Saturday, 19 January 2019

In the frozen North East.

We are visiting a friend in Gateshead, just next door to Newcastle. It is very cold in the North East of England. At some point in the night I woke up with extremely cold feet. Trying to go back to sleep with co,d feet is no joke!

This morning the ice and snow had disappeared from the pavements here. Last night they were extremely treacherous but things must have improved a little in the night as I was able to walk out to buy a paper without risking life and limb. It is nonetheless still very cold.

Here is a mini “choose your own adventure”, courtesy of a certain Tom Gauld in the Guardian revue this weekend.

1. Your house is overloaded with books. What do you do?
      Answer: Get rid of some books: - go to 2.
      or:          Read one of the books: - go to 6.
2. You take some books to the charity shop. On the way home you pass a bookshop. Do you go in?            Answer: Yes: - go to 3.
       or:          No: - go to 4.
3. What a lovely bookshop! Do you want to buy some books?
    Answer: Yes: - go to 5.
     or:          No: - go to 4.
4. You try to resist but cannot ...
                   Go to 5.
5. You buy some books and go home happy.
                   Go to 1.
6. You spend a few pleasant hours reading.
                  Go to 1.

This is particularly relevant to me as we have far too many books in our house and it is is really difficult to get rid of them. Our daughter had told me about an organisation you can contact, sending them a list of ISBN numbers of books you want to get rid of. They will consider your list and offer you a price for any they would like to buy off you. This could be something of a solution ... if I can only gather the will to sort through the books. The friend we are staying with and I were discussing the difficulty of de-cluttering this morning.

The book-buying organisation does not, of course, deal with the problem of the books they do not want to take off my hands.

When our son was 8 or 9 he was briefly enthusiastic about choose your own adventure books. They are a fun idea but in the end the appeal palled. I hear that the “Black Mirror” television series has produced an interactive choose-your-own-adventure version of some of their futuristic dystopian stories. I am not sure that I want to see them.

This afternoon we braved the chilly - but not as chilly as yesterday - outdoors and went to the Baltic exhibition centre in Newcastle. There we looked at A Retrospective, an exhibition of work by one Rasheed Araeen. His work spans a length of time of more than 60 years, interesting but perhaps a little repetitive! Some of his 3D geometric works were quite impressive but really I preferred his drawing of faces from Karachi from early in his artistic life.

The exhibition centre is close to the Sage, Newcastle’s concert venue. Here are some photos of the riverside nearby:-

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