I chose not to stage a pretty picture for this book review. I chose to show you how it is, in its true state.
Raw and a little unpolished in places, I fell in love with its simple message and the unapologetic delivery of some things we may not be ready to hear, let alone accept. There are no airs and graces, no desire to preach and no ulterior motive.
Written in 2015, it’s Author, lacked the confidence and money to pursue this self publishing dream. It is not easy to go against the grain in life, particularly when you may be ridiculed . Judith assures us that she did not write this book. It was dictated to her, by what some would refer to as ‘Spirits’ or ‘Angels’. Rather than bring you messages from beyond the grave, this book debunks many fast held beliefs including many religious ones. For it is given as a message about what we really are doing here on Earth.
If you believe this will be ‘airy fairy’ and something that tells you something comforting- you will be wrong. There are parts harder to swallow than a cactus, particularly when it questioning the readers actions and thought processes. Whilst holding them accountable in some way for where they are now.
This book does not hold your hand while you cross the road. It does not stand in the middle with a lollipop stick checking it is safe for you. It tells you the way it is and leaves you to DO something (hopefully) about it. You can be closed minded and cynical about many things in life, but I promise you that you will take something from this book.
This book will not tell you how to speak to dead people, predict the future or look for ‘signs’. It will shake you up and bollock you. It is penned to make you question your existence and that of everything around, whilst also providing information that can enrich us, if we get past the bullshit and focus on the real objectives.
It advises that the World we know is a million miles away from what was intended, and how greed and materialism, politics and hate will kill us all eventually if we do not turn the tide. However, it is not a doom and gloom novel. It is not casting us into damnation, merely asking us to re-asses our presence here and the mark we leave on both the Earth and minds of those who come into contact with us. It is greater than a nudge but just short of a push. It demands to be noticed. It commands you to listen, and to remove the blinkers.
This is a book about destiny and the fulfilment of a path pre-arranged for us. Deviation from the path will bring us knowledge, experience, pain and joy, but the end result will be the same. Our purpose here should be fulfilled, and you will be told what happens when it isn’t.
From the physical manifestation of mental pain, and fear and bitterness stunting our spiritual growth, if we deny or dismiss what is pre ordained we will be shown over and over until we finally and humbly learn.
It tells us why we have inexplicable bonds with some people, and how we sometimes ‘just know’ things, even when we are told it is ludicrous. It challenges us to accept that we are far more than a body, and that we have a lot to learn in terms of what actually happens to our ‘Soul’ when we ‘die’ on Earth.
There are many things within its pages that are even more relevant in today’s shitstorm. Natural disasters, plagues, greedy politicians and media control. It doesn’t make it any easier in parts to carry on reading, but something urges you on, willing you to finish, because it really is a revelation and an eye opener.
If you have ever questioned why you are here, and what your purpose is, then read something a little different from the mainstream. If a belief system that has been drilled into you, has never resonated, read this book.
Humble, beautiful, wrenching and enlightening. Its teachings will not leave you as they found you. And that is entirely its purpose. Click here to view- The True Meaning of Life- Judith Hindle
Bill Bryson. Definitely on my list of ‘People to invite to Dinner’. He would obviously be unable to resist and come round for a chippy tea. Bringing his chuckle and those kind eyes that Father Christmas impersonators the world over try to master to get the job.
This man has more facets than the latest all singing all dancing latest multi faceted hair colour brand. Whatever that is.
Bill has been resident in my home for years now, copies exchanged, borrowed, lent, charity shopped and gifted. I started with his travel books, and went onto his historical, scientific, educational ones.
You will find the same humour, humanity, and superb observation in them all. His travel books are informative, but for me the real pull is the way he ‘puts you there’ . Witty, curious and charming, with a hint of plain savagery at times. It is his observance of people and their quirks, that enchants me the most.
It seems that Bill cannot stay still, either physically or mentally, and nor would i want him to. He instils, within me, a curiosity for the World, Language and People, and if i ever did get to meet him, I would absolutely just nod my head, mute, and dumbstruck. Or bear hug him. Either way he would up his security.
Which ones have you read?
I am on Neither Here Nor There at the moment. Hoping this European travel adventure, covers Denmark- which is my next planned stop, allowing me to ‘bed in’ somewhat with familiarity.
Covid may stop our trip in August, but we can still travel, through well written books and amazing photography.
“I’ve got you a present Sis”
As she handed me the parcel I knew it was a book, and given that we had been trying to sort out our travel itinerary the week before, it was no real surprise that it was a Bradt Travel Guide-The Gambia.
The lack of surprise however, did not dull the shine or joy of the gift. I gleefully hugged her, and we did the happy jumping up and down thing, whilst hugging, which meant she was suffocating in my boobs. The short arse.
I read the Bradt guide, like I do with all travel guides, fervently, excitedly, and taking my pen to it, marking places with stars and underlining things. Drinking in the maps, circling things and joining them with arrows and question marks. It is an absolute chaotic mess to be honest. But I never did intend to pass it on.
Geekdom Level 100 was hit when I overheard a fellow passenger mentioning an attraction there and I knew which page in the guide it was on. No wonder I am single.
In the foreword of this guide, was as usual, a nod to the authors, updaters and contributors that had penned the guide, and something that stood out to me.
That Simon Fenton, a seasoned travel writer and photographer, had fallen in love in Senegal (the neighbouring country to The Gambia). Packed up his life in the UK, and taken to living with his Partner, amongst the Jola tribespeople.
From there they built an eco-guesthouse, The Little Baobab Guesthouse and Simon documented his adventures in the book Squirting Milk At Chameleons- An Accidental African. The passage in the travel guide turned out to be a eulogy of sorts. He was killed in a car crash in 2017 in Senegal.
I ordered the book before the holiday ended. Returned home and devoured it, then ordered the sequel- Chasing Hornbills- Up To My Neck In Africa.
I just found the whole thing, charming, funny, romantic and often ridiculous. The tightrope of the middle class Englishman and his Tribeman alter ego, often bumbling his way through, not even pretending to have a clue what he was doing- had me chuckling, and admiring him at the same time. Even if I had, no first-hand knowledge of Africa, I still would have enjoyed it. No doubt at all.
Sometimes, when you read something, a chain reaction starts, a series of events is set in motion. The lovely gift of a travel guide, led me to 2 books I fully submersed in, a fascination for the Jola tribe, and the determination that I would go and stay at the Eco-guesthouse, in Abene, Casamance.
I will write more about my Gambian adventure on the Places Blog. I really do recommend you read Simon’s first book Order Here, see how it makes you feel, and take it from there.