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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.

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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.

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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?

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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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  7. I was stilled by that. Sounds as if it's a marvellous book. Thank you Dianne and Malachy for the kind words.

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    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.

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    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.