We also share that favourite Eccles moment. The only time the poetry came second to its content for me was when I was listening to it while sailing off Cornwall, out of sight of land on sparkling water with a clear blue sky and the voice told me that in sea area Plymouth visibility was poor. I love it too.
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And 'Sailing By' always makes me feel nostalgic, reminds me of when we were first married, snuggled up in the captain's cabin of a 50 ft catamaran called Simba - listening to the shipping forecast. So romantic, as is anything to do with the sea as a workplace, to me. I still get a thrill from seeing the 'Port of Tyne' signs locally - why it's so much more romantic than eg 'Tyne Port' I don't quite know. It's the specialist vocab that's so entrancing about the Shipping Forecast I think. And the names are ancient.
You can also imagine those on ships at sea, trawlers on stormy waves, listening in and getting ready for a hurricane or moving somewhere 'good'. I think the first poem based on the shipping forecast was by Julia Darling. Thank you Sandra for sharing this with us.
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Oh yes, I, too, love the shipping forecast. There must be thousands of us landlubbers who find it deeply soothing. I think Les Barker has done a lovely poem about it - it may be on YouTube - I can't check from here or I'd give the link,. Yes, I think one of the tests of 'Britishness' is whether or not you love the Shipping Forecast. I remember my father listening to it, though I don't think he ever went to sea in a ship in his life, not even mackerel fishing in a bay.
Like everyone, he just loved the romance and sound of the words. Interesting that the sailors among us - for whom it has a practical purpose - enjoy the poetry just as much.
Great idea, btw, to base the TV weather forecasts on it. You could get resting Shakespearean actors to read it, for quality. What would the land-bound equivalent of the names be?
Caithness, Argyll, Humber, Solway It is indeed sublimely beautiful. I think it also helps that most people hear it very late at night, if at all, so it appears like a benign ghost out of the darkness, when you may be in a half-awake state anyway. It's been praised so much it's almost a cliche to say you love it But the fact that people love it says something very profound, I think.
Imagine, for an awful moment, if Chris Evans or Alan Carr were to be given the job of making the Shipping Forecast into a manic late-night show The horror, the horror. I've always loved it too, despite or perhaps because of the fact that I barely understand a word of it. The mystery, the romance, the suggestion of far-off places and wild weather And I love the Carol Ann Duffy poem too. Lovely post, Sandra. Clearly, the forecast evokes the same sense of magic for you that the two words "Allll aboarrrrrrd! Post a Comment. They can make me shiver, dance, laugh with sheer joy — and none more so than those issued by the Met Office at regular intervals throughout my life.
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I, a total landlubber, have loved listening to the Shipping Forecast ever since I can remember, and long before I had a clue about what it meant. It was like a mysterious poem. First, the quietly authoritative, beautifully modulated voice: Attention all shipping!
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I was stilled by that. Sounds as if it's a marvellous book. Thank you Dianne and Malachy for the kind words.
It's funny you say that the pictures are almost dystopic, when they are real! I very much enjoyed your post, David, and look forward to reading the book too. I spent several years in Aberystwyth studying, so I know the landscape around Borth well! The photographs are so atmospheric. I have a hankering to go back and visit now!
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Good luck with the book. Can't wait to read it! And I should add of course Malachy used to live in the area, for a while in Aberdyfi itself. His own success in writing the children has been an inspiration to me.
He was very kind and giving me good advice during the writing of the book. I'm going back to Borth at the end of this month to give a little talk about the book. Lovely post - I went to school in the shadow of Cader Idris and my parents now live in Aberystwyth. I know what you mean about the magic of that landscape. Cader Idris broods over the surrounding lowland and lakes.