As an image of the hell of togetherness, rowing takes some beating: mesmerically repetitious, shatteringly hard work, and hard to get out of once you
have stepped inside the boat. (The occasional Boat Race participant has contrived to abstract himself by passing out.) Throw in cold, wet, windy, unremunerative and, arguably, class-ridden, and you have the all- purpose description of a traditional British pastime: the unspeakable in pursuit of the ineffable.
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