Sunday, April 23, 2017

On bookstores, harnessing the sun, and face-stuffing

HEYYOUGUYS. Guess how many blog posts I planned to write but never did and now they're likely never to see the light of day? The rest of my Christmas burgers - I had 16 in total, shout out to Chick 'n Sours for the best one - our trip to the Ice Hotel in January - in which the northern lights flipped us the bird but we still basked in the glow of permanent snow-twilight while snowmobiling and dogsledding - and last month's trip to Sicily. (Though that one may still make it in at some point, probably when I'm feeling moody at the endless London grey and want to pretend it's okay because you can leave it so easily.)

Instead of all those topics that come with built-in photographs and adventures, I will tell you all about my day of nothing yesterday. Extra fun, because I have no pics or actual story. Good to get the practice in if I'm going to do an additional MyBloWriMo in June this year (jury's still out on that one). 

Al and I are very good at spending our weekends lazily and yesterday was no exception. We booked a nice lunch, then spent the afternoon wandering through bookstores on our way to a nice dinner. These activities encompassed two of our favourite past-times: eating, and reading, and eating some more.

The first bookstore we hit was Persephone, notable as both a publisher and bookseller of out-of-print works by female authors. It was teeny tiny and quaint and crowded and sweet and the overall environment made me want to buy every book in the house, even though I knew I probably wouldn't make it to the end of half of them (all that old timey wordsmithing, innit). I did get this one, though, because it was flipping hilarious:

Here are the first two pages that sold me:

I think we all know Lady B.

After that we hit Skoob - MY NEW FAVOURITE BOOKSTORE EVER, like the green apple of London - which has - according to le googles - over 55,000 used books. The ceiling was low, the shop was dark and underground and full of nooks, and books were stacked EVERYwhere. After tripping over a half dozen piled haphazardly on the floor, I was in love. I couldn't stop myself from buying a handful of crime novels on our way out. 

We also hit Judd's used books, which was no Skoob but had - randomly and weirdly - an excellent vegetarian cookbook selection - before wandering to Treadwell's. NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT TREADWELL'S. This came as a recommendation from my favourite darkest magik friends as an 'occult bookshop,' which is - as one pointed out - 'two of the best words to hear in sequence in the English language.' And the shop was LOVELY. Warm and incensey with Celtic font everywhere, including on the signs to the Hindu and Biblical sections. I couldn't resist buying two aroma oils - frankincense and sage - which - per the shopkeeper - apparently have planetary alignments (the Sun and Jupiter, respectively) that would bring me wellbeing (the former) and success (the latter). To think I just thought they smelled nice! Embarrassing. Needless to say, I blended the two before bed and smeared them all over my face. 

Then we headed to the Waterstones on Gower which - while being a chain - still exists, so gets props for surviving in an Amazon-era. This one is extra lovely because it's got red carpet and mini-levels. We headed straight for the basement to see an art exhibit - recommended by KT - of The Quiet Medusa, who sculpts/stitches/creates doll-like female effigies - that relate to works of literature and also her life. It was powerful and intimate stuff. Do go to see it if you're in the area.

And then we ate some more and then went home and read some more. It was a thrilling day, I tell you. 

I hope to see you again in June - post- our next trip Stateside - and until then,

Big hugs and lots of love,


  1. wooo hooo MyBloWriMo in June

  2. Dear Esss - thank you for coming to and mentioning my exhibition!!! Sounds like a very nice weekend bookshop flaneur, I like those places too and Treadwell's have some good events.
    All Best