Writing On Literature

  • Saturday afternoon, and it’s the Hyde Park World Championship Series Triathlon on BBC 1.  This is the sport you get on terrestrial for £142.50 a year.  It went on for hours.  And hours. In principle triathlon should be interesting to watch.  Superfit athletes, male and female, cutting straight through the monotony of single-issue athletics by combining three events in one.  It’s probably quite interesting to do, making sure there are no muscles that don’t hurt by the end of the day and riding a bicycle 40 kilometres in a swimsuit. Unfortunately, incongruous clothing doesn’t make for great sporting TV, otherwise we’d already have gymnastics in dungarees, probably on Eurosport. The problem with triathlon as a spectator event is that

    Aug 16,
  • Martlet: Issue 13 Spring 2009 While researching an article for the recent book Pembroke in our Time, I trawled the post-war Pembroke Gazettes for evidence of patterns in Pembroke sport.  We turn out to be stubborn in pursuit of victory yet good-humoured should it escape.  We can be over-enthusiastic (the 1990 tennis team played ninety minutes of football between two rounds of Cuppers), drily unshakeable (‘the sight of blood on the wicket,’ reports the cricket captain in 1992, ‘is never pleasing to an incoming batsman’), and sometimes shockingly obsequious (the 1948 Debating Society conveyed congratulations to Prince Elizabeth on her engagement). These are all curiosities that for reasons of space I was unable to include in the book.  Another was

    Apr 18,