The First Lady decrees a quick sortie to the coast to blow away the Christmas cobwebs. Lovely walk by the sea on Monday – the weather so mild we could enjoy a night-cap on the balcony of our hotel at midnight looking out over a clear sea.
But she could hardly have envisaged the head-down tramp from the station into the teeth of hail and gale as we sought out Patrick Marrin (Marrin’s Bookshop) in Folkestone on Tuesday. Cobwebs blasted to smithereens rather than blown away.
All warm and welcoming within as we peeled off our sodden coats to dry ourselves out by the delightful open fires – coffee served up (as it should be) in ABA mugs. A crammed and various stock to view – wonderfully rich in local topography, but with so much else to see.
Natural history, modern firsts, illustrated books, naval history, travel, art, architecture, children’s books, general antiquarian, some fine maps, prints – even some impressive local watercolours – a thick and well illustrated catalogue just about to be posted out. And at least one other serious customer prepared to brave the weather to get there on the first trading day of the year.
Select a miscellaneous group of books, maps and prints – including two exquisite eighteenth-century views of Hampstead and Highgate after Jean-Baptiste Claude Chatelain (the larger ones, which I can’t recall ever having bought before). The weather has by now abated so we have a brief stroll around the rather deserted and forlorn town centre (the perils of pedestrianisation), but don’t linger over long (although long enough for the First Lady to point out numerous instances of silly women in Uggs). Back on the somewhat pretentious high-speed train to London (Ebbsfleet International? – what’s that about?) to complete the drying-out process. A further sortie planned for Friday.