I taking a moment away from books. Just a moment, this isn't permanent....
Aside from the (mostly) unsporting activities of books (they occasionally require lifting, and are heavy) and turnips (all that digging is much more exciting than the gym) I sometimes dally in the world of sport. Not the partaking you understand, only as an onlooker, and even then I'm very selective - tennis and three-day eventing. Having worked in eventing ( did the wholly unglamorous job of being an event groom and loved it while it lasted, but am now too much of a cripple) I know that it can be at turns punishing and wonderfully rewarding - rather like the world of books - and this weekend saw both in shovelfuls. Andrew Hoy was in line for the Rolex Grand Slam - $250,000, which is a huge amount for a rider and has only been won once before by Pippa Funnel in 2003 - having won Kentucky and Badminton this year, all he had to do was win Burghley and he was there - but sadly it wasn't to be, with three poles down in the show-jumping - the final discipline out of Dressage, Cross-country and Show-jumping - he went down to second place.
But while one rider lost out on the biggest prize in eventing, another won the biggest event of her career to date, the British born Lucinda Fredericks (she married the Australian Clayton Fredericks so now rides for Australia) stormed away with the Land Rover sponsored prize money of £45,000 with a faultless clear round in the show-jumping, with a wonderful little mare (15.3hh) called Headley Britannia who tried her heart out and has been rewarded with her place in eventing history after becoming the first mare in 33 years to win the competition.
But its back to books now ... am off home with a copy of Gail Jones' Dreams of Speaking, published by Harvill Secker.