Monday, 23 January 2012

Saturday at the Book Fair- an abundance of books

I grumble about doing book fairs. The deciding, sorting, boxing up and worst of all, the lifting are faced with apprehension.  My long-suffering friends and family ask (with gritted teeth) why I still do them.
In truth, I enjoy choosing the books and setting up my stall only when I have enough time and strength but I do so love spending a day talking books with customers and other booksellers, that it's worthwhile in the end.
Saturday's Book Fair is held regularly in Winchester

and is one of the few small remaining places where true booksellers can sell their stock. We are a dying breed but luckily seem to be tenacious and long lived.
We arrive early and apart from a few friendly greetings, all concentrate on unloading our books and setting up. As soon as this is achieved, everyone wanders off to have a closer look at each others stock. Most booksellers have their particular specialities and so there is usually a lot of buying and selling between us even before the doors open! This is the perfect time and place to find that elusive addition to my own library...

There is a great satisfaction in standing back and looking at all my books laid out for all to see and enjoy-

I brought a good selection of children's books-

Some leatherbound sets-

A selection of sheet music-

 Some unusual bits and  pieces to add a little variety-

And something to make me laugh-

I love looking at other bookseller's specialities-

But a bookshelf full of mixed stock is still to me the most uplifting sight. What treasures might I find there?

At 10.00am the fair opened and we all sat ready, peering out from behind out towers of books-

It was a lively, busy day with many book lovers coming along to browse and to buy-

Back to my books and I will just show you a few of my particular favourites-

A beautiful plate from The  Cyclopaedia of Costume

Three books on British birds
and a lovely illustrated edition of Tennyson's poems
In all it was a good day, with interesting people, kindred spirits and I sold quite a lot of books!

The next Book Fair is on Saturday March 3rd... and I promise not to grumble about it this time!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Exit Stage Right...

The Pantomime has finally come to end end of its run. For most of this winter, my son Sam has either been rehearsing or performing in 'Jack and the Beanstalk' at the Salisbury Playhouse.
It has been incredibly hard work but he has loved it so!

As one of the Youth Group he worked alternate days and was often on stage leaping, dancing and singing for hours. The young actors were chosen from a large number auditioning, so we felt very proud when he was picked to join the company.
Sam explained that they had to be 'move perfect' as there was lots of running about and mad mayhem on stage, so you always had to be in exactly the right place at the right moment.

We found out he could dance two summers ago, at a family wedding- when he held everybody spell-bound with his Michael Jackson moves!

However, dancing within a group to a set routine requires very different skills - and a lot of hard work.

There was obviously true camaraderie between all the cast, Sam said it was great being treated as an equal by the professional actors.

He certainly put his heart into it....

When the cast took their final bows at the end of this amazing, energetic and colourful pantomime and my Sam was up there with them-

I thought I might burst with pride!

(Please don't copy any of the photographs from this particular blog- Thank You! )

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Perks of the job

Stock-hunting for 'Kiss the Book' is one of my greatest pleasures and I have come across many treasures. They are not always the most valuable but they are the ones that please me most.
Every so often I let myself keep something I have found.
I am afraid I must not be truly spiritual as I cannot say honestly:
 "If I was to loose everything, I wouldn't mind much"
I do have belongings that I would miss, which I find useful and beautiful and give me pleasure every day.
I was enjoying my first cup of tea today and I decided to look around and show you the some of the things I couldn't quite bring myself to sell!

Shelley- Utility Ware from the 1940s and 1950s. The simple lines please me

This plate is a perfect size for two pieces of toast and I love its hand-painted moss roses

I'm fond of green glass am now tempted to start a collection of old glass bulb holders...

The little green pot usually lives on my kitchen window sill and is perfect for holding a bunch of fresh herbs. The primrose is in the picture merely because I bought it today!

My bedroom is full of my favourite things. I collect old eiderdowns and couldn't resist the rich colours of these two. They are so cosy too, on winter nights, I just keep piling them up on my bed.

The painting is from a car boot sale. It's been re-framed and I look at it every morning with pleasure. It dates from the 1960's and is by a fairly minor artist but to my mind it completely captures those sultry late summer days.

And finally, I have to include some books. There are really too many to mention but then I don't consider books a treat, more of a necessity! However, I shouldn't really have kept this set- it is so eminently saleable! It's in full leather, published in 1887 and they are still called Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell on the main title page. How could I resist a set of my beloved Bronte's?

Jane Eyre, my favourite  Bronte novel

Although needing a bit of work, they are still beautiful-

I shall mend them, feed them, read them and love them.

I'm so glad I kept these treasures!

Monday, 2 January 2012


A gathering of good friends and a sumptuous feast is a perfect way to celebrate the New Year.
 My friend Nicky has the most beautiful home and we decided to hold a dinner party there.

 Everybody brought along a plate of treats and I had great fun making my favourite starter

and some homemade sweets

There was a wonderful selection and when all was laid out we couldn't decide whether it looked more like a Medieval Banquet or a Sultan's Feast...

Nicky lives in a colourful, eccentric house full of her amazing paintings and murals.
Every corner is a treat for the eye

I love her cornflower mirror

and one of her newest paintings

Everybody was in the best of spirits

Sitting around the table we felt festive and fabulous!

The ladies were elegant...

And the gentlemen manly

( I asked them to look manly and this happened....)

It was a very good way to see out the old year and welcome in the new and was summed up by the rather lovely coincidence of two friends who by chance, bought each other identical Christmas presents.

Happy 2012 Everyone