Snatching the sound of Manannán's song on the bite of a northwesterly wind

WORDS once SPOKEN now CAPTURED

Boat Life Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective

Tuesday Morning, 5.30am (The Voyage of Bran)

Jan. 15, 2023

Rain and mud are all around us at the moment, but there is wonder there too. The ancient myth of ‘The Voyage of Bran’ helps us to find the extraordinary within the ordinary and (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel) the bea…

Boat Life Natural World (General) History (General)

'Earth stood hard as iron...'

Dec. 18, 2022

Join us around the stove tonight, on a very cosy NB Erica that is currently ice-locked into a frozen landscape, as we think about the Fimbulwinter of old, and why Midwinter might be mid-winter after all! Journal entry : 14th…

Boat Life Philosophy/reflective History (Personal)

Those eyes of old (look out at me)

Dec. 11, 2022

“Those eyes of old look at me and, through the haze of your futures, I look back at you…” On this freezing December night, snuggle closer to the stove as I reflect on the strangeness of coming across an old photograph of me …

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (General) Night Time

Nightwalk 2 (Moon shadows across the water)

Dec. 4, 2022

The night is chill and crisp, a bright moon rides the racing clouds and stars shimmer on the surface of the canal. It’s a perfect night for a night walk. Snuggle down and wrap up warm as you join me on a canal walk washed by…

Boat Life History (Canals)

Stories are for listening: Blisworth Tunnel (Ian Douglas)

Nov. 20, 2022

As the nights draw in and the cosy glow of a fire gets evermore inviting, it is the perfect time to share stories. It is not surprising that ghost stories have an enduring appeal. Many stories of the canal feature them. Ghos…

Boat Life

Rory's episode (Red gumboots and a yellow summer dress)

Oct. 2, 2022

This episode is especially for our youngest regular listener to the podcast, Rory, who had her 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago. So tonight, we explore the narrowboat Erica and what it is like to live on a boat, and then, …

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (General)

Beside a young willow (in a thunderstorm)

Aug. 28, 2022

Although a little delayed, the long-awaited rain and thunder did eventually arrive. Join us tonight as we hunker down beside a young willow and enjoy, with a field full of crows, the wonder of a thunderstorm as it roars over…

Boat Life Natural World (General)

Hot August Nights (Listening for the thunder)

Aug. 15, 2022

It has been a sweltering hot week with temperatures in the 30s (90F). Join me onboard NB Erica, on a hot August night just as the heatwave is about to break, as we listen for the rolling sound of distant thunder. Journal ent…

Boat Life Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective

The Scent of God

Aug. 7, 2022

Join me this week as we moor on a still August night, under a proud stand of poplars studded with starlight and moonlight. Tonight, we explore the evocative power of scents and smells. Journal entry : 6th August, Saturday. "…

Boat Life Philosophy/reflective Night Time

Let the Stars Sing out your Stories

July 24, 2022

The forecast hot weather has come and gone, but its psychological, as much as physical, effects feel a bit harder to shift. So join with me tonight as we gaze deeply into the mirrored dome of the night sky and its web of sta…

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (General) Natural World (Birds)

The Dog Days of Summer

July 17, 2022

These are the long days. The days of heat and dust. The days of quiet skies and dulled colours. Days of eclipse and renewal. These are the dog days of summer. Journal entry : 23rd July, Saturday [should read 16th July - blam…

Boat Life History (Personal)

Love Letters (Written in Canal Water)

June 26, 2022

Odd little shards of memory take on new meaning. A young man clinging to the side of a bridge, a walk around a reservoir, a canal-side pub, a bridge crossing the Grand Union. It is funny how, looking back, distinct paths and…

Boat Life

Lessons from the Breadlady

June 19, 2022

The heat of the past few days has broken with sweeping skies filled with rain and lowering clouds. Join me tonight, as we reflect on life on water in the heat of summer, listen to the poetic words of one of our listeners, an…

Boat Life Natural World (General) History (Personal)

'I've Got Her Now' (Love and Hawthorn Blossom)

June 12, 2022

This week has been one of extremes that encompasses the splendour of solitude and an onboard visit by three very enthusiastic police dogs (and a puppy)! Alongside all this, we took time to listen to some bats, watch the cygn…

Boat Life History (Canals) Natural World (Birds) Readings

Caught in a Rhyme

June 5, 2022

On the week that the cygnets of our swan pair hatched, we explore the rather contradictory nature of the canal through the eyes of poets Jo Bell, Nancy Campbell, and Ian MacMillan. We find romance amidst the unromantic and b…