Saturday, 26 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, I've been a bit useless about posting over the past few weeks, but I'm back here just now. I had a fantastic Christmas yesterday, although I also ate too much... Anyway, had a great Christmas dinner, and lots of fun with a large number of guests and opening presents. Rachael made me an absolutely amazing little aeroplane, I may have to borrow mum's camera and stick a photo on, and it's filled with chocolates too! It shall go and hang on my ceiling when I've eaten them all, or perhaps on the shelf next to my Dakota. I hope you all had as much fun yesterday as I did.

Work's going pretty well. I have to confess, I am enjoying it mostly. Yes, it's a little bit repetitive and it's not challenging, but most of the customers have been pleasant (although let's face it, I have yet to encounter the customers in the sales, which may be a rather less pleasant experience), and I've managed to do a pretty wide variety of tasks, including: bag packing, shelf stocking (I even found a tin can that I took out the packet to put on the shelf and it was empty!), putting clothes back on the rails after people have tried them on, pricing up clothing for the sales, pricing up books and crockery for the sales, and so on. The money's pretty good for what it is, and let's face it, that's the only reason I'm really giving up my spare time. Whether I do end up getting the Mosquito in 1:24 scale I'm still not entirely sure about--it's rather large and three times more pieces than the next most complicated thing I've attempted. I might get a 1:24 scale Spitfire or something instead, or another big bomber to do--they're quite fun. And the 1:48 ones also look pretty awesome, with the added advantage that I've already got two of that scale, so they're not quite as out of place.

I'm still reading D-Day by Anthony Beevor, although I've read another couple of books while I've been reading it, on the basis that after overeating I wasn't feeling well last night and so read an Alaistar MacLean as it's somewhat easier reading than a history book, no matter how well written. There's a limit to how much comprehension you can offer when it's one in the morning and you feel ill, so I figured it was better to read When Eight Bells Toll (which I've read before), than carry on with a fascinating but by no means light book.

You might have seen that Borders UK was closing recently :(. It was one of the better bookshops in Preston--in fact, it was one of two new bookshops that I would actually class as bookshops. I was quite annoyed, although I must confess that I've not shopped there very often, as my dad hates going to Deepdale, which is one of the worst places to get into and out of. So now we just have a Waterstones, although there's also a very good Oxfam Bookshop and a stall on the market which is good for fiction. WHSmiths doesn't count as a bookshop, it's not got a proper selection of books really. There's another two bookshops, one new, one secondhand, but I scarcely ever go to them--they're from the same chain, and I've only ever been in the secondhand one, which is not really a proper secondhand bookshop, but is more a rare one. So although they might have Biggles books in, which I love, they're generally priced too high for me to afford (the same, unfortunately, is true of the Oxfam bookshop, although you can understand why they do it--if they can get the money for them off collectors then they might as well, but it's a shame for people like me who just want to read the things). And the other older books I like--Alaistar MacLean mostly--don't tend to feature as 'rare' books, but nor are they available in the library or new bookshops, except for a couple of re-editions they're gradually doing. However, the one good thing about Borders closing was that I managed to get four new history books which look really good for under £13, and one of them was meant to be £15 and I actually nearly bought it the other day. You can't get them secondhand for that--they're at least £3-£4 from the Oxfam bookshop, and that's assuming they get them (the market guy doesn't sell much non-fiction at all, though he might have one or two history books in at times). Anyway, now I'm done ranting about the state of bookshops in this town, I shall leave you in peace to enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.

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