Caught by the River


1st January 2016

A smattering of things which’ve caught our attention lately…

toasting-celtic-goddesses-on-a-remote-scottish-island-body-image-1446824337 Shroud with the representation of the bones of a young woman’s skeleton. Photo: Laurence Winram

Caught by the River favourite Amy Liptrot meets artist and composer Hanna Tuulikki. The two discuss Tuulikki’s Women of the Hill project, a tribute to a forgotten matriarchal society only just discovered by archaeologists.

Providing a chance to see the changes in bird species and habitat over 40 years, Birds of Teesmouth (1966) is now available to watch via BFI Player. More than a film that bird lovers will enjoy; it also shows the underbelly of one of the most highly industrialised parts of the country in the 1960s, with docks, the chemical works and oil refineries.

A robin enjoys the peaceful river scene with the riverkeeper’s house overlooking the Lathkill behind

Derbyshire Life talks to Haddon Estate’s head riverkeeper, Warren Slaney, about the challenges of running one of the most famous fly fisheries in the world. ‘If we could have this for ever more, I would be absolutely chuffed, says Warren, gesturing around him. But the challenges ahead are going to be monumental.’ This is a sentiment echoed by Paddy Woodworth. Writing in The Irish Times, he emphasises the importance of rivers to our relationship with the environment, particularly in light of the EU’s water-framework directive which will kick in over the next few years.

Charles Rangeley-Wilson argues against the idea that dredging prevents flooding. ‘If flooding is the ailment, calls for dredging are medieval witch-hunts and flood alleviation schemes are modern medicine.’

On the Guardian, Philip Hoare celebrates the beauty and menace of fog.

Mind bending Afro Funk from 1977. Seven year old kid on vocal duties.

Presented by Luke Clancy, Lighthouse Stories is a compendium of memories of Irish Lighthouse Keepers, with sound recordings and sound design by world renowned recordist, Chris Watson.

Stables and Lucraft: Ulmus Londinium is an installation at Somerset House exploring the Elm tree’s relationship with London’s historic built environment, crafts and biodiversity. Free admission, open daily until January 2016.

Tim Dee pursues a mystery bird in Madagascar. ‘Human knowledge is thin. And try telling it to the birds. In the forests they fell silent and flew away from us, as they always will no matter what we write or say. They are still there now, in those wet woods and those desert thorns, in the baobabs and at the edge of a clearing, as they were when I filled my notebook with lists of what I was seeing, as they are even as I write out their names this moment in creeping black letters to crowd a virtual white page; they are there and not one knows or cares what it is called or why I am calling.

The Black Twig Pickers, an experimental old-time string band from Virginia and North Carolina, curate a playlist for Smithsonian Folkways. ‘Like their own music, [it] leans heavily on American traditional music while also reaching beyond.’

Finally, congratulations to the Some Landscapes blog for reaching its tenth year. And thank you for your kind words: ‘With its publications, social events and festival appearances, [Caught by the River] looks like it will become a long-lived and well-loved British institution.