The fierce secrecy surrounding the corps of the Queen's messengers has been somewhat relaxed recently, but the "silver greyhounds" are still bound by the Official Secrets Act. This is the record then, of an off-duty Queen's Messenger. Courtauld goes white-water rafting in Costa Rica and walking in the foothills of the Himalayas, is nearly drowned in Mauritius and loses himself looking for the Limpopo River. He is interested in everything, looking at flora, fauna, architecture, art, and history, but it is the quirkiness of human nature that delights him most.
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As a Queen's Messenger for 14 years, the High Sherriff of Essex, or farmer and businessman, George Courtauld takes an interest in everything around him: whether botany, ornithology, history, the arts- and particularly homo sapiens.Review:
'A diarist almost as compellingly readable as Alan Clark...every page has some passage that makes one want to laugh aloud.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT ** 'Excellent... a special pleasure.' SPECTATOR ** 'Lively and hilarious... a thumping good read.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'A witty and at times bad-tempered travelogue that is sterling stuff.' MAXIM 'Up until his recent retirement, George Courtauld worked for the Foreign Office as a Queen's Messenger. If you're not sure what that is, reading this book will leave you none the wiser, for Courtauld--bound by the Official Secrets Act--confines his subject matter to places and people. This adds an air of mystery to the book, and leaves room for more of the Fat Bulldog's tales. Fans of Courtauld's previous books The Travels of a Fat Bulldog and The Fat Bulldog Roams Again will already know the drill, but will be sad to know that this third instalment is to be the last. Reading this book is like reading choice extracts from a most extraordinary diary. In Zambia, Courtauld is taken out to "spot game" at one of the biggest national parks in the world. His host, one Colonel Hawfinch, describes their guide as an "armed incompetent" and his driver as "too stupid to understand my comments on his wretched driving". This is confirmed when the vehicle stalls before 200 charging buffalo and the guard accidentally disconnects the headlamps. As entertaining as these anecdotes are, what really brings them to life is the author's brilliant use of language. The South African wildebeest, for example, is described as "a ridiculous antelope with a long face and a funny little pair of horns perched on the top of its head like a girl's sunglasses pushed up into her hair.' DAREN KING, AMAZON.CO.UK
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Book Description Constable, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0094756708