The book covers the essential boring stuff about going on holiday in a thoroughly entertaining and uplifting way. You know, fly or sail, the A 303 v the M5, the determination of every farmer with a tractor in Cornwall to make you late for an appointment. Or flight. (Actually, that bit isn’t boring, but it is extremely annoying. They lay in wait, tucked down lanes hidden by bushes, and trundle out when it is just too late to get past them without being squashed by the baler coming the other way). In fact, you’d never think a four hour car drive and wait at a tiny airport could be half as fun as I make it. Don’t believe me? Well, get onto Amazon and find out for yourself. There’s lists of things to do on all the islands, treats such as visiting Bryher’s museum, so small and perfect you could fit it into one of those old red telephone boxes. (Guess what – it does fit into one of those old red telephone boxes). Or a detailed description of a walk round St Mary’s, including (and this is important) advice on how to avoid being decapitated by the 12.25 from Newquay. There’s quite a lot about the old burial chambers and cairns which provide a dark but surprisingly accessible entry into the islands’ distant past. Right back, in fact, to when they weren’t islands at all. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?
There is a comprehensive list of the best places to eat. Information about getting about, getting there and how to avoid the Scilly equivalent of ‘mentioning the war’. Quite a lot about Harold Wilson, and here’s the cleverest bit of all – some of my reviews and blogs of interesting places to visit on the mainland. You see, I’ve been travelling the country for a while now, visiting places which people don’t realise are of interest. Places like Winslow in Buckinghamshire, or Dunstable, or the remains of Lady Jane Grey’s house in Leicestershire, or Southend on Sea. It was all a part of a scheme to write a travel book on unsung places in the UK, which I’d visit in my 1968 Morris Minor. (It was bought as a wedding car, but then covid arrived, and weddings stopped. Nothing like a sense of timing.) Sadly, the concept was flawed as the Morris could only travel 28 miles before overheating. Places to Visit within 28 Miles of Milton Keynes didn’t seem a likely best seller, plus the Morris finally steamed its last, and took its final drive to the A422 in the sky. So I was left with all these witty, incisive, coruscating reviews of little England but had nowhere to show them off. (I even went to places located more than 28 miles from Milton Keynes – in the end I gave up trying to widen the Moggy’s horizons and took a more reliable vehicle on my adventures). Well, now they are cleverly inserted into this book on Scilly. So, even if you have no interest in the islands, you should still buy the future bestseller. Who knows, your town might even be included in it. Although, not in a good light, as my aim is to show the wonder of Scilly by comparing it to places which are simply not as nice.
(As I was writing the paragraph above, I realised what an opportunity I’ve missed. ‘The Mii and Me’ – perfect book title. If the rattle proves to be nothing more than an empty coke can in the boot, I’ll get started on that post-haste, provided the haste bit doesn’t exceed 60mph – in the middle lane, of course; that’s the safest bit of the motorway to travel on). Suggestions welcome. Keep your eyes peeled, that page turner will be on Amazon soon. Possibly.
But time to get back to Scilly, which is what we really want to do. The book is full of beautiful photographs (taken, of course, by yours truly), tear inducing descriptions of the Eastern Isles – I have a terrible soft spot for these wonders – as will you, if you read my book and get onto Skybus or the Scillonian asap. There’s tales of billionaire football club owners, and sea-born tragedies. There’s even an account of Sir Cloudesly Shovell, surely the greatest name ever to be bestowed on a sailor. Harold Wilson features quite strongly as well. (In fact, so regularly does the pipe smoking former PM appear that I’ve even now mentioned him twice in this blog. And that’s not something many people can say.)
So, enough of this. Apparently, these days, articles should always end with a call to action. Below is a link to the book. If you haven’t worked out what to do next, then I’m not going to tell you. To be fair, I don’t expect you to spend £40 on a hardback copy, although, if you want to…that’s fine with me. Actually, due to Amazon’s weirdly designed payment system, I make the most per copy if you simply download the eBook – and that’s only a fiver. Surely, not a lot for hours of entertainment, life enhancing knowledge and the inspiration to visit these most amazing islands. They really are worth it.
(And so’s the book. Honestly.)
The Isles of Scilly: Still the most amazing islands in Britain by Alan Peters
Amazon.co.uk : The Isles of Scilly: still the most amazing islands in Britain Alan Peters
eBook – £5
Paperback – £10
Hardback (full colour) – £40
So thanks if you bought the book, bugger off if you didn’t. (Although, if you’re wise, you’ll bugger off to Scilly. Or Southend. Or even Dunstable).
I am also a funeral celebrant, and offer a bespoke service to write memoirs, biographies and life stories of the living and those who have died. Visit www.abpeterscelebrant.co.uk or email on email@example.com for more details.