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

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

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Busy Times

As usual our life has been busy of late - and I have realised that I haven't been blog writing recently. I now write a little about each of this blogs topics - Books, dogs and beaches!

Dogs - Henny, our latest rescue Gordon Setter, is settling in and seems to becoming less panicky. Instead of lying right by our feet all the time, she relaxes in other rooms, or further away from us, which must be a good sign. We have been continuing our 'leaving them' exercises, trying to pop out for a little while most days, and we are gradually getting less damage in the home! Henny obviously searches the house from top to bottom when we leave, but providing we leave internal doors open it means they will not be damaged on our return. There is the occasional broken ornament to greet us, from where she has been looking out of the windows - I am learning to move ornaments to safer places, but when we creep back there doesn't appear to be any barking or crying, so she is obviously settling. Maybe one day, we will be able to go out for an evening! Poppy is gorgeous as ever, and tolerates Henny's behaviour remarkably well, if with some puzzlement. Henny however has shown her some new tricks (Poppy never used to go upstairs until Henny came, and Henny has lead her astray when she has done her escaping activities - we think the garden is now escape proof at long last). We nickname them Bonny & Clyde when they go on their 'naughty' expeditions. They always come back looking very pleased with themselves.
However due to our great neighbour George, who has painstakingly fenced our adjoining boundary with even higher fencing, we hope these escape antics are now at an end.

Books - as ever books continue to multiply. I am sure they breed over night.
The book room is getting a little more organised each week, and now many books are on shelves, they are much easier to locate when we get orders. We recently have bought some great new stock. Top of the list must be some W E Johns books we have bought in from someone who had had them in his loft since he was a child, and was amazed at what we were prepared to pay for them. They included a nice copy of the elusive Biggles and the Deep Blue Sea, which was great to get hold of. We haven't catalogued these on the internet yet, as we thought they would be great as new stock to take to the York National Book Fair, but if anyone reading this is interested in elusive Biggles titles, just contact me to see if we have it in stock now.

Beaches. The glorious North Norfolk beaches - which I recently heard described as some of the best beaches in Europe - get a little busier at this time of year, but nevertheless, if you are prepared to walk just a short way, you will soon find vast expanses of sand without people. I must admit we tend to go for beach walks a little less at this busy time of year, but earlier this week we met some friends and went for an early evening walk at Brancaster. Our friends took their 2 Westies and we took our Gordon Setters, and the eight of us had a great time. Our friends showed us where there were some seals - 7 of them enjoying the early evening sunshine. We took care not to show our dogs where they were. We walked along the beach for a while, soon losing most other people, and then back amongst the dunes - where we saw loads of beautiful sea lavender and attractive sea holly. It was a gorgeous evening - even worth the wasp sting and many midge bites I incurred.

I still think that North Norfolk is the most fantastic place to live, and we have no regrets about our move, even if we are worn out with the moving of the 30,000 books. Things are slowly coming together.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Verily Anderson (Author)

(Taken from her obituary in The guardian Thursday 29 July 2010.)

Verily Anderson was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, the fourth of five children of the Rev Rosslyn Bruce and his wife Rachel. She recently died aged 95. during her life she had published more than 30 books – memoirs, biographies, children's stories and work ranging from personal reminiscences to Shakespeare scholarship and 10 Brownie books. Her breakthrough as a writer came in 1956, at the age of 41, when she published Spam Tomorrow, a deft and frequently uproarious account of her wartime experiences on the home front. It was a new kind of memoir, one of the first to explore the lives of women in wartime.

During the war Verily met Donald Anderson, a writer who specialised in military history. They married in 1940 and had five children. Donald died in 1956, and by the mid-60s Verily was again struggling financially. She was rescued by the actor Joyce Grenfell. They had struck up a friendship when Verily interviewed Grenfell for the BBC. Grenfell was so shocked at the conditions she found Verily living in that she bought her a home in Northrepps, a village in Norfolk, where she stayed for the rest of her life, writing dozens more books (including the critically acclaimed The Northrepps Grandchildren in 1968) and glorying in the role of matriarch to an ever-expanding family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When Verily married Paul Paget, architect and surveyor to the fabric of St Paul's Cathedral, in 1971, Grenfell was matron of honour.

Verily is survived by her children, Marian, Rachel, Eddie, Janie and Alexandra, 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren – and Alfie, her beloved RNIB guide-dog.

• Verily Anderson, writer, born 12 January 1915, died 16 July 2010

We have books by Verily Anderson for sale on our website at