His style is lyrical but straightforward, and he wanders off topic far less than I was expecting from a book with such a nebulous central theme. Roger Deakin wrote beautifully but, unless you are a wild swimmer yourself, you may find some of the detail extraneous. His father was a railway clerk, from in the Midlands, who died when Deakin was 17. I admired his effortless harmony with the natural world, his role as sharp-eyed observer of the landscape, the wisdom with which he processed those observations, and the poetry of his writing. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain. If you are an avid water dog, you know what that is.
Context and temperature might vary, but surely there is not a lot else to say. My stress levels were always high and I felt as if I was always on red alert. One thing I certainly appreciated is his sense of total awareness of his surroundings as he is living in the moment, something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. I had heard of Waterlog. When staying in Somerset, my host took me through the hedge into the back garden of a staggeringly expensive but apparently unoccupied mansion to swim in the river bordering its grounds.
The photography accompanying the book is beautiful too. Most of them can swim a mile in open water. Over the course of a year, Deakin travelled around the country, swimming in lakes, pools, rivers and lidos. Thank you to Robert McFarland who turned me onto this book via Landmarks which is also lovely. It is unthinkable to wonder where I might be now if I had not, by chance, been given Waterlog. With reference to the writer and naturalist Robert Burton, he talks more about aquatic traits, explaining the difference in swim style between the doggy paddling mink and the whale tail type flick of the otter's body as well as the placement of the main sense organs above the plimsol line of the head of the otter in water are features which distinguish the otter as more naturally water borne. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves to be inspired by good adventure, and would love to immerse themselves in cold clear wild waters.
Round-Britain narratives all too often generate a lot of hot air about the state of the nation or dwell ponderously on scenes presented in a common slippage as typically 'English', usually nostalgic for a rural past that is fast disappearing. His farmhouse moat was a strip of water rather than a ring, in which Deakin routinely swam a mile in all weathers, every day, except when the moat was actually frozen over. This is one of my all-time favourite books. To view it, Completely loved this book from the beginning. It describes a series of journeys across the globe that Deakin made to meet people whose lives are intimately connected to trees and wood. When reading this book I was so enthused by his personality that I looked him up, and found that he died in 2006, to my great sorrow. The Haunts of the Black Masseur — Charles Sprawson From a literary perspective this might just be the best book about swimming ever written.
Roger Deakin is clearly an eccentric, but also an endearingly down-to-earth man. As was first described in his blog, and subsequently in this book, along the way Minihane gets into a few scrapes and has to overcome issues with anxiety. This archive will capture what it was like to be a passionate, engaged, subversive country intellectual living through a time of profound change. Outwitting the authorities where he sees no good reason for overbearing rules and regulations, are what makes this book an invigorating read, and an inspiration in how to circumvent bureaucracy politely. This book is fascinating, and looking back I can definitely see his influence on Macfarlane's work. Roger Deakin set out in 1996 to swim through the British Isles. I rounded a bend, and there, on a promontory between the river channel and an adjoining ditch a white egret was poised, luminous in the dusk.
For a moment I gazed at it, and it gazed at me, before it opened its wings — as wide as the river — and flapped away, turning upstream, weaving through the willows and alders into the hazy evening river mist until it was gone. The group dynamic helped to stop the worst aspects of my loneliness. I swam alongside her with my head out. When he tells of the saving of Moseley swimming baths in Birmingham, it is easy to appreciate his sense of gladness, whilst his disheartenment at the closure of many public baths and lidos and also a policing of open water which restricts freedom to swim at times is also apparent. He is a passionate nature lover and f Completely loved this book from the beginning. There is much in my life I can thank Roger Deakin for 17th September 2016 There is much in my life I can thank Roger Deakin for. Following this, he taught French and English at for three years.
A rightness with the world. Needless to say my favourite chapters covered areas familiar from my own upbringing and experience, so there is probably something here for everyone to enjoy. He has his own moat in which he swims regularly, with great humility and joy, and it is out of this joy that he hatches the plan to swim his way around the country. Upon her return from a festival, my mother held out a brown paper bag to me, with a strange reluctance. The song of the wood pigeon is compared to Charlie Parker playing 'Peanuts'. However he drew me in, at times beautiful, at others exciting, and sometimes just quirky.
It is very appropriate that Roger's papers will remain within his beloved East Anglia. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. He lived for thirty-eight years in a moated farmhouse in Suffolk. It's impossible not to fall in love with them. I nearly drowned from laughing. Apparently this was brought to Britain in the nineteenth century by a Mr Trudgen, who had learned the style from South American natives, and caused a sensation in a swimming race in 1873, which he won with a combination of overarm strokes and frog-kicking legs. So many episodes stay in the mind, with my particular favourites being those where Deakin traces the history of swimming clubs in the area.
In 1968 he bought an Elizabethan moated farmhouse on the edge of Mellis Common, near Diss where he lived until his death from a brain tumour, first diagnosed only four months before his death. I discovered that entering an open, wild body of water calmed me in a way I had never experienced before. Now that summer is fast approaching, guest writer Ashley Norris of picks his top 10 favourite books and novels all about swimming…. Educated at , an , based at the time in in north west London, followed by , , Deakin read English, under the auspices of writer. At first I wasn't sure if I could cope with his eccentricities. Roger Deakin set out in 1996 to swim through the British Isles.