Learning to See

  In the past months I’ve learned that everything I need for day-to-day living can be kept in a space of approximately 8 square metres. Living on a boat has enabled me to see my limits. I know how much gas I use to cook with, how much electricity powers my...

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...