Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

Although Fiona and Katherine had been too aggravated to admit it, Isobel had been right when she said that there were worse places to spend a holiday than Pendragon Haven. The school, which had been started in 1790 by a wealthy and eccentric lady in her own home, Pendragon Manor, was on the north Cornish coast, tucked into a fold of the hills behind Pendragon church. The original house, built in Elizabethan times, still stood and formed the present Manor House; the other school houses were all modern. The village of Pendragon was a mile away, and consisted of one almost perpendicular street of old, quaint, picturesque cottages with twisted chimneys, absurd windows, geraniums in the porches and hydrangeas everywhere. The village ended in the Haven, a natural harbour of fierce and dramatic grandeur, that twisted round between wild cliffs as if scarcely able to find an outlet to the sea. Round the school were the playing-fields, moors and farmlands, and not far away were little sandy coves where the Atlantic breakers hurled themselves even on calm days, which was very satisfactory for the surf-board enthusiasts.

From THE MOOCHERS ABROAD, Chapter 2, The Picnic. A nice description of the area around Katherine and Fiona's school, Pendragon Manor. The two cousins and their friend Isobel (Bella) are stuck at the school due to a mumps epidemic and have to make the best of the surrounding area until the doctor gives them the all-clear. But fortune will shine on them because Isobel will offer to take them to Brittany for the holidays after they are out of quarantine. The mention of surfing may seem anachronistic here. The Moochers Abroad was published in 1951, and we don't associate surfing with the 1950s. However, according to the British Surfing Association, surfing became popular in the Channel Islands and Cornwall in the first half of the twentieth century. Even so, it remained confined to these regions until the 1960s, when the sport really began to grow in popularity.