Afloat on birdsong, hawthorn petals and young leaves
May 23, 2021

Into the Night

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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 importance of the night for our well-being might not be purely as a time for sleep. We also talk about what scenarios we employed for choosing the right boat for us, and the problem of the feral ducks,  

So far month has been colder and wetter than the average. However, the world around us continues with its seasonal and geological cycles.   

Journal entry:

“21st May, Friday

Someone tore the clouds today
 And the sky
      Wept water and
           Hawthorn blossom
 Onto the shining street.”        

Episode Information

In this episode I read an extract from Kathleen Dean Moore’s essay ‘The gifts of darkness’ in Paul Bogard (ed) (2008). Let there be Night: Testimony on behalf of darkness. Reno, Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press.

I also refer to Matthew Beaumont (2015) Night Walking: A nocturnal history of London from Chaucer to Dickens. London, New York: Verso.

Podcasts mentioned:

Patricia Carswell – Girl on the River: The diary of a pint-sized rower

Fran and Richard’s Floating our Boat podcast


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. 

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