On a roll

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Love, love, love Daunt Books! This photo was a complete accident, I went to Daunt bookshop in Marylebone yesterday for genuine work research purposes (not to buy books for self) and a colleague asked me to check out books that might make a good birthday present for a two year old. I was happily snapping some titles to show her and my phone decided to take this rather lovely photo of the children’s section by itself.

My work research completed (was not very interesting but was productive), I also picked out a couple of fab books for another nearly-two-year-old and took stock of books I’ve read recently. It’s now been 4 weeks since I finished my latest course and in that time I’ve managed to read 6 books! This time last year, I’d just had an exam and looked forward to a summer packed with reading books but I only managed a few, I guess the books I read were mainly non fiction which generally takes me longer to read. So, as a little pat on the back for making such a good and sustained effort to reduce books’ ‘pile of shame’, I rewarded self with The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane, which is now finally out in paperback, yay! Really looking forward to reading this, have booked a little walking trip to Yorkshire moors next month and think it could be a very good companion. I also got a rather cute book for Beloved – Our Songbirds, which was a nice little surprise present. This is why I love Daunt, every time I walk in, I feel inspired, they display books I want to read and books I didn’t know I really want to read and I could easily spend serious amounts of time and money every time I go in. Think I was very good at self control yesterday, walking out with just the ‘necessaries’.

Antiquarian bookshop finds

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I keep going on about the large stack of books waiting to be read and then what do I do? Buy more books… Think I can be excused this time, these came from a lovely antiquarian bookshop in Keswick, mentioned in my last post. Why these books in particular? When I have time to read fiction, I try to catch up with some new and good-sounding new releases and I am also working my way, very slowly, through Guardian’s list of 1000 novels everyone should read. I know there are lots and lots of ‘must read’ and ‘100 best’ type lists around, I just found The Guardian’s pretty comprehensive – all those classics you never get around to conveniently placed on one list as well as many 20th century authors that people of my generation or younger may not be aware of any more, Barbara Pym being a good example. I also add comments and other recommendations to the list, India Knight came up with a very good list of comfort reads a couple of years back and the Rosamond Lehman was one of her recommendations, looking forward to reading it. Am currently reading Howard’s End and very much enjoying it. Have read A Passage to India before and I love how Forster’s writing seems measured, perhaps that’s not the right word, proper, maybe with all these tensions and insecurities bubbling up underneath. Wonderfully realised characters, boxed in by their own and the society’s expectations and codes of behaviour according to class, is your money new or old – can they ever mingle and ‘how to help the poor’, being a favourite topic of the ladies debate club the sisters in Howard’s End belong to. Wouldn’t it just be fabulous if you had the time to read great books all day long…

Spiritualized at Hackney Empire

Was clearing out iphone photos this morning, lots and lots of pictures of breads and cakes, the obsession is strong at the moment. Found a couple of pictures I took at Spiritualized concert at Hackney Empire a couple of weeks ago so thought I’d post. Not brilliant but not bad for an old iphone either:

Concert was very good, they pretty much only played the new album, to be released in the next couple of weeks, a couple of songs from Ladies and Gentlemen… and nothing from favourite album, Songs in A + E. Sound was fabulous and so was their set up on stage. Someone on twitter said the audience all worked in IT, which I thought was quite funny.

Moth party

Oh yes, they went and had themselves a massive party in my cardi/dress. I know it was only COS and it bobbled on pretty much first wear last year but it is now no longer fit to be seen in public (pictured only the biggest hole but there are many many many more holes allover it). That’s what happens when wardrobe space too small and seasonal clothes get to spend time in the attic. Unbelievably, moths only partied in COS and left vintage Roksanda Ilincic and Sonia Rykiel sweaters as well as favourite wooly skirts alone. Am considering myself lucky that moths seem to have cheap taste.

Perhaps fixing moth holes in cardi dress can go on my already super long list of things to do over Christmas break and I should really figure out a moth-proof way of putting clothes in attic as garment bag inside another tightly sealed bag clearly didn’t work.

Accidental light

So I love how half of London is a building site at the moment, let’s make it all sparkly and shiny and new for the Olympics next year and let’s make it super difficult for people to get from one place to another. Great. Anyway, I am frequently passing King’s Cross station, where the front is currently being renovated and I love how imposing this looks at night covered in scaffolding but it’s impossible taking a decent picture of the site from a bus. Last night’s attempts:

 

You can see the hand rail and the lights in the bus just at the level of where the clock is at King’s Cross, it’s like the clock is emitting some strange light. Love it!