Sunday, 22 March 2015

Back from holiday (with, yes, books)

The Thomases had a very lovely time in beautiful Pembrokeshire. We were right by the coast, and in a gorgeous area - a house about every half a mile, and nothing else but unspoilt, craggy countryside. So we spent our time reading, walking, and playing games. Here we are...

Our Vicar and Colin did rather more walking than me and Our Vicar's Wife; we turned our attentions to painting instead. We have curiously different styles - Mum does beautiful, accurate watercolours. I go for bold colours and slapping it on and seeing what happens... here is what happened.

We went to Haverfordwest in search of secondhand books (well, the others may have had different reasons for going, but that was mine); sadly the two the town had were now closed, but I bought a couple in an Oxfam. Then we headed over to St. David's, a city with fewer than 1800 residents (my kind of city!), and stumbled across this bookshop. It's tiny, and crammed to the rafters - including one wall of books which all seemed to be from the early 20th century. That sort of faded red hardback that calls to me... and all very cheap, which helped me add another eight to the pile for less than £8 in total. And here they are:

Dames of the Theatre by Eric Johns
I remember seeing the name May Whitty on the front, and now I forget who else was there (and I'm sat in a different room now...) but it's dames of the theatre from the generation before Maggie and Judi.

My Dear Timothy and More For Timothy by Victor Gollancz
I keep buying biographies and autobiographies about publishing sensations, but have yet to read any of them... Gollancz addressed his to his grandson Timothy, which (as a concept) could be brilliant or mawkish...

The Loving Friends: A Portrait of Bloomsbuy by David Gadd
I can't resist a book about Bloomsbury now, can I?

The Knox Brothers by Penelope Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald's biography of Charlotte Mew was astonishingly good, and I'm sure she'll be equally adept turning her hand to the Knox brothers.

House in the Sun by Dane Chandos
I very much enjoyed Abbie by Dane Chandos, so would love to read more. 'His' (it was a duo) most famous book seems to be Village in the Sun, so I'm assuming this one is related?

The Humbler Creation by Pamela Hanford Johnson
I've read two books by PHJ - loved one, disliked the other - so I need to try and third and settle the score one way or the other.

O, The Brave Music by Dorothy Evelyn Smith
I read one of Smith's novels a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, so it seemed wise to nab another.

Adventures of Bindle by Herbert Jenkins
I've got four Bindle books now, so I really should get around to reading one of them.

The Mystery Man by Ruby M. Ayres
How do I know about Ruby Ayres? Not sure, but the name rang a bell and it was 20p, so how could I go wrong? Anybody read her?


  1. What lovely books Simon, and it sounds like you have a marvellous hols. Love the painting too - very impressive! :)


    1. Thanks Karen! And, yes, we had a really wonderful time - seems an age away now, though!

  2. Welcome.home, sounds like a lovely break. I stayed in St David's once some.years ago. I have happy memories of attending a.jazz concert in the cathedral at ten o'clock one summer.evening with my dad.
    Lovely book finds too. :) Only recently.discovered PHJ who I want to read more of now.

    1. It is a beautiful cathedral, and a really nice little city.
      PHJ is due a blog resurgence, clearly!

  3. Welcome back, Simon. Sounds like a lovely break.

  4. A perfect break - reading, painting and buying books! Welcome home!

  5. Sounds like a great holiday. Once again, you've provided a list full of authors I've never heard of. :) (Except for P. Lively) Herbert Jenkins did have a familiar ring to it - probably from your top 50 title by him.

    1. He has appeared around the blogosphere with Patricia Brent - and I keep buying him, so you might have seen him in a few hauls!

  6. Although RUBY M AYRES wrote over a hundred books they seem scarce now.
    PG WODEHOUSE satirised her with a character called Rosie M. Banks.


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