Friday 30 September 2011

OFF-The Shelf 10

Late last night i heard that screen door slam, And a big yellow taxi, Took away my old man,
Don’t it always go to show, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone……

Yep – it would pay everyone to put up a Help Yourself Shelf.

When i was a kid, the local grocery store had one - a swap shelf for Brooke Bond Tea Cards.

Now, don’t tell me you don’t know what Brooke Bond Tea Cards are?

Brooke Bond tea?

The Cards?

I’ve just looked on their web-site and learnt that the Fresh Water Fish collection is selling at 40 pounds!

Forty Pounds!

There was a complete album in the smugglers junk and gift shop on the Isles of Scilly, which I could have had for a fiver.

A fiver!

I picked it up, flicked through it, put it down, picked it up and put it down again.

I’m going to have to go back and get it.

Our local grocer had a rack on his counter and you could walk in with your mum to buy some custard and whilst she was choosing a tin you could put any of your swaps in and take any that you needed out, card for card.

Those were the days.

These still are the days – as long as you have a Help Yourself Shelf nearby.

Look at the cornucopia of possibilities on this one – the last of the photo project that resulted in me not taking enough photos.

I still can’t believe I missed a photo of the day the two canoe oars were sitting on the shelf; I rushed back to get my camera but when I returned they had already been snapped up.

Still it raises a question – did someone, a canoeist I imagine, really think the paddles were no longer essential?

Are they still on the way home across the choppy waters, splashing with their hands and feet?

“That was a really bad idea.”
“We should have taken the plates, they would have been better.”
“Or the shrimping nets”
“And the mayonnaise might have worked as a lubricant.”

But that’s the thing with a Help Yourself Shelf – you WANT to contribute.

I had to read James Ellroy by candle light in the pub, in a very anti social move on my part, whilst everyone ate and drank on the last night of the holiday – just to make sure I could put it on the shelf the morning we departed.

I think that paragraph needs editing.

What the hell.

I think The James Ellroy needed editing too.

I like his books; I think he is an amazing storyteller.

True – there is usually a paragraph or two that is so violent I feel physically sick but I can put up with it when the storytelling is so well crafted.

But – this time he needed a stronger editor.

It could have been a third of the length.

Not his best book.

However – the main character did have this to say, and it is the sentiment I wish to leave floating on the ocean of this end of summer early autumn day.

“Some people you wait your whole life for. They send you someplace you’d be a fool not to go.”


Anonymous said...

Dear Tops
Can't believe I was away for so long just read and feel fortified and smiley for the day - blog on I love it. How about a blog book club of short comments - not essays or an imaginary I left some head phones and a tin of sardines did you see them. I have a window project at the moment for a friend who drives by to work today is red and purple gladioli and a waving bear x loved you being here so so much x

popps said...

And all this time i thought you were reading!!!
I'll try harder now you are back!