Saturday, 18 April 2009

Thoughts and books

It's the booze, I remember thinking to myself as I walked home from the pub last night.

Which is interesting really, because I'm not entirely sure now what the it in question actually was. I wasn't anywhere near drunk, in fact I'd made sure I limited my alcohol intake to a small amount. Nor had anything actually happened during the evening that I was reflecting on, that I might feel any need to blame on any amount of booze. It had been a more than pleasant evening spent watching a couple of bands play, whilst slowly supping away at my beer.

So I'm led to wonder if it was in fact a general sense of tiredness and boredom with alcohol which was coming to the fore.


I've had a few travels during the week as part of my time off work, and one place I was very pleased to visit was the small village that is Cromford, which is very scenic. I have memories of passing through there on Sunday afternoons as part of family excursions during childhood. Also in my late teens and early twenties I used to drive out there on spring and summer afternoons with a friend who lived in the vicinity, when we still hadn't gotten over the novelty of smoking extremely strong French cigarettes whilst talking about art and music.

We used to spend a lot of time in the bookshop there, it's one of the nicest places you can visit: a real cornucopia. I didn't get the chance to go in there the other day, but it was enough to see that the place was still there and to take this photograph.


zhisou said...

I love browsing round those fascinating warren-like bookshops that draw you into reading about things you'd never thought to read about.

There as one I used to visit that had leather armchairs by a roaring fire. It was hard to leave.

trousers said...

As I remember, this place has - or had - a section with old records in it, too. I seem to recall racks of old 78s in paper sleeves. I must make a point of going in when I'm next that way, writing this has made me want to step inside again.

The one you mention sounds fantastic, too.

Reading the Signs said...

Lovely - reminds me of when I went to Bewdley (only the once).

zhisou said...

How excellent to have old vinyl too - that's a nice touch.

One thing I like about American bookshops is the number of people who go there and sit on the floor and explore books. It doesn't have the tweeness of the old cave-like shops we're talking about, but there's a great bookish and liberal atmosphere about it all.

I miss that in Spain. Bookshops here are either within supermarkets/department stores or they're small and owned by people more interested in stationery.

A top tip: it's staionEry not stationAry because E is for envelope. Someone told me that the other day.

trousers said...

Ah yes, I know Bewdley just a little, signs - I've been there a few times. I don't recall what was there in terms of bookshops, I was probably too busy scoffing fish and chips or something. But yes, nice little place it is too - but bigger than Cromford. Cromford is tiny.

zhisou, I've yet to experience an American bookshop - something I ought to rectify by actually going to America.

That's kind of disappointing about ones in Spain though, I would have hoped/expected for something a little more interesting or individual. Still, in my experience, Spain offers many compensations.

I do recall a huge shop in Barcelona, incidentally, which sold globes in abundance. I never went in, but I spent a while trying to see if I could learn the Spanish for Excuse me, could you tell me if there's anywhere near here which sells globes? - so that I could go and ask said question in the shop next door.

Oh, and good tip, though I have my own method for remembering - which is that a stationEr sells stationery, because stationAr just looks downright odd. To me, anyway.

zhisou said...

I never thought of the Stationer mnemonic, good one - though I still lean quite heavily on the envelope one. I am now trying to work out a way to get Effect/Affect right.

We're still some way off on that one.

I think it's that I am Affected by an Effect.

trousers said...

Interesting one, that. My apologies if you already know this: in psychiatry, the word affect equates with mood - so someone described as having low affect has a depressed mood.

Therefore, affective disorders are ones in which mood is notably changed, persistent, or dramatically altered.

Which ties in with something being particularly affecting, for example, as in highly poignant, upsetting and so on.

I'm in danger of rambling - but the point is that affect is related to the person's feelings, whereas the effect is viewed in more objective terms (I think that's a suitable way of putting it) so you're absolutely right to say

I'm affected by an effect.