… plus other niceness in London!

Yes, I managed to escape for another day out in the Big Smoke at the weekend – a joint visit to Kew Gardens and also the lovely bookshops of the Bloomsbury/Charing Cross Road area!

For some reason, it struck me earlier in the year that I’d never visited Kew Gardens, and I conceived of the idea of visiting this summer and also of reading Woolf’s short story of that title while I was there! I did wonder whether I’d fit the trip in before the end of the summer holidays but I did – just by the skin of my teeth!

It’s quite a long haul to Kew from East London were my train gets in, but this *did* mean I got plenty of reading time while travelling and I made serious inroad into my current read, “Lanark”. I got to Kew quite early, and it was lovely and quiet – plus the weather was warm and sunny and dry all day, which was a bonus after the changeable times we’ve had recently.

I could be a Kew Gardens bore and go on and on about how absolutely lovely the place is – like being out in the country in the middle of London; full of beautiful plants and lakes and hothouses and Japanese gardens and bamboo and Chinese houses and pagodas and – well, you get the picture. I had a really beautiful day and I’d recommend a visit to anyone in the area. I took numerous photos which are not really that interesting but here are a few:

The Palm House

Something lovely in the Palm House – I am a little Horticulturally Challenged, so I can’t tell you what…..

The Waterlily House – with wonderful reflections in the black-tinted water.

The Rock Garden

A Yarn-Bombed tree!

Part of the Japanese garden

The object of the visit! Reading my faithful old copy of Woolf in the Secluded Garden!

After several hours of happy wandering, I decided I had time to pop into a bookshop or three before making my way home. Well, why waste the opportunity? I was actually pretty good, though I did stop off at the very attractive Kew Book Shop on my way to the tube, which had a lovely ambience and helpful staff, and picked up this:

Next stop was back in central London, the Bloomsbury Oxfam shop where there’s always the chance of a bargain – and I snagged these three:

“Moscow Tales” has been on my wish list forever; the Pushkin volume sounded great; and ” A Hero of Our Time” is a US edition with an Edward Gorey cover! I’ve been gazing longingly at this series of books online for a while so to find one in amazing condition for £2 was rather exciting……. 🙂

Amazingly enough, I didn’t buy a thing at Foyles, despite spending quite a while wandering round the lovely new store (and drinking some amazing gunpowder and peppermint tea). It’s not as if there wasn’t enough temptation – I mean, just look at this lovely table of Pushkin Press titles!

However, I was happy with the books I’d found and came home footsore but satisfied! Ermmm – there was a parcel or two waiting when I arrived so I may as well ‘fess up about the other volumes which have made their way into the house lately…..

These two book club editions came from a charity shop I don’t usually get the chance to visit – and as they were 60p each I thought they were worth a punt!

Castro is from RISI – I have a fascination with Cuba and I’ve read a *lot* of Che’s books, so I figured this would be an interesting read too.

And finally……. The latest edition of the very lovely “Slightly Foxed” and another Queneau I may have purloined from eBay….  Well, I’m not planning on any visits for a while, and I shall be trying not to buy for a while – I really do need to catch up with my reading!!