Monday, April 08, 2013

I got away from everything the other day.  Went on one of my round-Scotland, crappy-book-buying days out. (to be honest it's less of a round Scotland than an across Scotland: back and forth, from here to Inverness and back via both sides of  Loch Ness.)  Next time I go I'll have to find a new route as my main  stop, The Shed at Kingusie, is closing.   I loved The Shed.  The books used to be stacked in piles along one side tottering, sometimes mouldering, piles of books in front of a wall of crammed shelves.  For the last  few years used to visit once or twice a year and move the whole lot  - once coming away with 70 trash treasures.  This last trip I brought away a few Penguins for the old long-term obsessive pre-ISBN Penguin collection (currently at some 639 books) and a couple of old Pans for the more recent, and as yet less well defined, obsessive old Pan collection (pre-decimal edition certainly but I'm swithering about including pre-decimal ones with ISBNs...* )

Today's bookhaul

The point of this waffling is that I was reminded, on my travels, of something that happened to me last time I went walkabout like this. I meant to blog it at the time but I never did.  It was one of those moments when I really realised why it is that I love Scotland so much.  I was in a charity shop wanting to buy a couple of very cheap books. (There's a surprise!) I'd never been in the shop before and, as it turned out, I only had a ten pound note on me.  The woman behind the counter opened her till and rummaged around for a couple of moments:

"Are ye sure don't have anything smaller?" she asked. "I'm awfy short of change here."

"No," I replied. "Sorry.  That's all I've got."

She looked at her cash drawer again as if willing a few fivers to appear.

There was an awkward pause.

"Look," I said. "Why don't I just go to the Post Office down the road and get some change?"

"Oh, that would make things easier," she said.

She reached into the drawer. "While you're there you wouldn't mind getting me some change too would you?"

And handed me, a total stranger, a ten pound note.

*Christ! I miss sex.

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