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22 thoughts on “Ramblecast: Home”
Thank you Tom. I enjoyed that so much, especially your reflections on the voices in the river, and the idea of a ‘pleasing terror’ being alive in the landscape. It’s true, one never feels worse after a good long walk. It’s just started raining here where I am in Australia, and I can hear voices in this kind of falling water too. Stay warm, Kate
Thanks Kate. I’d love to one day find out what the Australian version of “pleasing terror” in the landscape is, firsthand.
If you ever do get to Adelaide, there’d be a room here for you???
If you’ve ever seen Walkabout or Picnic at Hanging Rock, or read a Fortunate Life or Songlines you probably have some idea of our version, but nothing can quite prepare you for the feeling of stillness that engulfs you in the middle of an ancient desert, or the frightening aloneness of facing an endlessly empty shore line, or the sense of depth alive in a Gondwanan rainforest. As a lover of landscapes, and the layers of time and experience they hold, you would appreciate it. You just visit one day.
You are so right Kate about the engulfing stillness of our landscape here. I’ve been terrified in UK landscapes and Australian and each has its own unique terror. I was on a pre-dawn walk with my dog in the Flinders Ranges a few years ago, I had left my husband and kids in the tent as they aren’t really morning walkers. I hadn’t intended to go far, but the bush is just incredibly quiet at this time, so I just kept going. There was no other human soul around and I sounded embarrassingly loud. I could hear kangaroos thumping their feet to each other across the landscape, communicating to each other about the stupid human and her dog. Just as the sun came up over the red ridge of a hill, the temperature dipped, the birds nearby went silent and I heard a deep and strange sound from the hillside that I will never forget. It wasn’t like an animal sound travelling in the distance, it was like the mountain stirring, almost as if waking up. That’s the only way I can really describe it, but it’s not quite right. It was my dog’s behaviour that scared me because he became skittish and turned to go back. Picnic At Hanging Rock jumped into my head and I suddenly realised I was all alone in a very very vast wilderness. Yet, the sound was also somehow comforting in a way that I can’t really describe.
I like this thread as it’s nice to find others in Australia and Adelaide who are also reading Tom’s writing!
Loved this ! I listened while the rain lashed down outside and i loved hearing the river. Please do more of these !
Great Tom! I may not be young or female but I enjoyed your talk. Would those great hairy things the BBC use on their mikes help in the wind?
Is the Bear no longer with you?
Unfortunately, The Bear died a few years ago. I think Ralph and Roscoe are the only ones left ?
Hi Tom, hello from the Corbieres Hills in the province of Aude in southern France. I really enjoyed the podcasts. I looked up the location of Venford reservoir and kind of located where you were. cheers mate, Frank
You’re so right…you never feel worse after a walk. That simple truth has never occurred to me before, but goes a long stompy way towards explaining why I love walking so much. Here’s to a December full of them ?
So true. I do wish I my husband understood that feeling but he just doesn’t get it; however thinking about it I believe it might be because he’s not into delayed gratification, he’s much easier to coax onto a bike, and of course on a bike you’re rewarded with all those same feelings of wellbeing but they land a lot sooner than when you walk. I did have one day a while ago where I just wasn’t feeling it so did the shortest loop of my usual morning spot and came back; but even then it wasn’t so much about not wanting to walk as wanting to walk much much further than usual and time not being on my side that day.
Loved both parts, thank you. You made me smile and laugh. Thought provoking too and lovely and descriptive. Looking forward to hearing more of them.
Great voice by the way.
Why has it taken me so long to discover these ramblecasts ? I mean, I actually get your notifications but can’t remember getting any about these. I need to dive into your web-site head first and see whst other treadures I’ve missed. loved it. HNY. xx
I love these Ramblecasts, Tom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this ancient landscape. And yes, the rivers and riverlets and leats and streams are ever present, the levels always in various stages of rising and falling. Hearing the river noise in the background reminded me of staying in a cottage in the Coed Y Brenin Forest. The river raged in the gorge below and at night it seemed especially loud, but it was timeless and somehow comforting.
Thank you for that! I do not know Dartmoor at all, but when I see photos or film, it seems very mysterious, brooding and scary. I think you have to be a very strong person to live there, and in tune with nature.
Which you obviously are! Would love more photos and film of where you are and of your walks please?
Hell mouth under the Daily mail made me laugh out loud! I love this ramblecast it’s like I’m there and I can see what you’re seeing. Water definitely talks even in it’s still silence. I went for a swim walk in the eastern fells in Cumbria today we even got a visit from the light bulb in the sky . We had a babbling beck and still silence of deep tarns then a roar of a waterfall. Hope you’re tucked up with Ralph and Roscoe and a fire. Thanks for sharing C
Hi Tom, I listened to this on my phone whilst lying in bed this morning. A lovely way to start the day, although your description of ‘pleasing terror’ manifested itself in a very strange way for me… My phone was on the bedside table, next to my Alexa speaker. I didn’t say anything, I was listening to you speak. Suddenly my Alexa announced “I added brown jeans to your shopping list”. What. The. F**k?!! ?? I’m now going to listen to the rest of your ramblecasts, out of earshot of all Alexa devices! All the best to you, Ralph and the CEO xx
“To allow between 13 and 17 people worldwide to listen to this broadcast”.
Oh Tom, that really made me chuckle! Listening to your gentle musings has made my Monday morning return to work (albeit working from home) much more pleasant. I wish I was brave enough to break away from the daily grind like you as, despite the undeniable reliance on “progress”, I’m always happiest in nature.
That “pleasing terror” is also a reason I enjoy pre-dawn walking so much. The feeling is not always scary, but even an ordinary field-corner has a mysterious and not altogether benign identity it stops having in full daylight…
I’m enjoying the ramblecasts. Adding to others here who’ve said they’d like to hear more.
Please Tom can we have more ramblecasts and an up to date list of your furry friends?
I like that phrase ‘pleasing terror’. I used to feel a bit like that when walking on Kinder Scout, or once on a walk on Bodmin, when we got very lost! I was rocking the brown jeans look after that walk, in a couple of senses. Enjoy your new home x
Loving these ramblecasts. I’m poorly this week and slipping in and out of sleep all the time and it’s all very soothing to listen to you (I also have the Yokel audiobook) whilst doing so. Especially the river accompaniment.
Also, as a long time single person, I increasingly find your writing and ramblings are like having a very cool, intelligent and lovely boyfriend, but without all the awful messy, nasty stuff that inevitably accompanies any relationships I’ve had. Thank you.