Snatching the sound of Manannán's song on the bite of a northwesterly wind
Oct. 31, 2021

By Swede-Lantern Light (Halloween)

Tonight, you join me on a wild October night with the rain rattling against the cabin roof - so there is a little background noise in some places. But it’s warm and dry inside. Penny is snoring in front of the stove. Settle back as we look at life and Halloweens through the flickering light of a swede-head lantern of my childhood. 

Journal entry:

“26th October, Tuesday

 Civil Twilight.
 The ash in the south field is losing its denseness;
     Filigree silhouette, like a Victorian cut paper artwork.

Westerly wind.
 Buoyant and roguish.
 All at once, hundreds of leaves lift and rise up
 Caught on the bandit wind.
 Slowly transforming into rooks and jackdaws
    They take wing and beat strong across
          A crowing sky.”       

Episode Information

Me with our home-made Guy

Me (around 8 or 9 yrs old) with our home-made Guy

There is a lovely article about swede and turnip head lanterns on the BBC News website: Do turnip lanterns still haunt Halloween?

For those interested in the history behind them, this is an interesting blog post: Jack o’ lantern and Will o’ the wisp.

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 to on 23rd June 2018. Creative Commons Licence. 

Piano interludes composed and performed by Helen Ingram.

All other audio recorded on site. 

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