Sunday, 2 November 2014

Viewed from the comfort of my armchair.

My father was always an armchair gardener, planning what he would put where and how he would reorganise things; but then other things would get in the way and he would end up just keeping the weeds down and mowing and edging the lawn. As a family we would smile, and pull his leg, about this.   But now I have come to the conclusion that I am an armchair all kinds of things - and not just since I have become less mobile.

The book I remember most from my early teenage years was 'Kurun around the world' which was about a voyage round the world.   It was written by Maurice leToumelin and I sailed every nautical mile with him over and over again.   How I wanted to be there with him.   Or did I, in my heart of hearts?   Even a ride on the swing boats prompted me to awful sickness - imagine a typhoon in mid ocean.  (crossing to the Lofoten islands a few years ago from mainland Norway I was prostrate with sickness).

Armand and Michaela Dennis (remember them?) a few years later, had me gobbling up all their information on African wildlife - I was there with them.  But Africa is not my thing - bugs, creepy crawlies, hard beds, bites from mega-sized midge - a definite no-no.

A book taking me across what was then called Arabia, on horseback - wonderful stuff.   All from the comfort of my armchair.
So today, reading one of my birthday presents from my son -
'Woodsman' by Ben Law, a book in which he tells of making his home in the woodland and building his house there, is again superb reading.  I am enjoying every line.   But do I wish to sleep under a thatch of hazel saplings?  No - I'll stick to letting someone else do that and then telling me about it.
 

14 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

I've enjoyed many adventures from my armchair, too, and for the first time really considered the bugs and the weather.

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm a bit that way too. I love to read about people living the simple life, but I'm afraid I'm addicted to my little luxuries.

donna baker said...

I feel exactly the same way. Through books or the television, I can be there too.

Gwil W said...

Your story reminds me of my schooldays which I found ever so boring . . . Teacher would say Coulmbus discovered America and I, from being a library book addict, would obviously challenge that bit of education, in other subjects too. I often the cane for what was described as 'cheek' , but in reality was a refusal to accept the official line when books such as Eric the Red told me differently. Sadly too many in those days went unthinkingly about the world , and you would think they'd know better wouldn't you. But teachers have a hard job and. They must stick to the examination at end of term agenda.

Gwil W said...

Sorry for the strange punctuation etc.; my iPad preempts me.

Rachel said...

I enjoy my adventures from the comfort of the living room and can take myself across Europe with my Thomas Cook Rail Timetable on my lap without leaving the house. I can be anywhere I like and multiple train changes go without a hitch.

Tom Stephenson said...

I remember loving watching The Glass Mountain when I was a kid. I still love cosying up and watching other people get very uncomfortable.

angryparsnip said...


I do something similar.
When ever I go to a new place or city (by reading about it or visiting) I always look at the beautiful old buildings and figure out what what I would do to a space to live there. Or in the country how I would fix-up a barn or house to live there. So much fun.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

I think you are very wise Pat. It is far better to read of those adventures while you are tucked up in a cosy bed than to endure any of the discomforts that come with adventures. I am rather like your father when it comes to gardening and am definitely an armchair traveller, though it would have been wonderful to have had the opportunity to travel when I was young.

Barbara Womack said...

I'm pretty sure armchair travelling is the only way I'm going to get to most destinations. Actual travel holds absolutely no allure, but I do l enjoy seeing new things.
Your new header is great. Isn't it amazing how similar our surroundings are?
I looked up the book you are reading. What a very interesting man. And, I learned a new term, too.
Thanks for a most interesting post.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

In younger days I walked and camped my way along all of Britain's long distance paths but I always had my emergency kit with me. This consisted of a plastic wallet which contained money for B&B in a pub when necessary!

Cro Magnon said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention Hans and Lotte Hass. They were in there amongst that era's wildlife heros.

Bovey Belle said...

Gosh, a trip down memory lane with Cro Magnon mentioning Hans and Lottie Hass, and your talking about Armand and Michaela Dennis. I always loved Jacques Couseau and his boat Calypso. Happy days.

I am an armchair walker in the winter - I get my maps out and plan all sorts of walks to peaks and hilltops, knowing the likelihood of getting up there unlikely! I just LOVE maps though, and it is good to travel in your mind . . .

The Weaver of Grass said...

Cro and Bovey Belle added even more good memories. Thanks for those.
And comforting to read that most of us are the same - armchairs are the best.