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Showing posts from December, 2007

Happy Christmas

I'm not going to be online much over the following days (at least that's the theory: as my sister is coming to stay and the office doubles as the spare room it can be tricky). The dog and I have started Christmas off with a bang when we both fell over in the mud; Mary Bantam has excelled herself by actually laying an egg (first since October); and I haven't yet wrapped a single Christmas present. When you spend every day of your life wrapping things, it's difficult (no, it's impossible) to round up any enthusiasm at all for more.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, with every possible book that you want, wrapped or unwrapped!

Just when you think

it's all going to go quiet it is anything but. Normally orders slow right down the week before Christmas, so I'd made all sorts of mental lists about what I was going to do: finish the Gillian Baxter interview, finish the Josephine Pullein-Thompson interview, do some much-needed work on the website.... Oh, and disinter the presents I have bought from the Amazon boxes and sort out what I still need to get...

But no. It's been frantic, and all I seem to have been doing is pack - but it did fall to my lot to walk the dog this evening. Fortunately the dog has moved on a bit since we got her. When we first had her, she was so nervous that if she wanted to bark at something, she would have to go behind a tree and do it from there. She was scared of the dark, and would only go outside after dark if one of us came with her and held her quaking labrador paw.

Now on our evening walks, which always happen after dark, she takes off up the dark track like a rocket. I'm very…

The Pariah Dogs

I don't think JPT would have minded what I turned up in, but my OH has Standards (and as you probably all know by now, I don't). As he was taking the day off so I could go to London I did feel a bit of compromise was called for... and had forgotten how warm London is in comparison to the Midlands. So, I wore the one smart coat, with a few dog biscuits sneaked into it, none of which were needed as I saw no animals and the only birds were pigeons.

It was the first time I had been into the new, refurbished and clean St Pancras. For years now going into St Pancras has been a case of being shunted out to the furthest depths of the platforms, followed by a mammoth trek to the underground, and what I was hoping for most was being able to draw into St Pancras proper, and not be shunted off somewhere far distant to make room for international travellers. St Pancras has always been "my" station, and there were all those iconic things about the journey that meant you were ge…

Off to London

which is a fairly rare thing for me, now that rail fares are so vile , but today I am going to meet Josephine Pullein-Thompson, which as you can imagine, is a darn good reason for going anywhere.

The one thing that is causing a bit of dissent here is what coat do I wear. It is freezing. The hens were very reluctant to stir, and the dog was whizzing around trying to keep warm, rather than trying to nick the birds' fruit. To me, it's obvious. Lovely water-proof Barbour with wonderful fluffy liner; complete with pockets of dog biscuits. No, says OH. Your one smart coat - it is warm enough. I am a chilly mortal and nothing is ever warm enough. Besides, I say, the dog biscuits will come in useful when I am being chased through the streets of London by hordes of wild pariah dogs. I can buy myself useful time by hurling dog biscuits at them. You never know.

Judith M Berrisford

After a lot of huffing and puffing (including yet another load of corrupt links - why do these always surface when I am already frantic?) I have the Judith M Berrisford pages thereabouts done. For once, I have managed to find copies of nearly all her books (many, many thanks to Haffyfan, Dawn and SusanB who nobly filled gaps) - the one missing is Five Foals and Philippa, which I've just ordered. I'll be very interested to read it.

As regular readers will know, I am not JMB's biggest fan. I do think though, that she was very blessed with her cover artists. The Jackie series in particular, which was illustrated by Geoffrey Whittam, is a real charmer. I haven't seen all of the books, but I presume all the covers are by him.
Jackie and Babs, heroines of the Jackie series, I find are like puppies: incredibly enthusiastic, full of life, but prone to, every now and then, doing things you'd really rather they wouldn't. Ponymadbooklover, in this excellent post on h…

A week already?

It has been a frantic week - which is good from one point of view as at least I'm selling books, which all helps. Lovely though it is to have shelves of immaculate and expensive books, the Co-Op are strangely reluctant to take them, preferring good hard cash, so it's handy that the immaculate-but-expensive (as well as the used-and-cheaper) are being converted into cash. If this year's like any other, it will be frantic up until the middle of next week, when trade will suddenly die. Any orders there are will usually be by telephone, and the people who place them will start to have that stressed urgency in their voices which doesn't generally surface the rest of the year. Just before Christmas it is quiet, quiet, quiet, but the thing I have found over the last couple of years is that I get a lot of good orders over the Christmas period itself.
I have a few theories over why this is: people haven't got what they wanted or hinted for, so are making good now; they'v…