Don Quixote's 'Delusions' is an excellent read - far better than my own forthcoming travel book, 'Walking Backwards Across Tuscany.'
Occasionally I find a travel book that is both illuminating and entertaining, where vivid writing and research replace self-indulgence and sloppy prose.
The Romantic poets were the prototype ramblers, and I've often found myself following in their footsteps - although perhaps not all of their footsteps since a typical walk for Samuel T. Coleridge might last two days and cover 145km.
Reading the play at home, however fulfilling, can never be the vivacious experience that Shakespeare intended.
I've noticed that my resolutions involve me not doing stuff that I wasn't going to do anyway so here's something more positive. I'm going to retrain as a Latin teacher in a provincial public school.
Ninety-eight per cent of laughter is nothing to do with jokes, which do not deserve to bear the weight of all the funny stuff in the world.
I am 54 and age is slowly writing itself on my face.
Travel books are, by and large, boring. They lodge uncomfortably between fact, fiction and autobiography.
It is more interesting to be compared to someone famous, because it lets you gauge what perceptions people have about your appearance.
The history of the relationship between comedy and swimming is short indeed. Of course it is always funny when someone falls into water, but that's about it.
It was Julie Burchill who decreed that, beyond a certain age, a man should not be seen in a leather jacket.
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