Ricky came back to the shop today for some more Roman history, a book about the Roman orgies and a pony book for her granddaughters. She said she is also halfway through The Decline and Fall of the Roman Emp! And the reading is going well.
She is feeling athletic because her swimming class is full of old people, older than her that is, and they all of them moan that they will drown in the pool which only comes up to their middle anyway. The instructors force you to swim for 45 minutes which even Ricky thinks is pretty stern. But she pushes on regardless and then goes home for another read of the Roman Emp.
Today she is looking for a poet though…Charles Simic… the one who sewed his poems into blankets…
We looked for Charles Simic and suddenly there was a lady behind us saying urgently: I can’t go past one, I can’t go past one. She hurried back to the door and threw her handbag outside to her waiting husband and he said: well go on then, you go for it and she darted back in and quietened down amongst the historicals and Ricky said: well it takes all sorts.
Then she went off down the street to pay the electric.
I am asked for The VW Bus: A History of a Passion and a book of fairies that are not ugly.
Robert told me that he has been depressed since Christmas and unable to read with his usual knife edged precision.
I am asked if Joseph Roth is still alive.
Outside a tradesman drops his coffee from the roof of his ute and says fuuuuck. The man who is waiting for his wife and holding her handbag looks down at the coffee fanning all over the footpath.
Tyson brings Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh to the counter, pleased to have another to add to his collection of the Marshall Cavendish Great Writers collection.
And he is writing a book, a history book, Portuguese exploration, Colonial mismanagement, naval powers, surrender and defeat and sadness. He plays music, while he writes – English and American tunes, The Yellow Rose of Texas and Amazing Grace. This helps him gain all perspectives of history.
He tells me about the world, his reading and writing and about history and that the only real way to see the world is to look at it upside down. Then he went away, pleased with everything.
The lady came out of historicals and startled me with a copy of Helen of Troy and apologised for having taken so long.