Reflections on a Screen

This morning I woke up and opened the shutters to be greeted by a mother mallard scurrying her newborn chicks between the narrowboats, tiny stripes of frantic fluff bobbing over the ripples. The Canada geese appeared along the wall next to the lock-keepers cottage,...

The Silence Rises

  I’m trying hard to move quietly. I’ve brought my kayak to the water and I’m paddling upstream to a bend in the river which is overgrown with willows and oaks, the trees draping into the water. It’s the closest thing I’ll find to a rainforest, though the Avon is...

A Bend in the River

  A quiet has descended on the river, sudden, like an in-breath. The birds have seen something I haven’t. Perhaps it is a ritual they undertake at this time of day, triggered by a certain quality of light or air. Or they could just be waiting for me to pass by....

To the River

“Cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times . . . the less I needed the better I felt.” Charles Bukowski. Canada geese gliding down to the water. A glimpse of a little egret.  Swallows and martins, little grebes, reed warblers, black-headed gulls. The river...

In a Wolf’s Eye

I remember an encyclopaedia of animals with a green cover, faded gold lettering, a loose spine cracked at each end, the pages bent at the corners and warped from damp. Not an old book but badly worn by the daily handling by my younger sister and I over six or seven...