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A narrowboat-based audio journal on canal life, living aboard, the elements, and the night. Perfect late-night listening for dreamers, insomniacs, night owls, nocturnalists, drifters, and nomads. For lovers Fagen's 'Nightfly', Auden's 'Night Mail', Hopper's 'Nighthawks' and the 'drifting sea-dark streets' of Dylan Thomas. For all those who used to listen to the transistor under your pillow, love the sound of distant trains and rain against the windowpanes, canals and drover's tracks, lost mu ...
 
Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, House of Cards) will play detective Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas. Stephen Dorff (Somewhere, Immortals) is set to play Arkansas State Investigator Roland West. Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) will play school teacher Amelia Reardon, who is connected to two missing children. Additional cast members include Josh Hopkins, who will play Jim Dobkins, a private attorney in Fayetteville, Arkansas in ...
 
Rilla of Ingleside is the eighth book in the Anne of Green Gables series and focuses on the inspiring journey of Rilla Blythe, the youngest daughter of Anne and Gilbert, as she transforms from a carefree young girl into an enduring young woman swept into the chaos of war. Written from a female perspective, Montgomery accurately depicts a time in history, as she provides a contemporaneous account of the war and serves up the most emotional book in the series. Set during the First World War, t ...
 
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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 'legging' boats through. Journal entry: “12th September, Friday Having Brunch at the Gongoozler’s Rest Café. The smell of wet eart…
 
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 are not passive. Names frame the way we view the world. In this week’s episode (with apologies to Henry Reed) we ‘unname the par…
 
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, through Mole (Moley) and the Water Rat (Ratty). Their friend, the wilful, spontaneous, and exuberant Toad (of Toad Hall), acts as…
 
Writer, host and educator Ashley C. Ford has written or guest-edited for publications including The Guardian, ELLE Magazine, BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, The New York Times, taught creative nonfiction writing at The New School and Catapult.Co, hosted podcasts for HBO, Audible and Mastercard, and had her work listed among Longform & Lo…
 
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 with my existential angst at the threat of being robbed of ‘summer’. Journal entry: “19th August, Thursday This week, each day fi…
 
On today’s episode I’m talking to the journalist and podcaster Anna Sale, who’s the creator of Death, Sex & Money – WNYC’s hugely popular podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. In June, Anna published a book, Let’s Talk About Hard Things, in which she considers her own history of facing (and…
 
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 very particular genius loci. You can also hear about the saga concerning our little swan family and what happened this week to th…
 
Youtuber and content creator Lucy Moon has been creating content online – and being paid for it – since long before many of us had even heard of the word ‘influencer’, and so this episode is a real insider’s account of an industry and lifestyle that commands a great deal of cultural fascination, and is also largely dominated by women. We covered al…
 
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 entry: “5th August, Thursday High in a tree a blackbird Sings into the night. A river of notes Pours into the cabin. There are no …
 
In 2019, the writer Clare Seal started an Instagram account @myfrugalyear in order to anonymously document her journey out of £27,000 worth of debt. Her story immediately struck a chord, and @myfrugalyear now has 78,000 followers who’ve followed Clare’s journey – that of a working mother of two on an average salary trying her best to take control o…
 
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 Knowe for which she was runner up for the 1954 Carnegie Medal for best children’s literature. She would later win it with her f…
 
Yomi Adegoke is a multi award-winning journalist and author who writes about race, feminism, class, politics and how those things intersect. Besides having columns in both Vogue and the Guardian, Yomi is also the co-author of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, an inspirational guide to life for Black British women, as well as series of follow…
 
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 authors (Hassell and Hollingshead) were writing. It is a nostalgic nod to a world that Temple Thurston recognises is dying. Descr…
 
Journalist Vicky Spratt is the i Paper’s housing correspondent as well as an editor at Refinery29 UK, and has been reporting on the UK’s housing crisis for a number of years. In 2016 she created a successful campaign, Make Renting Fair, designed to highlight the plight of ‘Generation Rent’, and which resulted in the government announcing a ban on l…
 
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 adventures of our own. The first episode explores two very different authors who are writing when the canals were in their heyd…
 
Mona Chalabi is a data journalist, producer and presenter whose work has appeared in publications ranging from the New Yorker to the Guardian, and who’s also written for radio and TV networks including NPR, Gimlet, Netflix, and the BBC, as well as being one half of the team that created an Emmy-nominated video series called Vagina Dispatches. Plus …
 
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 Martin Buber and Jacques Derrida, we reflect upon changing attitudes and understanding about how we relate to the non-human wo…
 
Journalist, essayist, and media entrepreneur is co-host of the long-running and phenomenally popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend, and has written for publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, the LA Times, The Gentlewoman, and The Guardian. She also has a newsletter called The Ann Friedman Weekly, which is a curation of great w…
 
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 To…
 
Delighted to share an extract from my forthcoming memoir We Need To Talk About Money, all about my childhood and teenage years, going to a private school, and the early money lessons I learned during that period of my life. We Need To Talk About Money is published by 4th Estate on 8th July and available to pre-order now in hardback, eBook and audio…
 
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 we explore the sounds of canals in summer from bees to lock sluices and enjoy the words of John Betjeman and E Temple Thurston.…
 
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 the idea that would eventually become the Nighttime on Still Waters podcast, and a reflection on radio and encounters in the …
 
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 birds and even humans, fledglings fill this world with a fragile, exuberant colour. In this episode we also discover some of yo…
 
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 something strangely powerful, evocative, perhaps even reassuring, about rhythm and rhymes. Sometimes, it might be, that the rhymes…
 
Paris Lees is a prominent journalist and British Vogue columnist whose incredible memoir and debut book What It Feels Like For A Girl is published this week. Born and raised in Hucknall, near Nottingham, Paris has written for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Telegraph and VICE, and presented programmes for BBC Radio 1 and C…
 
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 c…
 
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 significant event that should be recorded and remembered. This week we look at the heron in the company of Dylan Thomas, John Mo…
 
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 drank heavily. In this episode we listen to the rain and to Thomas Merton. We also thinking about casting clouts and what that mi…
 
Pandora Sykes is a journalist, podcaster and author of the Sunday Times bestselling collection of essays How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right?, which attempts to dissect and give some shape to the infinite choices that modern life presents us with. Previously an editor at the Sunday Times Style (you may remember her days as the magazine’s Wardrobe M…
 
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 looked at the clouds and grumbled. And life carried on as it had the days before. Engines shunted in sidings. People waited at b…
 
Amy Fraser is the founder of OKREAL, a self-development platform for women that’s focused on providing the community and resources that women need to build the lives they want - both in the office and outside of it - offering everything from panel discussions and workshops, to digital content and group mentoring sessions. In this episode we discuss…
 
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 for the night. The sun is warm, the air is soft, and the moon is big. Journal entry: “23rd April, Thursday. Sitting up here on t…
 
Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker online, where she writes about Silicon Valley, start-up culture, and technology, and the author of tech memoir Uncanny Valley, which tells the story of Anna’s time working in Silicon Valley during her mid to late twenties. Despite its tech world setting, Uncanny Valley is very much an everywoma…
 
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. A few years ago, I discovered something wonderful that the isophenes of Spring tell us about the the progress of the season. …
 
Academic, activist, broadcaster and SOAS university teaching fellow Emma Dabiri joins me to discuss her latest book What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition. Written in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder last year and the subsequent conversations on racism and anti-racism that followed it, What White People Can Do Next is a sim…
 
Boat blacking is when the hull of a boat is painted or sprayed with a protective – usually bitumen-based – paint to help minimise corrosion of the steel hull. For painted blacking, it is a process that occurs every 2 to 3 years. This week it was NB Erica’s turn for blacking, a time of convergence between ‘canal time’ and ‘land time.’ Journal entry:…
 
Journalist Sirin Kale is a features writer for the Guardian, Observer, British Vogue, Wired UK, VICE, GQ, and many other publications, and was previously an editor at VICE UK, where she launched their award-winning anti-stalking campaign Unfollow Me. Sirin authors the Guardian's flagship longform series on Covid-19 deaths, Lost to the Virus, which …
 
Journalist Sarah Jaffe’s work focuses on the politics of power, especially within the workplace, and her writing has appeared everywhere from the New York Times and the Atlantic to the Guardian and many, many more. Most recently she’s written a deeply compelling new book called Work Won’t Love You Back, which seeks to examine what Sarah calls the ‘…
 
A listener has asked, "After we left the boat and went to live in a house, did canals continue to play much of a part in my life?" After the boat, we moved to Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. It was there I grew up and found my place within the world. At the time it was still a fairly small village. The main industry was the Ovaltine factory that bord…
 
Journalist, public speaker, creative consultant, talk show host, fashion icon – there is nothing Marjon Carlos can’t – or does not – do. As a journalist, Marjon’s works sits squarely at the intersection of style and culture, and covers a range of really fascinating topics and personalities, from Cardi B to intersectional feminism. She was previousl…
 
The journey from winter into spring is often messy and ill-defined. Sometimes it feels as if we are making progress and at others the cold and damp of winter days returns. As we are also contemplating moving from lockdown it is not surprising that we can feel a bit of kilter. Reflecting on an encounter in WH Hudson’s book A Shepherd’s Life, there a…
 
A wide-ranging conversation with Penny Martin, editor-in-chief of iconic women’s magazine The Gentlewoman. Widely recognised as the definitive style title for discerning women, as The Gentlewoman’s founding editor, Penny is responsible for the exacting editorial standards and refined taste that have made it so influential. Before being tapped by th…
 
These are the days of swan nests and duck eggs, but the call of a lone swan circling overhead, perhaps captures more precisely the tensions we feel moving through the seasons. The seasonal shifts in the activity of the swans and ducks are becoming increasingly visible reflecting the wider patterns of movement. Boats leaving and others moving in. Ev…
 
The fascination of boots and canals. Boots have always been one of the most essential pieces of equipment for canals and canal-life. In this episode we re-join impresario, journalist and social reformer, James Hollingshead on his journey up what would later be known as the Grand Union in the late 1850s. We will discover his fascination with the foo…
 
Everywhere the world is filled with the whispered spring. The first of this year’s lambs scamper and nuzzle in the field above us and skylarks sing high from under a bowl of Wedgewood blue. A softer, warmer wind blows, and the sun is strong. Humans and non-humans alike emerge to drink in the sunlight and warmth. It’s a spring that the poet John Cla…
 
Stormy nights like this, when then wind howls among the reeds under a hunted moon, are perfect for curling up with a ghost story or two. In this episode we hear about two ghost stories set in locations close to where NB 506812 is currently moored and explore what do these stories tell us about the worlds that produced them and us today. Journal ent…
 
Tonight, the NB Erica is locked in ice. There’s a wolfish southeaster blowing and the night is filled with rasping creaks and groans. There are times when the ice sings. Acoustic lightning flashes that dart across the frozen water surface. Journal entry: “9th February, Tuesday. Last night’s snow low uneasily on the ground, like a miser’s blanket, t…
 
One of the first things you will experience when you cast off onto the waterways is, what is sometimes referred to as, ‘canal time.’ What is canal time and how is it different to land time? Canal time functions not so much as a marker for time passing as a recognition of the many streams of timelines of things and lives that fall outside the sphere…
 
This week the first proper snow of the winter fell. For a while, our world was transformed. If you love snow, a boat is the perfect place to enjoy it. If you hate snow, a boat is the perfect place to escape it! Journal entry: “29th January Friday. The last couple of mornings have smelt fresh. The trees bordering the canal sharp with bird song, not …
 
Another January storm has passed over us. But, tonight we have a stock of gingernut biscuits and the knowledge that each day the daylight gets longer and the spring is coming. In this episode, with its usual sprinkling weather lore, we answer some more questions about the canals – principally – how deep are they? It is a subject that I have first-h…
 
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