Tuesday, May 01, 2012

do you have a flag?

An excerpt from Into the Silence (Wade Davis), about Mallory and the post-war attempts to climb Everest:

"...they climbed 1,000 feet up a steep rise that led across the moraine and down to the banks of a narrow stream, where, in sight of wild gazelles, they camped in a meadow behind a stone shelter, a mile below a bridge that crossed the river Nazurga. Bullock, cursed all day by a "rotten pony", took solace in the mail, which had arrived that morning: letters from his wife, along with a box of fudge. Mallory found comfort in the fact that he "had foiled the natives, whose aim was to retard our progress."

This is, of course, a prime example of those out on the tip of the spear in expeditions. The brave British Empire heaving loads of baggage by hand across vast unexplored lands. With little hope of survival being they are so very, very far from the safety of...what? Bullock managed to return to camp from a days danger and finds that, thank the Lord, the fudge has arrived? I wouldn't send fudge in this day-and-age, but he's off in throes of Everest and fudge arrives? I hope he sent word back...

The book is what I called slow entertainment: I love exploration and history but I'd like it at a bit quicker pace. Or, failing that, a more interesting writing style - this feels of a slog. I understand we aren't talking wartime here, at least not in the post-WWI portion which took up about the first 150 pages, but someone like Anthony Beevor is a much better writer for my taste. I'll manage, but it may take me as long to get through as it takes them to scale Everest someday, in actual time.

When we were on vacation down yonder we stumbled upon a show called Holmes on Homes which is about some crazy Canuck who goes into homes gone wrong and starts immediately ripping things apart and then fixing them with his crack crew (and peers) of A++++ contractors. His most basic sayings are along the lines of "you can't do it like that", and "don't worry, I'll fix it." We watch an episode on Sundays during pizza night. As new owners - and somewhat renovators - having Holmes get hold of our shitty contractor would be pure gold.

Kids appear alive. Cats appear alive. We work.

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