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Regular reader might be aware of a rather wonderful website called Caught by the River.

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It’s a website that well worth a browse. It began in summer 2007 and set out to be a celebration of a handful of passions shared by the people who created it. These included angling, music, books, films, nature and pubs to name a few. In the time since their first postings the nature of the site has changed somewhat. It now encompasses everything from watching birds and urban rambling to poetry, art, gardening and the ever-expanding literature of landscape genre. It also has a lively social element where – with generous spirit – ideas are shared, and where there’s an healthy exchange of (often arcane) knowledge, an ‘opening of doors’ if you like into other people’s passions. At their regular social events you get a chance to listen to some wonderful speakers, hear good music and watch dazzling documentary films.

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The Caught by the River April Social was a typically eclectic affair and included:

  • Charles Rangeley-Wilson in conversation with John Andrews (of Arcadia) and reading from his recently published book, Silt Road.
  • Phantom Fields and Ghost Squadrons: photographer Neil R. Thomson presenting a talk and slideshow on the subject of The Lost Airfields of England.
  • Poems from poet-in-residence Will Burns
  • A screening of Second Sight, a film by Alison McAlpine. A cinematic non-fiction ghost story. An evocative personal tale featuring the last generation of Gaellic storytellers on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.

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    Piccadilly Circus, 7.00pm 30.04.13
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The Queens Head, Denman Street – a cracklingly good pub…
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The upstairs room and venue for the Social…
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The crowd waiting for proceedings to begin…

Having said all that, you might wonder what on earth all this has to do with owning a boat! Well, I think what unites so much of the eclectic mix that’s celebrated on the Caught by the River website is the collective desire of each of us to find our own little piece of paradise. Whether that be through fishing, walking, writing or in my case through owning, experiencing and learning about our old boat Eileen. For me, owning a boat brings my search for my bit of paradise just a little closer. If you get a moment I think the website’s worth a look, and the socials are an excellent night out too!

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