Holiday reading

More and more I find myself re-reading old favourites. Is this a sign of age? Decided it was time for Susan Howatch again so I am re-visiting Scandalous Risks. It’s an extraordinary exploration of spirituality and psychic experience – just to remind me of how exciting my life in the rarified atmosphere of the church really is, although I don’t notice. I’m also a dipper-in. Picked up one of those tiny extracts as we were moving house – Joshua Slocum’s book about his circumnavigation in Spray around 1896. This is the bit where he rounds the Horn. It is amazing to think of him doing it alone and without GPS, decent weather forcasts, synthetic ropes, stainless steel rigging, bottled gas … And, just to complete the sailing theme, I am always dipping in at random to the Arthur Ransome Swallows and Amazons series – just to revisit calm, untroubled childhood. The first one begins with the classic scene of Roger pretending to be a yacht tacking back and forth up the field to Holly Howe while his mother waits at the top ever more impatiently. It reminds me of childhood sailing on the lakes in Fermanagh.