Saturday, 20 August 2011
We visited Powis Castle yesterday. I should have brought a camera. The castle itself was full of artifacts from India, secret passages leading to indoor tents which, using mirrors, were made to look bigger; giant murals, taxidermised animals and trompe l'oeil wood panelling. An old woman sat at a piano in the old ballroom playing Bach - she was murmuring operatically under her breath. The grounds were full of strange statues, winding yew paths, dead ends, labyrinths and fountains. A man and woman in period dress and costume appeared to stalk us. It's well worth a day trip.
I should have bought a camera.
The best bit, though, was a second hand book sale in the old kitchens. In the corner of a room which must have been a parlour or cold storage was a box on which was scrawled "2 for 50p". Evidently, they'd had this box for a while and thought they'd never get rid of any of it. Hence the "too good to be true" price.
For it was indeed too good to be true. The box was full of science-fiction paperbacks, and a very large majority of them were by Michael Moorcock.
Two for 50p. I've had great difficulty in tracking down any of these books, and here they all were, at an unbelievable price. £11 would have netted me the entire box, but I only had £5.00 (four of which was borrowed). As such, I had to pick and choose. In doing so, I was obliged to commit the worst sin that any booklover can ever commit - I was forced to judge books by their covers. Yes, so abundant were the Moorcocks that I ended up plying for whichever had the most beautiful covers - and these are some of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen.
So. One Dick and nineteen Moorcocks for £5.00. Life is worth living.