Friday, June 22, 2007

Capers and old books.

I leap off the bus and sling my backpack over my shoulders, the old straps which are threatening to give way any day now remind me that I really should invest in a new one, but I do it anyway, and hope they don't give before I get home. This backpack has been faithfully serving it's purpose since about 1997, and I might just get it repaired, not replaced, it's one of those silly emotional attatchment things..

It was around twenty past seven in the evening, though the sun in the spring sky was still so high you'd be forgiven for thinking it was four.
I'd left work, and gone bed hunting (unsuccessfully), then headed to do some grocery shopping at Capers, the organic supermarket chain over here. Afterwards I began making my way home, until I remembered, the shop, it closed at seven thirty..
I keep running, it isn't easy when you've got groceries in hand, and a heavy pack over your shoulders. I think I looked kinda comical as I bolted along, over the crosswalk, and towards the glass front-door. I've been meaning to visit this store for a couple of weeks now, but you know how it is..

I reach the entrance, the closed sign has been turned to face me, but the desk-lamp inside is still on.. Heaving to catch my breath (and trying not to puncture my lung again in the process), I open it up and walk in anyway.

It's a dark and musty establishment, hundreds, even thousands of old books line the walls, the smell of slightly damp old paper filters into my nose as I close the door behind me, causing the little silver bell hanging from the handle to tinkle.
I walk awkwardly over to the desk, the clerk is an elderly gentleman hunched over a notepad. He looks up, adjusting his glasses with a finger and peering at me as if I'm a late guest at a dinner party.
"Would you mind if I quickly bought something?" I ask.
He glances down at his watch somewhat disapprovingly. and with a lazy wave of his hand, mutters "sure..", then looks back to his pad.

I head to the window display. Some books are here from twenty, thirty even forty years ago.
Brilliant, sitting right where I saw it last time.
I pick it up, it's a heavy, old volume, beautiful hand-drawn illustration on the cover and gold lettering down the spine. They don't make em like they used to.
I open it up and look at the date.. It's an old one, for sure..
I head back over to the register, "Hi. How much are you asking for this one?" I ask.
"Ah, that's a beautiful book. You don't find many of them anymore." He says, gazing at the tome almost lovingly. "Thirty-five dollars".
I pay, thank him, and head out the door again, the bell tinkling faintly on the other side.

I get home, and put the book down on my bed, then with a quick glance at my watch, realise I have to get ready to go out.
So, I've got the book, now all I have to do is find the time to read the thing. You know how it is.

Jimzip :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


What is that? Is it the name of some girl, or the description of the latest Hollywood 'blockbuster'? (Oh yes he did!)
No no.
It's what happens when the project you've been working on for nearly a year vanishes without a trace after visiting a coffee shop for 5 minutes.
It's the feeling you get when you've written some of your soul into a small book, with sketched details and with enough ink to fill a kraken.

I got home that night, tossed (lovingly) my backpack onto my bedside table, and was out like a light. I'd easily worked more than 12 hours solid that day..
The next morning, upon waking for work, I ran out the door, and while sitting at breakfast I opened my pack to jot down a thought, and realised suddenly that a couple of my belongings weren't inside.
After three days of panic, I gave it up for lost. (No, not the tv show this time..)
You do it after you've been angry, sad, and curious in the aftermath of something awful happening.

So, one particular night, I took my washing down to the laundry with a downcast expression, and wondered if I'd ever hear from whoever found the emergency contact details in the front cover before they delved inside and learnt my mind.
As I took a 25c piece from my pocket & pulled my hoodie out of the bundle to toss it into the washer however, I heard a distinct plastic clatter on the laminated tiled floor.
I looked down, and there were my graphic pens.
Sticking out of the bundle was my book.
Relief and elation like Frauline Maria had when she came back to work for Mr. Von Trapp flooded over me, and the woman nearby sorting her items must have thought I was extremely enthused with washing clothes based on me repeating "Oh thank god.."..

So ladies and gents, there you have it.
This is why we don't put our precious belongings in a place above our dirty washing. Because things sometimes fall out of open backpack pockets, and into said washing pile, not to get too specific.. If you do happen to lose something though, give it 24 hours before you call Scotland Yard, because sometimes things turn up themselves.

More news as it comes! Hope all is well peeps.

Jimzip :D

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