Ennui is the mother of adventure. Erskine Childers’ The Riddle of the Sands, and John Buchan’s Hannay series and John Macnab all begin with heroes bored, listless, and out of sorts. But soon, the protagonists are released from the urban and taken away to Friesian mudflats, Border hills, or Highland corries. Either in deadly earnest or up to high jinks, they are quickened by intrigue and hazard.
Telling the stories involves descriptions of sailing small yachts, fly fishing for salmon, deer stalking, mountaineering, and fieldcraft. Outdoor sports are the lion and the bear which prepare for the Goliath to come, and then provide enough stimulation to defuse post traumatic stress or to arrest post traumatic letdown.
It is nearly April. It is time for something to begin. I think that I’ll re-read some Buchan in anticipation.