Lest we forget, it's also Inner Child reading this weekend and the arrival of Roland Chambers's biography of Arthur Ransome seemed like the clearest sign possible that I should perhaps finally be remedying a childhood omission.
I have never read Swallows and Amazons.
I suspect I was far too wrapped up in wanting to get a tuck box and be away to Malory Towers to play lacrosse, or be off on a Malcolm Saville Lone Pine adventure to be worrying about getting wet and tramping about in the Lake District.
Now I'm overcoming heaven knows what after all your dire appraisals to even open it, but I've paid for it...
Bookhound read and loved Swallows and Amazons through a bout of chickenpox, so his library copy probably had to be fumigated, but he recalls total immersion in Arthur Ransome's world because he was a fisherboy who spent many hours messing about on rivers and boats.
Amongst Bookhound's most favourite of books now, a signed copy of Arthur Ransome's Rod and Line, a little anthology of his collected writings for the Manchester Guardian,
'There seems to be a mistaken idea that the centre of the town is some Town Hall, or Public Library, or Square decorated with political gods in stone or bronze, when, if the truth were known, the whole town is grouped about some little shop where a man will find, in the window, boots and pike tackle, Mayflies and flat irons, and behind the counter a fisherman like himself.'
Me, well perhaps I'd prefer a bookshop, but this was 1929, things were different though I'll admit that the fisherman in this family remains completely enamored if we do happen to stumble upon a lone fishing shop on our travels. Like I need many pairs of knitting needles and a great deal of wool to allow for choice when the knitting muse strikes, he needs a fishing rod and a different reel wound with different line for every occasion it would seem...though they do all look the same to me.
In the end I ordered that lovely hardback copy of Swallows and Amazons with the original cover, just because I had to and I'll be reading this over this weekend and probably beyond or might it all strike that duffer note? I guess if Mollie Panter - Downes caused trouble then I won't be alone in giggling at a poor child blessed with the name of Titty.
More from the village show later no doubt, but whilst we await the judges' deliberations on my jam...I can hear it now...'do try to be more careful, rather too many pips per cubic inch' ... is anyone else Inner Child reading too?