Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Talking shop, treasure and teatime.

1. Sitting up until 2am talking about politics and philosophy with Christopher who has a fearsome intellect.

2. At the end of the afternoon I strolled down to the end of the street where there is an antiquarian bookshop. Sitting on the bargin shelf outside was a copy of The Swiss Family Robinson illustrated by Mervyn Peake. I love Peake's whimsical and sinister illustrations (trust him to pick out the tiger being crushed by a snake, the dead whale and the family's donkey being terrorised by a boa constrictor); and I have a lingering affection of the Robinsons' cavalcade of self-improving yet strangely improbable tropical adventures. This edition was published back in the 50s, so I never really thought I would ever find it. Naturally, I was at it like a lynx, and when I went to pay I carefully concealed my excitement - just in case there had been some mistake.

3. Teatime noises - the traffic dulled because the curtains are drawn; the pouring of tea; the clink of silver on china and china on china.