Sorry for the lateness of this blog, I have a few things going on in my life at the moment that are a huge distraction. However I made myself a promise that I would write a blog once a week regardless and that is exactly what I’m going to do.
I have come to the conclusion that my favorite Author is Bill Bryson and that quite by accident I seem to write in a very similar manor to him. That’s not to say I would dare to assume I am half as good at him but rather that the style we both use is very conversational and easy going. Now in my defense I have always written in this way so it’s not like I am attempting to copy him but the more I read of his work the more I think that his work is sort of becoming a blueprint for this blog.
I first stumbled across his work in a second hand book store in a remote part of the Cotswolds (to my shame I forget the name of the place). I was out with my (future) wife and we were trawling through charity shops for China tea cups* and while she looked at yet another set I wandered next do to this wooden fronted book shop. At first nothing took my fancy, it was mostly old Star Trek novels and biographies of Princess Dianna but my eye was drawn to a single book tucked away among the tat. It was called Notes from a Small Island and was about Mr Bryson touring the country before heading back to the USA. I vaguely recalled some of my more learned friends talking about how good his work was and having recently vowed to read more non fiction I thought I would give it a go.
It didn’t take long for the book to draw me in, it was great seeing places I had visited through the eyes of an American and one who seemed to be far more intelligent than the Journalists I had seen on CNN. Having lived in this country for years he got the British way of life so perfectly that I quite often forgot he wasn’t a native.
Naturally I was hooked and sought out more of his work. A Short History of Nearly Everything was my honeymoon reading, Down under became my rainy Sunday afternoon read and I’m currently working my way through Notes From a Big Country, In short I became a big fan of his work.
I could go on for hours about how I agree with his world view on many things, or how he manages to take something very complicated (like the creation of the universe) and explain it in a way that is both simple and easy to understand. But I won’t, instead I will simply say that he has been as much of an inspiration to me as any of my childhood (writing) idols and that it’s nice to know that even as you get older you can still find new mentors in the most unlikely of places.
Something I am sure that Mr Bryson himself would appreciate.
* The reason was that Kirsty was set on having a High Tea as part of the reception, and loved the idea of having mis matched second hand cups and tea pots on each table. I may do a blog on the my wedding at a later date as it does have some interesting stories, for example we only managed to find one caterer that even knew what a real high Tea was (hint: not a buffet) and they catered for Prince Charles on a regular basis, so yes, they were in fact bloody expensive.