Posted 20 hours ago

Narrow Dog To Carcassonne

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It's lovely to read, and much more fun than Bill Bryson, but you HAVE to imagine Terry Darlington speaking to you across the kitchen table, doing impressions of French people and singing and quoting Rimbaud at you, otherwise you're missing out on half the book and what you ARE reading doesn't always make sense. Jim lies quietly under my feet, which is more than my secretary ever did, and sometimes he licks me behind the knees, and in forty years in business there was no chance of that. It's full of glorious passages and genuinely really funny jokes which only work because of the way it's written, and how much of the author's personality comes across through that.

We use Google Analytics to see what pages are most visited, and where in the world visitors are visiting from. I don't really know any of the places in France so a bot more background information would have made it more enjoyable. You'll visit the France nobody knows--the backwaters of Flanders, the canals beneath Paris, and the forbidden routes to the wine-dark Mediterranean Sea.Her three children have all reproduced themselves, removing doubts about whether she and Terry are the same species. Terry Darlington was brought up in Pembroke Dock, Wales, during the war, between a flying-boat base and an oil terminal. It was a little difficult to keep up with the narrative at times because there was so much information and a labyrinth of digressions but what I did follow was enjoyable and at times quite amusing. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance.

We keep crashing into things and running out of fuel and falling in and people shout at us and stick notes on the door. That is how the English narrow lock was born, and the English narrowboat-the cigarette, the pencil, the eel, the strangest craft ever to slither down a waterway. You meet the French nobody meets – poets, captains, historians, drunks, bargees, men with guns, scholars, madmen – they all want to know the people on the painted boat and their narrow dog. He eats pork scratchings (whatever they are) by the bagful, lopes effortlessly at 30 miles an hour and is terrified of boats.

There was a point 65% in that I wondered can I take more of this blather, but I had to know if they ever reached Carcassonne. The channel crossing (and some of the wider rivers and canals in France) sounds harrowing to say the least. the Phyllis May was an airship passing through the clouds, forbidden to land, though her captain longed for the streams and woods below. Funnily enough the English Channel can get rough, with waves big enough to sink a narrow boat very quickly. After he finished laughing, my friend told me his policy was to punish bad books by leaving them, unfinished, on airplanes.

From the blurb I'd expected a more straightforward sort of comedy memoir in the style of Bill Bryson, but Terry Darlington's prose is almost Joycean - full of brief sentences, poetic allusions, stream-of-consciousness, foreign phrases and bawdy jokes. While I try to use images that I create sometimes that is not possible and so I use publicly available ones from the internet. It was quite a dangerous outing, but they had a boat pilot with them and another boat to guide them across the channel.There was so much information on each page that I felt my head spinning, as it was a lot to process!

This sounds like bar-room tall story, exaggeration, but then a second time round it changes to them and their boat being attacked by fighter-bombers - are the tall stories getting taller? I hoped “Narrow Dog to Carcassonne” would paint a picture of the experience from the eyes of a seasoned traveler. Learning about the remnants of physical damage and psychological pain from WWII are something I had not give much thought to. I find Terry's descriptions of the scenes he encounters, the dry humour he sees in the world around him, including the dog, fantastic reading. I have visited Carcassonne, Aigue Mort and Sete, and have been bitten by mosquitos by the petit Rhone, where we shared a swimming pool with frogs.Terry Darlington has a fine line in self-deprecatory humour, a characteristic of English humour we're told, except Terry delights in his deprecation extending to everyone else who characters his writing! I could have had a dog that ate its dinner, a dog that barked and wagged its tail, a normal dog, a dog with fur. Breakdowns, floods, accidents, hangovers, vandals, dicks, trolls, aliens, gongoozlers, killer fish and the walking dead stand between our intrepid crew and their goal – many-towered Carcassonne.

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