Night Thoughts

Revisiting an old friend


I’m not much of a night-owl when I’m in company. While other musicians head for the late-night jam, I head for bed. I’m the guy asleep in the corner of the sofa at parties.

So it’s strange, perhaps, that I love the night. Yet I do.

As darkness falls, the visual world is stripped of its third dimension. A stand of eucalypts becomes a flat silhouette in black paper. Is that pinprick of light a few feet away, or half a mile?

Conversely, sound gains depth as the white noise of daytime fades. The dog barking to its fellows over at the next farmhouse; the insistent chirp of crickets in the brush; the squeal of tyres as bored teenagers run the gauntlet out on the highway. Noises that tell of goings-on beyond my vision and my knowing.

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On the water

Being on the water is special. Particularly in a sailing boat, kayak or canoe, you can glide along (almost) effortlessly and silently. It gives you time to enjoy the babble of the water, the song of birds, maybe dolphins playing in your bow wave or fish just visible in the deep.

I’ve sailed and paddled coastal waters, lakes and rivers in the UK, in the Baltic and in the Ionian Sea and around Victoria, Australia. It’s just magical. To be able to move across this beautiful, alien, sometimes terrifying element through your own skill, but always by the grace of a primal power which can put you, an insignificant human, in your place – there’s nothing better.

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