Putting books on the map.
A little while ago, I wrote a blog that among other things, explored finding a new name for Birmingham International Airport. Amongst the options that came up was J. R. R.Tolkien International. (Note 1) The name stemming from the fact that Birmingham locations inspired locations in Lord of the Rings.
Despite all of this, the tourists all pop over to Thankfully, just as were beginning to wonder if a fight was going to break out over the last bag of New Zealand.
The English Tourist Board, perhaps in a fit of chagrin that New Zealand have hijacked tourists who should be enjoying the mysteries of the Balti Triangle, have decided to put the record straight. They have published a map of literary locations. (Note 2)
My eye was drawn to the entry for Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote in Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire (not far from the Prime Ministers weekend retreat in Chequers).
As a teller of tall tales, I felt thee need to check the list for my own name. OK, it wasn’t a big surprise to find that it is yet to be included.
This worries me. I fear that people are coming along to Oundle and seeking out the “Rat and Ferret” in the hope of partaking of a pint of mild with Evar or engaging in a touch of long lens photography with Padstow. There will be those who pop into the police station (open 10:00 am till 16:30 Monday to Friday, half day Wednesdays) in the hope of finding Chief Inspector McCrindle Barleymow Honeydew-Fforbes apprehending an international criminal mastermind. There may be some, in need of a good nights sleep who will be seeking out Mattress Madge in the hope of purchasing a new divan. (Note 4)
If you pop onto the Oundle Website, you will not find the “Rat and Ferret” mentioned.
In order to make sure that those who wish to audition for my funeral caberet, I need to let you into a secret. To get to the “Rat and Ferret”, you first search out the scary chef. Having found the scary chef, you then pop a couple of dried frog pills and make your way to the toilets. You go into one of the traps and instead of pushing the flush handle you pull – hard. There will be a slight dizziness, maybe a few flashing lights.
When you step out again, you’ll find yourself in my alternate reality – a very scary place.
From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.
NOTE 2 : Strangely, the map of literary locations shows Wales as a beige desert and has decided to disembody Scotland. They should be careful - the idea might catch on. Click to return
NOTE 3: A warning for parents should have been included. Roald Dahl, although famous for his children’s books, was not averse to writing for grown ups too. The book shown above, “My Uncle Oswald” is not a bedtime story for the little ones. It caters for err… *cough* more adult tastes.. Click to return
NOTE 4: Mattress Madge is enjoying a touch of fame. Since her pint pulling prowess has been mentioned in this blog, she has been inundated with offers. There are rumours that she is shortly to star in a video short wearing a skimpy t-shirt and pulling a pint of Monkton’s Randy Sailor. The video will be available on certain specialist sites on the internet . Click to return