The Shipping Forecasts! How could anyone write a whole book about that? I picked this up with a sinking heart. Well, I have to eat my words, this is a remarkable achievement. Charlie travels to most of the sites mentioned in the forecasts (not Rockall) and chatters away in an amusing style relating an astonishing quantity of information about the place and the people. Scarcely a dull moment. Extraordinary.
This solemn, rhythmic intonation of the shipping forecast on BBC radio is as familiar as the sound of Big Ben chiming the hour. Since its first broadcast in the 1920s it has inspired poems, songs and novels in addition to its intended objective of warning generations of seafarers of impending storms and gales.
Sitting at home listening to the shipping forecast can be a cosily reassuring experience. There's no danger of a westerly gale eight, veering southwesterly increasing nine later (visibility poor) gusting through your average suburban living room, blowing the Sunday papers all over the place and startling the cat.
Yet familiar though the sea areas are by name, few people give much thought to where they are or what they contain. In ATTENTION ALL SHIPPING Charlie Connelly wittily explores the places behind the voice, those mysterious regions whose names seem often to bear no relation to conventional geography. Armchair travel will never be the same again.
'What a great idea for a book' - Scotland on Sunday
‘If listening to ‘Sailing By’ to the bitter end every night is the surest sign of a Radio 4 addict, then buying Charlie Connelly’s new travel book runs it close’ Independent on Sunday
'His amiable style provides some good jokes in a book that's as gentle and pleasing as the shipping forecast itself' Daily Mail
Publication date: 05/05/2005
Publisher: Time Warner Books
|Publication date:||5th May 2005|
|Publisher:||Time Warner Books|
Charlie Connelly is a freelance writer specialising in European sport and travel and has written for BBC Match of the Day magazine, Four Four Two, Time Out and the award-winning Scottish Sunday Herald Magazine.More About Charlie Connelly