Dialect X/Waterland 2

Sunday, 10th January

Swans (3 Different Ones)

At the lake for more recording, a cold but beautifully clear day. The sun bright, with enough of a haze to make your photographs look extra special. Due to the new Lockdown I was the only person there, apart from a couple of dog walkers.

The wind was low enough to avoid microphone noise, but too low to generate any of the cable rattling that sounds quite sinister on playback, when you have no context and have to imagine what it is. Recorded some miscellaneous birds and some fighting moor hens. Even on a quiet Sunday morning regular car and aeroplane noise.

Three swans passed, one after the other. The first gliding serenely, the second in great pulses of effort, as though it were doing the breast stroke, the third coughing.

Dialect X/Waterland 1

3rd January 2021

An attempt at a panorama shot of Waterland

My first official visit to Lake 32/Waterland yesterday as Writer in Residence for January. A 15 minute cycle from home down the Quiet Lane, even quieter now it’s been sealed off with concrete blocks at both ends.

The threatened rain didn’t appear and I had the place almost to myself as I missed the early rush of outdoor swimmers when the centre opened at 8am. So, a first reconnaissance and a chance to work on some character and story ideas in situ. I walked around the entire lake recording what I could (despite a fair amount of wind noise), a few coots, some intriguing water sounds and the oddly sinister rattle of cables against yacht masts.

Everywhere had closed by the time I finished my circuit so I had the added fun of hauling my bike over the locked gate at Cotswold Water Park, my own fault for not checking the times before I set off.

Most of the recordings pretty much useless due to wind noise, so my first task is to buy get a proper ‘dead cat’ wind shield for recording outside.