What a splendid cove

Meanwhile, back by the lake…

“What a splendid cove,” said Captain John.
“It’s one of our most private haunts,” said Captain Nancy. “Altogether free of natives. The road’s miles away on the other side of the woods. No one ever comes here except us, and no one can see we’re here, even from the water, unless they happen to look right in.
They made their fire and boiled their kettle by the side of the little beck, noisy after the nights rains. The jetsam on the shore was very wet, but in the woods they found a few dry sticks here and there. They started the fire with a handful of dry moss. It was not easy to get it lit, but, once it was lit, the fire burned well enough to boil the kettle. Here, away from the island, they spent their last day, until Captain Nancy noticed that the lake was nearly calm.
“It’s going to take a long time to sail home,” she said. “What orders Commodore?”

…and so their first summer on the lake has ended. Capain John, Mate Susan, Able-seaman Titty, and boy Roger have to finish their holiday and leave their new piratical friends “The Amazons” – Captain Nancy and Mate Peggy – behind.

But luckily there’s a second book, “Swallowdale” and we continue devouring these Lake District adventures! In fact somehow my set of paperbacks from when I was eight or nine have survived.

I read in wikipedia: Peter Hunt has stated that the series “…changed British literature, affected a whole generation’s view of holidays, helped to create the national image of the English Lake District and added Arthur Ransome’s name to the select list of classic British children’s authors.

It must be more than one generation who had their holiday tastes affected, and I wonder if my taste for lonely wildish places was influenced by the books? I certainly loved them as much as Sam seems to be now.


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