Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Books for Prisoners, and Drinking Around Wales

There were around twenty people still in Booth's Bookshop when I turned up - I was working late, so couldn't be there for the talk. I did drop off a couple of books, though - there were a wide variety of titles laid out on a table near the door which had been donated. At the back of the shop, the speakers for the evening were signing books. One of them was called The Good Prison. One of the people I spoke to said they had been told that something like 40% of prisoners are illiterate, and need remedial help with reading and writing (which they're not always getting), which is one good reason why cutting off a supply of books is so short sighted.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the literacy spectrum, Tim the Gardener is still enthusiastically studying the Iliad, and comparing various different translations while taking issue, at the moment, with a chap called Gilbert Murray, who had certain anthropological theories about Homeric society, and wouldn't let a little thing like the actual text worry him when it contradicted his entire thesis! I met Tim on the way home, when he gleefully expounded on the subject.

And there was a multi-national crowd in the Rose and Crown the other night, including a couple who were attempting to drink a sample of every beer in Wales. They had sheets with the names of the beers on them, and columns for where they had tried the beer, and hand-drawn pictograms to remind them what it had tasted like (a picture of a river meant it was weak!). They were also passing round samples of some sort of strong spirit which was local to them, but my informant didn't try any!
A couple of campers there were complaining about the cold - whereupon one of the local drinkers actually went home to pick up a duvet to lend them overnight!

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