Magpies and Bagpipes

“One for sorrow, two for joy”– this folks saying about magpies bothers me, because I like seeing magpies (once saw one repeatedly pecking a fox’s ass) and have no wish for a single one to be an ill omen.

Anyway, one evening I was diverted from my usual chip shop/pizzeria because it was closed for renovations, and found myself walking up Ferry Road, where I discovered a new bookshop — The Pay What You Like Bookshop. I immediately dubbed it The All You Can Eat Bookshop and resolved to visit it first thing in the morning when it was open.

En route next day, I passed two magpies (joy!), and was musing on the euphony of the word “magpie” and the word “bagpipe” and then immediately passed an establishment I’d never consciously noticed, devoted to the manufacture of bagpipes. The explanation, short of sheer coincidence, would presumably be that I’d taken in the sign on a previous occasion and, without consciously remembering it, my brain had shuffled the word bagpipe nearer the front of my brain when I saw the pair of magpies.

An insight into the shambolic maunderings of my mind.

Anyway, a good haul. Dipping in, the Sellers book has Blake Edwards plausibly calling the star and collaborator a paranoid schizophrenic, the Loren autohagiography feels ghostwritten and whitewashed, Under Milk Wood makes every sentence I’ve ever written seem pitifully inadequate, the Esther Williams book is awesome, I’ve read it before but it’s worth owning, and The Songs of Hollywood seems scholarly and fun, getting into the craft of songwriting in a useful way.

5 Responses to “Magpies and Bagpipes”

  1. bensondonald Says:

    Few things are so wondrous as discovering a previously unknown used bookstore. Here they’re growing rare, even around local universities.

  2. mndean@pacbell.net Says:

    Yes, and worse still they often contain trashy romance novels so digging it’s a time consuming chord.

  3. This one has things nicely sorted into sections. The fiction section is a bit barren, but sf, classics and movie books sections are a delight, and they have some DVDs too. I got Toy Story and Lolita, which seems to cover all the bases.

  4. David Ehrenstein Says:

    The book I found o sale that has meant the most to me is Edgar Morin’s “The Stars” which I picked up at a jumble shot for a quarter.

  5. Oh, I didn’t know that one, it sounds fantastic!

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