Sorry for being absent this week. Plenty going on, and I'm doing my best to balance getting my work done with awakening a latent social life. It continues to be a challenge to keep myself secluded, but I am trying.

I did indulge in the pleasure of hanging out with Joe E and Philip Blazdell. I first met them from the BootsnAll community, but it seems like we’ve been friends for much longer. BnA has a way of doing that to people.

Philip is writing book reviews for the UK travel publisher ELAND. William Dalrymple calls them “one of the very best travel lists”.

And Joe E, when he’s not telling me to become a groupie for A. A. Gill, continues to push me to review Molvania: A Land Untouched By Modern Dentistry. It releases in the U.S. in September 2004 and is a spin on your traditional guidebook. Never heard of it? That’s the funny part. Bill Bryson says it’s “Brilliantly original and very, very funny.”

Here are some early UK reviews of Molvania:

But back to A. A. Gill. Joe E can give a much better intro. Since he reads anything by A.A.Gill that he can get his hands on. I have read nothing of his yet, but I just like saying and typing the name A.A. Gill. Try it. Untiil then:

Hilarious bio photo. I need one that disguises my age that well. Just from the picture, he reminds me of my good friend Richard Sterling. Though I doubt RS would ever be caught dead with a cup of tea in his hand if a proper drink were nearby. Joe E, tell us, is A.A. Gill any fun?

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