In the Bath, By Tim Fitzhigham
Reyhana is a journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues surrounding Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy. Reyhana contributes to the Huffington Post UK and hosts a blog on ‘how to successfully combat extremism.’
Sunday 27 July 2008
What can you say about a man who sets to sea in a bath? Being unkind, it's the sort of comic caper that suggests an imminent rendezvous with Jeremy Clarkson; a grandiose lunge at absurdity that's actually monstrously dull. Fortunately, while Tim Fitzhigham may be halfway to Clarkson via a Richard Hammond quote on his book's jacket, the story of how he spent two summers trying to be the first person to row the English Channel in a bath is actually rather absorbing.
From an idea hatched in his parents' bath ("a Noel Coward song about a man rowing an India rubber bath across Lake Windermere ripped into my head") to diplomatic wrangles with the French navy, and being marooned on a sandbank, writing poetry among seals, this is a tale of discreetly exotic incidents. Fitzhigham comes across as likeable, and his tin bath as a sturdy symbol of British endeavour – even if the sight of it perched on a kind of catamaran rather than submerged to the rim in the sea is a little disappointing.
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