Wednesday Catch Up

Well, I’ve  done it, and I’ll freely admit that I blinked back a nostalgic tear as I posted the following on our town Facebook advertsing page last night: 
 
Do you know of anyone planning to study for an English Language or Sociolinguistics degree? I have a pile of relevant textbooks and can’t bear to throw them out. Free to collector.
 
There were twenty of them (some bought new, others second hand). Within the hour I received a lovely message from a young lady who is in her second year at Birmingham University. She’s studying English language and is undertaking a module on sociolinguistics – she’d be delighted to have them. We agreed that she’d pick them up from my doorstep today. There was  a tap on the door and when I looked out there was a large box of chocolates, and at the end of the path there she was, with her mum and they were both full of appreciation. After that it didn’t feel so bad to have let them go. Another bit of downsizing/clearing out achieved. 
 
I sent my daughter a text to tell her that I’d found a taker and she, perceptively, asked if I’d ever looked at them since finishing my degree in 2016. I pictured  the single raised eyebrow (something I’ve never achieved myself) which I know would have been the accompanying expression as she read that my confirmation that actually I had, and that I’d also held onto a couple of favourites. ‘Who knew,’ she wrote, ‘that there was such a thing as favourite sociolinguistic textbooks?’   
 
Shortly after, another tap on the door. This time the Hermes driver who was delivering a couple of bits and pieces that I ordered from Superdrug. As I’d have had to pay for postage, I thought I may as well buy something else to make up the amount to the free-delivery limit. The perils of choosing nail polish online – the soft lilac-pink I chose turned out to be an almost invisible pink with no discernable lilac tone. In fact its exactly the same colour of the base coat I usually use. The moral of this story is  to stick with what you know. Until I feel ready to venture out for non-essential shopping, I shall make do with what I already have.
 
Daughter in Law is despairing that she still has another seven weeks to wait (and even that is subject to variation) before she can return to hairdressing. We understand the reasoning behind a phased return to normality but it doesn’t pay the bills. As soon  as the April date was announced her diary started to fill up.  If it’s like previous lockdowns she will be working up to 12 or 13 hours some days and will barely have a day off whilst she tries to keep her clients happy.  My roots are dire – I am already booked in near the start of the queue!
 
Whitby houseWe’d planned to book a cruise for my ‘big’ birthday this year – a week in the Norwegian Fjords but no way, even if allowed, will we feel ready for it so we’ve decided to re-visit Whitby in North Yorkshire. We were really taken with it after spending  few hours there in 2019. I spent several hours trawling the internet for hotels that had:  good reviews, on site parking, a bath rather than shower only (I appreciate the practicality of showers but far prefer a soak), and  armchairs or a sofa in the room. The latter may sound like an odd one but years of staying in  hotels either for work or pleasure has made this an essential requirement. We both hate having to sit on a bed to watch TV or read. There were some that offered seating but every one was rejected for one reason or another (yes, I’m fussy but this is for a special occasion and I want what I want), I turned my thoughts to self catering which is what we always do in Devon. It has a lot of advantages, the biggest being freedom. We choose when we eat, when we come and go and we have space to move around – essential if the weather is bad. I actually do comparatively little catering as tend to eat out. After again rejecting several here is what I finally booked – a house that has a balcony off the bedroom with views across the River Esk, a couple of miles from the center of Whitby and close to the Grade II listed Larpool viaduct. Let’s hope that we are able to go!   Husband will enjoy the photo opportunities.
And finally….elder son sent me some interesting photos last week of a lane near his house where icicles formed as cars splashed cold water onto the roadside on an icy day. I’ve seen icicles of course, but never ‘growing’ up from the ground. Fascinating! 

10 comments

  1. It must feel good to know the text books have gone to someone who will really appreciate them, although I understand how difficult it must have been to finally part with them.
    Whitby is a great choice for your birthday. X

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    • Really looking forward to it, Jules. Our usual destinations in the UK are Devon and The Lake District. We did a railway tour of Yorkshire in 2019 and decided then that we must see more of the Whitby Area. Yes, I feel satisfied with my text book’s next stage!

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  2. I think it’s wonderful that you were able to find such a deserving home for your textbooks and to someone who really appreciated them! I have none of my degree textbooks but I do have a study full of teaching and training resources! Someone mentioned towels for dogs and I know that if you have any rescue centres near you, they usually welcome towel donations with open arms. I used to be a volunteer at a local greyhound rescue and you wouldn’t believe how many towels they used to get through! Nothing booked for us yet but we’re waiting to see what happens with France. Our eldest son is 30next Jan so we are hoping for a fabulous celebration in Gran Canaria.

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    • Yes, a great idea re the towels, June. I had a lot of training resources but managed to relieve myself of those a few years ago. They were less personal than the books. Oh, fingers crossed for Gran Canaria.

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  3. Your birthday treat house looks beautiful and fingers crossed you are able to go. We went to a stunning beach apartment in St Anne’s last January for my big birthday and spent lots of time must looking at the(cold and often stormy) sea.
    I’ve been getting more stuff ready to put on our local FB page for free-about 30 no longer white towels that people who have dogs don’t mind taking. I’ve had a nice week of upcycling to make useful things eg a new oven glove from a table runner, recovered a lampshade and the lighter days are definitely motivating me! Off to do my Pilates class online-thus has been the highlight of my week for almost a year now.

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    • Great idea about the towels – I’ve been wondering what to do with some old ones that haven’t been used in ages – there’s only so many cleaning cloths a home needs! I am more of a re-purposer than upcycler but so long as things get a second change of being useful, I guess either is ok. I’m afraid my commitment to exercising every day during the first lockdown dwindled to nothing apart from a walk around the estate (by which I mean housing estate – I do not have a country mansion surrounded by acres of rolling greenery!)

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  4. Well done on giving away the old text books. I’m glad they were given to someone who will appreciate having them and how nice that they thanked you with a box of chocolates. Hope you get to go on your holiday and have a lovely time.

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  5. Ah yes, I sympathise and know that feeling. I kept my International Relations degree books for about 15 years! I graduated in 1986 (at 40) and it would be about the early 2000s when I sent them all to charity shops and any bookshop that would accept them. I was sad as books do tell you who you are. I also kept a few, mostly the political philosophy ones – not that I read them much!

    We have a cruise booked for next year in August – the best month or thereabouts, so fingers crossed they’ve worked out what variant is going around and vaccinated most of the rest of the world, not that we’re going far, to the top and around Denmark on a themed cruise around the book The Riddle of the Sands. I agree with your views on self-catering and like you, it’s a cottage holiday for us this year, two of them. Can’t wait!

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    • A themed cruise based on a book…that sounds amazing! The other thing about self catering is that we won’t need to worry about other people be in and out. Lol, you held onto your books a lot longer than me!

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