Friday, October 19, 2007

A weekend in Narnia

Malcolm Saville's foreword to The Neglected Mountain (1953):
The scene of this story is in the wild and lonely border country between Wales and Shropshire, hard by a mountain known as the Stiperstones. It is said that the curious outcrop of black quartzite rocks on the summit, known as the Devil's Chair, is one of the oldest parts of England - older even than the ice age - and it is little wonder that this desolate, neglected country is rich in folk-lore and legend. 
You will find the Stiperstones and the Long Mynd with its Gliding Station on the map and you can go to Shrewsbury, to Clun and Craven Arms and Bishop's Castle for yourself. But you will not find Black Dingle or Greystone Dingle or Barton Beach, for these places are as imaginary as are all the characters in this story.
Blogging will be light to non-existent for a few days as I am off to Shropshire for a long weekend. To someone who grew up reading the Lone Pine books by Malcolm Saville, this is a little like going for a holiday in Narnia.

Just one thing worries me.

In 1999 England played South Africa in the rugby World Cup and I watched it in Bishop's Castle. We lost.

Last year England played Portugal in the football World Cup and I watched it in Bishop's Castle. We lost.

On Saturday England will play South Africa in the rugby World Cup final. I shall be watching the match in Bishop's Castle.

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