More Words On Water

We were in Kendal on Sunday, in front row seats, for a first visit to the theatre for little S.  I thought it was excellent, B beamed and chuckled appreciatively all through the performance. S did well considering his age but a few minutes from the end said: ‘Go home now’. A  – dancer, performer and experienced theatre-goer of 6 qualified her after-show enthusiasm with the thought that it might have been better ‘with more words’.

Afterwards we found a playground down by the river Kent. A brief walk by the riverside yielded a dipper, a pair of goosanders, a grey wagtail and numerous amorous mallards. Not bad I thought for the middle of a town.


I was reminded that in the January sale I picked up a copy of ‘Along the River Kent’.

It’s a curious mixture of personal anecdotes of family exploration of the area, stories related by acquaintances made on those visits, local history and old photographs of the area. Perhaps not a classic, but given the fact that I’m making my own exploration of the river, very interesting.

I’m also working my way through ‘Connemara: listening to the wind’ by Tim Robinson, which is fascinating. In a letter to the artist Richard Long, quoted in the book, the author says:

…my subject matter is the web of placelore.

Which seems a pretty fair description – anecdotes and history very closely tied to precise topographical descriptions of localities significant to the anecdotes. With lots of bonus natural history thrown in.

As ever where books are concerned, my inbox is filling much more quickly than my outbox. Today two new internet purchases arrived: ‘Coming Down the Wye’ and ‘Till I End My Song’ both by Robert Gibbings.

These are complete impulse buys. I investigated Gibbings solely because he was responsible for the woodcuts I admired in the copy of ‘The Charm of Birds’ which I read a couple of years ago. What I read intrigued me and I decided to seek out his books. ‘Coming Down the Wye’ is a fairly self-explanatory title, but I didn’t realise that ‘Till I End My Song’ is about the Thames until I opened it tonight. His first book about the Thames is called ‘Sweet Thames Run Softly’ from a line by Spenser which in its entirety runs…

Sweet Thames run softly, until I end my song,


You can read more about Gibbings here or at ‘Caught By The River’, whose book is also on my ‘to read’ list.

That’s all from me tonight…I’m going to bed to read a book!

More Words On Water

2 thoughts on “More Words On Water

  1. I remember Andy Howell and Humphrey Weightman raving about ‘Connemara’.
    I’ve just rescued my copy from the depths of the bedside pile. It seems to be stuck on page 100.
    Must try harder!

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    Well….I have to confess that I’ve abondoned ‘Connemara’ (just for now you understand) whilst I read the Gibbings books which are much easier reading, delightful in fact, can’t understand how he has fallen so far out of favour.

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