Off again but taking the laptop with me this time, so I hope to keep blogging. However, just in case, I've been having fun making ice candles and will leave you wih some photographs :
To see more about Making Winter click here www.silverpebble-jewellery.blogspot.com
Julia sent this link to the poem Marginalia by Billy Collins who was America's Poet Laureate in 2001.
I'd not come across it before and love it. Thank you Julia.
I looked into selling my books on Amazon. Opinions vary.
One argument against goes thus: by selling for a very low price on Amazon you are doing some small second hand book dealer out of business. This may well be true. The same is sometimes said of charity shops.
One argument in favour is that you may be keeping books out of landfill.
I'm not much wiser, and the books have gone to Oxfam. That way at least four people benefit. I get space. Someone gets a voluntary job sorting them.Several people get a book they want at a bargain price. Someone else hopefully gets something they really really need. Win all round.
How do you dispose of unwanted books?
A joke from florist and blogger Miss Pickering http://misspickering.blogspot.com
How do you spot a blogger?
They are the ones photographing the food instead of eating it.
Tee hee - I don't think I have done this yet! Or have I?.....
So what has happened in a year in the world of books, since I last took an overview of mine?
Well, lots of writers of blogs are producing e books, some free, some for a nominal cost, and some now selling through Amazon, rulers of the book world. Interestingly there still seems to be the demand for a hard copy. Seth Godin talks about his vision of the future of books in this 26 minute interview (poor sound quality) with Leo Babatua - www.zenhabits.net/seth/
Kindles and i Pads have improved and are cheaper. Some friends are enthusing about the Kindle, it is undoubtedly a space and shelf and weight saving option. Let's just say it's not on my Santa list for this year.
I have ordered the illustrated version of The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. Far from cheap editions and Kindle being the death knell of paper books, I like to think that books will once again become desirable objects to treasure and give as special gifts. I think this one may come into that category. Beautifully bound, it looks like a little work of art on its own. And it is a book I think I will reread more than once.
Some independent bookshops still appear to be doing well. Take a look at www.persephonebooks.co.uk which has an interesting website, and closer to home Bookpoint in Dunoon www.bookpointdunoon.com which has a wide choice of books and an ordering service, a book group and author events. They also sell my cards!
What do you think will be the future of books as we know them?
PS The Hare With Amber Eyes came today, and I have to confess I am a little disappointed. Small things - it doesn't have a dust jacket which I do like on a 'special' book, the binding isn't as out of the ordinary as I'd thought, and the illustrations are not captioned on the page where they occur, which means you have to break from your reading to look them up at a table in the back of the book. It kind of spoils the flow. Also I had hoped to be able to see much more detail in the photographs of the netsuke, but they are not big enough. However, for the Amazon price of £14.49 (rrp £25) including postage, it is still a very nice buy. Shame I have to send it back because it has a big scratch on the cover!
Making room for the new, while keeping the best of the old.
What I am aiming for, I remind myself, is to know where each book is, and to be able to put my hand straight onto the book I want without having to move anything else first. I didn't quite get to that point last year (still have 9 shelves with books stacked two deep!) But I think maybe I can achieve that now.
The other aim is to have relevant books, books which represent who I am today, not who I was x years ago. I don't know who said this, but I really like the concept. It helps me to be selective. And current.
(I did get down to one row deep on all but 4 shelves. Next year....)
Sorted bookshelves are now high on my list of life's simple pleasures!
Looking at last year's blog for late November, I see I was having a major sort of my bookshelves, so I took a look, and yes, it needs done again.
Taking down the books a shelf at a time, I can see that some which I kept last year really could have gone and would not have been missed. That's good to know. They can go this year. They can go today.
It should be so much easier than last year, sorting the books! I can see me making it an annual November task. Draw the curtains on the cold wet night, switch on the lamps, pour a glass of something and work my way through the shelves.
Last year it took a week (I blogged about it from 25 Nov - 5 Dec!) this year I think I might do it in two, maybe three evenings.
Question 3 from Marie at http://66squarefeet.blogspot.com is
What was the first plant you grew?
For me it would be those daffodils from school (see 13 Nov), and somewhere I grew that mix of Virginia Stock and Night Scented Stock which all children seem to grow here in UK. It must have been on Dad's allotment - another delicious perfume memory.
I also remember the smell of tomato leaves. (If you like that smell too I can recommend Feuille de Tomates soap from Sarah Raven, expensive but lasts ages and it is exactly that scent.)
The soil, the colours and perfumes, the abundance....it was all very sensual and such a contrast to the streets where I lived and the back courts where I played - so for me there was a sense of magic and other worldliness about gardens and gardening that has never left me.
By the way, are you a lark or an owl?
....and did I mention the cakes in Berlin?
Another thing I love about working from home is having a slow start to the day.
I'm no lark.
It's a dark and windy morning, a powdering of snow on the tops.
Gentle light, no alarm clock ringing...
And a slow breakfast.
Maybe there is something to be said for dark winter mornings...
And being an owl.
I'm delighted to find that Andrea Jones has included ten photos of our garden in her new book!
I'm also thrilled to be in the same pages as many of my landscape and gardening heroes - van Sweden (who has written the introduction), Charles Jenks, Piet Oudolf, Beth Chatto, Dan Pearson, Dan Kiley, and - greatest of greats - Thomas Church.
This book is both useful and beautiful. (Meeting William Morris's criteria for worth having in your house....)
One of the best things about being self employed is the flexibility it gives you. On a day of brilliant sunshine, like yesterday, you can get out there and catch up with the work later. These were some of the lovely sights at Benmore Botanic Gardens and the beautiful reflections in Loch Eck on the way back.
So glad we went, as today it has poured all day long...
I hope you are getting some winter sunshine.