I've been working myself up to buy another collared shirt for a while, and so this morning was slated as a trip into Farnham to do a bit of shopping. I'd taken a peek at which stores were in the town centre, glanced at the map to see what the parking situation would be like, and waited (more or less) patiently for the car to come back from the garage so I could go get my shop on.
|one of our favourite bits of local history|
You guys: Farnham town centre is gorgeous! Yes, I've driven through it every time we go to the Keep or the park, but I've never properly taken the time to walk around. All the little alleyways, the sneaky peeks of the church, the Georgian-era store fronts! Neo-Classical pillars and porticos; mock-Tudor plaster and beams with half-moon bay windows; mews-style courtyards full of swish shop displays; thatched roofs! I was in architectural heaven. Everything was just so cute and quaint and...English. Le sigh, I love my home.
Our first stop in searching out shirts was the (appropriately named, on so many levels,) White Stuff. I do love the aesthetic of that store's collections. And this particular branch - while it wasn't exactly pushchair friendly - was housed in a gorgeous Georgian-era mock-Tudor building. The huge bay windows on the ground floor, the tiny, crooked windows on the top floor: it was darling. And, as if to make up for their cramped quarters and lack of a handicap-accessible ramp, there was a precious room in the back just across from the changing rooms where E could play. There was already-coloured-on wallpaper, a tent, a giant stuffed dog on wheels, some costumes (including Buzz Lightyear), and a table & chairs complete with colouring supplies. I blocked him in with the buggy and let him play while I paid. I figured at that point, he deserved a reward for the minimal whinging he did sitting in the buggy while I tried on a bunch of tops.
We then headed down the street some more until I was intrigued by the idea of walking into the Lion and Lamb Courtyard. More adorableness: as you duck under an archway from the main sidewalk, you turn onto a cobbled path lined with more of Farnham's gorgeous Georgian-era storefronts. This also seems to be where all the nicest shops are: a super-swish ladies's boutique called Whistles, Joules, Waitrose, Goldsmiths (now I know where to go when my engagement ring needs cleaning!), Monsoon, Laura Ashley Home, and a Waterstones. This last was the whole reason I stayed to look around: I'd been meaning to get to a Waterstones for ages to replace E's copy of Up and Down, by Oliver Jeffers. Due to...well, the Royal Mail, the copy of that book I'd got from Amazon for Henry's Christmas present never arrived. So at the last minute, we bit the bullet, apologized, and gave him E's copy so that he would still have a present. Hence the need to replace what is one of E's favourite books. Luckily, the local library had come in handy and I was sitting on a hardback copy that would tide us over until I could drag us to the nearest area of Hampshire or Surrey civilized enough to have a decent bookstore.
I also decided, in a fit of spontaneity to grab myself a book. I haven't even read it yet: it just looked interesting! What's feeding my current non-fiction kick? It's called, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? by David Bellos. Yes, I confess, about 60% of this decision was fuelled by the fact that the book cover pinged my nerd-radar by referencing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (I recommend a listen to the old BBC radio plays if you're unfamiliar.) Anyway, the subtitle reads: "the amazing adventure of translation" and it sounds really nifty. I'll be sure to give it the old once-over on the blog as soon as I can. Surprisingly, I managed to restrain myself in the bookstore and didn't grab anything else. Not even more picture books for E, or cute stationary, or wrapping paper to frame as art, or Christopher Hitchens's memoir, Hitch-22. (That last I'll patiently await as a birthday present of some variety.)
Anyhow, at the next available