Caught by the River

Shadows & Reflections: Nick Fallowfield-Cooper

27th December 2023

For Nick Fallowfield-Cooper, the best part of the year was spent making a film about fisherman, writer, fellow CBTR contributor and French-yurt-dweller Dexter Petley.

For the best part of 2023 my mind has been occupied by the making of a film. It began in fact late in the autumn of 2022, after a three-hundred-mile drive from my own home in East London to our meeting point in the square of a small village in Normandy.

“Hello Dexter, how are you doing?” 

“I’ve just spent the afternoon at the Chateau Lake, it was probably my last chance this year,” came his reply. 

“Let’s head back to the yurt, before the light fades.”

Driving out of the village, the open landscape soon closed in around us, the road became narrow and dark as we drove further into a dense forest until both cars came to rest at the junction of a forester’s track. I felt properly lost, in the middle of nowhere, Dexter on the other hand was clearly home.  Fumbling around to find the torch on my phone, I broke the darkness with a chink of light and shone it in the direction of where I imagined the yurt might stand. From the inky blackness came his voice “Come on, follow me, it’s a hundred yards down the track.” And so, my year began. 

Living with the cuckoo people – The writer’s life of Dexter Petley is a short film by Nick Fallowfield-Cooper that will be released in 2024. Watch the trailer below: