Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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A day somewhere slightly different

I was bad today. *g* I should have been marking assignments, but G and I were getting cabin fever. Also I had a book token that I've been carrying around for 12 months and needed to spend before it got so tatty in my purse that it became unusable. So after a quick and early lunch, we drove to Aberystwyth.

I have a soft spot for Aber, that being where G and I went to university and indeed where we met, sharing a bench in the chemistry lab and scuttling up the hill from the chemistry department (now closed) to the geology department (also now closed). It's also our nearest Big Place -- for a certain value of "big" anyway.

G wanted to investigate the university library because Aber is only a 1 hour drive away whereas Bangor (where he's actually doing his Ph.D.) is 1½ hours. It turned out to be closed, as was the campus bookshop, but there was a notice on the door about opening times and these were duly noted.

On now to the car park in the town, where the ticket machine ate our 1.10 UK pounds and refused to hand over a ticket, even after being threatened with violence. Noting that no other car in the car park had a ticket either, we decided that as it had cheated everyone, we were unlikely to be clamped, so decided not to worry about it.

Thence into Ottakars, where I saw, but didn't buy, Charlie Stross's Singularity Sky and the latest Ken McCleod (the latter on special offer). What I did buy was: The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and South of the Border, West of the Sun by \haruki Murakami which were on offer at 3 for 2 and with my book token meant I got the lot for 3.98 UK pounds. Mmmm.... Books.... Yes, I know my To Read Pile is as tall as I am and Elizabeth Bear's Hammered is somewhere en route to me from Amazon, but I haven't had a book buying fix in such a long time that I needed that.

After a small diversion into the pet shop to aaahhh over the baby rats and buy rat food, we went into Aber's other bookshop, Galloways, the old established one where we bought our textbooks when we were students back in the very early 70s. Here we browsed around in the basement amongst all the academic books and G toyed with a book on surviving your dissertation, but in the end just read the useful bits and didn't bother buying it. I did, however, succumb to a rather nice poetry anthology Staying Alive ed. Neil Astley in which I've already spotted several of the poems included in the course materials for the OU poetry course I'm doing.

The next stop was to the "out of town" shopping place to buy a new duvet. I could have sworn there was a shop there that sold household stuff like duvets and crockery and pots and pans, but it isn't there now. However, the visit wasn't totally wasted because we did get a new lampshade for the spare bedroom cum sitting room and two new lamps to replace the two that are going to have to be returned as faulty.

From there we headed home and after a substantial dinner, we're both now catching up on the stuff we didn't do earlier.

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