After our incredible trip to Wales, we are loving all things outdoorsy more than ever before. You wait, we'll soon all be wearing matching Kagoules and yomping over hills and dales like the Von Trapps.
Mooching round the charity shops on Saturday, I spotted a window display of books. Being the lazy sod I am, I love it when second-hand shops group and order their books into themes. I hate having to trawl through shelf after shelf of muddled books - cant they introduce the Dewey Decimal system or something?
Anyway, I gave myself a workout lugging around this selection I chose, particularly the mahoosive Natural History book.
I do think they were rather pricey for charity shop books, but I wanted them, so I paid up. When we used to do pricing in charity shops, we had a straight forward pricing system of 10% of the RRP, it was easy for the volunteers to implement - a £10.99 hardback book was ticketed up at £1.99, a £4.99 paperback novel became 49p.
My books were priced at £5 for the Natural History of the British Isles, £3 for the Folklore and Myths book and £2.50 for the Woodland Walks.
I don't begrudge it because it's going to a good cause, but I really think some shops would do well to keep their eye on the price of used books on Amazon, and indeed new books in discount stores such as The Works.
Anyhow, mostly the books are great, and will be excellent for planning trips out. The Natural History book is rammed with illustrated information covering everything from wild flowers and fungus, to natural geographical features and wild animals.
I can see many a happy bug hunt or tasty forage taking place armed with this!
The Folklore book really appealed to me, and it hasn't disappointed. Covering all the weird and wonderful traditions of this isle from cheese rolling and morris dancing, to reported ghostly hauntings and pagan festivals. There's a helpful calender of customs and events, so if the urge took us, we could scoot off around the country to catch whatever happens to be on.
The Woodland Walk book was disappointing. Oddly, I didn't flick through like I usually do before I bought it, I just assumed it would do what it says on the tin. It doesn't. I was hoping for detailed walks and routes through the forests, and thought it would be the perfect aid for my reviewing work with the Forestry Commission.
The book was written in the mid-80s, and the author comes across as a sulky, miserable man. He's very disparaging of the Commission, and writes nasty little reviews about places which simply don't fit with my experience. Maybe things have changed in 30 years, but certainly I wouldn't recommend the book. Not only do I not agree with the detail on places I am familiar with, the details are sorely lacking - a brief and miserable paragraph is afforded to one of my local sites, one which we have had many many pleasant visits to :
on the A6 just north of Clophill has a picnic place away from the foul lay-by where you have to park. I suppose it's all right inside: there is a school trail, and a forest walk of 1 1/2 miles, described by the Forestry Commission as pleasant - rather faint praise.
Seriously Gerald - get over yourself!
Anyhow, moving on from grumpy Gerald, we popped to a car boot sale on Sunday - my first of the year!! I picked up a huge bundle of OS maps, partly for crafty crafting (especially the really old ones), and partly for use on walks. They were only £1 for 3, so I grabbed loads.
As I was perusing the stand, the Old Man whispered to me "I know that lady selling". He promptly announced "I recognise some of these from my old Geography field trips", and she looked up and leapt across to hug him. It was his old Geography teacher, and it was actually genuinely touching to see the recognition. She was a teacher who had a huge impact on him in 6th form, and in his further education and ultimately his career. She was chuffed to bits to hear that her subject was being used in his day-to-day work and has invited him back to talk to her students. A really lovely moment!
Have you salvaged anything lately, or bought something second-hand? I'd love you to grab the badge and link up.