I spent Friday afternoon at a book fair. There were amazing books on offer but worryingly most were beyond my price range. Gone are the days when I could visit a prestigious fair and leave with several bags of books. It may just be that my income has gone down over the last few years, but I really don’t think that is the case. The problem is that prices have gone up and up, and rare books are getting harder to find. Many of the best books are now in private collections thereby pushing up the prices of available copies. That’s not to say I couldn't afford anything, of course I could, but not the books my heart desired.
I had that exact book on my bookshelf when I was a little girl! Why didn't I keep it? Why didn't I take better care of it? I have only myself to blame. It’s true mum threw the jacket out when it got tatty and later gave the book away, but I still have only myself to blame. I got married, I moved away. I took my record collection and my matchbox collection, but I left the books on the bookshelf. They had always lived there, and I assumed they always would, but mum wanted to turn my bedroom into a nice spare room for visitors. I am almost certain there would have been a 'phone call to ask if I wanted my books, and I'm equally sure I would have said something like “why are you bothering me with this?” So I have only myself to blame.
Despite being unable to afford the Enid Blyton or a beautiful first edition copy of the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, I had a thoroughly good time. I love days spent with books and book people it recharges my batteries and reminds me of why I love my job so much.
So that was Friday...
On Saturday morning I received this postcard sent from Holland by my lovely friend the children's book author Nicole De Cock.
Nicole sent the card with a message saying she bought it from the Bakkerij Museum and liked it so much that she got one for herself and one for me! How sweet was that?
So the moral of this story is, books (although one of the loves of my life) are just possessions, what matters most is family and friends.
Thank you for reminding me about the important things in life Nicole. And thank you to all my lovely blogging friends, my life would be much poorer without you.
Just as I was finishing this post I received the following email;
I am so glad that you like Ted. He is a Great Tit but has never grown properly. He has lived with us since he was just out of the nest. Next door found him, and they know that I take in injured birds. I'm not sure what happened to him. I don't know if his mother pushed him out of the nest early or the dog's next door got him. We have some pictures of him on the first day we got him which I will find and send you.
I didn’t think he would survive, but he has lived with us for over two years now. He even comes on holiday with us in the camper van. We go to Barra in theHe lives on ground beef mixed with hard-boiled egg yolk. That's another thing that makes him moody if he has run out of meat. He also has suet with insects in it and dried mealworms. In the summer, I try to get him leaves with greenfly on. Apart from meat, he loves cucumber; he eats the soft inside and then carries it around for most of the day. He has a big cage on the breakfast bar where we all eat and sit and he is so much a part of everyday life.
Outer Hebrides, and he is
fine apart from cattle grids which he complains at. He doesn't like to be woken
up too early either. His flying is a lot better, and he loves the kitchen, but
if he can't find anywhere to land it’s always on top of my head and then he
tries to pull out my hair.
I once found a gull at the side of the road put it in the car and came home and told my husband that there was a dead seagull in the car. He was less than impressed when he found out it had come around. It stayed in the shower overnight and was released the next day but not before it had given him a couple of bites.
We had a baby owl fall down the chimney one summer. The children woke us at three in the morning to say there was a baby owl in the chimney grate in their bedroom. Luckily, their room was at the top of the house so it had not fallen far. We came downstairs and opened the front door, and off it flew. It was years ago, and no one had mobiles with cameras then so we never got a picture.
I have an African Grey parrot, cockatiel, finch, budgies and a canary that all need looking after. I also have a hen that I found with 11 chicks on a small piece of land just up the road from our house. I now have her and the chicks safely in a cage with a run. Plenty of work trying to keep them warm, especially yesterday. We live at the top of a hill, and the wind was terrible, so cold. I managed to wrap a tarpaulin around the run, and they were fine. Not the right time of the year for chicks but she is a good mum, so I will try to help her.
Ted with a parrot feather and some very pretty nursery china