Monday, 12 January 2009

Miscellaneous Random Facts

I know a lot of random facts that are usually only useful for entering quizzes! For example, the state flower of Hawaii is the yellow Hibiscus -- I told you the facts I know are random. Maybe this explains why I find question answering research so interesting. Given this interest it should come as no surprise that I really enjoy the miscellanies and almanacs compiled by Ben Shott. Unfortunately this caused a slight problem this Christmas and I must start by apologising to my mother -- sorry Mum!

When we went away in mid-November we had lunch at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes (I waxed lyrical over the cheesecake). In the gift shop we saw a copy of Tom Holman's Yorkshire Miscellany. Not only did the book sound interesting but it has been published so as to perfectly match the Schott's Miscellanies. Unsurprisingly we bought it there and then. Unfortunately my parents went for lunch at the creamery about a fortnight later, saw the book, thought it would make an excellent Christmas present for me, and so also bought a copy. You can of course now see where this story is heading.

Obviously my parents didn't tell me what my Christmas presents were going to be and the fact that I had bought this interesting little book didn't come up in conversation, well not until two days before Christmas anyway! Having eaten dinner we were washing up in the kitchen and rinsing out the beer bottles we had already drunk when I remarked upon the fact that I now had a new mission in life -- given the list of all the small breweries in Yorkshire I was determined to try beer from them all. This instantly set alarm bells ringing in my mothers head and she knew that was one of the pages in the miscellany -- when the truth came out boy was I in trouble.

Fortunately both my parents also liked the look of the book so we came to an arrangement -- they kept the book and gave me some extra money instead. I've since spent the money on the Lake District Miscellany also written by Tom Holman. Whilst I haven't had time to read through this one in detail yet, it looks just as good as the Yorkshire miscellany and the Shott miscellanies that inspired it's dust jacket.

My Rating: 5 Stars If you like random facts you will like any of the books mentioned in this post, I promise.

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