One of the annoying aspects of a houseful of books is that there are books which are somehow assumed to be there. I was looking for The Old Curiosity Shop, and despite some vague awareness that I have never, in fact, bought a copy of this work, I had basically assumed that copies of novels by Dickens don’t have to be bought, they just sort of happen. However, in the process of looking for it, it gradually became clear to me that there are not a few books of which we own, between us, at least three copies: discounting books bought in several editions for teaching or research purposes, and books some member of the household has written him- or herself. They strike me as a somewhat eccentric group, which includes the following: Laxdaela Saga, the Sherlock Holmes stories, the poems of Rochester, Frankenstein, The Scots Gardner, Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer (four), Oliver Twist, a dire historical novel about Alexander the Great, and Riddley Walker. On the other hand, we don’t have Persuasion or, as I have just discovered, The Old Curiosity Shop. Sometimes I wish we were all a bit more organised.
On a completely different tack, another of our collective failures was to mark the point at which the blog achieved its anniversary. I am terrible at birthdays, as all my godchildren etc. can attest. But it has now been a whole year since we took to firing News from the North into the wider world, like messages in bottles. It’s been a good thing to do, and long may it continue.