Monday, 25 September 2017

Bookshops not Bombs

Dear all, I will explain the title of this post shortly but to begin with, I must apologise for not posting last week and for my absence from your blogs.  I have a good reason – honest!  We spent a couple of days in London, but I still had plenty of time to prepare a post.  That, however, was before I visited the dentist. 

(c) Can Stock Photo / izakowski

To be fair to the dentist or rather implant specialist, he is nothing like the picture above!!  I went to see him because of pain in my upper jaw, and an X-ray revealed an infection around one of my dental implants. The specialist recommended laser surgery to treat the infection, but it was unsuccessful and the implant had to be removed. It was all rather painful and to be honest my bed looked far more inviting than a trip to London but the hotel was booked, and so we went. 

It’s almost two weeks since the implant was removed and a week since we got back from London. I would like to say I'm fully fit but actually my mouth is still very sore, and now I have a cold! My next appointment with the specialist is in four days time so if I disappear again you will know why. In the meantime, I'm going to share a few photographs taken in London. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope to visit your blogs very soon.


If you are still wondering about the title of this post, it’s because of this:  

a notice in Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers at 72 Charing Cross Road.
A sentiment I heartily agree with spotted at Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers.

Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers
Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers at 72 Charing Cross Road. 

Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers
Quinto Bookshop: Find a bargain in our basement.


Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers bargain basement
Quinto’s bargain basement: Everything from poetry to sci-fi and an old stove almost buried under books.

Cecil Court a bibliophile's dream located in a quiet pedestrian lane in London’s West End.
Cecil Court a bibliophile's dream located in a quiet pedestrian lane in London’s West End.

Marchpane children's and illustrated book shop
I spent a very happy hour at Marchpane books and came away with a lovely edition of Josephine Keeps House by Mrs. H. C. Cradock, more of which in a later post.

Close up of Marchpane's window
Close up of Marchpane's window 

Marchpane Bookshop
and some of the delicious books on offer.

Natalie who works at Marchpane was tired after a flight home from Australia, but she was still full of smiles and happy to have her photo taken. I probably should have asked why there were at least two large Daleks around the place, but I was far too busy checking out the books.

Now as a change from bookshops some of the other places seen or visited. 

Mr Fogg’s Tavern – 58 St. Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden
Mr Fogg’s Tavern – 58 St. Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden

Soho Square
I love how one can be wandering around busy streets in London and suddenly find oneself in an oasis of relative peace and quiet.  This is Soho Square located behind Oxford Street. The mock-Tudor building in the centre was built in 1895 refurbished in 2009 and is now used as a storage space for the gardeners.


The British Museum
The British Museum under a beautiful blue sky

The British Museum
The British Museum’s inner courtyard with its spectacular roof.

This may be a little macabre, but I found myself fascinated by Egyptian death and afterlife! Visit rooms 62-63 of The British Museum if you would like to see for yourself. 

Mummy and cartonnage case.
 Mummy and cartonnage case.

 Squatting turtle-headed deity
 Squatting turtle-headed deity – Late 18th Dynasty, about 1295BC. Perhaps from the tomb of Horemheb, in the Valley of the Kings.

 Glowing decorations inside a box coffin.

This painting is part of a wall showing Nebamum inspecting cattle.
This painting is part of a wall showing Nebamum watching as farmers bring animals to him. Nebamun is known today because of the 1820 discovery of a tomb on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. 

I took masses of photographs in and around the museum, but in the interest of saving your sanity, I will just share two more. This from room 90: Prints 

 Posthumous portrait of a child
This portrait of a dead child is more poignant than macabre. Posthumous portraits of children where common from the 17th to 19th century when child mortality was high. 

Artist unknown (Karo School).
Illustrations of flower arrangements. Artist unknown (Karo School). Rooms 92-94 Japan.

China Town
Leaving the British Museum, there was just time for a quick walk around China Town before catching the train home.

These two were so obviously enjoying the music and each other’s company it made me smile, and I couldn’t resist taking a snap.

How would you spend two days in London?  

60 comments:

  1. I am sorry about your dental woes and your cold. And empathise. I have both myself at the moment. I hope we both get better soon.
    It looks like a wonderful trip. The bookshops would have called my name loudly.
    I knew about the posthumous photography and have no problems with it. Death masks on the other hand...

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    1. I’m so sorry you are unwell too; I can certainly commiserate with you.
      You would absolutely love the bookshops! I found the posthumous photographs rather beautiful. I didn’t see any death masks, so I can’t comment on those.
      Get well soon.

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  2. Oh Barbara, I'm sorry you had to endure such pain, and on top of that, a COLD! I too had an infection a few weeks ago that sent me to the dentist, but all was well after that. Then this weekend, I tried to rest myself back to health from a nasty case of laryngitis!

    I LOVE this quote: Bookshops not Bombs. How true, that if more people READ and most of all, THOUGHT ABOUT and came to logical and sympathetic conclusions, war could be a thing of the past. How true.

    I wish you peace and health my friend!

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    1. Dear Anita, I’m so sorry to hear you have been unwell too. I hope the laryngitis has left you, and you are feeling on top of the world.
      I do so hope war and terrorism become things of the past. How wonderful that would be.

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  3. Sorry about the dental problems, hope you soon feel better. Lovely photos of my home town which I so much miss! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Hello Valerie, I’m feeling a little sorry for myself, but it’s nothing when you consider all the awful things going on in the world.
      Thank you for your good wishes. I hope the photos helped rather than made you miss home more. Hugs Barbara

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  4. Hope you feel better soon. Big hugs. When I lived and worked in London I used to go to Foyles a lot. I also used work in Soho Square. As you entered from Oxford Street, I worked in an office which was entered from a blue door tucked up in a corner which could be missed if you didn't know it was there. I worked in an architects at the time. This was mid-1970's

    Julie xxxxxxx

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    1. Hi Julie Foyles was on my list of places to visit, but I ran out of time. There is so much to see and do it would take a month to get to everything, but maybe next time. I didn’t realise you worked in Soho Square. I wonder if the blue door is still there. If it is I missed it, lovely place to work though I could imagine sitting in the square with my lunch and a good book! I worked in Whitechapel in the 60s, and later for the Autmobile Association in Leicester Square. I used to know my way around, but I’ve forgotten so much!

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  5. Hello Barbara, Ouch! You have my sympathy regarding teeth problems. (Also I'm a bit sceptical about dentists that advertise that they are practicing. ) You have my best wishes for a full and long lasting recovery. In answer to your question " How would I spend two days in London?" Day one:- Imperial War museum, day two:- HMS Belfast and if time allowed a stroll around Harrod's.

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    1. Your sympathy is gratefully received, thank you!

      I would like to visit the Cabinet War Rooms. I think it is affiliated with the Imperial War Museaum but I’m not entirely sure. I have visited the museum but it was many years ago.

      A friend and I used to ‘go up to Harrods’ every year at Christmas time. We did it for more than twenty years, but we find it all too much these days. We were living in Hampshire at that time so it was a fairly quick trip by coach. We would spend an entire day in Harrods, starting with morning coffee, moving on through lunch and afternoon tea and plenty of shopping in between. Those were the days!

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  6. I hope you are feeling better. I have a friend going through a similar implant problem and so I can really understand how miserable you must be feeling.

    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful adventures. I would spend two days in London exactly the way you did - Charing Cross, a museum, dinner in Chinatown. You've made me homesick for what I always think of as my home away from home.

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    1. Thanks Alex, I am pretty miserable but only temporarily (I hope) :-)

      I’m glad you liked my itinerary, but I’m sorry it made you home sick. You must come and do it all for yourself when you can.

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  7. Sorry your trip wasn't as fun as you'd hoped since your mouth hurt. Hopefully they can fix that.
    Some really cool looking libraries. There's a lot to see in London, isn't there?

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    1. Gosh I hope so Alex, and yes, I’m sure they will I’m just not enjoying the process.

      There is almost too much to see in London, and it would take an awfully long time to see it all.

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  8. WOW one visit and I already love your blog, I love books, I love all your photos, I'm sorry about the dental problems...I find the problems get bigger after seeing the dentist so I try other natural options as long as the pain is controllable, but wow I love all your photos, I've bookmarked you, good luck and until the next time, stay well
    Lorraine

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    1. Thanks so much Lorraine! I know I’m going to love your blog too.

      To be honest I did try to deal with the pain from the implant (not that I knew what the problem was) but it was not to be. Hopefully it will all be sorted soon and I can go back to enjoying life :)

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  9. So sorry about your dental pain Barbara! Hope it all heals quickly. Love this tour of London, I could spend days in those book shops! Thank you for stopping in my blog. The plum cake was delicious, and custard on the side would be even more amazing! Feel better soon!

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    1. Thanks Diane.
      I’m still dreaming about that plum cake! Maybe I would have custard and cream with it, you never know it might help the dental pain go away. OK it wouldn't but it would be worth suffering for.
      Have a lovely week.

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  10. Oh, Barbara, I am so sorry you are suffering. I hope your dental challenges are over soon! I LOVE your photos from London. I pinned several of them . I do miss buying books for my shop , my collectors, and of course! myself! Marchpane looks enchanting...Did you find any treasures to take home? What are you reading to soothe yourself-plum cake and custard- delicious!!! Sending you a BIG (((HUG)))

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    1. Hello Colleen, teeth are such a pain aren’t they – but I would rather have them than not! :-)
      You would love Marchpane. It is very small but packed from floor to ceiling with treasures. I had the place all to myself for about half an hour and then another four customers arrived, and we had to jostle for space. Five book lovers all saying, “oh excuse me” “no after you” and “have you seen this” as we all tried not to miss anything. It was joyful! I treated myself to a lovely copy of Josephine Keeps House but nothing else. I couldn’t really buy much because I was walking, and it would have meant carrying them around for hours. Terry wasn’t with me as he was photographing London Fashion week, so I didn’t want to be too laden down.
      Thank you so much for your good wishes Colleen, I hope life is being kind to you. Hugs Barbara

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  11. Dearest Barbara, so sorry to hear about your teeth and cold. I hope everything heals quickly and thoroughly. I absolutely love your photos!

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    1. Thank you so much Linda, I’m sure all will be well soon – I’m tougher than I look! :) Lots of love Barbara

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  12. Dear Barbara - I will be "looking up" for you. Just came from the dentist myself and even getting my teeth cleaned is a bit painful so I can just imagine how bad you feel. Loved seeing the bookstores you visited in London. If hubby and I traveled there we probably wouldn't see any of the other sites. Bookstores are the best! Well take care and thanks for your lovely visit to my part of the world. Hugs!

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    1. Hello Debbie, I never enjoy getting my teeth cleaned, but they do feel nice once they are done. I’ve been very cautious with the tooth brush over the last few days – I’m such a coward!
      The book shops were amazing with lots of things I’ve never seen before and many old friends just sitting there waiting to be held. It’s nice that your hubby shares your passion for books. Terry isn’t in to them at all, but he is mad on photography, so we split up in the morning and concentrate on our own passions! It works well though as we usually meet for lunch then go our separate ways again.

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  13. I was delighted to see you had posted, but sad to read about your implant and now your cold.

    Your photos of London are wonderful. I'd give anything to go there someday. It's definitely on my list of places to visit.

    I was just SO impressed with all the places you shared with us from London. Other than the British Museum, which I suspect is a tourist attraction, all the places you shared were well off the beaten path, which I loved. Thanks for sharing your trip to London. I really hope you'll share more photos from the British Museum, too.

    BTW, I had read about painting dead children's faces. I'm sure it was a comfort for the parents. And I traveled all the way from the mid-west U.S. to see the King Tut exhibit in Los Angeles one year! Not macabre at all.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      I do hope you get to London one day as I'm sure you would enjoy it. You are right about the British Museum being full of tourists (me included!), but you can lose yourself once you are inside. It is vast and very quiet – much like visiting a library. I was happy to see lots of police and security around and didn’t mind having my bag searched, far better to be safe than sorry. I did find myself in lots of out of the way places – mostly because I was lost, but it was fun, and I hope to do it again before too long.

      I’m sure the King Tut exhibit was in Dorset (about an hour away from where I live) recently – I must make enquires it might still be there.

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  14. I do hope you are feeling better soon. Sorry to hear about the dental problems. I would rather have brain surgery than dental work done. Loved your pictures of your 2 days in London. You spent your time well. It has been 28 years since I visited the British Museum. Must get back soon.

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    1. Thanks Darlene. I wouldn’t be too happy about brain surgery either, but I do know what you mean. I can see an Amanda book coming out of a visit to the British Museum! So many wonderful settings and places to get lost and the treasures are never ending.

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    2. I rather like that idea! Thanks.

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  15. Oh, Barbara, I'm so sorry for your dental work and then to get a cold on top of it. :( The bookshops look wonderfully filled to the brim with books. And your London pictures are great. I've been to the British Museum, so it's fun to see you there. Take care, I hope you're pain-free very soon!

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    1. It has been pretty miserable Marcia but hopefully not for too much longer! It’s been a long time since I saw quite so many books as there are in one or two of those shops. They are literally bursting at the seams!

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  16. Hello Barbara, Hoping your dental problems improve quickly and that you get over your cold - such an awful time you've been having.

    This post is chock-a-block full of lovelies. Those bookshops look so inviting and I love all the photos from the Museum too. Mr Fogg's Tavern entrance is so cheerful and pretty - doesn't take a lot does it! Thankyou for taking the time to bring them to us.
    Cheers now :D)

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    1. I’ve not been at my best Sue but I’m sure I will be fighting fit soon. Thank you for your commiserations.

      Mr. Fogg’s Tavern looked so enticing it would be hard not to go in! I’m really pleased you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for coming to take a look.

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  17. Oh my, I would have loved to go in that bookshop. I wish I'd known about it before I went to London in June this year!

    Loved all your photos!

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    1. You will have to add the bookshop to the top of your list next time you visit. It really is very small, but it’s packed with lovely things.
      Thanks for taking a look at the photos.

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  18. My goodness, I'm sorry to hear that you were suffering from so much pain. You must have been pretty miserable. I hope you can get back in top form soon. I see really neat bookstores like that on television and in movies, but would really enjoy seeing one in person. Those pics are fantastic! Hugs...and feel better soon. RO

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    1. Thanks Ro, the good thing is I’m on the mend and will soon be back to my super fit self
      I’m really pleased you enjoyed the pictures and hope you get to visit a few super bookshops soon. Barbara

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  19. I hope you feel better soon ....take care

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    1. That is very sweet of you, thank you Lorraine.

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  20. I'd give anything for two days in London. I think I'd go to Mr. Fogg's, just to take a photo of the fabulous exterior. And the bookshops. And let's see -- the theatre and parks for sure. Evensong at Westminster. Oh, yes, I'd love that -- your photos inspire me to make that bucket lister come true!

    Thanks for your visit to the Marmelade Gypsy the other day! So good to see you!

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    1. You must go for it Jeanie! Evensong at Westminster sounds wonderful, and it’s something I’ve never done – maybe next time.
      Thanks for your visit; it is always a pleasure to see you.

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  21. I am so sorry about your dental problems!! I hope you are better Barbara?? You must have been in so much pain! Ouch!! I truly loved your photos! I want to go on a trip! Everything looked amazing and so much fun! Big Hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much! I’m on the mend (at last) and just one appointment left to go. I hope you manage to get away on that trip. Hugs Barbara

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  22. Oh grief, this sounds horribly painful. I hope you get sorted ... and soon.

    Whilst I'm no no big fan of London - its too fast paced for me - I do enjoy the museums and in particular the Natural History Museum.

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    1. Thanks Tracy, it’s much better now thank goodness.

      It is years since I went to the Natural History Museum, I must visit again one day.

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  23. Sorry to hear about your tooth. I know exactly how you feel.
    Isn't Charing Cross road wonderful. I could easily spend a week poring through those book shops.

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    1. I’m very envious of you being able to visit those bookshops at will. It was my first experience of them, and I was well impressed (to use an expression better suited to my grandchildren!)
      Teeth are nothing but a nuisance – but I wouldn’t want to be without them! :)

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  24. I do hope you're feeling better now. I take it you didn't go and see 'The Little Shop of Horrors' in London?! ;)

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    1. I’m very much on the mend, thanks Sue. We didn’t have time to see ‘The Little Shop’ as we didn’t arrive until Sunday evening and left again on Monday evening. That is one show we always seem to miss, never mind perhaps next time.
      I've missed visiting your blog and will be over soon. Have a happy week.

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  25. Absolutely love your photos. Those bookshops look like places I'd like to spend days in.

    I spent a couple of days in London, separated by several years. The last time I only had one day. I went to the Tate Gallery, which I loved and started a life long love affair with Pre-Raphaelite painting, although I did not care for the modern stuff. We waited until the end of the day to see the National Gallery of Art and I was too foot sore to continue. Therefore I did not see much there and have ever since regretted it.

    Hope you're feeling better. Oral surgery is the worst!

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    1. Hi Sharon, you are absolutely right about oral surgery, but I’m over the worst now, thank goodness.

      I love the Tate and have been there several times but never to the National Gallery, but I must, and soon. I’m sure you would enjoy the bookshops – something else to add to your list.

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  26. Hello Barbara, looks like you had a super time in London inspire of a tooth ache. The Soho square etc bring back memories of long time ago. When I first came to this country I decided to join a typing school in Tottenham Court Road. Those days typing was used by everyone so my husband said it would be useful in finding a job as well as it would help me mix with different kinds of people and become familiar with the culture. To cut a long story short. I used to go for my lunch break to the square. Then my other favourite haunt was Foyles. Soho in those days was a bit seedy with peep show joints etc, so I did not venture into other streets. Now a days it has changed so much. It is becoming a very posh area. Gone are those seedy joints,. They have been replaced by smart restaurants and cafes. Whenever I go to Brish museum I love going to see the Egyptian art effects and mummys.i don't think its macabre being interested in them. I would say our minds are curious and fascinated to know about the people and culture of that era.

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    1. Hello Shashi, I was really interested to learn about your early days in this country. It must have been very strange to begin with, but I think your husband was right about the typing. I learnt to type as soon as I left school and never had a problem finding work. These days most people seem to ‘type’ with two fingers, and typists are no longer in demand, but I still think it a useful skill to have. I worked in Whitechapel and then Leicester Square in the 60s. Just being in London was an amazing experience for a girl raised on a farm in the countryside, so I have an inkling of what it was like for you. Whitechapel was very grim back then, but it's changed a lot over the years. I’ve not been to Soho Square before, but I can imagine sitting there having lunch every day. There are certainly worse places to sit!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one fascinated by all things Egyptian. I would love to go back and see more one day.

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  27. I'll be spending a couple of days down in London shortly! I'm going to see Tom Hanks on stage and then his book signing.

    I love Goldsboro Books. Lovely limited edition, signed and first editions. They put on a good book event too.

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    1. How lovely, wish I could go with you! I didn’t buy anything in Goldsboro on my recent visit, but I’ve often bought things from then online. I promised Terry I would only buy one book, and as I had already found one in Marchpane I couldn’t buy anything else. It was torture!

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  28. So sorry to hear about your infection. Dental problems are no fun at all. It looks like London was still fun- but I am sure having a sore mouth made it tough. Hope your mouth is feeling much better now. :)

    Love seeing all the bookshops and photos. I would love to visit London one day.

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    1. I hope you make it to London one day as I'm sure you would enjoy it.
      Thanks for commiserating with me, it was a bit tough, but I’m very glad I made the effort to go.

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  29. So sorry to read about your tooth troubles, hope all gets better soon.
    I did enjoy all of your bookshop photographs, I love to visit bookshops - you can simply spend ages in them.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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    1. I’m much better now, thanks for asking. You are right about the bookshops. I needed far longer than a day to do them justice.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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