Bill Bryson Book Review

Bill Bryson, a native Iowan, is a proliferative and award-winning writer of travel books. In “The Road to Little Dribbling” he writes of his travels from the south end of Great Britain to the north end along a route he calls The Bryson Line. There is no real place called Little Dribbling, but it is Bryson’s way of making fun at the various names of British locations. 

This book follows another by Bryson twenty years earlier where he visits many of the same places. As he reminisces about these favorite towns and villages it seems many have lost some of their appeal, but it is difficult to tell if this is so or if Mr. Bryson has just become older and crankier. 

Bill Bryson became a British citizen and it is clear that he loves his adopted country. He does a good job describing both the beauty and history of Great Britain. He does a fairly balanced job of ranting and raving about those things he approves and disapproves. 

I enjoyed the sense of humor in this book. Bryson is acerbically funny and he is an equal opportunity offender. I’m sure that British citizens appreciate that he does not hold back his negative thoughts when it comes to the USA. 

I especially enjoyed this gift book having traveled in some of the areas described by Bryson and hoping to return to Great Britain to visit more of England, Wales, and Scotland. 

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“I think Canadians are great satirists because we sit in the middle of these two giants: Great Britain and the U.S.” Martin Short

 

Rocks

Rock & Roll       

Hard as a Rock

Rock On!

Dumb as a Rock

Rock, Paper, Scissors

As you can tell I have rocks on my mind. I’m sure some who know me might say I also have “rocks for brains.” And, today that might be appropriate.

When I went to Great Britain recently, I was so grateful and amazed to see Stonehenge for the first time.  https://crookedcreek.live/2018/10/10/stonehenge/

For good reason visitors are not able to touch the huge rocks that make up this wonder. I was very fortunate that our hosts on this trip knew where there were similar stones nearby that could be seen up close and that could be touched at will. 

Kevin and Helen Elliott took our party to Avebury where the rocks in the slideshow below were personally accessible. I loved seeing all the random rocks, so similar to those with which Stonehenge was built but not arranged in the same pattern. I felt a strange reverence when I touched these stones from so long ago. 

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Around these huge rocks were grazing sheep, burial mounds like those surrounding Stonehenge and in a few places even roads that traversed the mounds.

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On this same trip while in the home of friends in Wales, I became aware of a different type of stone called crystal. While there I was given a rose quartz crystal that I now treasure. I am not yet knowledgeable enough to say much about crystals and their possible powers, but I am beginning the process of learning. I wanted to share this with you while we are on the subject of rocks, which are not technically the same thing, but they are both contained within the earth and no doubt carry many secrets of the past. What powers they may hold, I hope to learn. 

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“In my work, and my life, I feel a desire to merge. Not in terms of losing my own identity… but there’s a feeling that life is interconnected, that there’s life in stones and rocks and trees and dirt, like there is in us.”  Bill Viola

Great Britain

The Unexpected

Before my trip to the UK last week I was cautioned to take an umbrella, raincoat and boots. I took the umbrella, but it was not needed. What a delightful week of sunny blue skies and cool breezes. 

I’ll write more later, but just had to say now what a great time I had touring London and the countryside of Gloucestershire and Wales. It was a week of planes, trains and automobiles, castles, pubs and charming villages.