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Swallows and Amazons Chapter XIII: The slower the fire the better the charcoal.

From Mae Thinks

This is my favourite chapter. (Have I said that before? It’s possible I might have more than one.) It begins with a casual reference to mature, dignified Captain John turning upside down to look between his knees and the reflection in the lake. And then Titty and Roger row off on their own, which is a lot of responsibility for quite young children, and having watched my 5-year-old whittle a stick with a very sharp knife at a Woodcraft camp last weekend, I heartily approve.

The weather is all wrong for war so the Swallows take some time out to explore. This is actually pretty realistic, based on my understanding of how war works. I was taught at school that the weather had a significant effect on the outcome of the Battle Hastings: had the wind been blowing the other way, William might have invaded while Harold’s army was still assembled, and the Bayeux tapestry would be… well, not in Bayeux, for a start. And resting armies do do recreation, and get to know the local area.

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