Tuesday, September 8, 2009

for those about to visit Nu Zulund...

If you haven't discovered the writer Duncan Fallowell then you are missing something important. His book about his travels in New Zealand, Going As Far As I Can is a must read if you are about to hit the snow-fields or anywhere in that amazingly beautiful country. NZ is every bit as sensational as seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy which only showed a fraction of some of the glorious countryside. Much like Britain or Ireland but without the motorways.

Fallowell's book hit a few raw nerves in NZ itself but was generally viewed as one of the best travel books about any country...and anyway, we all know most Nu Zelunders are barking mad and talk funny but there must be a reason HRH The Queen owns extensive properties there.

Fallowell's wikopedia entry reports " Graham Greene did not like his first novel but thought it belonged to the 21st century. William Burroughs relished his books " . That's a bit like a recommendation from the Gods.

Now Britain's most infuriating blogger Madame Arcati brings news of Fallowell's new venture, a ghost book named The Visitor. She has a creepy video on her site, set in a rambling old house to introduce the novel and drum up interest.

One commenter on Aracti's site asks where it was filmed. The house looks similar to Sherston, the home of the late Lady Edith Foxwell which the Shuttle spent many a weekend at.

The strange figure who arises from the sofa at the end -believed to be Duncan Fallowell, reminds us of the greeting we always got from Lady Edith's butler-similarly relaxed and always delighted when guests arrived. Being in that he always phoned ahead to request they bring the odd dozen bottles of mixed spirits ( Edith's credit having been cut off at the local village vinter).

You will have to visit the Madame Arcati blog to see Fallowell's spooky video but here's another of his we like-talking about drugs at Oxford.

ps: Duncan Fallowell also wrote a biography of April Ashley, the former Liverpudlian sailor who became one of the world's most famous sex-changes . One of the Shuttle staff often visited April in her house in Hay-on-Wye and once accompanied her to the Berkley Square Ball in the days it was still smart-only to be featured the next day in a photo in the Daily Mail and a piece by the late diarist Nigel Dempster as "April Ashley's new Toyboy".

For some strange reason, Ashley's auto-biography recently had to be pulped over a misunderstanding with her publisher and Shuttle associate John Blake-described by the magazine Private Eye as the "distinguished London publisher". You can get other Blake book titles from his website which features exciting titles like "Katie and Peter - Too Much In Love by  Emily Herbert (yes, a tome about that mystery couple),, Jade - Fighting to the End by..err Jade Goody (I guess before the end came), and our favourite Global Warming and Other Bollocks

For more of Duncan Fallowell's great books, go to his website.

pps: thank you for the many emails pointing out the shocking spelling and grammar errors that appear on the Social Shuttle but we must point out that both Shuttlers suffer from slight dyslexia, are often hungover or just plain drunk when hitting the keyboard. Errors are eventually corrected when our charming assistant Sally arrives in the early afternoon. But feel free to mock the afflicted-we can take it !