Tuesday 3 March 2015


In my past couple of posts I've alluded to an excursion of epic awesomeness which occurred last week in London without actually telling you anything about it, but as I know you like to know details (especially Ellie) here they are. 

On Thursday I had arranged with my lovely husband that he would look after the boys (in preparation for me going back to work in a few weeks) and I would get an early morning coach up to London to meet up with Katie and Laura and do some serious book shopping. Firstly the coach was great. In the beginning there were only about two people on it so I managed to catch up almost the entire section of War and Peace that I was behind on the way there which led to me feeling very proud of myself as I made my way from Victoria to Waterstone's in Piccadilly, where we'd agreed to meet. 

On arriving I had to do a slightly creepy 'stand next to Katie and stare at her bag to check it's her' kind of dance, as all I had to go on was pictures from her blog and the fact that she was wearing a red hat, black coat and a bag with a Louisa May Alcott quote on it. Fortunately it was her and so I avoided being forcibly removed from Europe's largest bookshop. A few minutes later Laura joined us and the shopping commenced. 

I honestly have no idea how I've not been to Waterstone's Piccadilly before. It's massive and amazing and the door to the children's department is a circus tent. I'm going back soon. We didn't spend as much time there as any of us would have liked due to extreme hunger and the fact that Laura and I, when hungry, revert to being small children, but I did buy a couple of books - Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng for myself and Busy Bookshop for the boys. 

After a long trek in the wrong direction for any kind of affordable food, we ended up getting a train back to Leicester Square to eat noodles and debate politics, and I'd just like to add to Laura's point about telling off Katie and I for voting Lib Dem, that we're in the majority at the moment so really it should be us tutting and sighing in your general direction! Ahem. Anyway! Then we were full and giggly and I took these pictures:
Katie, hiding her fear really well (if you don't know why she'd be scared, check out the pictures in Laura's post, particularly the one where Laura and I are making the same face...)

Laura, holding...something?
and we headed off toward Forbidden Planet. Every time I go in that shop I end up with a pile and honestly it was fortunate that I was trying to avoid books from my wishlist or I'd have totally broken my self-inflicted rule of one book per shop! As it was I was all set to buy Marbles:Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (as recommended by countless people during Nonfiction November) when Katie picked up Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh and told me I had to read it. Apparently it's that easy to persuade me, so I obligingly put down Marbles and bought it instead. Really glad I did as I read it (all of it) on the coach on the way home. It did get me some strange looks from my fellow passengers as I sat there giggling to myself but it was worth it!

Then Laura had to leave us, and after a slightly confused moment at Tottenham Court Road, and an equally embarassing bit where I fell down a fairly crowded train because I couldn't find a bar to hold onto, said I was going to hold onto Laura and then didn't which was just as well as she wasn't holding on either, so when I clutched helplessly at her arm while falling down the train she just fell on me instead, to the never ending amusement of the gentleman standing opposite. Oh and then Katie helpfully pointed out that I'd gone bright red, causing me to go even redder. Thanks guys! 

Anyway, after that Katie and I made our way to the Persephone Bookshop which neither of us had been to before and which turned out (unsurprisingly) to be really lovely, despite the staff talking about who had given who their winter vomiting virus.... My favourite thing about Persephone books, besides their beautiful endpapers, is that you have nothing to go on but the blurb in the front. Mostly I haven't heard of the authors and you can't judge by the cover because they're all the same. I tried to buy one (The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett, who I have obviously heard of thus disproving my previous point entirely but you know) but there was a 3 for £30 offer on so I picked up one of my previously discarded titles and I don't regret it for a moment! 

Our final stop was Foyles where we picked up a lot, put down a lot and I bought a beautiful copy of Rainbow Valley by L.M Montgomery, prompting a slight diversion down Anne of Green Gables lane. I really must reread those books and finish off with a first read of Rilla of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley! Honestly I always thought that Laura and I absolutely enabled each other in our terrible buying habits, but I think Katie and I were much worse! Our conversation around Foyles went something like this:

Katie: Do 80p books count as books?
Me: Nooooo. 80p isn't the price of a book. They're definitely not books. 
Katie: So if we wanted to buy some of those 80p Penguins they wouldn't count towards our limits?
Me: No, that would be totally fine. 

And later:
Katie: Does stationery count as a book?
Me: No. Stationery is essential for life and creativity and stuff. It's not a book. 
*Looks at all the stationery longingly*

So looking back on it, maybe it's just me who's the enabler! Sorry everyone I've ever been book shopping with!

Then there was just time to make our weary way back to Victoria where we just had time for tea/coffee and cake before I had to get my coach and Katie had to meet her sister. Oh and it turns out nobody even tried to attack me on the way home so I didn't need to utilise War and Peace as a weapon. Thankfully. 

The top and bottom books were for the boys and Rhys respectively. I had to buy him Castle Waiting Volume 2 after I slightly tricked him into buying the first volume last time we were in Foyles....

Basically what I'm  saying here is that book bloggers are pretty much the best people ever and if you get a chance to meet one, you should, especially if it's Laura or Katie (or Hanna, Ellie or Charlotte). 


  1. What an amazing haul! I love Castle Waiting and Hyperbole and a Half - and I picked up my first Persephone this past week. It was a super lucky find, as they aren't sold in shops here.

  2. I forgot about the tube incident but reading that made me lol all over again... WHY ARE WE SUCH SPAZZES?! I am super sad I missed Persephone and Foyles, but there will be many more London visits, I am sure. Maaaaaany more!

  3. Ps I am an incredibly attractive human, clearly. Hahahahaha

  4. Great haul! I can definitely relate to meetups with strangers-soon-to-be-friends. Good thing she was wearing that red hat! I hope to one day go book-shopping with you :)
    PS: your American friend here had to look up the conversion to figure out how much 80p was in US Dollars. 80p books are an AMAZING concept... why do we not have them in America?!

  5. I'm so glad you picked up Hyperbole and a Half (and loved it!). Mum's read some of it too and now every winter when we have to use an ice scraper on the car someone has to shout "IT'S IN THE BACK SEAT!" and much giggling ensues. :)

    I can actually vouch for the fact that 80p books don't count as books. I know this because my long-suffering mother actually allowed me to buy six of them this week. If that had been six ACTUAL books there would have been arguing and hissing and I would possibly have been dragged out of Waterstones by the ear. So... obviously they don't count.