Wednesday 4 January 2012

The Great British Understatement, a way of coping with 2012?

Slogging through the jungles of Africa in 1873, Dr David Livingstone recorded an extraordinary example of a species that has since become almost extinct:

The Great British Understatement.
The intrepid explorer was suffering from pneumonia, malaria, foot ulcers, and piles so savage he could barely walk. The roasting heat was punctuated by sudden torrential downpours. Many of his porters had run away, and he had been forced to pull out most of his rotting teeth. He had been attacked by leeches, slavers and hostile African tribesmen. Lurking in his gut was a blood clot the size of a cricket ball that would shortly kill him.

In his tent, by the light of a candle, Livingstone picked up his pen and, using berry juice because he had run out of ink, he wrote these magnificent words:
“It is not all pleasure, this exploration”.

The Times 27th Dec 2011
Ben Macintyre

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