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'Hand (man) wanted for long voyage in small boat. No pay, no prospects, not much pleasure.' So read the crew notice placed in the personal column of The Times by H.W. 'Bill' Tilman in the spring of 1959. This approach to selecting volunteers for a year-long voyage of 20,000 miles brought mixed seafaring experience: 'Osborne had crossed the Atlantic fifty-one times in the Queen Mary, playing double bass in the ship's orchestra'. With unclimbed ice-capped peaks and anchorages that could at best be described as challenging, the Southern Ocean island groups of Crozet and Kerguelen provided obvious destinations for Tilman and his fifty-year-old wooden pilot cutter Mischief. His previous attempt to land in the Crozet Islands had been abandoned when their only means of landing was carried away by a severe storm in the Southern Ocean. Back at Lymington, a survey of the ship uncovered serious Teredo worm damage. Tilman, undeterred, sold his car to fund the rebuilding work and began planning his third sailing expedition to the southern hemisphere. Mischief among the Penguins (1961), Tilman's account of landfalls on these tiny remote volcanic islands, bears testament to the development of his ocean navigation skills and seamanship. The accounts of the island anchorages, their snow-covered heights, geology and in particular the flora and fauna pay tribute to the varied interests and ingenuity of Mischief's crew, not least after several months at sea when food supplies needed to be eked out. Tilman's writing style, rich with informative and entertaining quotations, highlights the lessons learned with typical self-deprecating humour, while playing down the immensity of his achievements.
Generations of children and their parents have delighted in Arthur Ransome's `Swallows and Amazons' books, but one of them stands out from the rest as being of a different order altogether. "We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea" is both larger of theme and tighter of plot; it is a rite-of-passage tale quite unlike the others, and in describing the experiences of its protagonist John it illuminates much of Ransome's own psychology. "Good Little Ship" is a blend of literary criticism, maritime history and sheer celebration. Peter Willis combines an analysis of a classic of maritime literature ("a book of which Conrad would have been proud" - Hugh Brogan) with the story of the "Nancy Blackett", Ransome's own boat which appears as the "Goblin" in his story. He describes her life, near-death and restoration, and her renaissance as an ambassador for Ransome and his tales.
A fresh new look brings this parenting classic up-to-date for a new generation of mothers and mothers-to-be. Taking an irreverent and humorous look at the trials and tribulations of motherhood, Radio 4's Libby Purves has created an invaluable survival guide so that even the most unpromising madonna can cope with the baby years. This is a parenting book with a difference- rather than a serious tome laying down the law, Libby Purves' lighthearted book shamelessly describes how to cut the corners and bend the rules that never mattered much anyway. Forget the other parenting books that hide the real truth- this is the true battle manual for mothers on the front line! This timeless guide to coping with motherhood has been revised, bringing it up-to-date for a whole new generation of mothers and mothers-to-be. Based on Libby Purves' own experience of domestic havoc with two babies and on the wit and wisdom of fifty like-minded mothers, this motherhood companion guide is full of down-to-earth tips and hilarious anecdotes. Topics covered include pregnancy, preschoolers, sibling fights, fraught outings, nannies and careers. This is an invaluable guide to being an imperfect mother- and, more importantly, enjoying it.
In this small masterpiece of unrequited love, Henry James, as in his greatest novels, depicts a moral consciousness torn between emotional impulses and the demands of society. Working in a post office in Mayfair, a young woman is exposed to the cryptic but alluring correspondence of the social elite, and in particular, to lines written by the dashing Captain Everard. As she memorizes the messages he telegraphs, she becomes increasingly attracted to the life described to her, fixated by scandal and gossip a world apart from her ordinary existence.
A stunning glimpse of some of Britain's finest coastline, from the granite columns of the Giant's Causeway on the Northern Irish coast and the rocky cliffs of Wales and South West England to the great open horizons of the East Anglian shore. However, this is not just a celebration of Britain's beauty, but an investigation into the preservation and maintenance of the UK's coastline. The Trust owns a remarkable amount of coastline, looking after it not only as a landlord and at times a harbourmaster, but caring for natural habitats, archaeological sites and historic buildings. Here is a chance to view some of the most unforgettable images of, and discover less-known truths about, our extraordinary coastline.
Robert Poste's child is back at Cold Comfort Farm. But all is not
well. Flora finds the farm transformed into a twee haven filled
with Toby jugs and peasant pottery, and rooms labeled 'Quiete
Retreate' and 'Greate laundrie.' It is, Flora winces, 'exactly like
being locked in the Victoria and Albert Museum after closing time'.
'Family love is one of the most powerful elemental forces on earth, and at that moment, our last moment as a unit of three, we rode a great curling triumphant wave of it, all together. Death may have thought that he won, but I think otherwise.' There is no right way to deal with the loss of a beloved son. Marion and Tom are doing their dignified best, but their own relationship is taking a battering. So when a fierce, strange woman turns up and demands to see the dead boy, Marion is almost glad of the distraction. Against Tom's wishes, she determines to find out more about her son's life away from home. The quest takes her out of her comfortable, conventional world to a shabby office in East London, and a series of shocks. Tom, furious, finds his own solution, and amid scandal, sorrow and exaltation the quiet Middle-Englanders discover that there is more than one kind of family.
Libby Purves puts her finger right on the nub of what makes cruising so enjoyable, so amusing and so exasperating in her popular column in Yachting Monthly. By popular request, this book gathers together the best of that column.
What happens if I drop an ant? What books are bad for you? What percentage of the world's water is contained in a cow? The Oxbridge undergraduate interviews are infamous for their unique ways of assessing candidates, and from these peculiar enquiries, professors can tell just how smart you really are. John Farndon has collected together 75 of the most intriguing questions taken from actual admission interviews and gives full answers to each, taking the reader through the fascinating histories, philosophies, sciences and arts that underlie each problem. This is a book for everyone who likes to think they're clever, or who thinks they'd like to be clever. And cleverness is not just knowing stuff, it's how laterally, deeply and interestingly you can bend your brain. Guesstimating the population of Croydon, for example, opens a chain of thought from which you can predict the strength of a nuclear bomb ...and that's just the start of it.
This lively selection brings together journalist and broadcaster Libby Purvesa (TM) experiences as journalist, parent, governor and former pupil of half a dozen assorted schools from Bangkok to Tunbridge Wells, displaying her eclectic and provocative opinions and ideas on teaching and learning. This collection of the best of her writing in the Times Educational Supplement covers - sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes mockingly - everything from national policy to the eccentricities of headteachers and the limitations of IT.
Education professionals over the years have received her outsider view with enthusiasm, laughter, inspiration and occasional fury. From ministerial madness to the pitfalls of uniform and the vagaries of teenagers, this book is dedicated to the amusement of a cadre of professionals Libby once planned to join, until she lost her nerve. It is dedicated, with thanks and admiration, to all teachers.
Henry is a radio DJ: young hip and single, but fretting about his little son. Philip is an ex-MP, ruined by scandal and disowned by his party; Diana, his long-suffering wife, is struggling to find a life of her own. Marianne is three stone overweight after glumly replacing her husband with chocolate eclairs and gin. Lizzie is battling with illness and trying not to think about it. Into their lives, by accident, comes Eva: a naive and happy Polish backpacker working her way round Europe. As the values of their comfortable world clash with those of emerging Eastern Europe, the five English characters find comedy, tragedy and romance unfolding with bewildering speed.
This is a reading by Libby Purves, BBC Radio Four presenter, of her own novel. It tells the story of a wife and mother who abandons her home to run away to sea.
When Roy Keaney is made redundant by his own son on his 50th birthday, he watches as his family and finances crumble. His wife Helen casts around for a rebellious gesture of her own, and in finding one she accidentally solves other problems.
Sarah Penn and Maggie Reave are sisters, who are very different. Sarah has married kind, reliable Leo and settled contentedly into small-town life. Maggie, light-hearted and footloose, has spent fifteen years drifting round the world with a backpack. Now Maggie has come home, to a dank, dull British winter. Just for a few months, she says, while she learns Chinese for the next expedition. The Penn children are delighted: the boys revel in her tales of pamperos and pythons, and anxious fifteen-year-old Samantha is only too glad to have someone to help her with a pregnancy test. Even Leo, struggling with a precarious family bookshop, finds a use for his wayward sister-in-law. Fate, however, has an unexpected adventure in store; it rocks the whole family, bringing up dark shadows from their common past, and confronts Maggie with the hardest decision of her life.
Catherine, Caroline, Toby and Mark are a diplomat's children whose childhood homes were wherever their father was posted. Now they are successful adults with their own lives, but when Toby goes missing, his brothers and sisters are jolted into making angry, anxious journeys to try and find him.
Anansi, child of council care and parental carelessness, is cast up for the summer in a Suffolk town, between sea and muddy river. Her hosts' complacency and her own demons drive her to torpedo its peace with a well-timed revelation about what she saw in the old Martello Tower.
Six humorous farmyard stories containing real farming facts. Old Albert is a farmer who likes to farm the traditional way with carthorses, not tractors. His son, Oliver, is determined to do things the modern way. Find out how the animals manage to keep things going their way
What makes a wife and mother, pillar of the community and partner in a cosy tea shop, suddenly run away to sea, alone? Joanna hardly knows herself. But as she moves along the coast of Britain, Joanna finds that if you make a voyage into your own past, you might well find a solution for the future.
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