Another Blogger Meeting

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of bloggers over the past four or so years – one of these days I must compile a list and see quite how many I have met – but the award for furthest-flung blogger has to go to Karyn of A Penguin A Week, whom I met in Oxford today.  Karyn has come all the way from Australia to Penguin-hunt, as you are probably aware if you read her fab blog.  Well, when I saw that she was heading to these shores, I decided we should definitely have lunch and scour some bookshops together – and she thought it sounded like a good plan too.

I arrived a little early at The Nosebag, my favourite lunch place in Oxford, and wandered around to see if Karyn was there yet.  She wasn’t, but I did bump into an old housemate, and had to explain that I was meeting somebody off the internet, and only had the small photograph from their site by which to identify them.  Liz (the said housemate) is familiar with my blogging excursions to some extent, but I think I made an ‘interesting’ impression on the guy with whom she was having lunch…

So I popped outside, and there Karyn was, browsing through the books of the shop next door: I had chosen the eaterie not solely for its good food, but for its proximity to Arcadia, which specialises in Penguins.  We sat, ate, and nattered.  As always when I meet bloggers, it feels like I’ve known them forever, and I gab away nineteen-to-the-dozen.

Then off we went, to Arcadia, Oxfam, and the Albion Beatnik bookshop.  In all three, we both bought at least one book – in the first, Karyn very kindly bought me the book I’d eyed: Molly Keane’s Young Entry.  She also told me how great The Quest For Corvo by A.J.A. Symons was, which reminded me that I borrowed a copy about eight years ago…

Later I got a few more – as always, I love to share my spoils, so here be they:

They Were Defeated – Rose Macaulay
Bachelors Anonymous – P.G. Wodehouse

A Man With A Horn – Dorothy Baker
The Far Cry – Emma Smith
Smoke and other early stories – Djuna Barnes
Young Entry – M.J. Farrell/Molly Keane


I didn’t keep track of what Karyn was finding, but I’m sure they’ll appear on her blog in due course.  It was a really fun afternoon, and yet another reason to be grateful for that day when I decided starting a blog could be a fun idea – who knew all the people I’d get to meet?

Oh, and my favourite moment of the day?  When the owner of one bookshop suddenly asked me: “Do you know how to make jelly?”

Erm…

18 thoughts on “Another Blogger Meeting

  • February 21, 2012 at 2:52 am
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    Finally, I figured out how to become a 'commenter' again – have to open Internet Explorer – can't figure out why Mozilla doesn't 'do' your comments anymore.

    Just had to comment on the Penguin bookshop & the Nosebag. We had lunch at the Nosebag when we were there not long ago – had remembered it from when we were there in 1990, & had loved it. It's a bit different, I thought – remembered it as a vegetarian place, but there were many other things on offer as well. We didn't notice the menu on the above-head board before ordering something from what was displayed – darnit!

    I wish I'd had more time to spend in the bookshop – but did take a quick look-see in the adjoining shop where I made a purchase – and also bought some postcards of Penguin book covers.

    Time: I spent two (almost full) days in the Library with the Benson Family Papers – and only looked up when Bill would pull me out for lunch & afternoon break.

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:13 am
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      Hurrah, Nancy! Odd that IE works better for you – most people seem to have the most problem with it. I now use Chrome, since IE and Firefox both took to crashing all the time…

      Your time with the Benson papers sounds wonderful! Very glad it worked out that you got to see them. AND went to my favourite eaterie – what a shame you missed the menu. The food there comes in enormous portions and is delicious – two ticks for me!

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  • February 21, 2012 at 3:41 am
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    Far Cry is perhaps my favorite Persephone. It starts out a little slow and then expands into something magnificent. I can't wait to hear what you think of it and if Rachel has not yet purchased a copy for herself ( I practically threatened to imprison her until she read it) please let her know you have a copy to lend her. Happy book hunting!

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:14 am
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      Oo, I will let her know! I have heard mixed reports on this one, but I do love her autobiographies, so I should give her fiction a whirl.

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  • February 21, 2012 at 8:37 am
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    Thanks Simon, it was just lovely to spend an afternoon in your company. I think my favourite moment was when I looked up from those books and saw someone who I felt I knew well, through your photos and your words, but had never actually met standing there before me. However, the jelly discussion with the unusual bookshop owner is certainly one I won't forget.

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:15 am
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      My favourite element in general was, of course, getting to meet you! I would say that I might pop up in Australia one day, but now you know my feelings about heat… I hope I wasn't too fervent ;)

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  • February 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm
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    Sounds like you have real bookstores there still.

    Sadly, most of ours have been eaten by mega-corporations.

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:16 am
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      Well, none of these are out-and-out secondhand shops: one also sells gifts; one also sells new books, and the other is a charity shop. Still, better than it could be!

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  • February 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm
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    I have read so much about jelly-making this winter, you would not believe it! Sadly, I've yet to run into anyone who seems interested in my new knowledge. Clearly, I'm not frequenting the right book shops.

    It sounds like you and Karyn had a lovely afternoon!

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:16 am
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      Haha! Hilarious – if only you'd been there, Claire. I didn't really know what to say…

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  • February 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm
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    How marvellous to meet another blogger all the way from Australia. I have met up with Bookcrossers from Australia, Finland and Italy but no book bloggers yet.

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:17 am
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      Meeting people 'off the internet' seems very odd to some of my friends, but I find it such fun!

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    • February 22, 2012 at 4:40 am
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      I've met quite a few folks I met first on the Internet – always fun, always a great experience.

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  • February 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm
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    sounds like a great meeting simon I borrowed the corvo book but never got to it from my library must read it at some point I so enjoyed Rolfe's novel that I was left wanting to know more about the guy so sure I will read it at some point ,all the best stu

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:17 am
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      I must try to remember where I left Corvo… I feel a quest for A Quest For Corvo coming on!

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  • February 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm
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    That is one of the things I too have enjoyed about blogging Simon, meeting the other bloggers (hence why I am still a little sulky I didnt see you all last week) that I have and making some wonderful blogging friends who I wouldn't have met without it. Books bringing people together, and being the perfect ice breaker… more proof of the power of prose.

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    • February 22, 2012 at 12:18 am
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      Absolutely!
      It's one of those joys of blogging I had never predicted, and love so much. Some bloggers I have now met five, six, ten times – I see some more than I see my family, it seems!

      Reply

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