Guard well your spare moments



“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


A young boy told me that his school was hit by lightning and so there is no school until Thursday. He had a Captain Underpants book and he looked pretty happy.

A lady said: I only read when I travel, but I would like to talk about Pearl S. Buck and also can I have a look at the books that you are reading right now…I show her a tangled pile of books that have been lent to me and on top is Gould’s Book of Fish. She looks at it and says ahhhh…

Dean asked for Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World and a little girl hoped for Monster Street.

An old friend drops in unexpectedly and tells me that she has a brain tumour. She says that the MRI scans are worse than the tumour. Then she says, don’t worry, I just get on with it, it’s what you have to do and who knows what could happen.

A lady, who has been before stopped to tell me about her adult son with autism. She has never known family life without a son with autism and there is no growing up and leaving home and the worries and concerns of childhood do not end and there is no sit back. No  resting. But she was cheerful. She bought a book about fairies and a copy of Billy by Noel Morrison which is about a child with autism and then went to buy potatoes around the corner.

She also told me that he is a good person, he draws and is courteous. She said his drawings are especially good. The amount of information he holds in his head is distressingly huge.

A lady spoke aloud about Han Suyin; she is reading aloud from the back of a book, possibly reading it to me. But I am reading the back of Gould’s Book of Fish and could not attend to her:

This book is an enchantment of presentation, but that is just a prelude….

The lady is humming to herself, impressed with a stately copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Soon she goes into another room, looking for the historicals. She says she has been here before but I cannot remember her.

I have been ambushed by Gould’s Book of Fish.

I was asked to find The Grimm Grotto, book 8 of A Series of Unfortunate Events and volume 3 of the Wool trilogy and then Beautiful Chaos, book 3 of the Beautiful series. I am asked for Paddington.

I am told that my Charlaine Harris books were in the Wrong Section and firmly advised to move them.

I was asked for directions to Milang.

The day is folding up, beginning to rain and soon I will go home, taking  Gould’s Book of Fish which I will read along with The Arabian Nights. They have nothing to do with each other.