One Friday, in late April, before the sun came, I was in Hull alone, and my walk around the Avenues had turned into a wet trek. The sky was almost black, and I hugged myself for comfort and warmth. I decided to cut short my walk when I realised I was completely alone in the street. The rain bucketed down, but I had a delicious sense of ownership. I began to photograph all that I saw, ignoring the rain, and I became fixated on the pattern of the Victorian terraces. I imbibed the smell of my surroundings, a tang of coal tar, a whiff of frying, a pervasive dampness, and I listened to the noise of life, partly muffled by the rain. I heard voices, the sound of tidying up, an incipient argument between mother and daughter that soon blew over. This was a fine subject for a photograph, I felt, and that in turn became a painting. But I can not bear to paint dark skies, as life needs colour, and for me sky is blue, and as my brush moved I felt the heat return. A glorious heat, a cleansing, purifying heat of mid-summer, a heat that bakes brick and heats creosote and tar. And despite that, the alley retains the coolth, and the scene is peaceful.