Cold: Caryl Férey, arriving at #Norilsk

Nous enfilâmes nos polaires sous nos blousons pour descendre la passerele qui menait au bus. Bonnet, gants, on sentait le froid s’immiscer dans la rangée centrale de l’avion tandis que s’extrayaient les premiers passagers. De fait, sitôt dehors, un vent méchant nous cingla le visage. Le temps de descendre la passerelle et de gagner le bus, toute la chaleur accumulée ces dernières années me quitta telle une maîtresse affamée. (Caryl Férey, Norilsk, 2017)


Twenty years ago I heard a radio programme about Norilsk. I wrote about it in a song, Cold Places, for a band I was in:

In the town of Norilsk on the Arctic Circle
Frost breaks for one month in July
Fathers teach daughters swimming in the Ob’s cold waters
If they can do it why can’t I? 

(The song also had a verse about the childcare practice of the Emperor Penguin.)

Norilsk is actually on the Yenisei but Yenisei didn’t scan. The part about children learning to swim in the river is true, though.

swimming place Dvina Polotsk 815.JPG

I haven’t been to Norilsk. This is a picture of the swimming place at Polotsk, on the Dvina in Belarus, in August 2015.

This evening, it’s -5 in Brussels. In Norilsk it’s -27.


Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.