Today, despite the gloomy weather, I felt an urge for a nice solitary walk; not in the mood for a run, not in the mood for company. I had a bit of money to spend, a receipt from a book I bought a couple of weeks ago but hadn't redeemed on my Waterstones card and a World Book Day voucher stolen from my little sister. I wanted some pale pink nail polish. I really fancied one of those delicious stuffed peppers a nearby cafe sells.
So I passed the morning in the nearest Waterstones branch, where I found a 10 feet tall pile of books I wanted to buy. Of course I soon remember that I have a 20 feet tall reading list at home, so I was restrained enough to only make one purchase: John Steinbeck's East of Eden. It was the only copy and a little damaged, so on top of my WBD voucher and card, I got another £1 off. Doesn't book shopping sometimes seem more fun than the actual act of reading?
Anyway, after perusing several shops and concluding that I don't actually want pale pink nail polish at all, I braved the cold for a walk back home. After a lovely stuffed pepper lunch on the way, I hadn't expected the weather to have got any worse, but now it was pouring with rain. I spent the rest of the journey back half-running, trying to keep my hood up, my fingers covered my bags from getting wet on the inside.
When I got home I decided to search online for the other book I had almost bought, by the great grand-daughter of Charles Dickens. Without remembering the book title or her first name, it was almost impossible to search for a novel by a person called Dickens who isn't Charles. In addition, this book has been out of print for around 80 years and only recently re-published so it was even harder to find. Eventually I found the novel: Mariana by Monica Dickens. It was published by a company called Persephone Books which ' reprints forgotten classics by twentieth-century (mostly women) writers'. In the bookshop, I was intrigued by this premise and the charming description of Mariana's life, but East of Eden worked out a little cheaper so I decided that this could wait.
Now I have read the description written by Persephone Books (you can buy it from them too, here) I am all the more fascinated. It sounds just right after the heavy string of writing I have recently been reading, and what's more, it is described as 'a 'hot-water bottle' novel, one to curl up with on the sofa on a wet Sunday afternoon'.
This is definitely now on my 'to-buy' list, and i'm not too worried about missing out on it today, since I'm sure London has plenty more wet Sunday afternoons in store.