Caught by the River

Shadows & Reflections: Ceri Levy

Ceri Levy | 27th December 2015

Shadows and Reflections: the annual collection of postings where Caught by the River’s contributors and friends take a look back on the events that have shaped the past twelve months. Today it’s the turn of Ceri Levy.

Red Kite circles
Goldcrest hops
Pheasant by the door
Willow sways
Nuthatch feeds
Woodpecker knocks some more

Horse whinnies
Jackdaw cackles
Toad moves upon his way
Finches feed
Berries drop
Sparrows raucous through the day


Life has taken me across the world, to amazing locations and provided me with so much to marvel at. Wherever I have been in the world I have always returned to the filthy womb and primal heart of my life that has always been my home, London. But this is no longer so as we have moved to the wilds of Rutland and Leicestershire. We have embraced our new country living and have immersed ourselves in our new world, from learning about cooking with an oil-burning stove to growing vegetables and discovering our abilities at foraging for hedgerow food. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and I feel privileged to live here. As somebody said to me, “This is the Cotswolds without the people.”

I look up from writing this and stare in wonder at our garden and the field beyond. In London our garden was a dead window box. Here the trees stand winter-naked and huddle in the belligerent wind and I realise that I am in the midst of watching the seasons change in front of me, something I was less aware of in town. I see the feeders need filling again and I understand a place in nature that I never had before, I am connected to it. The birds rely on me to keep on top of their grub. This is where The Bird Effect has been leading me since I first started filming and writing for CBTR. Everything has been sending me home. I finally feel content with my living surroundings and know that I have much to learn and this excites me. New ways of seeing and new ways of doing, this is the current mantra.

We moved here in February just as mine and Ralph Steadman’s book, Nextinction was going to print and now at the end of the year we have the green light for the third book in our Thrillogy Trilogy, Critical Critters, which will focus on other endangered species out there aside from birds. This will keep us busy through the impenetrable darkness of the countryside winter and my fingers twitch to write constantly.

The only shadows cast by living away from the city life is trying to remember the difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow. Days merge into one and the phone doesn’t ring so much but that’s ok. I have much to do, thoughts to think and words and images to provide. This is my mid-life event and it is worth my attention. Now, time to tend the logs…

Ceri Levy on Caught by the River