When I went to the Lifeline Bookfest with Imogen, I picked up quite a few interesting books. I’ve chomped through one called The Football Factory which was a novel in the milieu of the English football hooligan culture in the 90s. And an Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One, which was of course mordant and delicious.
Isabel’s face was oddly triangular …
And next up was The Portrait of A Lady, with Henry James. With movie tie-in cover, featuring Ms Kidman, made up and photographed in such as way as to have more forehead than would seem feasible for any single person.
But Henry James you can’t rush. You have to chew every sentence carefully, two or three times.
Like this one, soon after Isabel arrives at Lord Warburton’s stately home (“a stout grey pile … a castle in a fairytale” … it’s a long way from BMX Bandits!) for the first time:
“The day was cool and rather lustreless; the first note of autumn had been struck; and the watery sunshine rested on the walls in blurry and desultory gleams, washing them, as it were, in places tenderly chosen, where the ache of antiquity was keenest.”
I typed that out for you, because when I read that I understand what mastery is. I find it inspiring.*
I’m expecting to be feeling the ache of antiquity quite keenly by late afternoon on Saturday 16 March, because that is the day that the next featured Bike Week event (featured in this special Briztreadley series that is) will be held.
And I’m in this one, up to my neck. Organising, racing, spruiking, whatever.
The cyclocross race will be held in a place tenderly chosen, to wit Wests Rugby Union, at Toowong Memorial Park, Sylvan Road Toowong.
So I have no mastery of cyclocross racing, or indeed organising a race, or blogging about a race. But I do share with Isabel Archer her enthusiasm, her openness, her joie de vivre.
I’m not expecting Nicole/Isabel to show up on Saturday, any more than I really expected Anna Meares to show up last time.
But I am inviting you. Cyclocross is super awesome fun. 100% of the people I know who have tried cyclocross want to do more. The course we’ve chosen will be very doable on a road bike, so there are no real excuses.
Saturday 16th March 3pm. Enter here.
* OK, there is no link whatsoever between Henry James and cyclocross. There just isn’t. But that sentence knocked me out. And I wanted it to be somewhere where I would find it again in the future. One of the reasons I have a blog is to remember stuff I like.