Run As Fast As You Can, Bear.


A fan of numerology? I suppose, post-event, I am. Although the science just doesn’t add up, I’m always happy to find frisson and thrill in the noticing of numbers when and if they appear to credit such a sensation – which, I admit, is often. (The same goes for words/the appearance of people, et cetera, just as one thinks of them. But this, perhaps, is what is referred to as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, which, for some unknown reason, I am more than happy to accept as an occurrence seated somewhere in the same aisle as coincidence, observation and psychic ability.)


Three postcards arrive on my doorstep today. Three! All, unconnected, but all from the southwest of England – Bridport, Bath Spa and Charmouth. Joy! Missives and greetings from faraway friends. The arrival of handwritten post is always a rare delight – the same goes for brilliantly written & edited typed letters from my dear friend, Nick B (nb: I still owe him a return letter).

The first has a stamp depicting Elton John, and perhaps he is deserved of the old Queen’s place in the top righthand corner of a card? Oddly, brilliantly, the second two cards have arrived with no stamps affixed! Doubly brilliant because the post office, without quibble, delivered (nb: …).


First day off in over a week. After a well-earned lie-in and breakfast and blogging in bed, I make a list of things to do:

clean flat

go to Oliver’s Bookshop

watch Tour of Britain cycle race as it passes through Cullercoats


[as of now, 19:50, all achieved]


Over the last few months I have penned into my notebook a list of books to look out for at my (rare) visit to local secondhand bookshop, Oliver’s. It is only open three days each week and usually these times coincide with my work hours. Not today.

I see that I have five books on my list:

anything about German Expressionism

Christopher Isherwood/ Goodbye To Berlin

Colin Wilson/ The Outsider

JG Ballard/ Terminal Beach

Julian McLaren-Ross/ Weeping With Laughter


After some time hunting through the dusty stacks of the cramped shop I come up with 3 of the above (Ballard & McLaren-Ross proving, this time, elusive. Though there was a copy of Ballard’s Empire of The Sun, which, of yet, I have no yen for) – not bad! The above  three set me back £12. On top of this I purchase a wonderful 1960 Corgi edition of V. Nabokov’s Lolita as a replacement for the later, more common Penguin edition on my shelf (£3), a book on the history & politics of Tango (£5) for a friend about to embark on almost the very same titled degree course and an Hungarian illustrated companion to H. Hesse’s Steppenwolf (£5), also for someone who I know will get some kicks from such a thing. Also, 3 unusual, unused postcards depicting some medieval pottery, a Winslow Homer watercolour – an American who came to this area in the late 1870s, attracted by the quality of light – and a TM Hemy watercolour of North Shields Quayside. Three for a pound.


Now it is 20:19 and it is dark outside. Draw curtains, tuna and noodles, a glass or two of Pinot, a tab and back to bed with Isherwood!



5 thoughts on “Run As Fast As You Can, Bear.

  1. I am so jealous of your day off. We have an amazing used bookstore in our downtown area. It is three stories. The third floor has an amazing front room with a giant window nook that overlooks the Main Street below. The window walled room is also the mystery/horror section. It is my favorite place to spend as many hours as I can. I haven’t made it in quite some time. After reading this, I may have to stop in on Sunday.


    1. It always is quite funny talking about stories in the context of bookshops, isn’t it 🙂

      Hope you get to spend some time in your ace sounding bookshop on Sunday, WW.

      Thanks for dropping by, appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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