Thursday, October 06, 2005

Books etc.

In our spare bedroom, we have about 500 books piled up on the floor. We only moved into this house 9 months ago, so we still haven't organised any shelving. I was browsing through them today and I was struck by what a diverse collection it is.

There are books that remind me of places, like the Jennifer Paterson cookbook that I found in a damp, outdoor space in Hay on Wye. Hay on Wye is a wonderful place on the very border between England and Wales, filled with 39 second hand bookshops. Some of them are little more than sheds, barely sheltered from the elements, and with a box into which you are requested to put 50p per book.

Hay on Wye is a lovely town, where you can walk Offa's Dyke (it's a long distance footpath, not some exotic sexual preference), and go into a pub so old fashioned, that when we entered, I was the only woman in that particular part of the bar, and when one of the men playing pool said the word fuck, the middle aged barman gestured towards me and told him to mind his language!! Can you imagine that in London?!

This particular book still smells of the open air, beside the castle, and contains recipes like Scotch Woodcock. I always plan to tell The Scotsman that he's getting that for supper. He'll envisage some sort of roasted bird, maybe with a red wine sauce, and all the trimmings. Imagine his surprise when he gets scrambled eggs on toast with two anchovy fillets crossed on the top!

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