Caught by the River

Radio On

8th July 2014

Two great BBC Radio 3 programmes, currently on the iPlayer.

“In the subtle switch from one season to another, it is the birds that mark the most strident change,” says Philip Hoare after setting off into “the receding night, scratching the dust from his eyes and stretching his legs” to commit a springtime walk to memory for The Essay.

On foot, over land, through the suburbs, he winds up by the water’s edge in Sholing, all the while treasuring a writer’s solitude and the “strange hour before dawn, which is neither night or day.” He sketches out the cast of creatures he meets along the way, from the blackbird – with its “transcendent song” which makes him think of RS Thomas – to the Brent or Brant geese, painting this vision; “all winter I’ve watched these Siberian refugees on the mudflats, stabbing the charcoal-y sludge with their beaks…” Listen here.

There’s also this wonderful free form daydream from Cathy FitzGerald – with a lush and meditative score composed by Joe Acheson and Hidden Orchestra. “Feel it. Feel your contact with the sun, every pulsation is a kiss and embrace…” and lose yourself here.

We’re privileged to have Philip as a guest of ours at this year’s Festival No.6