Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Plus ca change...

My parents came to stay at the weekend and my Dad brought down a shelf-full of novels by John Buchan (he wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps, amongst a host of others). They used to live in the spare room in our old house, and I hadn't seen them for ages.

As always when re-united with books I've not read for years, there was an overwhelming temptation to dive in and re-acquaint myself with them late on Sunday night :-) John Buchan obviously loved the outdoor life, particularly hunting, fishing and stalking, and has some wonderful descriptions of the English and Scottish countryside in the period between the Wars. As I was re-reading, a phrase jumped out at me - some things don't change:

"... Tallis was a master of foxhounds, a mountainy pack, with some of the old shaggy Welsh strain in them, which hunted about a hundred square miles of wild country. The river valley was pockety and swampy but the short bent of the moors made splendid was soft grey weather in which scent lay well and he had several glorious days up on the roof of things. "You never saw such a place", he wrote to me. "Nothing much to lep but you must ride cunning, as on Exmoor, if you want to keep up with hounds. I couldn't keep my eye on them for the scenery. "

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