A Good Read

Much of the day was spent continuing with the filling of the bookshelves. By the time we had finished last night we were both under the impression that we hadn’t been out that day. We’d both forgotten the mere four hours spent on the IKEA trip which we had in our minds relegated to the day before.
I can categorically state that we have not left the house today. We made a great deal of progress on the novels, but not as much as we at one time thought. When we completed the Novels M box  we thought we were more than half way through this major section. I was somewhat perturbed at the shortage of Is. Surely I had more than one Hammond Innes and another Christopher Isherwood. The task is possibly numbing our brains a bit, so I didn’t persist. I should at least have wondered where John Irving had got to.
So….. With only the two aforementioned Is to separate Harris from Joyce, we continued merrily along through to M. Neither did it occur to us that there should be more Hs. What about Hemingway and Hoban?
Determined not to make the same error (you will by now have realised, as we did, that something was awry) with N, we searched and searched for it. That box remained elusive. What we did find, however, was H to J.

One of the beauties of the Billy bookcases is that the shelves are adjustable, so that different sized books can stand alongside each other in their correct alphabetical order. These can be adjusted as you go along. It is also helpful to leave a few gaps so that when inserting an additional volume or two there is enough room on the shelf without having to move everything along, and consequently risk having to readjust the height of the shelves ad infinitum.
If you have omitted a large section like H to J there is no way you have left enough spaces, so there is more pulling out of studs to lower or raise the laminated chipboard on which to perch the books. This is quite a laborious process, and if you haven’t estimated the space correctly, you have to do it over again. Having gone through this experience once, we had a determined effort to find N. The Novels N box was, of course, in the least accessible spot in a far corner surrounded by Reference, History, Philosophy, etc., etc. I got in and heaved it out.
Have I mentioned that when I first met her Jackie was a librarian? I thought not. Well, she was, and this is proving to be quite useful.
After lunch Jackie researched the Internet and found that the

unknown shrub near the bottle brush trees is a Chinese Lantern Tree or Crinodendron Hookerianum. I updated the relevant post.

We also have a beautiful magenta pieris and and a mature lace cap hydrangea.
Two more discoveries from the treasure trove of Safestore Storage boxes are a photograph and a drawing.

The photograph is a heat-sealed print on board. It is too large for my scanner, so I have here taken the image directly from the August 1971 colour slide. Michael is reading to Jackie and me at 76 Amity Grove.

Two years later I made this quick charcoal sketch of him reading to Matthew.

Late this afternoon Shelly dropped in for a visit and brought a few of the plants and garden ornaments we had left at her home.

Jackie and I dined on fish, chips, and mushy peas, followed by a Post House Mess, the ingredients for which are similar to a Firs Mess.


  1. Great sketch of the boys reading together. One of the best features of your site is links to older posts, always worth a look.

  2. Derrick, you’ve left an amazing gift to all who know and love you. You’ve gathered photos, memorabilia, and all your extraordinary and ordinary memories of life on this blog. I’m so glad we connected through our dear friend, Pauline.

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