When I grow up I want to be Bill Bryson. I originally wanted to be Ernest Hemingway, but then I decided not to shoot myself in the head. There is the small matter of a lack of talent on my part with which to compare to either of these great writers, but I suppose that’s what aspiration is all about.
This also made it easy for my husband, Mark, to decide what to get me as an anniversary gift, what with Bill Bryson being very much alive and doing a book signing in London on our actual anniversary day.
Bill was actually signing hard cover copies of his new book The Road to Little Dribbling, but Mark didn’t purchase this. I prefer to read new books on my eReader, as it means I can take them with me on the tube without compromising space in my handbag usually reserved for lunch. This is important. Without a proper filling of lunch I get angry and then I kill people and then the world explodes. (I mean, I assume that’s what happens. I’ve never actually gotten to the killing people stage. People usually find it’s in their best interests to just give me lunch at the angry stage and long may this continue).
Instead, Mark bought A Walk in the Woods, a wonderful book I’ve already read on the tube that was recently turned into a film starring Robert Redford. This is especially fitting for the occasion as Mark has previously been described (by a somewhat outspoken acquaintance who lives proudly on the fringe of society) as “a poor man’s Robert Redford”. I’ll take that.
Bill was also kind enough to sign a drawing for Mark:
And here’s some more proof that he actually met him:
Afterwards Mark met with me and we continued our tradition of seeing Shakespeare performed on our wedding anniversary with Measure for Measure at The Young Vic. This ignited a longing I didn’t know I had for swimming in an enormous pile of inflatable sex dolls, some with penises that go *doooooing*.
Unfortunately, I was also seated next to a young man wearing a deodorant favoured by my boyfriend from my teenage years. As smell is so closely linked to memory I was stuck in a rather interesting juxtaposition between celebrating four years of marriage with my husband, jubilant sex doll mirth and flashbacks of 16 year old me doing dodgy things in public parks with a boy in a puffy vest.
We ended the night eating bad Chinese food on the night bus while I bitched about being on a night bus at a time when the tube network was still running. That’s how I roll. You should be thankful you didn’t marry me.