereas at night it becomes more of an unknown, a journey of discovery and has senses more on edge.


This brief tableau has made me think more about when things are happening in stories and to couple that onto the what is happening to produce a more accurate and pleasing tale. Placing myself in situ has become an even more involved task than it already was and in my mind I need to swing around more before jumping into the action.

About the author

A graduate of Loughborough University where he masqueraded as a chemical engineer but ultimately played American football, GR Jordan worked at changing the shape of cereal flakes and pulled a pallet truck for a living. Watching vegetables freeze at -40'C was another career highlight and he was also one of the Scottish Highlands' "blind" air traffic controllers. Having flirted with most places in the UK, he is now based in the Isle of Lewis in Scotland where his free time is spent between raising a young family with his wife, writing, figuring out how to work a loom and caring for a small flock of chickens. Luckily his writing is influenced by his varied work and life experience as the chickens have not been the poetical inspiration he had hoped for!

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