A little wander into town ….

…. is a rare treat these days, as I visit my mother in her nursing home on my two half-days off in the week and on Saturdays. But today I found a spare hour, the sun was shining, and so off I went. And it was a trip that brought rich rewards.

I went in search of the newest issue of ‘Country Life’, because I had learned from Marley that there was a lovely cover picture of a border terrier, and an article inside about Briar’s kinsfolk.

Briar was very pleased that the cover described her as ‘the thinking man’s best friend’ (though in this house it’s more a case of ‘the reading woman’s best friend’) and I was very pleased with the article which explained what wonderful dogs borders are, noted their growing popularity, and expressed concerns about some of the negative consequences of that popularity.

When I went out with Pip, who was dog of the house here before Briar, we rarely saw another border, but Briar meets borders, locals and holiday-makers, on a regular basis.

While I was in the newsagent I spotted the new, early autumn issue of ‘Designer Knitting’ (‘Vogue Knitting’ in most of the rest of the world). It’s not a magazine I’ve knitted much from, but the articles are well worth reading and even the patterns that don’t go into my ever-increasing Ravelry queue are interesting to study for stitch patterns, construction, unusual ideas …

This issue I have my eye on a checkerboard mesh raglan (I’d change the cuffs to something a little simpler and bracelet length), a cable cardigan (I’d lose what the magazine describes as ‘layering details’ and enlarge the shawl collar), and a couple of shawls, should the shawl knitting bug ever bite me again.

And then there was the bookshop …

I found, among the cards and artwork on the table outside, a print from 1907. ‘The Fairies of the Serpentine by Arthur Rackham. It was less than £10 and I couldn’t possibly have left it behind.

Inside I found a copy of The Story of Jessie by Mabel Quiller-Couch. I’ve been looking for a copy for ever since I read about it in the back of an elderly library book earlier in the year.  A Cornish author, the sibling of another author – literary families fascinate me, and such a pretty book.

(I should probably mention that Mabel Quiller-Couch was the sister of Arthur Quiller-Couch.)

And finally there was a little Orange Penguin. When I read Simon’s Five From the Archive Canadian books I noted the name of Stephen Leacock, I checked the library catalogue, and I added a couple of his books to my ‘maybe someday’ list – list making is a very useful feature of my library’s website and I’m hoping it will save me from ordering more book than I can possibly read at the same time. but then a copy of ‘Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town’ appeared on the Penguin shelves. Isn’t fate kind sometimes?!

7 responses

  1. Oh I am GREEN with envy! An Arthur Rackham print! I have one of the Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens series that I bagged at a charity shop. But I would love to have more! You are very lucky to have found it! (Although there are probably more available on your side of the pond than on mine.)

  2. Lovely Arthur Rackham, I gave his Wind in the Willows to grand children, but still have his version of Isaak Walton’s The Complete Angler .. so interested to hear of you finding the Quiller Couch book – have you read the exquisite verse to his memory on the hill above Bodinant in Cornwall?
    Your trip into town, and the choices you made were were just my cup of tea, and pressed all my nostalgia butons here in NZ Thank you

  3. Oh I do love Arthur Rackham. Cinderella and Sleeping beauty are my favourites and I noticed on amazon a reprint is coming out later in year. Not quite same as the originals but then no 800 pound price tag either!!!! Sounds like a great haul from a trip out!! Look forward to hearing about your books when you have read them!

  4. Oo, a lovely Leacock find! I read so many in a row back in 2003 or thereabouts, and I can’t remember which was which, but I’m sure Sunshine Sketches is great!

  5. I nearly succumbed to a sensibly sized copy of Sunshine Sketches the other day, but I don’t have the bookspace for 2 copies! Hope you enjoy it.

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