Afloat on birdsong, hawthorn petals and young leaves
Nov. 15, 2020

Down the Cut

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‘The cut’ is one of the old vernacular names given to the canal. It was the one most of us used during my childhood. The name reminds us of its history and construction. This episode explores the strange and sometimes ambivalent place that canals inhabit within our natural and cultural environments.

Journal entry:

“14th November, Saturday.

Charcoal sketched tree against a rain faded sky.
 Clawed branches tangle in the dawn light.
 The cormorant is back,
        Pterodactyl winged, oily slick.
 A universe that barely touches mine. 
 It raises its head and looks up into the sky
          As the rain falls.
 At least we hold that much in common.”

Episode Information

Floating our Boat

Fran and Rich’s (Floating our Boat) podcast can be heard here: Floating our Boat podcast.
Their vlogs are a great way to experience life when living permanently aboard a narrowboat. You can watch them on their Youtube channel here: Floating our Boat Vlogs.

In this episode I refer to E Temple Thurston’s book The Flower of Gloster, published in 1911. Sadly, it is currently out of print, but second-hand copies are still available. There is also a free-access electronic copy (containing some wonderful illustrations by W.R. Dakin) is available at the Hathi Trust Digital Library . The link to the book is: The Flower Gloster. The reference to John Aiken and Anna Laetitia can be found on pages 40-48.

In the intro and 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. 

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