Whenever I worry that I have too many books, I remind myself that there are still lots of ‘dead’ spaces that are wasted in a house, when they could contain perfectly adequate shelves and books. Here are some eloquent examples.
For some reason, book people are also often quite fond of stationery products – and of course, as a writer, one can never have too many notebooks or pens. It’s quite funny to see how popular expensive stationery is, when we are writing less and less by hand! I will be including some Japanese products as well, for January in Japan, and because they are masters of paper production!
It has been a cold winter in Egypt, one of my work colleagues tells me, and an unseasonably warm one in many parts of Europe. There has been more snow for skiing in Aberdeen than in Switzerland. So here I am wishing for snow to fall in places where everyone can cope with the snowfall, where people’s livelihoods depend upon it falling, and where it looks as pretty as in the pictures below.
Apologies, the pictures below are not fun or escapist by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt compelled to include them as a reminder of how far we have come and that one of the key missions of the EU was to prevent future wars in Europe (which it has not always succeeded in). This week Ireland and Denmark are celebrating 50 years since joining the EC (now EU). The UK also acceded to the EC on the same date, but, of course, has nothing to celebrate anymore.
There are so many holidays all over the world during this period: Christmas, Hannukah, New Year, any thing to drive out the cold and gloom. Here are some scenes that should cheer us up, even if we haven’t yet put up our Christmas tree or sent any cards.
Traditional old houses in Japan tend to lose their value and are difficult to restore. Few people want to be saddled with them, as they are frequently in remote locations and badly insulated. However, you can’t fault their aesthetics – and since these Friday posts are all about escapism, I will simply look for the positives: that elegant, minimalist style which is so good for my mental health. (They are also very much present in Studio Ghibli productions)
It’s the time of the year when all I want to do is drop everything and hide away in a cosy little place, preferably in the mountains, preferably with snow and skiing nearby, with a log fireplace and plenty of good books to keep me happy.
When things go against you and the entire family collapses with something that could be flu or bronchitis or tonsillitis or all three rolled into one, one should stick to what one knows and likes best, namely my beloved chateaux or manor houses, which is how Friday Fun got started.
In previous years, I might have been tempted to do a World Cup of stately homes from the countries participating in the FIFA World Cup, but this year it has been so problematic (not that I was any happier about 2018) that I will just stick to a few sturdy favourites. Oh, and they all are (or were until recently) for sale, so better hurry!