By Byron Rogers
A compendium of the oddest and so much eccentric commute tales. Exploring forgotten counties like Northamptonshire or the wilder reaches of Wales, Byron Rogers chronicles a mystery historical past of england, touching, hilarious, even magical - and of the intense lives of standard humans.
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Additional resources for An Audience with an Elephant: And Other Encounters on the Eccentric Side
Twice a night, for seven minutes at a time, Rani steps from tub to tub, or walks over people. (‘Being the only animal which can’t jump, an elephant has to be sure-footed. ’) She also plays cricket but has refused to play football. ’ Robert Raven stroked one huge wrinkled side. ’ However often you have seen elephants, the bulk close up is bewildering. This, and the fact that the animal is never still, the body swaying from side to side, the whiskery trunk, in perpetual motion conveying food to the strange pink little mouth, prompting unease.
The Dyfed-Powys force offered to pass the message ‘up the line’ as they put it, to say I was interested in meeting George. ’ Which made him sound like a gunfighter. m. in Machynlleth. A smell of fresh bread drifts through the town. In the sky the first of the day’s Royal Air Force jets are beginning their passes along the valley, as in the municipal rubbish tip George Gibbs is waking up. He has spent the night in an open shed which contains agricultural machinery, where across the entrance he has placed a series of planks and oil cans to deter intruders, so it is difficult at first to make him out in the gloom.
In the three months since he had left Stormydown he had moved north in a slow arc towards Anglesey and was now going south along the coast. He travels his 8 miles on a good day, but intersperses these with rest days at intervals. ‘It’s not an easy life. I wouldn’t advise anyone to take to the road. It was really tough when I used to roam in the winter, maybe two to three inches of snow. ’ He is fortunate in having good health. Apart from his pneumonia in the early 1950s he has been ill only once, when he went down with flu at Christmas time, 1969, having been soaked in a downpour on the way to Stormydown.