Follow the brown signs
I’m very excited this morning. I’m excited the way I always get when wake up early because I’m going in holiday (and also a bit anxious because of course I haven’t done anything useful like packing or thought about where the hell my passport might be in my pit of a bedroom). I’m a bit more excited about this trip than normal because I’m going to France, not the most exotic of destinations you might be thinking dear reader, but seasoned brown-signers and regular visitors to this site know that France happens to be the birthplace of the humble brown tourist sign. After their installation and success over there in the 1970s – directing visitors to chateaux, museums, rivers, castles and historic market towns and the like (see picture) – Britain decided to nick the idea and do the same here in the 1980s. Now brown signs are used all over the world and they might not know it but those French authorities have inspired a whole generation of brown signers (well, me and you) to follow them and discover of whole wealth of cool people and places we wouldn’t have even a clue even existed before. They were blazing trails and they didn’t even know it, those brown signs are fantastique madams et monsieurs and I’m going to go around saying so whenever I can (loudly in Franglais of course).
Apart from randomly following as many brown signs to destinations I can’t even pronounce the names of as I can, the real point of this trip is to visit The Somme and the WWI battlegrounds and museums in the area with my boyfriend and his dad. For some reason I didn’t take history at school so it ‘s been this brown sign shaped project of mine that’s been the history A-Level education I never had and provided me with an eye-opening and amazing journey through British events that I always bang on about with zeal on the blog. I’ve learnt about the British monarchy and the forming of our government, read about the feuds, the unquenchable desire for land and the conquests that lead to and wars and battles, and got engrossed in the invasions, victories and defeats that have all played their part in mapping the ever zigzagging and fascinating myriad of paths that make up our history. What unfolded during WWI and WWII (and of course what could have unfolded but didn’t) shaped Britain so fundamentally that I wanted to pay homage to the people who fought in them, who were all part of the tragic but world-changing history which we all live in the wake of today. Brown signs point the way to the battlefields and cemeteries so it gives me a grew excuse to blog you all senseless about them too, can’t wait 🙂