WHISPERING SMITH:On the road again...

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On my usual weekly trawl along the bookshelves in the town’s thrift shops I found a near perfect copy of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, a Penguin modern classic, in new condition and worth every penny of the 49p it cost me.

Back home, I discovered a rubber stamp on the inside front cover, Littlehampton Community School English Faculty.

Having read in the press recently that schools were so hard up they were asking parents to chip in for books I wondered why this one wasn’t in use in the school or sitting on some young person’s bedside table.

It might have been borrowed and not returned or it may have been dumped because American titles were not too popular with Mr Gove.

Either way it is a tad disrespectful of such an iconic work.

Their loss is my gain as my copy was long lost to the mists of a more youthful time and I look forward to reading it again.


Watched Groundhog Day last week while sitting miserably in front of the TV nursing the vicious cold that is wandering around the countryside and felling everyone in its path.

Maybe it was the Night Nurse but my mind did drift from the screen and I began to see that, in many ways, Groundhog Day is partially real for us all.

The alarm goes off at seven, you perform your ablutions, snatch a breakfast, get in the car or head for the station, get on the usual train and sit in the same seat as you did the day and all of the days of the weeks before and do the day’s work you thought you had mostly done yesterday.

You come home, eat drink and maybe be get a bit merry, go to bed and it all begins again when the alarm bell goes off at seven….


Some improvement on my bird feeding garden.

I now have a hedge sparrow, two wood pigeons, a wren, a robin and a rat.