After catching up with the blonde, ok specifically after being able to tell my blonde friend what Virago books could be bought, for how much, and in which charity shops within the city centre (I could also tell her roughly how long each had been on the shelf, and what their chances of selling soon are) it occurred to me that some new hobby might not be a bad idea. It’s not that I have a problem with my own obsessions but I feel I’m a still a bit young to be crazy book lady.
Hobbycraft (like my friend) is more Nottingham way so I got the train to a convenient rendezvous where she picked me up, in the process driving past four promising looking charity shops and an independent book shop in hitherto virgin territory (to me and the blond at any rate). I felt like a sniffer dog must feel when it gets a whiff of whatever it’s meant to be chasing, but we were on a schedule as well as a mission and sped on towards the land of promised craft cutters.
Hobbycraft, for the uninitiated, is a very big shop containing a huge amount of stuff and amazingly I didn’t manage to buy a single thing. I’ve forgotten how to knit, don’t have the patience for quilling, or the skill for sewing (or again the patience). I looked at cake decorating things for a good long time, but I’m not sure that either pocket or waistline could stand a sustained interest in sugar craft, besides which becoming mad cake lady is already only a couple of steps away and I think I prefer the sound of book lady. I have an interest in painting (such a nice ladylike occupation) and spent some very happy minutes looking at paint and brushes, but hobbycrafts goods are quality, and therefore expensive. My painting skills are currently budget level. I was almost tempted by some decoupage paper but sparkly robins aren’t entirely my aesthetic, and truthfully my flat needs more bit’s of paper littering it up even less than I need more cake.
After hobbycraft we hit Wickes (proper man territory) where we acquitted ourselves with such honour (only asking for help once) whilst getting sink unblocking paraphernalia that I briefly flirted with the idea of plumbing as a hobby (would be useful) but then I thought of my father, a man who can, when it comes to these sort of things and how I’ve inherited exactly none of those skills from him and so I walked away.
I got back to the station with no time to explore book possibilities (trains once an hour, considered waiting an hour for the next train, opted for lunch with the Scottish one instead) post lunch I had another catch up with the blonde, and next day off we have big plans for small market towns and equally high hopes for cheap books. We may be just a little obsessive, but we’re happy.