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The bookshop yesterday had the remnants of a house-clearing in movers boxes, including old sketchbooks, diaries, correspondence, postcards, christmas cards, notes, research books, shopping lists, the works. Often the donations seem quite autobiographical (the oft-seen self-help triples of saving marriage, surviving divorce and living happily single or looking for mr right, becoming orgasmic and living happily single, for example) but I think this is the first donation I've seen that could actually quite easily be used to write an autobiography. The sabbaticals in Italy, the regular catholic vs. protestant disputes, the ongoing struggle with the dentist -- it was all there, set in a tidy framework of novels in three languages and Italian theology. There was also a minor crisis when someone wanted to buy a toilet for his son's birthday, and it looked like we'd run out (the toilets are the most popular of the out-of-season Oxfam Unwrapped gifts) but I found a stash of spares out back so that was OK.

Our usual pub was jammed so we ended up at the second choice afterward the bookshop where I got charged over six pounds for a single drink to which I can only say -- well. That's the last time I drink in Jericho.

I think that anything else interesting was short enough to fit in a twitter. Oh! except for the Gardeners World Drinking Game. Only works on Carol Klein episodes -- every time she propagates, you drink. You can still pick up this week's episode on the iplayer, but I would recommend not drinking anything strong as you will end up slaughtered. I'm working on a version for Monty Don (perhaps every time he says, "and of course, it's completely organic"?) but I suppose there's entertainment enough there what with the mysterious redhead and her small dog.

I'm quite pleased with my garden at the moment; the species tulips came up, and unlike almost everything else, they've not been INSTANTLY CONSUMED by the unstoppable slug army. The twisted hazel has three pitiful little catkins. The bulbs I planted in the crack gardens came up early and got frosted but I'm thinking; Alpines. They can probably cope.


( 9 worms — Feed the birds )
16th Mar, 2008 19:54 (UTC)
Good god, what was the drink?

A friend rented a room from a woman who had clearly met her boyfriend via a shared love of self-help books and multi-level marketing (e.g. Amway) style schemes. The bookcase consisted only of self-help and 'how to succeed in MLM books', and cookery books. The scary thing was that there were 17 (I counted) duplicates of self-help / MLM books.
16th Mar, 2008 20:01 (UTC)
Winter Pimms at the Royal Oak -- which looks like it's in the process of some very minimal refit from gastropub to wanker-friendly sports bar.

Funny thing about self-help books, you never get a donation of just one.
16th Mar, 2008 20:08 (UTC)
SIX QUID ?!?!?!
Just what Oxford cries out for, a wanker-friendly sports bar.

I don't think I have ever read a self-help book, but somehow that doesn't surprise me.

I sometimes wonder whether all the religious books (of the naff evangelical 'living for jesus today' kind) you find in 2nd hand book shops are donated by people deliberately to give them to charity shops in the hope that people who wouldn't / couldn't shell out full price will but them.
17th Mar, 2008 14:52 (UTC)
The Radcliffe Arms fills the gap, if gap there ever was, for wanker-friendly sports bar. Also the food there (last time I tried the Raddy) was epically bad, as was the beer (we had to send back our 3 beers).
17th Mar, 2008 18:21 (UTC)
I know it makes me sound kind of old fogeyish but I do miss the way those pubs used to be :(
16th Mar, 2008 21:21 (UTC)
The nematodes work, but they kill the good slugs, which eat the other slugs, as well as the bad slugs, which eat plants.

It's always a risk, fiddling with nature.

I'd say you need a HEDGEHOG. G'wan, gwan, gwan.
16th Mar, 2008 23:14 (UTC)
I used to have one, but now I have rats instead. Got a perfect place for a hedgehog house, mind....
17th Mar, 2008 12:35 (UTC)
I am strangely obsessed with Carol Klein, even sober. I fear the consequences if alcohol is included. Hour-long Carol solo last week, what bliss.

Unstoppable slug army, Peckham armoured division

17th Mar, 2008 18:21 (UTC)
Your slugs scare me. But everyone loves Carol! How could they not?
( 9 worms — Feed the birds )