Afloat on birdsong, hawthorn petals and young leaves
July 4, 2021

Twilight Blue

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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 these liminal periods of transition in ways that we might do well to remember. We finish the episode with a lovely passage from Tom Rolt’s Narrow Boat and there is also some sad news from the moorings.   

Journal entry:

“1st July, Thursday

 The day dawns with a silver light that presages a beautiful July day. The hay in the meadow above us has been cut and baled.

A heron breaks cover from the little cove umbrellaed with bushes. Around the corner glide the swans. The cob effortlessly swims, one cygnet tucked close to his side. There is a gentle dignity about him. His reflection casts a ghostly figure ‘5’ in the barely stirred water.

It is a message I had no heart to read." 

Episode Information

In this episode I finish with a reading from LTC (Tom) Rolt’s (1944) Narrow Boat first published by Eire and Spottiswoode. It is a book that has been viewed by many as saving the British waterways.

I also read RL Stevenson’s poem ‘Bed in Summer’ published in his volume of children’s verse, Child’s Garden of Verse (1885). You can read the poem here: ‘Bed in Summer’.

Extracts are also read from:

A Roger Ekirch (2005) At Day’s Close: A history of night time. Norton. 

Paul Bogard (ed.) (2008) Let There be Night: Testimony on behalf of the dark. Reno, Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press.

 Jack Byer’s (or perhaps Bayer) informative and beautifully researched vlog series on canals and narrowboats in the United States, American Narrowboater, can be viewed on his YouTube channel: American Narrowboater.


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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