Yesterday was another rather stressful day on two counts. Firstly we had complete strangers here to give quotes and although we were all wearing masks, I still feel very uneasy, especially as they were inclined to stay and chat at the end and I just wanted to shove them out of the door soonest! One even needed to use "the facilities" and that freaked me out. The shower room has since been bleached within an inch of its life and the window left open/door shut.
Then I had to take myself to task to go through my collections of books - rather than just novels, which are a lot easier to part with. A boxful of the latter had come from the Donation Table in Tesco last year - some I was still waiting to find time to read, but - there will be other books. Those will be going to a friend next week. I have now got a much heavier boxful of defunct craft books to go to the charity shop. I was being practical there and the special craft books - and magazines - have stayed. I have a pile of craft magazines and booklets that is nearly knee high, plus another pile of Country Kitchen mags to pass on to others who might enjoy them. I would hate to have to put them on the bonfire. This is where the Tesco Donation Table is sorely missed - I got rid of a lot of magazines and books that way last year, looking ahead to "when we might move". Some charity shops won't take any magazines. The Green Shop in Llandeilo may do, but I don't know if they are open at the moment. I've e-mailed them, so will find out in due course.
Anyway, I have been through the first shelf of my archaeology books, and valued the 1st editions etc. Some quite valuable, though getting their value is a totally different matter. I will keep a selection to stay with us.
Then I tackled my Countryside and West Country collections. With my West Country roots, I have long collected books about Devon. I had to dig deep to find the strength to be ruthless, but I looked at each and every one and have packed (get me being so organized!) two packing boxes of books to go and the rest to be rehomed. Memories of those days out in Hay-on-Wye bookshops in pre-Covid times, when I would allow myself the luxury of choosing a book (normally only £3 or £5) for my collection.
Then I came upstairs to the bookcase Keith made me from a solid oak wardrobe. This has recently had a door and lovely brass hinges fitted on it and will be our food cupboard when we move. However, it needed to be emptied first and being deep, had acquired a double layer of books on each of the 4 shelves. These were some overspill books from my Literary collection (these ones are mostly about Thomas Hardy), Victorian Social History, Folklore, a few books about Herefordshire when I thought we would be moving there, and some of my collection of Antiquarian Horse Books. I have reduced it to 3 shelves of single depth books now and 100 or so are piled on the coffer in the hall. I will have to get these moved on before I can do much more clearing. I am going to call a bookseller friend to see what he would take. He came out years ago when I was thinking of parting with my horse books, but now they really DO have to go, so I hope he can manage a decent offer.
I have always loved books, and as money was short when I was growing up, books were what I got from the library or as Christmas presents. I began collecting Antiquarian Horse Books when I began work aged 16. I am unashamedly a bibliophile. I like to have my own Library around me. I will have to prune back now but know there will be more books in the future . . .
We now have some tangible proof of works done on the house, as fortunately in going through all our photographs recently, I have found one of Danny in a pushchair, with the front wall clearly drilled for a damp proof course, so we can now prove that was done (though in a house of this construction with walls 3 feet thick and a rubble centre, I don't think it was of any use whatsoever!) We have also found other photos of when we were turning the totally derelict dairy into a flat for my mum, showing the flagstones up and membrane going down in there and also beneath the new floor in her bedroom. Plus others which show other improvement work on the house and what it looked like when we moved in - you know, that "we must have been MAD to buy this" sort of decor . . . Our buyer is here again on Tuesday to meet with his Builder (outbuildings plans), though I doubt we can sit out on the patio to talk now it's autumn.
Right, this won't do. Just gone 6 a.m. and I have been awake since 4 again. This will be another long day.