Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A wonderfully festive weekend

I could write a week of posts about the weekend I've just had, and in fact, I may well have to! It was a great start to the festive season, although I was almost glad to get back to work to have a break today.

On Saturday, I went to London, for a day out with Paperback Reader Claire. An incredibly efficient bus ride, spent listening to Christmas carols on my ipod got me to London 3/4 hour early, which meant I had a huge amount of time to browse the shelves in the Notting Hill Books and Comics exchange where we had planned to meet. I offloaded some of my unwanted books which meant I had £28 of credit to spend; I had, however to stop choosing books when I couldn't carry anymore. These are the things I picked up (crowned by the exquisite Persephone 90 which was a present from Claire) (she also gave me the new Nigella book, not pictured)

As you can see, I managed to snag several VMCs (including one I already had - K didn't check my shelves fast enough - but I passed it onto Claire), a book set in Cornwall by Jill Paton Walsh, two children's books set in the war (Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, and Blitz Cat by Robert Westall), two children's books belonging to series of which I already have one - Emma's Island (Honor Arundel), Across the barricades (Joan Lingard), a lovely Eyewitness guide to Monet (for only £1!), The dig by John Preston which I've wanted to read for ages - a fictionalised account of the digging up of Sutton Hoo, Waterland by Graham Swift, which again I've wanted to read for ages due to its watery theme, a copy of Wish her safe at home by Stephan Benater which I was intrigued to read about on Rachel's blog (Claire also picked up a copy), a book from the Little Black Dress imprint to which I am completely addicted for easy reads (more about those another day I think), Monica Dicken's Kate and Emma which I've read before but don't own, Corsets to Camouflage by Kate Adie, ditto - and it's such an interesting popular book about women's history and their role in wars, and Full term which is the last book in a quartet which I've not come across before but is set in Oxford and for that, it interested me.

After that, we went and warmed up with drinks in Starbucks, before catching the tube down to Hoborn for some lunch, where I took this picture of our matching Persephone bags. Sadly we didn't have time to go to the shop on this occasion, but we did of course use our bags to carry them around!)

The main reason for our visit was a trip to see the stage production of Raymond Brigg's The Snowman. This was the third time I'd seen it, and it didn't disappoint - it translates beautifully to stage and is a really magical way to start Christmas. Claire said I could put up this picture; I apologise for the blurriness - I obviously had too much tomato soup!

Thanks Claire for lots of fun - it was a great day out! I think this post has quite enough in it so I will write about what K did in my absence tomorrow, and my advent tea party on Thursday.


  1. What a fun day! I've always wanted to see The Snowman, and what a way to start feeling Christmassy! You got a great haul as well - I will have to visit this famous Book and Comic exchange when I return to London! I am certain you will enjoy Wish Her Safe at Home!

  2. I am so glad to read this: in the summers I live two blocks away from that Book and Comic Exchange, and somehow I have never once set foot inside. There are a slew of other bookstores in the neighborhood that have always dominated my attention (including the "new" Daunt books down the street in Holland Park and the -sniff- now defunct Persephone store just up the hill), and in recent years I become obsessed with how great the selection and cheap the books are at the local Oxfam store a half block away. But now I have another to add to the list. I am full of envy for that stack!

  3. Sounds like a great weekend! And I spy a Monica Dickens in your stack-- lucky! I'll be looking for that one as I just loved Mariana.

    And where does one score a beautiful Persephone tote? I'll bet I have to cross the pond and buy one at the store. Sigh.

  4. What fun - really looking forward to hearing about your Advent Tea Party too.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful day! I will look forward to hearing about the tea party.

  6. Sounds like a fantastic weekend! I really need to get to that book exchange at some point.

    I have a copy of Wish her Safe at Home. I'll be interested to see what you think of it. Hopefully I'll get round to reading it sometime next year.

    Enjoy all your new books :-)

  7. Sounds like a perfect day out with a lovely friend!

  8. Sounds as though you had a wonderful day! I love the new Nigella book, I think it is her best yet!

  9. Rachel - you will have to come with me next year :) I bet NY is pretty Christmassy by now.

    Sycorax Pine - goodness, you must definitely go there, even if you don't have books to sell it is one of the cheapest second hand bookshops I've been in - everything in the basement is £1.

    Karen - Kate and Emma is a particularly good Monica Dickens book.

    Joan and Susan - will be posting pics of the tea on Thursday :)

    Jackie - yes, it seems to be a popualr book at the moment - I hope I will enjoy it. The book exchange can be a bit deadly though!

    Hayley and Darlen - it was!

    Dot - I haven't had time to even open it yet :(

  10. What a wonderful sounding weekend. And a wonderful haul of books, as well! I'm looking forward to your reviews.


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