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

WORDS once SPOKEN now CAPTURED

Soundscapes, Natural World (General)

One day last summer

Jan. 22, 2023

Join us around the warmth of a glowing stove tonight as ice once more grips the boat and freezing fog thickly mantles the winter-naked trees. On nights like these, it is good to remember summer days and so, tonight’s episode…

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…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective

When darkness falls (Skating on 'un-time')

Jan. 8, 2023

Happy New Year! New Years can be exciting times, marking new beginnings, a clean page, awakening dormant dreams and ambitions. However, sometimes it is not always like that. This year, in particular, many face the new year w…

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…

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…

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…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Flora)

Autumn colours the tattered garments of summer

Oct. 16, 2022

The colours of autumn this year promise to be spectacular and the towpaths are being transformed by the brush of autumn’s artistry. Join us tonight as we drink in some of the sights and ponder why this season can evoke such …

Soundscapes, Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective History (General)

Church bells among crow song

Sept. 25, 2022

This week much of the country fell silent for a while and that stillness was the occasion for a chance encounter and finding within the silence the music of bells among crow song. Join us aboard the Erica tonight as we are t…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective

Milky tea and four sugars (Walking with elephants)

Sept. 4, 2022

There’s a warm welcome awaiting you under the heavy night skies of summer’s hinterlands. Tonight we meet a very special person with a lop-sided smile and who might be able to teach us to walk with elephants. Journal entry : …

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. "…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Down by the Cattle Pond

July 31, 2022

There is a spot of ground that is special to me. Perhaps you have one too. They often are not particularly attractive, but somehow they are places we can go to find quietness. Join me to tonight when we visit one of my speci…

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…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Night Time

This one unremarkable dusk

July 3, 2022

With apologies for sounding like an asthmatic badger, tonight we explore the special qualities of an unremarkable dusk and why we can feel so at peace with it and the darkness it can bring. Journal entry : 28th June, Tuesday…