No, I haven’t run a marathon or won the rugby world cup (topical, no?) Yes, I have battled with the tester of mental and physical agility which Argos label a ‘bookcase’. It took about three hours. I have genuine blisters. But it got done. Some will suggest that giving up on screwing in screws, and lunging at them with a hammer instead, is a short-sighted and foolish measure. To these people may I repeat – blisters. And the bookcase hasn’t fallen down yet.
So here it is – looks simple, doesn’t it? At least the instructions were in English, unlike some Ikea bookcases I’ve purchased. And a tent I tried to put up a while ago appeared to have instructions in Polish or Dutch or something that was of minimal use to me – though doubtless swathes of Poles or Dutchmen have successfully put up enough to keep fields of campers dry. Oh, and the list is purely photographic-angle stuff, promise.
More importantly, on go the books. Only a small fraction of my books came with me to Oxford. Which brings me to the question of ordering – this can raise strong opinions from people. Harriet recently shelved some books in colour order – something which looks beautiful, but which I think is only practical in the home and should never be attemped by anyone trying to sell books; how am I to know where to look?! My friend Barbara-from-Ludlow arranges many of hers in subject/period/tone etc. in a very personal system which means everything is with companionable neighbours, as it were. What did I go for? Alphabetical, I’m afraid. The librarian in me coming through, isn’t it? There are slight twists – separate shelf for Persephone Books and one for my beautiful Jane Austens. Sorry the titles and spines aren’t very clear in the photo – I think it’s because it’s past midnight, and thus dark… and another day without a sketch, but I think the image of me putting this contraption together is quite amusing enough without further illustration.
BAFAB draw tomorrow – or, rather, later today – so very last chance to enter: here!