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Narrowboat 'wilvir'

by wilvir

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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.

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Helping to keep our waterways litter-free:

Drought, pollution and illegal fishing all threaten our waterways. Spotted something that looks wrong? See it, say it, save it. Call the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70

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Just Cruisin'

1. The M25 stalks off into the distance.
2. Just a great bridge.
3. Another lock another friendship made. 4. Approaching Berkhamsted.
5. A proud heritage.
3rd Aug 2011, 11:32   comments (1)

How Prophetic! Where do I sign up?

(viewed 861 times)
England, arise! By Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) published in 1926.

England, arise! The long long night is over,
Faint in the east behold the dawn appear;
Out of your evil dream of toil and sorrow
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
From your fields and hills
Hark! the answer swells:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
Long, long have been the anguish and the labour,
Dark, dark the clouds of unbelief unrolled,
Dreadful the night when no man trusted neighbour,
Shameful the nightmare-greed of gain and gold;
Yet from fields and hills
Hark! the song now swells:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
By your young children's eyes so red with weeping,
By their white faces aged with want and fear,
By the dark cities where your babes are creeping
Naked of joy and all that makes life dear;
From your wretched slums
A voice of pity comes:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
By all your workshops where men sweat and sicken,
Foredone to death, in toil and hope deferred,
Where cheeks are flushed and pulses start and quicken,
Not with glad life but by dark hatred stirred;
From each bench and forge
A sound comes like a surge:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
By your high homes of wealth and wasteful living,
By your rich tables piled, without good cheer,
By the ennui, ill-health, and sickly striving --
Not great to be, but only to appear;
O'er the weary throng
Strangely floats the song:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
By your rich orchards, lands of corn and pasture,
Where all day long the voice of joy should ring,
Now mute and desert, by land-grabbers wasted,
Robbed of the love the peasant longs to bring;
From the stricken land
Hark! the words ascend:
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
People of England, all your valleys call you,
High in the rising sun the lark sings clear;
Will you dream on, let shameful slumber thrall you?
Will you disown your native land so dear?
Shall it die unheard --
That sweet pleading word?
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
Over your face a web of lies is woven,
Law that are falsehoods pin you to the ground;
Labour is mocked, its just reward is stolen,
On its bent back sits Idleness encrowned;
How long, while you sleep,
Your harvest shall it reap?
Arise, O England, for the day is here.
Out of your ruin rich men thrive and fatten,
Your merchants rub their hands when food is dear,
Capital says your claims are not forgotten
If wages keep you just starvation-clear;
People of England, when
Will ye rise like men?
Rise and be freemen, for the day is here!
Hear, England, hear! Deliverance is within you;
Though like a man whom death is very near,
Though sick the head, the whole heart faint within you,
Dare to be true! -- and even from the bier
Where your body lies
A new life shall arise,
England shall rise again to life sincere.
Yet thus I warn you: long shall be the struggle,
Not one but many men in it shall die;
This cancerous disease and devil's juggle
Shall not pass in the twinkling of an eye;
To undo their wrong
The people shall strive long:
O that they fail not! for the day is here.
Forth then, ye heroes, patriots and lovers!
Comrades of danger, poverty and scorn!
Mighty in faith of Freedom, your great Mother,
Giants refreshed in joy's new-rising morn!
Come and swell the song
Silent now so long --
England is risen and the Day is here!
1st Aug 2011, 19:49   comments (0)

The Wonder of Glow-Worms

(viewed 901 times)
Photos from last night:
1. This is the segmented bright yellow light from the female glow-worm photographed with a BlackBerry Bold on the close-up setting.
2. This is the female in exactly the same position illuminated by a flash.

I managed to catch this image of a female glow-worm (relative of the tropical 'firefly', a name I much prefer) at around midnight last night. These were a common sight way-back-when, so much so that you could apparently read by the light they emitted. This is something I can vouch for as I remember being surrounded by them while camping in the hills above Bath, 40 plus years ago.

These glow-worms are literally in the grass on our doorstep about six feet from the bow of the boat. I walked the towpath last night to see if I could find more, but it seems I've been lucky enough to come across the only visible colony here. I also saw a male, attracted by her light, flying in to seek her out. The females don't have wings and the males don't emit light.

They are an amazing sight and last night this very bright adult female was surrounded by smaller pin-pricks of light that I can only assume were juveniles as they are difficult to find amongst the grass with a torch without disturbing them. The photos show the female displaying in complete darkness and then illuminated with a flash.
1st Aug 2011, 12:23   comments (2)

A True Liveaboard

(viewed 690 times)
Stretching the capability of my phone camera somewhat, I just managed to captures this terrapin basking in the sun. This one is about the size of a tea plate but I have seen larger.

I stepped off the boat last night to see a lone female glow worm lighting up the grass immediately surrounding her for all she was worth, in an attempt to attract a mate. An amazing sight that emoted a warm feeling much like the old Disney animation of the glow of a candle.
30th Jul 2011, 12:39   comments (0)

Ummmm! Delicious

(viewed 690 times)
28th Jul 2011, 17:19   comments (2)

Denham Lock

(viewed 1140 times)
Denham Locks new floating dry dock receives its first customer.
28th Jul 2011, 17:09   comments (3)

Canal Boat Radio

(viewed 676 times)
Go to Channel 16 UK on any CB radio to join in and get the ball rolling, or go to to find out more. What a great way to communicate with each other along the cut.
28th Jul 2011, 14:15   comments (1)

Yesterday Comes to a Close

(viewed 657 times)
20th Jul 2011, 16:30   comments (2)