365:19 Homage to a Shropshire Lad

365:19 Homage to a Shropshire LadI had a plan for today’s “19” but it has been scuppered by the biblical weather conditions that we are enduring this weekend – not simply because I cannot get out with the camera but also because my back is giving me grief following a sleepless night listening to the wind howling in the eaves.

What we have here is a quick snap taken in desperation – and Wikipedia to the rescue.

Capt Matthew Webb was born this day, 19th January, in 1848. Of course he was a ways off being a Captain at that stage.

Webb was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids. On 25 August 1875 he swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. Bryant & May commemorated the event with their [url=http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bryant+may+webb+matches]iconic box of matches[/url]

Less well known is [url=http://www.geoffwilkins.net/fragments/Betjeman.htm?iframe=true&width=80%&height=90%]Betjeman’s commemoration of Webb’s death[/url]. (Do listen to the audio file on that page – it is priceless.)

So, I lit a birthday candle for the good Captain. Lacking the correct matches, I used Cook’s matches to mark the day number in convenient Roman numerals.

Phew – do you think it squeaks in under the wire on my 365 theme?

PS tomorrow’s plan is similarly threatened – rain may well stop play – or [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT3XcmGGqtI]should that have been today’s reference for 19[/url]?