“Now, having our new friend, Marguerite, we had a chance to tell again the story of our adventure, reliving the water rising, the escape, the magpies, the water biscuits ( a whole tin of water biscuits!) the salmon eaten around the camp fire, crossing the bull paddock to Langley’s farm for milk, all the grizzels, the laughs, and the nights lying on our bed of straw, playing games of pretend, listening to the river sound, daring each other to touch the canvas to see if what Dad had said was true and finding that it was, fighting and making up, planning, dreaming, comparing our past, our glories, our bodies; then, outside again, gathering manuka for the fire, trying to make flutes out of willow, trying to divine water, staring dreamily at the river and the swirling branches and the occasional dead sheep or cow flowing down to the sea. “
I LOVE this sentence from Janet Frame, so rich in ideas and experience. There are 23 clauses, 23 little details in this single sentence. Of course, no one is going to read it carefully, take in all she is telling us, and I suspect she was writing for herself, saving her precious memories, but yes, Janet, we do get the flavour of it.