Short Stories

Partly due to various computer problems, I have spent an awful lot of time this holiday reading. Most nights this week, or should I say mornings, I have been sat in bed with a torch and a book. It’s good. Word of advice; Never underestimate the value of a good book.

Normally, I don’t care that much for short stories. There’s rarely enough time to form an attachment to the protagonist, or develop a compelling plot, or even fully explain the setting. Even rarer is the ability to do all 3, and do them well. However, I recently found an exception to this. At the end of a rather disappointing who-dunnit, tucked between an interview with the author, and an advert for another of his books, were 12 and a half sides of brilliance. The tale in question; “The Man Who Walked The Moon, By J.G.Ballard”.

It’s about two men, in Brazil (I think), and space travel. I can’t tell you much more than that without giving anything away, but I highly recommend it. The way my sister was singing “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” from Les Mis at the time probably has something to do with the impression it made on me. READ IT.

Claire, $35 isn’t really that expensive for a driving license. In England, it costs about that much for a single lesson; and I think you need to have done 10 before you can sit your test. You also seem really young to be behind the wheel of a car. Here, you can’t start learning on the roads until you’re 17, so quite a few people ask for lessons for their 17th Birthday. I didn’t, neither did my sister, but some of my friends did. You can’t drive people places until you’ve passed both practical and theory tests, which none of my friends have yet done. I suppose public transport in the countryside is worse, but have you seen Bristol bus fares … They are ridiculous. For the same price as a return to town, you can get a train ticket all the way to the seaside; and for the price of a weekly bus ticket, you can get the megabus (budget coach) to London six times (or the train to Cardiff and back for 4 people)!

– Vicki (who totally didn’t have to bribe someone with a copious amount of strawberry fudge and a promise to fix their iTunes in order to get access to a computer)


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