Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Run by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous, to whom I often forget to give credit, which is bad.

h-hill

  1. I have a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT, and it is this: I am now officially a bookseller again! I’m starting at Heywood Hill (a small but perfectly formed shop in Mayfair; you may have seen it in Vanity Fair or profiled recently in the Times) on Monday. I could not possibly be more excited. The shop runs Year in Books subscriptions (twelve or six months, depending on your preferences and budget, with a new hardback book, hand-picked by us booksellers and tailored to your personal literary tastes, delivered to you each month) and helps to build private libraries as well as just, you know, selling books. I am overwhelmed with delight at the idea of actually being paid to do this. Please, if you are in or near London, come and visit me!
  2. Over the weekend, I was singing at a gig in the church of St Mary-le-Bow (late C19 French choral music, if you’re interested), and had to run out during a rehearsal break to buy a black folder from a nearby Rymans. I also picked up a four-pack of black fine-point Uniball pens, because they’re the best pens of all time, and handwriting the novel has suddenly become extra enjoyable. Seriously, writing with these things is a sheer delight: a perfect, smooth line, a balanced weight in the hand… I love them.
  3. All of my makeup is running out. I’ve been reduced to smearing my ever-flatter lipstick stub onto my mouth every other day, instead of daily, and I’ve been hacking my mascara as a crude eyeliner for months now. (This is so embarrassing and I wish it weren’t true, but if you’re ever in an emergency, trust: you can use mascara as eyeliner. Just wibble the wand around the inside top edge of the tube, so it gets nice and thick, then make sure you hold your eyelid down hard while you poke at it. It’s not elegant but it gets the job done.) Anyway, I need some more cosmetics and that right speedily. My eyeliner is non-negotiable (L’Oreal 24 Hour Gel), but on the lipstick front, I’m thinking Burt’s Bees—moisturiser AND deep colour!—and maybe an Avon gloss stick. Any other recs? (Nb: my top limit for lipstick price is twenty quid. I absolutely refuse to pay more than that for what is basically face crayon.)
  4. Winter is always a difficult time for me to eat sensibly (“Why can’t we just order pizza like normals?” I shouted at the Chaos, as he cruelly forced me to stirfry some broccoli and mushrooms in soy sauce, in the name of getting some vitamins, this afternoon.) Anxiety this year has made it all the harder. I have a curious feeling that the new job is going to make a huge dent in the anxiety problem—I keep getting little bubbles of joy just thinking about it, which has to be a good sign—so I’m keeping an eye out for things I’d like to cook and eat soon. Spaghetti with lemon and olive oil is near the top of the list, followed by apple and honey cake from my Riverford cookbook.
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22 thoughts on “Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

  1. Congrats on the bookshop job!! Is this in addition to waitressing? Next time I’m in London (not often, alas) I’ll have to drop by.

    Winter eating is definitely rough. We have loads of curries, soups, stir fries and pasta. Nothing very original, but quick and hearty seems to be the most important thing.

    • NO, it is instead of waitressing and hopefully for a very long time! This is partly why I’m so joyful—full-time permanent work with books is the dream come true.

      Soups are my saviour. They make it so much easier to dispose of the odd ends of vegetables that lurk in the fridge near the end of the week!

  2. Oh I am SO jealous of your new job! I adored working in bookshops, and if you need an extra consultant, *cough* in putting those libraries together, do think of me…! Good luck with the winter eating. I find the baked potato with a variety of fillings to be a lifesaver.

    • I know we’ve spoken to academic specialists for help with the libraries before, and Year In Books recommendations spark conversations for DAYS—I fully expect the book blogging community to have loads of suggestions!

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