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Floating to the Fringe

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Loved it! 😍

Singer-songwriter Paul Thompson goes on tour across England and Scotland... in a milk float.

Some people dare to be different. Paul Thompson is an enthusiastic young folk singer-songwriter that wanted a change in his touring routine. His solution: he purchases an electric milk float, names it Bluebell, and travels across England and Scotland on a silly musical tour of the country.


Paul soon finds that his milk float is far more than just transportation. It becomes his constant companion on his journey (he speaks to it often) and his way of promoting his shows. Often, it's a logistical nightmare as it struggles up hills, breaks down, and gets stuck in the most inconvenient places. But most importantly, it transports him to "the Milk Float Dimension" where he is forced to slow down and relish the experience of life on the road. He travels as far as the Outer Hebrides before culminating his tour at the Fringe festival in Edinburgh.


I enjoyed getting to know the landscapes and culture of the rural countryside and islands. I've never spent so much time looking at a map of Britain, tracing his route from one city to the next. His descriptions bring the people and places alive and made me wish I could tag along for a while. It's great to know that so many wonderful small towns still exist.


You get a good up close and personal picture of an independent musician doing shows while on a shoestring budget. No gig was too small for Paul and sometimes the shows with the least people are where he would meet the most interesting people. I found it fun to stream some of Paul's music from the internet between chapters to better immerse myself into the scenes.


My only criticism is that it occasionally comes off like a daily journal, listing mundane events that seem like they could be skipped. But the general narrative is informative and entertaining. I recommend this book for someone who likes reading travel books to get a feel for the place (think Bill Bryson). In a time when travel writing tends to be all about exciting, fast-paced adventure, Floating to the Fringe reminds readers to take a deep breath and slow down.

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I spend my free time outside, exploring nature any way I can. My bookshelf is filled with nonfiction adventure travel, historical exploration, local history, and the environment.

Life in the Slow Lane

About the author

Paul Thompson is a British singer-songwriter and travel writer based in Norfolk, England. He tours internationally, as well as around the British Isles in his mobile milk float stage ‘Bluebell’, and is the Guinness World Record Holder for 'the longest journey by electric milk float'. view profile

Published on August 28, 2020

70000 words

Genre: Travel

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