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

Deep and Wide

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Another January storm has passed over us. But, tonight we have a stock of gingernut biscuits and the knowledge that each day the daylight gets longer and the spring is coming. In this episode, with its usual sprinkling weather lore, we answer some more questions about the canals – principally – how deep are they? It is a subject that I have first-hand knowledge about!

Journal entry:

“21st January Thursday.

Waxing moon in a Russian sky. 
 A flight of gulls high, in clear air.
 Turned into golden foil by the fire of a setting sun.” 


Episode Information

If you have any sayings or weather-related proverbs in your family, I would love to hear them. You can contact me at or via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (details at the bottom of the page).

In this episode I read Edward Thomas’ (1878-1917) poem ‘Thaw’. You can read it here: Thaw.

I also refer to Sue Wilkes. Her beautifully researched book, Tracing your canal ancestors: A guide for family historians is full of interesting comments and observations about the history of the canals and the people who worked them. It is well worth a read. Don’t be put off by the title, it is not solely for genealogists or those with past family connections with the waterways. 

For more information about canal depth and the categorisation of inland waterways: 

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 interludes composed and performed by Helen Ingram.

All other audio recorded on site. 

For pictures of Ericaand images related to the podcasts or to contact me, follow me on:

I would love to hear from you. You can email me at