Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 1st November

I’m a wee bit later than I had hoped to be with Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times which was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but at the moment I’m gathering any posts.

My bookshelf this week is another one in my sewing/crafting/ironing room and this bookshelf is home to a variety of children’s books, I suppose they could all be described as being classics.

Books Again

As a youngster I adored Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series and had all of the books, but my mother gave my books away to a boy who was certainly not going to appreciate any of them and I now only have a few of the books, I intend to gather them all and have a re-read at some point. These were the very first books that I read with a Cornish setting, not long after Malory Towers came Rebecca another favourite and ever since then I’ve loved to travel to Cornwall in fiction. My one holiday there (it’s a long drive from Scotland) was a very damp one. The BBC recently dramatised Malory Towers and I really did enjoy it although I wish they hadn’t updated it to appeal to more modern viewers, it’s always a mistake to remove the period charm of any books.

I have quite a few books by Rosemary Sutcliff, she really was a very good historical writer.

I started buying Angela Brazil books whenever I saw them going cheap, some can be eye wateringly expensive online, I must admit that I haven’t read all of them and I’m not even sure if I ever read any as a child. I was more of a Chalet School (Elinor M. Brent-Dyer) girl, I think I preferred the more exotic locations.

I sometimes buy books by particular publishers, namely Blackie. They were a Scottish firm and Blackie commissioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh to design Hill House in Helensburgh, including all the furniture, lighting, fabrics and clocks. It’s just about all that’s left of the architect/designer’s work now so I have a soft spot for Blackie and their books which often had book covers designed by Mackintosh. I doubt if For the Sake of the School was designed by Mackintosh but I really like it anyway.


I bought another Blackie book just for the dust jacket which features an aeroplane flying above a Zeppelin on fire. I haven’t read The Corsair of the Skies yet and hadn’t even heard of A.Guy Vercoe, have you?


Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster is one that I read for the first time recently. I like to catch up with children’s books that I missed as a child. My copy dates from 1929 and cost me all of £2.

Some of the books lying flat on top of the shelved books are American and were kindly sent to me by Jennifer, a blogpal that I met up with in Edinburgh, remember those lovely days when we could do that? Fingers crossed we can do that again at some point in the future. There’s also A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh. I noticed that her obituary was in the Guardian this week, you can read it here.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Staircase Wit

Bargain Hunt at Edinburgh

It was the last antiques fair before Christmas at the Highland Showground at Ingliston near Edinburgh yesterday. We went along, not really with the intention of buying anything for ourselves because we’ve got enough ‘stuff’ really. But I thought it might be an opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done. Yes, I think that’s the first mention of that dreaded ‘Ch’ word here.

The BBC happened to be filming a Bargain Hunt programme at the time, unfortunately by the time I realised I could take some photographs of the proceedings – Tim Wonnacott had disappeared. But here are a couple of photographs of the blue team and their ‘expert’.

I ended up buying some books which I will get around to reading some time but I really bought them because of their bindings, and also they were really cheap. Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed book-bindings for Blackie and Son and I’m sure these are some of his.

I think they’re lovely anyway and I didn’t get around to reading Carlyle’s Heroes before I had to take it back to the library. This edition cost me a whole 1 of our Earth pounds!

I also bought some more old prints of Dumbarton Castle, Loch Lomond and one of Ravenscraig Castle. One Christmas present was bought, which I can’t say anything about because I want it to be a surprise. Thankfully we are sensible at that time of the year and really just stick with giving presents to close family members otherwise it just gets too silly and expensive.

So anyway, a good day out was had by all at Ingliston Antiques Fair.