July 2nd Saturday. A gorgeous afternoon after the rain, and got Ray to take us all down to Mill Hamlet. Really lovely down there, the tide full in, big puffy clouds in a clear blue sky feathered with ‘Mares tails’, we could see the waves breaking white in the harbour mouth a couple of miles away. Think Ray enjoyed it quite as much as we did. Letter from Jeremy H .
Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category
July 10th Sunday. Nice peaceful day, the first for ages.
July 1st Friday. Wet and miserable start to the month, but clearing up to a lovely afternoon later. G and J for tea.
June 30th Thursday. A pile of Catraeth stuff from DE; most of it alas, no good, but a noble effort on his part.
One of the pleasures of curating this blog about Rosemary Sutcliff, the eminent historical novelist and children’s writer (who regular readers will know was a close, much-loved relative of mine) is the contributions you readers make by way of ‘comments’ on particular posts, and also the ‘You Write!’ tab. A recent 1988 diary entry mentioned Catraeth. Jane mused about Catterick camp and Jane picked up the baton:
The Catterick Garrison is still in operation – it’s the largest BritIsh Army garrison in the world.
The old Roman fort of Cataractonium will be familiar to those who’ve read The Shining Company – it’s the setting for the last desperate stand of the Company against the Saxon forces of Aethelfrith, Lord of Bernicia and Deira.“Catreath, Cataractonium as the Romans had called it, was a double cohort fort, and so there was room enough for all of us within the crumbling defences.”
Cataractonium’s marching camp also makes an appearance: “And so, with the forest reaching up towards us, we came to the remains of yet one more fort in that land of lost forts, and made our last night’s camp. It was not much of a fort, maybe only a permanent marching camp in its time, and being on the edge of the forest country the wild had taken it back more completely than those of the high moors…. little remained of the buildings but turf hummocks and bramble domes”.
Although it isn’t one of the Aquila family sequence, there’s one of those “aha” moments in Shining Company which readers of Sutcliff work enjoy – a connection made with Frontier Wolf (set a couple of centuries earlier) when young Prosper and a couple of companions out on a training exercise camp at the (now ruined) Cramond fort where the action in Frontier Wolf takes place. Sutcliff uses the linking device very effectively as a way of emphasizing continuity.
And ,of course, as well as making me wiser about Catterick and Catraeth, and reminding me of Frontier Wolf , this prompts me to ask all you readers and contributors – regular and occasional – please do tell us some more “Aha” moments …
June 28th Tuesday. M for the afternoon. Joan brought back the Merlin book from Chi. It looks superb.
June 27th Monday. G and J watching Wimbledon.