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.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Leaving Peakirk for Good

Yesterday Jeff went and collected the last van load from Peakirk. It consisted of shelving that was in a friends garage and lots of boxes of uncatalogued books that were in another friends stables. Its a strange feeling after almost a year to at last have moved lock stock & book! Yes, we have been in Norfolk for almost a year - and what a year. Van load after van load of books, shelves etc not to mention our personal goods. This followed by getting the outbuilding at this end ready to put the books on shelves - it has been a tiring, but satisfying time. Also over the year we sadly nursed then lost our gorgeous dog Golly - who at least made it here, and enjoyed our much larger garden for a little while. Then of course we were lucky enough to gain our lovely 'new to us' gordon setter Henny, via Gordon Setter resue, who despite having many problems of her own, has settled in well and is making progress all the time.

Quite a year. Despite the work, not helped by getting virtually cut off due to the snowy winter, we have never once regretted the move here. Norfolk is a lovely county - the beaches and countryside are gorgeous, and we hope in our next year here, to be able to really enjoy it. I have added some pictures of Jeffs last visit (well until we go back to see friends).

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Agatha Christie's 120th birthday anniversary

The 15th of September saw the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birthday. Google even provided a google-doodle to mark the occasion - an elaborate scene adapted from one of the crime author's many detective novels. Each of the logo's letters has been replaced with a character taken from her novels.

This author, who also wrote under the pen name Mary Westmacott, was born in Torquay, Devon on September 15, 1890. She wrote more than 90 books, mostly detective novels, which have sold an estimated four billion copies worldwide. Her books have also been popularised by the many film versions and television adaptions of a variety of titles - still going strong. Her best known detectives are Hercule Poirot - her little belgian detective with his 'little grey cells' and Miss Marple, the little old Lady who just manages to solve the many mysteries that the police find so difficult. Needless to say we have many of these books for sale, from paperbacks to 1st editions, on our website at

Thursday, 16 September 2010

York Book fair 2010

York National Book fair is the largest in the UK with 189 dealers exhibiting. It is important that we go there, both to look for books for our customers, and to have a stand ourselves.

We arrived in York early afternoon on the Thursday to put up our stand ready for the fair the next 2 days. On our arrival the place was buzzing as usual, and I had to restrain myself (or Jeff did) from going round to every stand buying up goodies, but I did mange to get a few! A very nice young man - off to university next year, acted as a porter and helped us get all our books up to the mezzanine level where our stand was. We were in exactly the same position as last year - which unfortunately is about the hottest place in the building. We decided to go for the same spot to make it easier for customers to find us, but by those lights we really did start to melt - also commented on by several customers. Anyhow - it took us the afternnon to get set up - along with chatting to other exhibitors, then we were ready for the opening next day at 12 oclock. The fair opens Friday 12.00 - 7.00, then Saturday 10.00 - 17.00.

Friday was extremely busy, and we met lots of customers, sold lots of books - I'm pleased to say, and also learnt some interesting bits & pieces of book information too. It was a lovely, if tiring, day - and we collapsed back to our lodgings for a nights sleep before we did it all over again on Saturday. Saturday, as usual, was not as busy as Friday, but there was still a healthy buzz and lots of chat. However by the time 5 oclock came, we had to call upon our energy reserves to get the stall packed up, books back in the car, and start the 3+ hour journey home. When I started the business Jeff did wonder why I picked books (heavy items) as opposed to selling pot pourri, china or other such lady like pursuits. However I never was a lady, and books were the things that interested me - so book selling it was! Our journey home was quite straightforward for once - we stopped only once, 10 minutes from home, to pick up Fish & Chips for tea.

The fair was good for us - and I hope good for the visiors who came to look & browse.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Books - and Book fairs

We had a good fair in Bristol at the Girls school story conference - meeting up with customers old and new. We stayed in Bradford upon Avon, and travelled into bristol on the day for the conference. We had allowed ourself the day off on the Sunday after the conference, and at first - feeling guilty at having a day to do nothing, almost got in the car to come home - but then told ourselves that we were being daft, and settled into having a lovely walk in the sunshine down by the canal, and meandering back through the town. On Monday we set off back to Norfolk - at 11.00 am, and thanks to the dreadful traffic made it back at 6.00pm.
Tomorrow we are off to York National book Fair. Our friends are arriving first thing to house & dog sit, and we should be in York early afternoon ready to set up our stand. We have some lovely new and quite scarce stock to take with us, that we hope will be of interest - we bought in some rare Biggles titles about a month ago, and this will be the first time they have been out and about!
It is a 2 day fair, so we will not be back until Saturday night. As usual I will miss the dogs - but no doubt will enjoy the trip. Last year it was hot, but I think the weather will be quite different this year.

Poppy & Henny the Gordon Setters

Henny is settling down with us now, although still occasionally showing signs of stress.
She went to the vets and was spayed a couple of weeks ago - something she tolerated remarkably well. The worst part of it for her was not going out for runs afterwards whilst her wound knitted up again. She amazingly never once appeared to lick or touch her sttiches - totally ignoring her cut as if it didnt exist. Once she stated having runs again, she was ecstatic! Poppy too took little notice of the whole procedure. Jeff smuggled her out from time to time, so that she managed to get exercise, but we had to be careful not to let Henny know! they are both enjoying long walks again I am pleased to say.

Beaches - Brancaster

Once again we (Jeff, I and our 2 gordon setters) met our friends Ashley & Annette, and their 2 Westies, and went walking on Brancaster beach yesterday evening. Ashley had checked the tides, and high tide had - seemingly, passed by the time we met at 6.15. There was still only a small amount of beach exposed, but enough for us to walk along. After a little while the rain began. As it got heavier we thought we better turn round and go back. Then the thunder & lightening started. Fortunately none of us were too worried about this - but we did get very wet. It was lovely to see the rain beating against the cliffs.
As we got back to the car, another walker told us that the road into the beach was flooded with the sea - high tide seemed to have come late - and that we wouldnt be able to leave for another hour as cars couldn't get in or out. The eight of us walked down to look, and the sea had definitely come in across the road. Ashley walked through the water in the road to see just how deep it got (he was the only one wearing wellington boots) accompanied by Henny, who thought the adventure was much more interesting than staying with us.
After about half an hour we decided that the water level was low enough for the cars to get through.

Definitely a Famous Five type adventure for the eight of us! Sadly no one had brought the ginger beer.