Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday on a Patio...and Books!

Yesterday a case of golfer's guilt prompted my husband to offer up a drive to Toronto for some book browsing with lunch on a patio.  It's also Caribana weekend so he planned alternate routes in case the traffic wreaked havoc.  I was fine with a lazy afternoon around the house but after a millisecond of hesitation it was on with the lippy and out the door we went.

BMV Books has no catalogue system whatsoever so there's no quick and easy way to find out if something is in stock.  There's nothing for it but to load up the parking meter and browse until your time is up.  The literature section flips over quickly with stacks of green book bins full of fresh stock to fill gaps once a space is made so each visit is like scanning the shelves for the first time. 

My heart leapt at finding the orange Penguin edition of Little Boy Lost on a bottom shelf looking out of place amongst more recent publications.  I loved the Persephone Classic version but have coveted this edition for ages. The Lehmann short stories are described as 'set against the background of Britain at war: the world of women and children, the minutiae of daily life in rural England...'  Perfect.  The Wilkie Collins was just because and my inner 'downstairs girl' simply could not resist another book on English domesticity.  Reading snippets about the etiquette of entertaining guests for dinner, dealing with infant teething (they lanced their gums!), how maids should mend linens on their day off and the most humane way to slaughter a pig made the drive home seem a lot quicker.  The seemingly endless paragraphs of rigid rules and guidelines had R saying he would rather have been the type to hang out at the docks wheeling and dealing for a living.

I probably should have spent my time reading the book on my nightstand instead of buying more but it was a fun afternoon out.  You can't go back to work after a long weekend saying you hung around the house now can you?  We've also seen the last installment in the Harry Potter series with our group of friends.  Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith, I love you.  And this weekend was the annual Steak-Off BBQ.  R won it last year but this year barely managed to stay out of the basement.  He went with an untested recipe which was a bit banal for his liking once he tried it at the event.  So what's a fellow to do at that point?  He starts rooting through the host's spice cupboard, finds a jar of steak spice and begins shaking it over the steaks like a madman with a set of maracas in a mariachi band.  It actually wasn't bad at all but the competition was quite exemplary this year so better luck, and practice, next time.

So today I am a golf widow and perfectly happy with plans to use my day off to get some housework and laundry done.  Mrs Beeton would be so pleased.


  1. What lucky finds! I love that Penguin of Little Boy Lost, and I look forward to you posting Mrs Beeton recipes...plenty of aspic and jelly to go around! So Downton Abbey!

  2. What a perfect day, I love spending time in the books shops. Unfortunately I always find so many I have to ship them home. Enjoy!

  3. How thoughtful of R to assuage his guilt with a little book-buying outing! Sorry for the poor showing at the Steak Off BBQ... bet he'll have a tried and true recipe ready next year.

  4. bookssnob, *gag, blech and shudder all at the same time* I may just glue together all of the pages to do with aspic! The cake recipes could definitely happen though!

    Elizabeth, It really is a sickness isn't it...but a nice one. Thanks for stopping by!

    JoAnn, It was his dream day yesterday, two rounds on either side of lunch at the clubhouse. And I'll be sure to pass on your warm words of comfort but not to worry...Rib Fest is next month!

  5. Great haul! I know that Whipple would make my heart go pitter-patter even though I already own a copy!

    And I love food and social history books, so I need to get a copy of Mrs. Beeton's book! It is exactly my sort of book!

  6. Karen, The Mrs Beeton book is filled with so many interesting tidbits making it perfect for dipping in and out of. I now know that my pantry is woefully understocked, my lack of jelly molds is shameful and I don't know how I made it thus far without properly cleaning my silk ribbons!