Finding ways to create something beautiful in the dark nights of a complex world

WORDS once SPOKEN now CAPTURED

Boat Life Natural World (Birds)

Rook Ravaged Skies

Oct. 3, 2021

This has been a week of blustery winds and storms. Perfect weather for the wild choreographies of the rooks jousting on the wind. The devil has spat upon the blackberries and we (rather hurriedly) mark our first birthday – t…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Call of Wild Geese

Sept. 26, 2021

These are the mornings of mist that ring with the call of geese. What is it about catching sight of the flight of geese and hearing their wind-borne calls that evokes such feelings restless longing and yearning within us? A…

Boat Life Philosophy/reflective History (Canals)

The Gongoozler and the Nomad

Sept. 19, 2021

This week we catch up with news of our little swan family and explore the strange word ‘gongoozler’. What does it mean? Where does it come from? In some ways it functions as a shibboleth. Its use identifying the ‘true’ canal…

Soundscapes, Boat Life

Shrewley Tunnel: Sailing dark waters

Sept. 12, 2021

Join me tonight on a journey on the dark waters of Shrewley Tunnel. In this episode we travel not just through the tunnel but also through history and try to capture the life of those who worked the canals by physically 'leg…

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

(Un)Naming of Parts

Sept. 5, 2021

How did the willow threaten a powerful king? What has bloody fingers to do with St Withburga? How much does our knowledge of the world dictate the way you see it? The names we give things are useful (vital even), but they ar…

Readings

Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows' (Summer readings #4)

Aug. 29, 2021

This week we explore and listen to extracts of Kenneth Grahame's (1908) children's classic The Wind in the Willows . The story follows of the lives of various (anthropomorphised) animals that live by a river, principally, th…

Natural World (General) Natural World (Flora)

Summer Heavy with Fruit

Aug. 22, 2021

Is August high summer, late summer, or early autumn? Does the Queen own our little cygnet that went missing? Who looks after the canal banks? This week’s episode addresses all these pressing questions, as well as dealing wit…

Soundscapes, Boat Life

At Milepost 16

Aug. 15, 2021

Under the poplars beside milepost 16 is a place of enchantment and quiet sanctuary, particularly in times of broiling heat. Join me in tonight’s episode as revel in its soundscape and its dappled beauty as we explore its ve…

Philosophy/reflective Night Time

Night Walking

Aug. 8, 2021

After a 3 week break, Nighttime on Still Waters is back with episode 40! In this episode we catch up with what has been happening on the moorings and reflect on the place of night walking in history and culture. Journal entr…

Readings

Lucy M. Boston's 'The River at Green Knowe' (Summer readings #3)

Aug. 1, 2021

For our final summer readings session we are looking at a very different piece of writing. It is Lucy M. Boston’s The River at Green Knowe . Lucy M. Boston is probably better known for her earlier book The Children of Green …

History (Canals) Readings

Temple Thurston's 'The Flower of Gloster' (Summer readings #2)

July 25, 2021

In this second Summer Reading Special we discover the delights of Ernest Temple Thurston’s The Flower of Gloster . Published in 1911, Temple Thurston is writing about a very different world to the one in which last week’s au…

History (Canals) Readings

Hassell and Hollingshead - Early canal writings (Summer readings #1)

July 18, 2021

This is the first of our Summer Reading Specials devoted to one or two books that are in some way related to waterways or life on them. They replace the normal format while Penny, Donna and I are away, off-line, and having a…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

The Heron's Gaze

July 11, 2021

This week we explore and reflect upon a wonderful poem by narrowboater Steve May (NB Blue Phoenix), ‘The Magnificent Heron’. There is a growing appreciation of genuine encounters with animals and birds and, with the help of …

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Night Time

Twilight Blue

July 4, 2021

Did you know that each evening we experience THREE twilights? Each one with distinctive features and that during this period we respond in physiological ways. Similarly, our ancestors appeared to have taken advantage of thes…

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (General)

Summer Sounds - canalside

June 20, 2021

The hot weather has broken with rain and slab-like grey/white skies. While we wait for the sun’s return, it’s probably a good time to remember those lazy sunny days of long ago (and not so long ago). In this week’s episode w…

Philosophy/reflective Radio

Fractured Beauties of the Night

June 13, 2021

The hold of early summer along the canal-side grows firmer each day. However, sometimes the changes and shifts in the season can affect us in surprising and sometimes disconcerting ways. This episode reflects on the birth of…

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

Fledglings

June 6, 2021

The world is filled with new life, fledglings of all kinds. It is noisy, messing, sometimes cruel, and so full of vitality and life. It’s an boisterous energy that cannot be contained or ignored. From vetch, to rabbits and b…

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 Night Time

Into the Night

May 23, 2021

What is ‘dead sleep’ and ‘morning sleep’? Why are 'duck hatches' invaluable? What should we do with the feral ducks? In this far ranging episode. we explore the night-time of history and discover that, perhaps, the importanc…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

The Clerical Heron

May 16, 2021

What is it about the heron that makes it such a frequent subject for social media posts featuring canal and riverside birds? There is something about it that is strange, singular almost. Spotting one is often felt to be a si…

Soundscapes, Boat Life Philosophy/reflective Weather

May Rains

May 9, 2021

This week the rains swept in pushed by great fronts of ocean air – moisture from places with magical names that I hear on the shipping forecast and can only imagine. Life around progressed without a murmur and the ground dra…

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…

Boat Life Natural World (General)

Back Home!

April 25, 2021

Back where we belong. Under an old ash tree and a full April moon. After nearly five months of restricted movements, we’re back home, out on the canal! Join us as we stop over at one of our most favourite places to tie up fo…

Natural World (General) Weather

On the Grave of Winter

April 18, 2021

At the beginning of the week we were waking up to snow and each nights the temperatures have been slipping below zero. However, the days are filled with sunshine and warmth, and a vibrancy fills the word. Spring has arrived.…