To Durham

Just three of us sit in the little van taking us south from dreich Glasgow to (possibly) sunny Durham. I disconsolately cast my eyes over the bleak landscape of southern Scotland and wonder what makes it so different from similar American terrain. I realise the main missing visual element is the billboard. You can be in the middle of seemingly endless wilderness in the States but there will always be a billboard along in a few minutes trying to drag you off the interstate into a one horse stop with some gas pumps and a shelf full of poisonous snacks. That’s why Hawaii feels so un-American. They banned billboards there. You should visit. The greens are different too, of course. The grasses of Northern Europe are just that bit more vivid. Their brightnesses always surprises you after a month across the pond. America at its most verdant is just…—More Tales