Monday, 29 April 2019

Weekend Bargains

A couple of weeks ago I decided to sort out my bike. I've only ridden it once  or twice since we moved here - there's nowhere to bike with purpose - and the tyres were flat.

Pumped up the tyres with the compressor and they were OK, then I took off the really tatty and almost rotten panniers and  unfixed the rusty back basket. Then I remembered that last time I rode it it was painful on the old tailbone on the rough country roads round here.

So while I was in town two weeks ago I went to the bike shop and got a gel seat cover, brought it home and it wouldn't fit - not deep enough. So last week I took it back and paid a bit more for a foam spongy seat. Got that home and found it was harder than the seat I already had.........so back to the bike shop on Saturday with BIG apologies to the Bike Shop Man and got my money back.

Anyway, as I was in Stow for the second time in one week (annoying) I did a tour of some of the charity shops and discovered a whole row of the River Cottage Handbook Series (Bread,Fruit, Fish, Cakes, Preserves etc) but I was very good and left them there because I've already got the ones I want at home! Now and again I have to remind myself that I no longer buy to sell! Then I noticed something tucked in the end of the shelf - Oh Goody........ a Grey Persephone.
Persephone No 114 Gardeners Choice - one of their few non-fiction books. First published in 1937. Snapped it up for £2 PDQ.
 The authors were artists who were both at the RCA , he a tutor and she one of his pupils. After working together on a huge mural for a private school in Kent they collaborated on this book. The line drawings of all the plants and the little drawings of gardeners by Evelyn Dunbar are so good. She was such a talented artist and was the only salaried woman war artist during WWII. There is a summary of her life and work in an Afterword to this book by her nephew Christopher Campbell-Howes.
This got me curious about her biography written by Gill Clarke but sadly the library don't have it in stock and it's a bit pricey on Amazon. But the library do have a book about The Women's Land Army also by Clark that features some of Dunbar's paintings, so I've ordered that instead.
 I love how finding a book in a charity shop - that I would never have thought about looking at otherwise - leads to a journey of discovery about someone I'd never heard of.

The book is laying on my other weekend bargain - a nice cardigan also from a charity shop for £3.50.

So two trips to town in one week wasn't such a waste of time after all.

On the subject of Persephone Books, the Persephone Biannually booklet arrived this week with information about their two spring publications and their plans for their 3 Autumn re-prints. They are still getting worried by Brexit as their books are published in Germany (they were so strongly Remain and very anti- The Leavers vote that it upset a lot of their readers). I do nothing to help their cause by only buying Persephones second-hand!............. And had one from my Amazon wish list for my birthday too. I now have a lot more than I did IN 2015! Thanks in part to a very kind blog reader who passed some to me a few years ago. On the old blog I had a Persephone Books Label but not here, so I've rectified that and if you want to see more about this company the post is HERE.

Storm Hannah blew through on Saturday bringing heavy rain to parts of the country. What did we get up the lane? 2 spits and a spot that dried up straightaway with the wind blowing a hooley around the house and garden. Although the weather was rough enough to put paid to weekend boot sales.



Back Tomorrow
Sue



38 comments:

  1. I was looking forward to the promised rain too but it never arrived, which is typical of this area.

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    Replies
    1. We got a little bit more late Sunday but everywhere is still really dusty

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  2. I guess that's why cyclists wear padded bottoms - to protect their own!
    I do love the colour of that cardigan - definitely my kind of colour.
    xx

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    1. I've heard weird things about racing cyclists,vaseline and bananas!!

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  3. I have my Keble Martin Concise British Flora but your find sounds a great one. I am envious. No rain to speak of here either but strong enough winds to bring a heavily laden bough down in the garden the size of a tree.

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    1. More wood for when you get your wood-burner fixed?
      It didn't get windy enough for branches or trees down here - thankfully

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    2. Yes. My brother will come with chain saw and clear it and I will store it for two or three years.

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  4. I have quite a few Persephone books but have never found any second hand.I also have Keble Martin.We had non stop rain on Saturday,all day.

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  5. How strange - I had never heard of Evelyn Dunbar, but she was mentioned on Antiques Roadshow yesterday and then I opened your blog this morning and there is her name again! Sounds like a very interesting book.

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  6. You had a good week Sue the cardigan is a lovely colour. I must have a look at your books on the internet. Yes we had te storm but not much rain. Hazel c uk

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    1. I though the cardigan would go with lots of other things - very useful

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  7. Always a thrill to find a Persphone book!

    We also had very strong winds on Saturday but with no rain. It was sad that it ripped off *lots* of beautiful fresh green new oak leaves and threw them all over my garden. I had to sweep all the paths yesterday!

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    1. I get very excited when I spot the grey cover!

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  8. We had the rain it refreshed the garden and refiled my empty water butt - I have never known it empty before at this time of year. I just love the Persephone books they are lovely to collect and interesting to read. If we get over to Wigtown (the Scottish booktown) this vist to Scotland I will be seeking them out.
    You never mentioned your bike again have you abandoned the idea?

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    Replies
    1. My Brother in law fixed a pipe through from one water butt to another for me weeks ago and it's hardly rained since!

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    2. I'm still pondering the bike seat

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  9. Same as a previous poster, I noticed you mentioned Evelyn Dunbar, and had seen
    Antiques roadshow where a lady had a drawing by her, I had never heard of her before either, funny how things sometimes bizarrely coincide! PatC

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  10. you can get a pair of padded cycle shorts underneath a pair of trousers and nobody will notice , though my other emergency fix was a large padded envelope over the bike seat..lol

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    1. I don't think lycra would look good on my bum!

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  11. When in Vancouver, BC, some years ago, a work colleague (who regularly biked to work in DC/and was 18 years younger) and I (who had not been on a bike in decades) decided to rent bicycles in town and ride out and around Stanley Park--more than 10k. Let's just say that my bum only survived a couple of miles before I was wrapping our jackets around the hard, narrow seat--anything to soften the ride but to no avail. Talk about the agony of the tush! Better luck finding something more comfortable for your bike seat.

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  12. I hope you can find a lovely bike seat.

    The jumper looks lovely. I do like the tweedy colour of blues.

    God bless.

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    1. I could try a gel seat but they are stupidly expensive

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  13. Nice finds! Mum said it had been quite windy and not too nice. She didn't end up going far at all. We ended up with snow Saturday night. Sigh. Hopefully that's the last - it has to be as it's almost May! Husband says he remembers it snowing in May before. It's raining now and looks set to stay that way for a few days. Another sigh.

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    1. Really nasty weekend - so different to Easter weekend - but at least no snow - that would be worrying!

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  14. Great finds again! Wish Storm Hannah had only spit and spotted here!

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  15. Congratulations on the Persephone find. That is a beautiful sweater and the color is lovely. I decided to get back into biking after 40 years. That seat is a bit hard!

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    1. I'm not sure what I'll do about a bike seat yet

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  16. What a gem of a book. Charles Mahoney lived and worked in the Lake District during WW2. I happen to be going there in a couple of weeks. I hope I discover more about him while I am there.

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  17. One day I'll find a way to say (pronounce) the word 'Persephone without stumbling over it lol
    I had a look at our library catalogue to see if any in stock -2.
    One by Dorothy Whipple....Someone at a Distance and one by Noel Streatfield. .....Saplings They might come home with me to satisfy my curiosity about what might be seen as dated literature.
    I do like the look of your 'new' cardigan. Will definitely be a cosy thing to wear on cooler days.
    Cathy...

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