InRoger Deakin, The Late, Great Nature Writer, Set Out To Swim Through The British Isles 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 Suicide 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 This Is A Personal Journey, A Bold Assertion Of The Native Swimmer S Right To Roam, And An Unforgettable Celebration Of The Magic Of Water

7 thoughts on “Waterlog

  1. says:

    The subtitle a swimmer s journey through Britain made me cautious 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.Waterlog slips into this mode once or twice, but I was pleased to find that this book is not about Britain or England at all On the contrary, it brings a modern and cosmopolitan sensibility to the subject of swimming specifically wild swimming in places not made convenient or safe for recreational immersion , although he does visit purpose built facilities too, from village pools to municipal baths in the city.Deakin writes very effectively about the sensual and convivial experience of swimming, especially the intimacy with wildlife that it can afford He also makes a passionate case against those private and public bodies that make spontaneous, non profit swimming an option for only the most daring and enterprising individuals The meandering course of his journey which defiantly refuses to conform the conventionally planned tour is richly flavoured with a wealth of trivia and anecdotes about swimming in unusual places.The narrative is punctuated by several epic projects, which required careful planning and assistance West Loch Tarbert, the Medway estuary and considered, but eventually abandoned the Corryvrechan whirlpool but what matters most is the intensity of the moment The great thing about an aimless swim is that everything about it is concentrated in the here and now none of its essence or intensity can escape into the past or future The swimmer is content to be borne on his way full of mysteries, doubts and uncertainties He is a leaf on the stream, free at last from his petty little purposes in life Again and again, his descriptions lift you out of the ordinary If he occasionally yearns for the era of Pullman coaches or wistfully evokes a billiard room or quotes Thomas Hardy, this is a Britain that is mostly seen through an international lens The song of the wood pigeon is compared to Charlie Parker playing Peanuts In the Helford River in Cornwall Deakin s reference points are the Louisiana bayous and the Limpopo The Little Ouse reminds him of the lush palm groves of the Draa Valley south of Marrakesh In Malham, he writes, I could have been in California And of course the inspiration for the whole thing was John Cheever s story about a man making his way home from a party on Long Island, furtively dipping in all the pools along the way an exercise he duplicates most closely at the book s end as he joins up all the swimmable water between his house in Suffolk and the sea at Walberswick, twenty five miles away

  2. says:

    Just a perfect book to not only read, but to inspire you to do I swam throughout September and October in open water in all weathers because of this book Roger Deakin wasn t eccentric, he was a man who wanted to experience water, and it comes across so well in this book I loved reading it, then swimming.

  3. says:

    Easy to read This is a book loaded with information but presented in an easy to read way I have read this book a few times now and it always makes me feel good like a walk in the woods Rogers style is like a friendly chat about local histories and areas around the UK, with an infectious desire for wild swimming, the love of pure nature and wild places Highly recommended.

  4. says:

    Beautifully written, this an emotional and descriptive book, nominally about swimming, but accurately an autobiographical account of Roger Deakin s journeys around the UK.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.

  5. says:

    Ever since watching Alice Roberts Wild Swimming , I decided to purchase a copy of this wonderful book I m glad i did It is not only about swimming in out of the way places, it reminds and reveals to us that what a beautiful country we live in and not take for granted what we are told but go see for ourselves Roger Deakin is a truly inspirational man and it was a sad losswhen 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.

  6. says:

    The title is misleading in that he spends a vast portion of the book in the south east of Britain Considering he exclaims that Yorkshire is his favourite place to swim he spends a disappointingly short period there Some chapters are outstandingly wonderful and poetic whilst others are hard not to drift off during Although this isn t the widely recognised opinion I prefer Wildwood.

  7. says:

    I came to Roger Deakin s Waterlog with high hopes, having loved watery places and swimming since I was small and having heard about his fine writing I am not disappointed This is a beautifully written and passionate book written in the form of a diary and it describes Deakin s explorations of rivers, pools, lidos, tarns and, of course, the sea He even swims in a subterranean cave And thinks repeatedly of tackling the Corryvreckan whirlpool off the Hebrides.He is intrepid and meditative at the same time And takes a dip every now and then in his own moat in Suffolk, a place I would have thought very weedy but apparently not 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.