The Life and Times of a busy bookseller, her husband and Gordon setter dogs in North Norfolk.

My photo

Born In Essex, UK.
School in Luton.
College - Sussex.
Worked in Cambs.
Now Living in Norfolk.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Cambridge Book Fair update

Jeff had a good time at the Cambridge Book Fair, and, he tells me, got to chat to lots of customers there. He has also come home with a list of books to do a search for, and I hope that we can locate them for people. We will do our best. He tells me the fair was extremely busy, as I suspect was Cambridge itself, as it took him a long time to get home on Saturday evening.
We were very lucky, as on Sunday morning we awoke to blizzarding snow again, and if the weather had been like that on Friday or Saturday he would not have been able to get there at all.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Cambridge PBFA Book Fair - 19th and 20th February

On Thursday afternoon Jeff & I drove to Cambridge, armed with a selection of book stock to display on a book stand at the Cambridge Book Fair. As always Cambridge was very busy, and it took us quite a while to unload and set up the stand. We have some new stock - old Rupert Annuals, collectable Enid Blyton books and other goodies, so I hope we do well. Originally we had planned to stay over in Cambridge and leave our dogs in kennels, but due to Golly's ill health we cannot do that now, so Jeff is driving up each day. On the way home from Cambridge last night, the weather turned very snowy when we got to Swaffham, and the last part of our journey was very slow, going through snow storms and blizzards. I hope it stays better today (Friday).

Oliver Postgate

We now have a freeview box - a novelty for us - and I found by accident a programme about Oliver Postgate on BBC 4 Wednesday Evening. We sell numerous Postgate & Firmin books, mainly I think due to peoples memories of the wonderful tv programmes produced by Oliver Postgates small film productions. It was amazing to watch how these programmes were filmed in his shed/outbuilding/studio. Of course in the books Peter Firmin drew brilliant illustrations of these characters too.
In the programme we saw how Oliver made the incredible characters that so many of us remember from our childhood. Most time was spent looking at the Clangers, but we also watched Ivor the Engine, Pogles Wood and many others. What I hadn't realised as a child watching these programmes were the way Postgate's socialist values (handed down from his father Raymond Postgate) were incorporated into the stories.
A most interesting programme.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Beaches - the third Passion for my blog. If it wasn't so wordy, I would have put 'Beaches and Beach huts'. I love Beach huts, both practically and aesthetically, they look wonderful on British Beaches. We recently moved to North Norfolk which has both an abundance of gorgeous sandy beaches, and on some of them, the most delightful beach huts. A fine example of this, are the colourful beach huts situated on the fantastic beach at Well-Next-the Sea. My dream is one day to own one, so that I can pop down any time in the winter, sit inside with my dogs, and just watch the sea. However the last one I saw for sale was so highly priced, I fear this will stay a dream!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Enid Blyton - The film 'Enid'

Recently BBC 4 showed the Film 'Enid', a story of the life of this renowned childrens author. We didn't have access to BBC4, but a friend taped it for us and we watched it last night.
As with all films of this type - generally called biopics I believe , I really do not know just how accurate a portrayal this was, and at the beginning they did state that some scenes were fictional. However from what I have read I believe the essential facts are accurate. It made an interesting viewing, and I hope that it is shown soon on a more mainstream channel such as BBC 2. Helena Bonham Carter did in my opinion make superb Enid, I thought bringing out a side of her that I could feel some sympathy with, whilst simultaneously finding many of her actions quite unpleasant.
I took away from this film the feeling that Enid Blyton was a little girl that never really grew up from the time her father left home and who took refuge in a fantasy land, which both coloured her life and enabled her to write books that children - myself as a child included - found thoroughly exciting and escapist. She did, as she said, understand want children wanted, and gave it to them (us) in vast quantites. However this was to the exclusion of her own children. Enid was indeed a very complex character.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Book News - Dick Francis sadly died today.

Sadly we heard that crime writer Dick Francis, famous for his horse racing-based crime novels, has died today aged 89. Being a crime fiction enthusiast I have read many of his books - and we have many of his first editions in stock on our web site at

Dogs - Our gorgeous Gordon setters.

Our Blog is called Books, Dogs and Beaches as these are the 3 main passions of my - and I think Jeff (my husbands) life. We currently have the privilege of 2 gordon setters living with us - Golly - aged 10 nearly 11 and Poppy - aged 4 nearly 5. We also are registered with United gordon Setter rescue, and have asked for another suitable boy Gordon setter when one becomes available.
We were off out yesterday to go to my mums 80th birthday celebrations. However 1 of our dogs is unwell and we could not leave him at the kennels. This is doubly upsetting, as I obviously wanted to be at my mums birthday celebrations and wanted to look after my gorgeous Gordon Setter called Golly. Golly sadly has cruel arthritis. The worst is in 1 of his front legs where he sustained an injury before he came to live with us, aged 2. Arthritis set in early, and he has adapted his walking over the years to take the pressure off that leg. However now his rear legs are giving way and things are rather sad for him - and for all of us. He will be off to the vet again tomorrow to see if there is anything else that can be done to help him.

Poppy - our girl- is lively and full of fun. Golly is the no. 1 dog in the pack, and she respects that and adores him appropriately. However she is a confident dog and lives life to the full - even when that includes escaping from our garden to explore the local neighbourhood. We have not been in Norfolk for long, and thought the garden of our 'new' house (built in the 1800's) was escape proof. However it takes a dog to find the escape routes - and she found her way out to explore. On one outing she found her way to a neighbours duck pond where there were 4 lovely white ducks. Jeff waded in after her (temperature was below zero). She did not want to leave - well she is a setter! Fortunately no ducks were harmed, Jeff was fine after a bath and change of clothes, and the neighbour fortunately was very understanding. We still have to watch her in the garden in case she finds any further exit points.

Hopefully they are going to love living in Norfolk. They have a much larger garden than before, and lovely local walks and of course the gorgeous Norfolk beaches to explore.