"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing towards the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!" -Bruce Lee

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An evening (or sometimes an afternoon) with Bill Bryson

What a quality guy. We just got back from the Harlequin theatre in Redhill, where we saw Bill Bryson for an evening of book readings, anecdotes, and random slides. Today was the second day of his world tour, which started in High Wycombe yesterday.

So, after 8 years of living the American life in New Hampshire with his wife and kids, he is now back living in Norfolk, enjoying once more the eccentric British sense of humour, and our fondness for small pleasures such as cakes with jam and raisins, cold days in beach huts wearing anoraks, and nice cups of tea, "ooh lovely".

Apparently the move back to England was provoked, in part, by his neighbour Ted. Being brought up on a diet of puns and banter, Bill just couldn't resist winding this guy up. The entertainment value provided by these daily quips was increased tenfold by this poor guy's consternation; it just served to encourage Bill further. He would compliment Ted on the camoflaging he had created for his car, only to be informed "Oh no, Bill, it's not that at all, I'm taking this storm fall-down to the tip"; and he would reply to his questions, such as "Did you have a good flight? Who did you fly with?" with "Well, to be honest I wasn't introduced to many people of the flight..", you know, the way that you do. In the end, his wife actually had to ban him from talking to the guy because people were starting to think he was wierd. It seemed that despite living in an American idyll, the people just didn't get his jokes, so back to England they came.

He started off the evening by telling us how relunctantly the tour managers had agreed to an evening of book reading and questions, and how they had encouraged him to make the show more of an audio visual sensory experience. They suggested he perhaps should show some slides of America to break up the talking. So that is what he did, lol, quite literally. He had about 5 or 6 slides on a Powerpoint presentation showing childrens playground slides and helter-skelters from various places in America. Aha, very clever.

Anyway, he then went on to talk about his collection of amusing headline clippings that he had accumulated over the years. I'm desperately trying to remember one of the ones he told us now, but I can assure you they were funny. You know the sort of thing I mean, where a headline sounds perfectly fine one way you read it, but you look at it again, presumably after it has gone to print, and you realise the dreadful conotations of what you've written! He had a great transatlantic assortment of those.

What else..

He finished off with a Q&A section, where I think the best answer he gave was in response to what he had done so far as chancellor of Durham uni. He said that actually, he had done very little except shake peoples hands on graduation day, and that a chancellor is a little like a bidet (thanks for correction bigblue!): nobody knows what it is for, but everyone is glad to have one. Lol.

Check out my signed book! =) Signed for me personally after the show, wow!


¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Sweet! ;)

bigblue said...

It's bidet.

Sounds like a good evening.

kipperfrog said...

Ah brilliant, thanks! It's the sort of word you never seem to see written down! Yeah it was actually really interesting, I would definitely recommend going to see him if he goes on tour again. I'll write up a bit more about it soonish, when I finish uploading the Wisley pictures..