Radio Lento podcast

121 On Portland Bill

May 28, 2022

At the edge of a craggy rock promontory, near the giant lighthouse, there's strong sea wind, and an old rusted crane. Past the collection of weather-beaten fishing huts. Off the footpath. And beyond where the land is safe to walk. 

The view here, of a panoramic sunlit sea, is both wild and precarious. It urges the venturer to resist reaching down to touch the water. Touch and so connect, with whatever the mysterious energy is, that's powering the dance of the deep water waves. Folly, it says. Step back, it says, and rest upon the old rusted crane. Spend a little time here. Half an hour should do it. Use your ears to read the water. Use time. 

The pointed shape of this craggy section of rock steers the incoming swell into natural inlets, to the left, and to the right. Wild water slaps and splatters against the worn stone. Gusting sometimes strongly, the onshore breeze swings a loose part on the crane, somewhere above where the microphones are attached, making a delicate metallic chink. Over time, and from some way out to sea, an ocean going vessel slowly, and benevolently, hums by.

We captured this segment of time near the lighthouse on Portland Bill last month. Cloudy conditions had persisted through the day but by the time we'd found the right location to record the sky had turned to blue and the sun was shining strongly.

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