Is anybody out there?

Echo echo echo…..

…….oh, hello! If you’re a regular here at Literary Relish and have stuck it out since my faraway house-moving post of the 14th March then thankyou so much for being patient with me and sticking around, if you got bored and disappeared then come back I’m still alive!!! … If you’re a newbie then greetings and welcome to the world of Literary Relish and a long overdue update…

So, in case you hadn’t already had enough excuses – I moved house this month and cooor has it been exhausting! Packing has got to be on my top ten all time list of things I HATE to do. Unpacking anything of any sort (i.e. setting up home, weekly food shop) is highly satisfying but packing up is dull. Apart from the 13 HUGE boxes of books that is!

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Oh yes, books. Those things I’m so crazy about and that Literary Relish lives for, contrary to my expectations (thinking – less blog = more reading time) have also been sorely neglected of late. Among the heavy lifting and a nasty bout of tonsilitis how many books did I read? A grand total of three. Three books in an entire month. In fact, make that two, as for the first time in the entire history of the Manchester Book Club, to proudly mark its year anniversary I didn’t even bother to finish our choice, choosing to gift it to a more enthusiastic book group member instead. Shameful.

What didn’t really hit the spot for me? The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier, which in my highly distracted state of mind was nothing special and did zero to capture my attention and imagination. What did prove successful? Two good old classics. Graham Greene is easy to dip into and almost always writes well-rounded, amusing novels; his Travels with my Aunt was a must after reading Our Man in Havana.  Finally, if I didn’t succeed with anything else literary this month, at least I finally took the opportunity to read my first Dickens in a very long time; Hard Times (much exalted by Daddy Relish). Apart from some terribly irritating Lancashire dialect to plow through at times (more to follow in a full review soon) this much-lauded classic surprised me with its great wit and (what I imagine was) a very realistic portrait of a northern factory town and the types who resided within it at the time.

Mantel's Fludd courtesy of the excellent Oxfam shop in our local market town...that something tells me I'm going to enjoy exploring....
Mantel’s Fludd arrived today, courtesy of the excellent Oxfam shop in our local market town… something tells me I’m going to enjoy exploring that one….

Most importantly, where do we put all of these books? Great plans are afoot at Relish cottage, including what we hope will become a great wall of impressive, orange-spined literature a la A Penguin a Week or, perhaps, something like Beauty’s fairytale library (perhaps stretching the imagination there a teensy bit…)

Where the books live now...
Where the books live now…
Where they will live.. (covering up a highly risky choice of paint colour)
Where they will live.. (covering up a highly risky choice of paint colour: ‘dancehall green’)
Yet another wall of books downstairs? Only those that make us look well-read make the cut (oo so shallow)
Yet another wall of books downstairs? Only those that make us look well-read make the cut (oo so shallow)

Anyway! Enough of me. What have you all been doing with yourselves whilst I’ve been away from the blogosphere? More reading than me I hope. Has anyone read Under the Skin by Michael Faber. I love Faber but this one is intense and may give me a nightmare or two!

12 thoughts on “Is anybody out there?

  1. The last time I move home was before DVDs had really taken off and so even worse than the book boxes were those that contained the videos that held the entire Star Trek epic in all of its various manifestations. What the removal men said about it was nobodies business. I can’t think of many ways in which ebooks win out over the real thing, but packing a kindle has to be easier. I hope the move proves a real blessing and that you and your books settle happily ever after.

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    1. Haha., I was always more of a Star Wars girl at heart 😉 Thanks so much Alex, it is a big change but completely the right one if the life we’ve been living so far here is anything to go by. I am actually now the reluctant owner of a Kindle but it will never beat the real thing. The one positive aspect of so many books to pack is going through them all and drooling over all of the reading we have to come (and trying oh so hard not to acquire more and add to the pile!)

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  2. When we moved there were 70 boxes of books. We were due to move over three days, the packers moved the books first because it was easy then got their van stuck on the track to the new house and announced they’d have to put nearly all the furniture in storage until it stopped raining and the track dried out – which too nearly a month. So for a month we lived among a lot of books, with our beds, three chairs, a table a cooker, a garden table to use as a food preparation area and washing machine – but since nearly all our clothes had gone into storage it didn’t get much use. And of course we had no idea in which of the 70 boxes, just helpfully marked “books” was anything we wanted to read.
    Is the picture the view from your house? Glorious. You’re going to have to get a dog, it would be in paradise!

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    1. It isn’t but it is very close to how the moors look just 2 minutes walk from our front door. We’d absolutely love a scruffy dog to bound around with but we’re both out of the house so much with work we don’t think it’d be fair….ah well, I’ll just have to retire from the office and become a novelist instead!(Dreams, dreams…)
      70 boxes? 70?! You really have put me to shame! Everybody I know seems to be highly impressed with my measly 13 so I might neglect to mention your mammoth library! I’m very envious….and how romantic to live with them for company with a little stove. We lived without any chairs or beds for a week. Never again.

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    1. Fantastically thanks Martine, feel like a proper grown up with an upstairs AND a downstairs (small things….)
      Perhaps we could tag team when one of us next does a big move. You pack and I can unpack. Perfect!

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  3. I don’t mind packing but hate unpacking! Whenever I’m on holiday I live out of the suitcase rather than hanging anything up when I first arrive. Hope all is going well with the move and that you are settling in nicely. Can’t wait to see where the books will live when it’s all sorted.

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