Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain Paperback – 18 May 2000
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"A delicious, cleansing, funny, wise and joyful book, so wonderfully full of energy and life. I loved it" (Jane Gardam)
"Highly entertaining...Waterlog is a book about a cold, wet subject written with a warmth and passion it surely deserves, but has rarely had before" (Guardian)
"A wonderful and romantic tale told by a true English eccentric...think Ratty, think Mole, think three men falling out of a boat...enchanting" (Michele Roberts Financial Times)
"A travel book like no other, it is rich and deep with insights on modern Britain" (The Independent)
Roger Deakin set out in 1996 to swim through the British Isles. The result a uniquely personal view of an island race and a people with a deep affinity for water. 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. Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicude on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, he discovers just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens. Encompassing cultural history, autobiography, travel writing and natural history, "Waterlog" is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.See all Product description
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Deakin is described by Wikipedia as "a writer, documentary-maker and environmentalist". Clearly an adventurous character, the book describes his experiences of wild camping, swimming and exploring places as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales, Cornwall, the Scotland Islands and Essex. This is not a book of superfluous words, but compelling details, coming together to create one of the finest books I have read in recent years.
when he passed away. This book inspires and and urges you to seek out and experience the magical and spiritual elements of our wonderful land. Living in South Devon i have Dartmoor on my doorstep as well as Cornwall and have enjoyed some of the locations Deakin mentions in his book. I am planning on further trips into Cornwall and would urge anyone who has thought about swimming in the plunge pool or small rocky cove or bay to do it! It is a fantastic experience, very spiritual.
The book is also humourous and his descriptions are delightful.
I thoroughly recommend Rogers book to anyone who has a yearning for the outdoors and seeking the quaint and out of the way places.
Deakin obviously loved his subject. The book is rich in anecdote and history both social and natural. It is never dry and never pretentious. One of the many joys is the description of the other water-lovers, tarn-lovers, lido-enthusiasts and sea-freaks whom Deakin encountered on his travels.
Am now itching to read WILDWOOD by the same author.
The most evocative sentence I've read in a long time concludes page 2: "In the night sea at Walberswick I have seen bodies fiery with phosphorescent plankton striking through the neon waves like dragons."
And Deakin continues for 335 pages with the clarity, rhythm and unstoppable grace of a swimmer in clear water, and plenty of humour too. You don't have to be keen on wild swimming to appreciate this book, it describes a completely original view of our country, a frog's eye view.