Sacred Combe by Simon Barnes
Published by Bloomsbury hardcover
240 pages Price £14.99
ISBN 978 1 4729 1402 6
This is certainly a different read compared to his last book ‘Ten million Aliens’. Those that used to read Simon’s regular bits in the Times will know that he was mad on one part of Africa. That is the Luanga valley in Zambia. This was his special ‘sacred combe’ but your own personal joy did not have to be a far off place where few people may have travelled to. Even a wood surrounded by houses in the Midlands was called ‘the sacred combe of Reddich’! Or it could be the marshes where Simon lives now in Norfolk. There are a lot of personal thoughts in here and even the fact that it was not a lion that nearly brought Simon to his end but a train! Crossing a railway bridge on what he and his friend thought was a Sunday was actually a Monday when trains did run across this line! That ‘Garden of Eden’ was destroyed by the introduction of farming locking people into a structure not like the hunter/gatherer roaming free to look for food. Have we lost that fear of the wild which makes you more aware of the habitats around you? The book makes you think about what we have and what we have lost. A great read even with a Willow Warbler to finish with!