There are books at the bottom of this post. I'll get to them.
I'm going to stop beginning all my blog posts with an apology for not having blogged enough recently... soon... but I do really intend to post more frequently, honest. Life has been surprisingly busy of late, considering there's no real reason why things should have changed.
One of those busynesses was very nice, though - this Saturday I was in London. I was there for two reasons - firstly to meet up with some lovely people from the Virago Modern Classics group on LibraryThing (including your friend and mine Kaggsy), discussing books, eating pancakes, and generally having a high old time.
This was where things started to go wrong.
Turns out the buses aren't running to the railway station in Oxford. So I had a very tiring fast-paced walk to get to the station... just in time to see the train leave. Oops. So I caught the next train, only to discover (when I eventually arrived at Paddington, and had headed off on the Central Line) that the tube stop I wanted to go to was closed. After visiting most of London (so it felt), I eventually turned up, a little the worse for travel, but very pleased to see everyone.
I was only there for a bit of the extravaganza, though (the pancake bit, at My Old Dutch, but not the book-buying bit afterwards). And that was because I was dashing off to the British Film Institute to see For Services Rendered by W. Somerset Maugham, a BBC Play of the Day from 1959. It was being screened as part of the Maggie Smith Festival, and my lovely friend Andrea (whom you may recall from Simon and Andrea's Film Club) had got me a ticket for my birthday.
I went to a BFI screening of The Home-Maker back in 2005, put on by Persephone. So I went to the place where I had seen that screened. Turns out... there are two British Film Institutes. And I was at the wrong one. As I discovered while on the phone to Andrea about 5 minutes before the film was due to start... so ran across London, and tubes and whatnot, and eventually got there only ten minutes late... and it was, in conclusion, brilliant.
After the film, we scoured the book stalls on the Southbank - a search which is fun but which has always been fruitless; does anybody else find this? And then I went off to the Notting Hill Book & Comic Exchange, which has never proven fruitless. Yes, I bought a few books... and added to the couple that Luci from LibraryThing had kindly given me. And here they are...
A Reading Diary - Alberto Manguel
I can't get enough of books about books, particularly when they're by our Alberto.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Last weekendm I had the annoying experience in a charity shop of somebody buying Me Talk Pretty One Day just as I got to the bookshelves, and my book group is reading that Sedaris soon. But I'll settle for adding this one to my collection!
Owls and Satyrs - David Pryce-Jones
I know nothing at all about this book or this author, but it looked intriguing and was only £1. Anybody know anything?
The Golden Apples - Eudora Welty
This edition was rather lovely, and I am determined to read more by Welty soon (after loving The Optimist's Daughter).
A Meeting by the River - Christopher Isherwood
Curse my love of matching books... I keep buying Isherwoods in this series, when I stumble across them, despite not actually loving the one Isherwood I've read...
Our Hidden Lives - ed. Simon Garfield
I'm a sucker for diaries, and this one brings together various different people in post-war Britain.
Better Than Life - Daniel Pennac
This book, and the one above, were from Luci. To circle back to where I began this list - I do love a book about books!