Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Riddle of the Sands ~ A Book & An Adventure Club

I've discovered something absolutely brilliant!

Recently I wrote a long (admittedly quite windy) post grumbling about the state of entertainment and modern mentality (among other things) but, no matter, my thought process with that all began with a film from the 1970's called The Riddle of the Sands.

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit rotten so I repaired (obligatory mug of tea in hand) to my comfy chair in the living room and turned on the DVD player.  Too worn out to bother actually changing the DVD, I figured I'd watch whatever was already in there.....which turned out to be The Riddle of the Sands.  And, just because I sometimes do inexplicable stuff like that, I turned on the closed captioning.  That's how I happened to catch a couple of words of dialogue I'd ignored before:  "a pound of Raven mixture."  Raven mixture?  

Davies had been requesting that Carruthers bring him boat-related items from London but jammed in with wishes for a prismatic compass and rigging screws (galvanized), there was Raven mixture.  As Davies had just been gifted a pipe, common sense told me that it must be tobacco but since I didn't know for sure, my passion for ferreting out historical stuff drove me out of the comfy chair to seek information on the web.  And that's where I found it,  the answer to my question as well as a really great website:

The guys on that site are fans of Erskine Childers' book The Riddle of the Sands, and they are re-tracing the footsteps of Davies and Carruthers.  There's so much to read and their writing is a pleasure.  I'm going to be days exploring!  And looking forward to doing so.

This, of course, sent me off on a second tangent:  to try to find an inexpensive hardback copy (heaven preserve us from paperbacks!) of the book. After a quick reconoitter at (if you don't use that site, you should! great place to find books and, yes, I do have a small store there, too; same seller name that I use on eBay:  zzydny), off I went to eBay to comparison shop where, predictably, there were stacks of paperbacks.  So to avoid the worst of the paper stuff, I switched my search to highest price first (wow, there's a seriously beautiful first edition listed!) and worked my way down to a Folio Society of London edition.  Oh, I wanted that one!  This one was priced reasonably for a Folio but I just couldn't.  I love Folio books but the prices!  I'm not even gonna go there.

As I moved further in my search I saw several decently priced older hardbacks and I scrolled down.....wait! What's that?  Did I see what I thought I saw?  I couldn't believe it.  I scrolled up and down the page a few times because it really was impossible.  But it was real:  someone had listed a boxed Folio edition for less than $20 (with Free Shipping).  I guess they didn't know what it was because they hadn't mentioned Folio in the title, and I might have missed it as well if I hadn't taken a good look at the other listing.  But there it was, and it was real.  And now it's mine; it's my Christmas present to me.  I can't wait for the mail to arrive!

So, my malaise caused me to be inexplicable and my odd habit of fact ferreting has paid off:   yesterday I found two incredible things!  A book that is ever so much better than I could have hoped for.  And a wonderful website that I hope others will go explore, too.

A day that could have been horrible 
turned out quite the opposite.
If you just follow your heart quietly, 
incredible stuff can happen.
And you can find things to look forward to.

Brilliant.  Really, really. 

No comments:

Post a Comment