What is there to say about this absolutely gorgeous book?
I first learned about it from watching Alistair Humphrey's My Midsummer Morning. On that adventure, he followed in Laurie Lee's footsteps by busking his way across Spain for a month. Mind you, Alistair had the added challenge of being unable to play the violin six months before his journey began.
Before this book, I found myself in a bit of a reading slump. Reading had become merely something that was done for work and study. It was a means of getting information. Part of this is because a novel I had been trying to read just proved to be an impossible slog that wasn't worth it. Then, I learned about this book and also noticed that it's quite short. It's generally true but it's written as a novel and I found myself swept away from the moment Laurie Lee left the village in the Cotswolds where he grew up.
For a book that is, primarily, about a journey across Spain, there is a lot of England here. The book covers about two years of life and half of that is actually in England.
As I read, it made me want to go on an adventure. Not one that is so grand, I have a family to look after whereas he was only 19 when he set off, but one nonetheless. It's a book that makes you want to get outdoors. We are hoping to do a hiking holiday next summer. We're even wondering if that is what we end up doing with our family holidays. Putting ourselves in situations where we'll be able to go for a ramble, a wild swim in a cold loch. While the book was set in Spain, it has made me crave the landscape here in Britain. I can imagine only ever needing to explore around here on this small group of islands.