Radio Lento podcast

118 Lullaby sea by Nothe Fort - sleep safe

May 7, 2022

It's the dead of night. Everything still. A panoramic stillness, stretching for miles, across this coastal Dorset landscape. The tide's in, and without the chivvying warmth of day to energise it, the sea has calmed. Calmed, and reduced, into gentle, lullaby rhythms. 

You can feel it ten yards to the left, the sound mirroring presence of the fort. And sense the drop, just a few steps in front, sixty sheer feet or more, down into the water below. With your elbows wedged onto the top stones, peer out. Not with your eyes, with your ears. Peer into the blackness and imagine yourself as night watch. How long can you go before these slow rocking waves rock you to sleep? 

Don't fight it though. Let yourself instead drift into a state of wakeful rest. An uncluttered form of vigilance, with all attention focused onto the rippling surface of the water. This slowly rocking, lullaby sea is filling and emptying, filling and emptying, in perfect aural detail, along the immense stone footings of this old, long-standing south coast sea fort. 

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Nothe Fort was built by the Victorians to protect Portland Harbour and is well worth a visit. With its ramparts, gun decks and underground maze of tunnels the fort is perched at the edge of open tidal water at Weymouth, on the south coast of England.  Our warm and special thanks go to Radio Lento supporters Caz and Tymn for the creation of this episode. They suggested this location for an all-night record, and helped us set up and take down the kit. We're looking forward to returning to this area to capture more as soon as we can. 

If you are wondering how to say Nothe, people from the fort helpfully told us on Twitter than Nothe rhymes with clothe and mauve.

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