A Week With Words (9)

To paraphrase, it’s been a week of two halves*. Up till Wednesday, I kept up with my daily reading schedule.

Since then, however, and with the honourable exception of David Hogarth’s Devia Cypria, I haven’t.

Reasons? Well, this week I started writing my novel for forty minutes in the morning (instead of the 20 minutes plus whatever time I had left over to add on before heading off to work), which meant that reading had to wait till lunch time or – more likely – the evening when, sadly, I have let myself be distracted.

That’s unfortunate, but not to worry. Looking at it positively, I now have a reason to try harder in this coming week.

On Going Books

As I Walked Out Through Spain in Search of Laurie Lee
P D Murphy

A big surprise this week – Murphy abandoned his walk across Spain in search of Laurie Lee.

I had embarked on this journey to reawaken some of the senses that seemed to have deserted me. I had felt numb for so long, not trusting my ability to deal with complex, deep emotion. I had gradually allowed myself to begin to feel a sense of hope that all could be well again, anger at what I was seeing in Spain, an attraction to a woman. I had been damaged by the rejection of my wife, the sudden ending of a career. Other people had lost faith in me. Now, I faced the real prospect that I had lost faith in myself, with the values I had lived my life by.

This is not so good. I left the book with Murphy in Ireland – he could not bare to return home just yet, and no wonder. What will happen next? Well, obviously he lived to tell the tale as we have the book but did he return to Spain?

The Lord of the Rings
J R R Tolkien

The Council of Elrond has started but still no sign of Tom Bombadil’s Elvish name!

The Ariadne Objective
Wes Davis

When Patrick Leigh Fermor first arrived in Crete to help organise the Cretan resistance to the Nazis, he met another SOE agent, Xan Fielding.

It was agreed between the two men that Leigh Fermor would take over Fielding’s territory while the latter took some leave in Egypt.

Before Fielding left, the two discussed

… information about the mission. There was one audacious idea in particular that Fielding had been mulling over. What about kidnapping General Andrae and holding him hostage?

Thus was an idea formed. In the end, of course, it would not be Andrae who was seized but General Kreipe.

While we wait for the kidnap to take place, I’l like to mention another SOE agent in Crete – John Pendlebury. Prior to the war, he was an academic. The war turned him not only into a highly effective guerilla but an inspiration. After Pendlebury was killed, Leigh Fermor noticed that fresh flowers were placed on his grave every day. He is definitely someone I’d like to read more about.

* The paraphrase comes from one of the many football related cliches that we have in Britain, one of which is that a team plays well in one half and badly in the other, the manager or reporter will say that ‘it was a game of two halves’

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This entry was posted in Twentieth Century History, Twentieth Century Literature, Twenty First Century Literature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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