Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
English geeks unite! What English major didn’t have to, sorry get, to memorize this part of Chaucer’s prologue. If that is not enough, then check out his blog! (Thanks Dot) Yes you can check out what he thinks about life today. (His today is our yesteryear, so there may be some time/space continuum issues here.) You can check out glossaries, biographies of the time, and you get to know little known rumors such as his secret life as a pirate – complete with a parrot and an eye patch. (I thought you’d like that doodah!)
Speaking of writers who have spent time in the United Kingdom, Bill Bryson has royally pissed me off! I love his stuff – he has a wonderful perspective on quintessential life. So I figured that a book about a road trip to find out about small town life would be a perfect read. The only reason I have not put this book down (other than a quirky inability to not finish a book I have invested in reading 10 or more pages) is that I keep hoping that at some point he will stop talking like an angst ridden Goth teen. Every place he goes is a major disappointment for him, too touristy and tacky or boring. DUH! Tacky and touristy is a big part of small town life. However, it is jsut the surface stuff. Everyone knows that the real value of American small towns is getting to know the people. How in the name of Aunt Millie is he going to do that by spending less than 3 hours in any one place! You Euro snob! And the kicker that got me today was when I read that he found the Giant Sequoias ugly and boring! Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? If he had bothered to, oh I don’t know, maybe walk a little bit away from the parking lot, he might have found what he wanted - the tree that you could drive through. Plus the regal beauty of the trees. Or if he went on a ranger lead walk. Oh but wait, that would require actually spending time there. Sorry, he just really really irritated me today. I will now have to renew my joy by reading some of his later – and way more insightful books like this one or this.
However, there was a great line in one chapter where he exclaimed: “(The town) had been eaten by strip malls.”
Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!