Notes from a Small Island

By: snowgood

May 17 2020

Tags: , ,

Category: books, Humour, literature, Uncategorized

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Camera:iPhone 11

I’m still catching up with my “festive presents”, and there are at least three or four more to go before I’ve polished of my 2019 gifts.

Bill Bryson’s 1993 Tour of Britain makes fascinating reading.

Here’s a journey taken before the “Smart Phone” made travel and planning so easy.

It’s set in a land which still had a Woolworth’s on every High Street, and where John Selwyn Gummer was the nation’s most notable political chump.

If only he’d been born 25 years later I guess he’d have become Prime Minister!

As ever Bryson’s views Britain as an outsider, makes disparaging comments about our weather forecasts and reporting whilst letting his affection for (almost) all things British seep through.

He casts his mind back to “The Times” industrial dispute which saw thousands of slackers given their marching orders, which as a native seem to hail from an alien planet.

Bill has a penchant for the use of four letter words, and sprinkles them throughout the book.

Mind you I have to agree with his confusion about the necessity of Corby Trouser Presses, and cloned towns with a distinct lack of variety across the breadth of the land.

In early chapters he berates farmers for ripping up hedgerows, but later applauds them for their efforts in conservation.

Whatever you might think of him there’s no denying he writes a good yarn, and yes it really is possible that you’ll end up laughing.

Chapter 19 was my favourite which opens;

“I took a train to Liverpool. They were having a festival of litter when I arrived.”

Further on it reads, “But the gist of it was this was once a great city and now it’s Liverpool.”

He adds cotton wool saying he loves Liverpool, but surely he’s only saying that to avoid being lynched?

8 out of 10

 

 

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