Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waterlog by Roger Deakin

Subtitled "A swimmer's journey through Britain", this book charts the author's experiences swimming outdoors across the country. Not for Deakin the comforts of the municipal outdoor pool - he swims in untamed waters such as the River Avon, the Granta and Hell Gill. Foolhardy? Maybe. Brave? Perhaps.

Deakin's writing describes the fear and the exaltation of swimming outdoors. He describes the beauty of the natural world but also explains how once these were the only places to swim, and the modern culture of rosk-avoidance has robbed us all of these enriching experiences.

As a travelogue, as a nature guide, as a celelbration of the eccentric I heartily recommend this book. Roger Deakin's death in 2006 was a great loss.

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