Friday, May 30, 2008


At the Guardian, Margaret Drabble on the life and work of Enid Bagnold. I must confess that National Velvet was one of my most utterly favorite most-often-reread books of childhood, I must get a copy and read it again as an adult (and I have never read anything else of Bagnold's, that is a pity). I loved that book!

And in fact I think of it very regularly these days, because Velvet's mother pays for the horse's race entrance fee with the sovereigns she received as an award for swimming the Channel as a teenager. (I do not have the book to hand for an exact reference.)

I do not really think I will ever swim the Channel, it would be somewhat beyond what even the most perversely and stubbornly enthusiastic swimmer at my ability level might decide to inflict on herself as a monumental and near-impossible training task, but I like to keep the notion in reserve for a possible future moment when everything else seems insufficiently heroic...


  1. Perhaps one day we will swim the Hellespont instead of the Channel!

  2. Yes indeed! Just as evocative, in a somewhat less painful way, and to 95% of the world, an equally farfetched accomplishment!