Mar. 9th, 2013

stevieannie: (Default)
 The trouble with Facebook is that it is so damned omnipresent.  Even my mum checks Facebook...

But there isn't the space there for any real posting.  It's the online version of the five minute conversation whilst walking the dog...

So, how have things been with me?  Pretty good, actually.

We're slap bang in the middle of working on a new album.  This one will be themed around magic and enchantment, with a magnifying glass on the fae side of life.  This particular set of dreams and perspectives is one that I've long been fascinated with, and the opportunity to write exclusively for it is rather lovely.  We hope to have it released for our GoH spot at FilkOntario (which reminds me - must make some easy-to-pack wings!).  Fingers crossed!

Tim is working every hour that he possibly can.  His idea of a weekend is currently an afternoon off.  If he doesn't work between 2pm and 5pm he adjudges it to be a weekend.  That happens roughly every two weeks.  We took time off this afternoon to spend some time with Ellie and go shopping for some supplies for her first trip away on her own.  She is going on a residential trip with school and needs an immoderate amount of shoes, apparently.  Thankfully, Lincoln Open Market managed to supply them at a very reasonable price, and we had enough money left to treat her to a sparkly notebook from PaperChase (oooh.... the stationery....  ohhhhh).  Both Tim and I bought new folders for our choir/instrumental groups (on sale at WH Smiths - result!) and he finally had a haircut, which means that he looks far less like Christopher Lloyd in "Back to the Future".  We then had a cup of tea in Waterstones (I do love being able to drink tea in bookshops - so very civilised...) and decided that there were far more interesting books than we would ever actually have time to read.  Also thought that we would like to turn into Noel from Brighton when the children leave home....

Noel lived about a dozen houses away from us, and ran the most amazing bookshop on Queen's Road in Brighton.  It was stacked floor to ceiling with the most incredibly interesting and esoteric books I've ever seen.  None of them were in any sort of order, and many were stacked on their sides, under things, behind chairs or teetering at the edges of triple-stacked shelves.  It was madness.  Noel knew where everything was, and if you wanted something specific, then you asked Noel and he'd go straight to it, no matter how tucked away it was, or what the subject might be.  A 1960's catalogue from a Sotheby's sale of Samurai Swords?  Why of course!  It's over here behind a stack of George Eliot!  Where else?

But the thing I loved best about Noel was that he spent all of his time out of the shop sat in the big bay window of his house, with a HUGE glass of red wine and a pile of the books from his shop.  His living room looked just like his shop, only it had gorgeous Victorian furniture as well.  He spent every evening in the book-filled room, reading, drinking and waving to neighbours.  Every now and again our paths would cross outside of his work and we'd meet in the corner shop, buying Kirsch, or spanish olives or one of the other bizarre things that they seemed to stock as well as bread and milk, and we'd have a little chat, and he'd mention that he'd found something fascinating on Lovecraft and that Tim should pop in, or that I might be interested in a little T.S. Eliot volume he'd just discovered...  It was always something worth having, and whenever we went in, we generally spent far longer chatting than buying.  

The shop was shut last time we visited Brighton, and I can't say I'm surprised.  I imagine that Noel either went out of business due to his sales model of "Serendipity over Organisation" or lost a chunk of liver function due to his prodigious red wine intake, and retired to devote himself to mineral water and more reading to take his mind off the fact that it wasn't red wine.

But whatever happened to Noel, he left enough of a mark on our lives that both Tim and I think it would be a hoot to turn our garage into a second-hand bookshop and then just sit in it during the day, refusing to sell anything good to the very few passers-by...  I imagine it would be very much like living on the set of "Black Books" :-)

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