Afloat on birdsong, hawthorn petals and young leaves
Dec. 24, 2021

A Fireside Christmas Eve

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Curl up with us for this very special Christmas Eve edition of the podcast. Whether you are feeling on your own or just in need of a bit of a breathing space, why not join me tonight for this special Jólabókaflóð inspired edition of Nighttime on Still Water’s? Although the weather may be closer to Greg Lake’s “veil of tears for the virgin birth”, there will always the possibility for “eyes filled with tinsel and fire.”

Journal entry:

“24th December, Friday. Christmas Eve

 Four cormorants swung low out of the mist.
 Unlike ducks, geese and swans
 Or the parrying cries of the corvids
 They were silent. 
 Dark shapes swimming through the dripping air. 

All the haws were encased in perfect globes of water. 

Days wrapped in mist hold their own special beauty.”

Episode Information

Chistmas 2021Christmas tree with decorations (one added for each year of our marriage)

In this episode I read excerpts from:

Dylan Thomas (1954) ‘Memories of Christmas’ from Quite Early One Morning published by J.M. Dent. Everyman’s Library.

Laurie Lee (2015) ‘Village Christmas’ from his Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year, published by Penguin. Modern Classics. 

Lucy M. Boston (2000) The Children of Green Knowe published by Faber.

Susan Cooper (2019) The Dark is Rising published by Penguin. Puffin Books

For the episode featuring Lucy M. Boston’s River at Green Knowewhere you can find more information about her books and the actual house of Green Knowe (well worth a visit) – Episode 39: Summer Readings 3

For more information about the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð – Jolabokaflod: Founding Story


General Details

In the intro and the outro, Saint-Saen's The Swan is performed by Karr and Bernstein (1961) and available on CC at

Two-stroke narrowboat engine recorded by 'James2nd' on the River Weaver, Cheshire. Uploaded on 23rd June 2018. Creative Commons Licence. 

Piano and keyboard interludes composed and performed by Helen Ingram.

All other audio recorded on site. 

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