Armed with just his notebook and blunderbuss, and aided only by three dozen loyal, shackled servants, Sir Albert thought only of the glory of the Empire & how it should probably be all his, as he set off on a voyage of discovery that would forever transform how expeditions were planned, prepared for, executed & abandoned.
What he lacked in modesty, courage & temperance he also lacked in compassion, intelligence & fitness. But Sir Albert Hall was a paragon of belligerence, and that these journals survive to this day is a testimony to his indomitably foul-mannered will. Passed down through the generations as rapidly as possible, these journals now find themselves in my care by virtue of a stipulation in Sir Albert's will that should they be out of print for more than one year, the family estate, trust and all assets thereof shall be forfeited to the descendants of the Zumba tribe, whom Sir Albert apparently found most agreeable during his time in Africa. That he mistook their obvious mockery for admiration is unfortunately not even close to being among the more striking examples of his vanity & ignorance.
Of the original print run of one thousand leather-bound copies, nine hundred and forty seven of the last remaining nine hundred and forty eight were lost in a fire at a warehouse owned by my late father three months ago. The final copy in the possession of the publisher was meanwhile purchased in error a few weeks later. As such, the numerous simpletons, deviants & other generally hopeless wretches that comprise my appalling family asked that I, as the only living Hall capable of finding her arse with both hands, go about the task of commissioning a new edition in order that our collective extrication from our inarguably pleasant lives be circumvented for at least one further, sorry generation.
So here it is. After an unseemly number of expensive lunches, and my agreement to discreetly purchase the 120,000 unsold copies of Anthea Turner’s latest opus, How to Catheterise Your Darling Cat, Bake Something Twee & Still Have Time to Vacuum Before Hollyoaks, I eventually persuaded