I always try to find time to read articles that people send in unsolicited in the hope of seeing them in print. Most are not-publishable but occasionally you stumble across something that is. Indeed, some of the most interesting work I’ve published has come in ‘over the transom’, as they say in America. David Butterfield’s article on his fell-running challenge in the Lake District — the Bob Graham Round — is one such. At first I thought someone was trying to prank me. This endurance test sounded too hard to be accomplished by a mere mortal. It involves traversing 42 fells, all but two of them over 2,000 feet, in a 24-hour period. Or, as David puts it in his article, it’s like running from London to Dover with the unwelcome obstacle of Mount Everest in between. But not only is ‘the round’ a real thing, but plenty of people have managed it. And David Butterfield is a real person, too. He’s a professor of classics at Cambridge.
There are plenty of other goodies, too. David Oldroyd-Bolt from the Times Diary has written a fascinating profile of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory MP on the cusp of achieving ‘National Treasure’ status, focusing on his financial acumen. We also have a profile of Paul Mason, BBC journo turned left-wing activist, by Alex Wickham; a guide to ‘the experts’ for the under-tens by Andy Shaw; an interview with author and French presidential hopeful Renaud Camus by David Sexton; and a hilarious piece by William Cash about his war with TripAdvisor. Plus a Wine & Food Christmas-special featuring a drinking contest between Taki and Jeremy Clarke, a watch special and our usual columnists: Roger Scruton, Sarah Vine, Merryn Somerset Webb, Bruce Palling and Candida Crewe.
All the best,