Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Last week I visited the Scilly Isles, in the far southwest of England, for the Sunday Times. My particular goal was St Agnes, a remote, wild, funky little island, the least visited in the archipelago. I went with Claire and we got drunk a lot in the only pub on the island. We also met many of the locals, who were sweet, kind, hospitable, funny and furiously inbred. A lot of them had this weird facial look - sort of buck teeth and boss eyes. I saw one person like this and thought 'hmm, that's a strange face, you don't see many like that', then I saw about two dozen more. Later in the weekend we visited another island in the chain, Tresco, and we saw, yes, lots of people with boss eyes and buck teeth. I suspect the Scilly Isles may have rather a small gene pool, in fact it's probably more of a gene puddle. But hey, that doesn't stop the people being fun, and the island superlatively beautiful. It's a lovely spot, clean, serene, winsome, flowery, and bathed in an almost suptropical warmth. When the sun's out. You can see why the Celts thought these islands were the 'Isles of the Blest', the valhalla of fallen heroes, the resting place of the most noble souls. But if you go there try not to be surprised that everyone you meet has the surname Hicks.  Posted by Hello

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