Friday, 11 October 2013

"The Ascent of Rum Doodle" by W.E.Bowman

I have been re-reading all my hospital/convalescence climbing books and have been getting hysterical over Rum Doodle.

This is from Bill Bryson's introduction:   "I just love this book.  Everything about it is nearly perfect - the names  of the characters, their mannerisms, their sulks and squabbles, their comfortingly predictable haplessness in the face of every challenge."

Yes.  The names - of both terrain and people - are so right.    Spoiler alert (as if anyone is going to read it for the plot...). The hapless expedition does manage to place one man on top of the mighty summit of the previously unclimbed Rum Doodle (just after all the rest of them have climbed the wrong peak).  Due to the Yogistani word for "mountain base" being exactly the same as the word for "mountain summit", apart from an esoteric gurgle, the Yogistani porters misunderstand the command to return to base and they all trek to the top.  They take with them the one member of the party who isn't on the wrong mountaintop. In fact, one of the porters simply tucks him under his arm and carries him there.  So he becomes the Conqueror of Rum Doodle.

The name of the Yogistani porter who carries him up and down again?   Perfectly, is is Un Sung.

All I can say is that I enjoyed it even more on the second reading.

I listened in to the meeting last night.  The Society has just issued a new, updated, English-language Bible translation. We should all get one in a month or two.  So much work must have gone into that, but, English being a living language, I can see why its so important.

My shoulder is still really painful. No pain killer seems to help.  I hope I am not in for yet more joint operations.  I don't know how many more I can cope with.

To Jackie for supper tonight.

1 comment:

  1. love it. i'll have to read it when i need some inspiration for the tough hill to climb... I like J. S. Bach's comment on his deathbed after 22+ children, 3 wives and several girlfriends and a masterpiece at least once a day and a giant oratorio each Sunday for some 40 years... he said simply life is hard!? Life is hard somethimes and mountains to climb are steeper every year but i am happier than ever and had more energy than i have had for years. i've been painting more and writing even more and really liking how my mind works in such circular chaotic circumstances. "Life is interesting and inspiring" which is what i'd like to say when i pass on. It looks like i've outlived the gloomy expectations of my kith and kin and doctors who are apparantly awaiting lightning to strike me down for my recalcitrance and stubbornness and surprising energy.despite my poverty and a feeling of abandonment... GOD BLESS YOU DARLING SUE. you are inspiring to me ALWAYS! LOVE AND HAPPINESS BE YOURS, FOREVER AS YOU AWAIT THE PEACE ON EARTH THAT WILL SURELY COME MUCH SOONER THAN WE ALL EXPECT! DIZZYIZZY of welland, canada, still expecting to have some tea with you some day...