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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Rainy Days

Robbie and Charlotte ( my son & his  girlfriend) are now at the age where all of their friends are getting engaged and married.  They are home this weekend to go to a wedding at Priory Church.  The wedding is in an hour’s time and it is absolutely pouring down with rain -  I mean it is hammering it down. - not just a little shower but a full on deluge. The poor bride! Oh how I feel for her.  When we got married the same thing happened.  The heavens opened and let forth their wrath.   This was before the days of country house weddings it was church (for which I am not applicable – having never  been christened) Registry Office or nothing.  So we had a Registry Office wedding at the delightful venue of a Portakabin in Houghton Regis  because the lovely historic Dunstable Registry Office which overlooks the park,   was being refurbished. 

 Just after we had tied the knot and were sheltering under umbrellas getting ready to make a dash for the car, my Nan who was in her 80s  and extremely superstitious came up to me and whispered in my ear “Congratulations my darling -  but oh dearie me , this is a sad day, every drop of rain on your wedding day represents s a slap he’ll give you!”   Thanks for that Nannie – just what I needed to hear!  Twenty-five years on and  I somehow remain happily married, un-battered and content with my lot -  so much for old wives’ tales.  In fact whilst writing I think I see a break in the darkened skies. So here’s to Naomi and Steve – even though I have never met them.  May their wedding be joyous and their marriage long and happy.  And I do hope that they don’t have any superstitious old ladies ready to put the dampeners on what is already an extremely damp day. 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bringing home the Bacon

We had a call last week from a charming gentleman who wanted to buy all the editions we had of Nevil Shute books with jacket art by CWB.  We chatted a bit and he said that CWB was in fact his father and his copies had been lost somewhere along the line and he wanted replacements.  His  father was paid eight guineas for each of the jacket designs – a fair amount of money in the 1950s  when they were published – but he received nothing for subsequent print runs – of which, being Nevil Shute,
there were plenty.  Anyway I did a bit of research on CWB – whose full name was C.W. Bacon  - his modus-operandi behind designing a jacket was to keep any personal reflection of the story  out of the equation and so his designs were merely an illustration of the subject matter  – the Shute ones are all in pen and ink.   I think they are stylish and rather lovely in their simplicity.  Don't you? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Why limit yourself to reading the little blighters?

Folded Heart Book. $52.00, via Etsy.

I had a lovely customer email me yesterday asking for a nice  copy of Jane Eyre which she wanted  so that she could  make a piece of art as a wedding gift.  Oooh -  at this my ears pricked up. My interest was piqued. You  see I am not a purist -oh no -  not for me the fixed idea that all books are completely sacred and must not under any circumstances be used for anything but their original purpose, and after all I have a tonne of books here waiting for recycling because the penny-sellers  on Amazon have made them all but unsaleable. But  I have to admit, folded-book art is  a new one for me, so I asked her what  it entailed exactly.  And this is it! How gorgeous is that? I LOVE IT!  Her friend is getting married and her friend's favourite book is Jane Eyre -  so she making one of these - with their wedding date as the folded bit.  How fabulously thoughtful is that?  Of course, I also  now know that there is a new business opportunity for me with all my worthless  old rejects.   Fold, fold, fold - make adorable - that'll be £30 please!  Now if only I were arty - I'd be onto something :

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another spooky coincidence?

It is European Election Day and we have just sold this  book to a European Commissioner in Luxembourg.  Do you think he is trying to influence my vote? Cometh the Hour Cometh the Man.  I swear nobody ever reads this blog but at least  I amuse myself!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And one man in his time plays many parts..

I found this article about Neil Pearson really interesting.  It  just absolutely captures the essence of what I love about this job.

I particularly love this :-

 "You're paying for the privilege of looking after these things for a couple of generations while time decides what's worth keeping – and that's a lovely thing to do".

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thought for the day

In light of recent events in the Ukraine should I be concerned that we have sold two war books to Russia overnight?  

The first - The Crimean War : A Clash of Empires which according to my brilliant description(!) offers a balanced view of the war from both the British and Russian perspective, focusing on various epic battles including the siege of Sevastopol, the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, Chernaya, and  the charge of the British cavalry at Balaklava. 

The second to a different customer in Moscow - Paris 1918 : The War Diary of the British Ambassador, the 17th Earl of Derby - which provides a detailed and important account of the last months of WWI as seen through the eyes of the British Ambassador in Paris.

Should we be building an Anderson Shelter in the garden and stocking up on tinned food?  

Incidentally when I was small I lived in a house which had an Anderson Shelter in the garden.  I don't much fancy our chances of surviving a war if ours was anything to go by.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

We're Alright Jack

Whilst I am generally not a lover of the Daily Mail.  I thought this article was quite interesting.  Personally I have never really understood why the e-reader and the book have to be mutually exclusive.  Surely it's horses for courses?  Kindles are great for holiday reading & travelling light, but the pleasure of reading a proper book is ingrained into our psyche on a deeper level somehow.  Anyway - if what he says is true and sales of e-books are falling now in America, with sales in the UK expected to follow suit, then I will sleep easier tonight!!  Over and out!