A Good English Wall

Here are the top ten reasons I’m always in search of a good English wall:

1) If you have a good English wall, it means you’re in England, and if you’re in England, it means that you exist on the edge of the very edgy and modern city of London, which cannot be more than a few hours away. That’s a lot of edges, in a good way.

2) You’ve got a guarantee that you won’t get lost while on a run through the English landscape. All you have to do is run along the wall, and not jump it, and there’s no way to get lost. At any point, when you get tired, just turn around and follow that same wall to where you began. You know how hard it is to come by a genuine guarantee these days?

3) A good English wall solves all occurrences of: “If I could just have a few quiet minutes to read the paper I would read the paper more often.” That is, of course, unless bunnies hopping around in greenery is too much noise for you. A good English wall is also perfect reading height, unlike pesky bar-hight granite countertops. Who wants to read a paper at chest height? No. Read your paper on a good English wall. Perfect in every way.

4) But what about reading the paper with kids, Johnny? There goes peace and quiet. Except nope. Because guess what else is the perfect height and width to play barn? Yep. A good English wall. Even if the kids don’t appreciate the leafy stillness of the English countryside, they will appreciate all that elbowroom.

5) A good English wall is basically a good English drink stand, and one, by the way, which comes with its own view of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. And it’s stone. So you don’t even have to remember to bring a coaster. As if you would remember in all the excitement of all that landscape to bring a coaster.

6) The public footpaths of England are genius. If you’re looking for full emersion in the U.K., just find one of the footpaths, walk it, and you are walking through land owned and operated and lived on by British citizens and so you cannot sink any further into England than walking its private, natural land. These footpaths are open to the public and the best way to find a good English footpath is to find a good English wall. If you are lucky, one will lead you to the other. It’s your best shot, anyway.

7) Reading about the English characters of Harry Potter, while propped-up against a good English wall, is like seeing animals in their natural habitat instead of at a zoo. Plus, in the scary parts of Harry Potter, no matter how hard you press yourself into that old, old wall as the not one but three jaws of Fluffy come seriously close to maiming the boy Harry, the wall will not give. It’s lasted through a lot worse than that, and for centuries. Stiff upper lip? More like stiff English Wall.

8) In general, the Johnny Book team likes to highlight the things about a country that a particular county is best at, and that you can’t really get anywhere else. Or else what was the point of coming here? And try finding a good English wall in France, or Norway. You can’t. Nobody else does a wall that segments the brilliance of the English landscape as well as Shakespeare segmented the acts of his plays. 

9) Glory is a nap on a good English wall. You might be thinking, “Oi, Johnny, those stones look pretty lumpy, and I like a firm, smooth sleeping surface.” The stones are more like guides, though, for gently guiding your head, your shoulders, your arms, your legs, into the grooves that seem designed just for you, and your last words, before you fall asleep on your bed of a warm, good English wall, the English Landscape your pillow, the clouds your celling-fan set on medium because high makes it shake and tick, is, “How did those English, hundreds of years ago, know the exact dimensions of my body?” Besides, how can you beat falling asleep for a nap somewhere where you don’t wake up and say, “Damn, I was having such a good dream,” but instead, “Damn, I just woke up to every good dream I’ve ever had.”

10) A good English wall is not only the world’s most beautiful location; it also doubles as the world’s most beautiful conversation piece. If you start any conversation with, “So I was at a good English wall…” then no matter what anybody else has said up until then, or even if anyone starts speaking at the same time as you about anything else, it won’t matter. You’ll earn all the congratulations. All English walls come with a gold medal of conversation. Might as well be called good English podium.