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


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 …

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective History (Personal)

Today I held back time

Oct. 30, 2022

This weekend the clocks change (in the UK). These small markers in our calendars can touch us in deep ways. Join me tonight as we stop the clock, step out of time, and savour together the unspent, untouched hour as the world…

Soundscapes, History (Personal)

'By badger light and lantern's sigh' (Magickry)

Oct. 22, 2022

Tonight, as the evenings draw in and autumn takes a firmer hold of towpath and fields, let's gather close beside a woodland campfire for some unabashed romanticism. For life teaches us two things: 1. Romance does the heart g…

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 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 (Personal) Natural World (Birds)

On Drying Days (Like This)

May 29, 2022

May slowly rolls into June, but is summer really here? The towpaths and hedgerows are garlanded in summer colours and the ducks (and swans) are beginning to move into their time of eclipse. Some of the mallard drakes are beg…

Soundscapes, Natural World (General) History (Personal)

Skies of Impossible Blue

March 20, 2022

This week’s episode is filled with sunshine, the scent of resin, and the soporific call of pigeon and dove as we explore a little further afield. A visit to Dad on the north Norfolk coast means a change in landscape. Find ou…

Boat Life Philosophy/reflective History (Personal)

Echoes of Distant Memories

Jan. 16, 2022

The remnants of two days of murk still cling to the hedgerows and trees as you join us tonight on the narrowboat Erica. A very slow thaw is polishing the dulled surface of the water making reflected lights once again dance w…

Philosophy/reflective History (General) History (Personal)

By Swede-Lantern Light (Halloween)

Oct. 31, 2021

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 …

Philosophy/reflective History (Personal)

Rhyme & (sometimes) Reason

May 30, 2021

What was the first poem that you ever learnt? This week marks the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death and, for some reason, it has brought to mind poems that she loved and that I shared with her as a child. There is some…

Philosophy/reflective History (Personal)

A Lifetime Ago

May 2, 2021

A lifetime ago, almost to the day, it turned cooler after an uncustomary warm and dry couple of weeks. Synoptic charts show high pressure moving up the country dragging with it frontal systems. No doubt, on that day, some lo…

History (Canals) History (Personal)

Canalscapes of Childhood

March 28, 2021

A listener has asked, "After we left the boat and went to live in a house, did canals continue to play much of a part in my life?" After the boat, we moved to Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. It was there I grew up and found my…

Boat Life History (Personal)

Winter of 1962/3

Dec. 19, 2020

A first-hand account remembering life aboard a small boat with a small family during the harsh winter of 1962/3. The time we lived on the Kathy were always very precious to Mum and she later wrote about them. Her writings ev…

Boat Life History (Personal)

The Erica behind the Erica

Oct. 18, 2020

In this episode we explore the history of NB 506812 before she became our home and meet the Erica behind the Erica. Journal entry: “16th October, Friday. The canal continues to thread its silent way through autumn. There’s a…