Archive for July, 2009
Just got home from the last match of the softball season. It’s dark outside now, it rained today, and I’m beginning to wonder if summer is over already.
We didn’t win this evening, but it was close. 37-35. I didn’t intend to play when I left home this morning, but I’m glad that I did. I got out a couple of times; got home a couple of times. Overall, I still suck, but perhaps I sucked slightly less than usual. Continue to have issues with things like catching and not running into people.
We played in Hyde Park, Knightsbridge-side, in a strip of softball matches. Brightly coloured charity t-shirts. The Albert Memorial in the background. Plastic bags as bases, and calls that could’ve gone either way. Perhaps we should’ve won. Perhaps it doesn’t matter that much.
Caught the tube home. Stopped for a pasty. This is living in London, and yet I’m a tourist observing it still.No comments
We moved into a furnished flat here in London. It has couches, a small television, fridge and stove, pots, pans and a mug which commemorates the Royal Wedding in 1981. On one wall, there’s four-ledge bookshelf. One ledge was full when we moved in. Those books are in storage now, and the entire unit is full, two deep in places, with books we’ve accumulated over the past two and a half years.
It’s easier to collect books in Britain. They’re less expensive for a start. You quickly forget things like exchange rates, and £7.99 just seems so much cheaper than $27.99 as the average price for a book. Then there’s the fact that there’s more Bookcrossers in the UK, more books available locally on BookMooch. Friends leave the country and leave books. We travel more too, and it’s hard to resist a new book for the plane or train.
And, then my lovely husband sends me an email at work, saying that the Borders on Oxford Street is closing down. I think he knew what would happen. I hope he did.
The West End is not my favourite part of London after work. Up around the ‘Silicon Roundabout’, I can sometimes forget the number of people in this city. Meanwhile in Oxford Street, the pavements are swarming. But, I’ll brave the West End for books, especially if they’re ‘at least 50%’ off. I’ll even stay till 8pm, rummaging through the racks, moving down the floors as they’re closed off, joining the long queue for final purchases. And as a result, I’ve come home with:
- A computer programme called ‘Start Writing Your New Novel’ (£1) because, you know I should really do that sometime soon;
- The Life of Riley, Joanna Nadin (£1);
- Black Boxes, Caroline Smailes (£1);
- The Spare Room, Helen Garner (£1);
- Take Off Your Party Dress, Dina Rabinovitch (£1);
- Millions of Women are Waiting to Meet You, Sean Thomas (£1);
- Everything is Sinister, David Llewellyn (£1);
- An Atlas of Impossible Longing, Anuradha Roy (£1);
- The Great Lover, Jill Dawson (okay, this was £4, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for a while).
There’s quite a lot of British fiction there. And okay, it’s easier to read British fiction than New Zealand fiction because of the relative abundancy of it. And to some extent, I’ve always read books set in the UK – but whereas I once read them for their ‘other-worldness’, I now read them for their familiarity. The Great Lover is about Rupert Brooke and the Orchard Tea Gardens in Cambridge. Matt and I have been there. I read Dina’s blog, sometimes I read her columns about breast cancer in the Guardian, and yes, I do feel bad about only buying the book now, when it was on sale even though I did donate to the CTRT appeal at one point last year.
Tonight, the new books are sitting in three randomly assigned piles on our dining room table, alongside a couple of letters which I need to respond to and a stack of leaflets from work. There’s no space in the bookshelf. The Borders on Oxford Street will close soon. There are more words in the world than I can possibly imagine.No comments