Notes from a Small Island


It’s not been that long since I last read Notes from a Small Island, but I suddenly got the urge to reread and decided that it would be a good idea to do so when I could look forward to setting foot in Britain within a few weeks. Reading this sort of book at other times will just make me profoundly «homesick».

There’s not much to say that I haven’t said already. I love this book. I want Bill Bryson to go back and spend more time in Scotland. After that he could tackle larger parts of Wales. This would make me very happy indeed. As it is, I will have to be content with quoting:

Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realised what it was that I loved about Britain – which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad – Marmite, village fêtes, country lanes, people saying ‘mustn’t grumble’ and ‘I’m terribly sorry but’, people apologizing to me when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, stinging nettles, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, crumpets, hot-water bottles as a necessity, drizzly Sundays – every bit of it.