Despite losing an hour, we packed in a lot of fun this weekend. Yesterday we took the steam train and ferry from Paignton to Dartmouth with some friends. The weather was perfect, with blue skies and some real warmth from the sun for one of the first times this year. We ate local crab sandwiches, took a cruise around the estuary and (after some searching) found a place for cream tea with delicious scones and terrible wait staff.
We weren’t in Devon for a literary break, but it so happens that one of the stops on the steam train line is Greenway Halt, which exists solely for visitors to Greenway, the estate of one Agatha Christie. I haven’t read her books since I was a teenager but back then I was a big fan. I couldn’t resist picking up one of her titles in the railway shop. Maybe I’ll rekindle my fandom and next time we’re in Devon I can drag Tim round another author’s home!
It’s the last weekend before the Christmas holiday starts in the Nose in a book household, so I was expecting to be madly Christmas shopping or present wrapping, but I seem to have already bought everything I can until certain family members respond to my questions, so instead the weekend has been spent hanging out with friends, reading and binge-watching a TV box set that I’m not going to name because we’re about five episodes from the end and I really don’t want it spoiled for me!
One thing I did spot while doing my Christmas shopping was this rather lovely charitable giving project from Blackwells bookshops: the Giving Tree, donating books to less fortunate children. If I can get to a Blackwells in person I’d love to help pick out a book myself but if I can’t I’ll entrust the choice to their booksellers who, let’s face it, know what they’re doing.
It’s a timely reminder that not everyone is in the fortunate position I’m in where I have more books than I can read in a year already piled up invitingly. And I keep buying more for myself! Though I try not to do too much of that around Christmas, this week I did receive my first book from my Peirene Press subscription, which I bought as a present to myself last month. Because I just couldn’t keep resisting these beauties.
And last week I also received this rather fun advance reading copy of a book being published early next year, along with a kit for knitting a square of a blanket that I can only assume will be gigantic if every reviewer does that part as well. As an enthusiastic amateur knitter how could I not join in this project? They judged me well when they sent that invite! Keep an eye out early next year for my knitting and my review.