Sunday, 30 May 2010

Of Mangoes And Thunderbolts

Bill Bryson at Symphony Space
I don't really count myself as superstitious although I have been known to have the lucky number of 8 about my person when trying to better the odds.

Nor do I believe in most of the old Cantonese tales associated with food, particularly those that decry the consumption of raw fruit and vegetables in the fear that they may produce 'wind'.

If I recall correctly from boarding school days it was the consumption of cooked cabbage that produced this intestinal malfunction.

The sorry sight of the old mango tree beside the Queenstown MRT therefore had no bearing upon my mood.  One of its boughs, which had once sported eight ripening fruit,  had broken under the weight of the heavy crop and was blocking the drain that it had overhung.

It belongs to the TrueWay Presbyterian church which is on the site but they never seem to crop it.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
I was making my final Sunday pilgrimage to the Queenstown Public Library where I have spent many happy hours in the reference section on the second floor.

Quite by chance I happened across Bill Bryson's memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (click on cover image right).

This is one of the funniest pieces of writing I have read for some time and I had to stifle my sobs of inner laughter to maintain the quite sanctity of the building. Even then the leather sofa on which I sat shook with my mirth.

I know Bryson from his travel writing but his description of his childhood in the 1950's was extemely enjoyable and a pointed commentary of the consumer society of the time.

It somehow seemed fitting that I should end my final library visit  in such a jovial mood, even though I am not one to believe in omens.

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