A LITTLE TREAT…
Toys. We all need them.
I tend not to indulge myself in jewellery (that’s the dh’s job) or fancy clothes. Since I spend most of time in office “comfort” clothes, or in the kids’ abandoned t-shirts messing about in the garden, one new classic a year tends to fulfil my need for designer chic (although it has been a year since I last splurged so I need to think about that).
But I have been yearning for a net book. One of those tiny little computers that weighs next to nothing and has a battery that lasts more than twice as long as any laptop I’ve ever owned. Actually, Freddie, my laptop has a battery that beeped its last a couple of years ago and now sits permanently attached to an electric point, never to venture out again, but perfect for the internet.
Last week, abandoning a trip to the coast because it was raining – again – we went to Borders in Swansea to stock up on the latest titles. I was rather shocked to see yards of empty shelves in the romance section which has now lost its position near the magazines and has been pushed to the back of the store, leaving crime and paranormals with the prime space.
We all know that the bricks and mortar stores have been suffering badly in competition with online book sellers who can cut prices and wield their muscle by removing books from publishers who won’t play their discount game. My fear is that hundreds of books have simply been returned to publishers to improve Borders cash flow situation. Bad for publishers, bad for authors. Not great for book buyers either, in the long term. Browsing on the 'net is nowhere near as pleasurable as touching the books -- and you don't get that "leap out at you" love at first sight thing, either. Fingers crossed those shelves will soon be filled with Christmas titles and the gaps will be there for all the right reasons.
Anyway the dh, having picked up books 2 and 3 in Simon Scarrow’s Wellington/Bonaparte quartet and the latest Sebastian Faulk, remembered he had an urgent need for a magenta ink cartridge (he’s entering some photographs in the The Big Village Show being held at the Millennium Gardens later this month) and we crossed the road to the electrical store across the road. Which is when, having restrained myself admirably in Borders – just a BBC Italian Cookery magazine and some envelopes for me -- I saw the tiniest Acer Net Book and lost control of my credit card.
I have to admit the price was the clincher. It was on “special” for the Bank Holiday, the price cut by a £100, which is not chicken feed.
Slender, sexy in her little black dress I was going to call her Audrey. But she’s a Welsh Net Book, from Swansea, Dylan Thomas’s “sea town” and as I charged her up she whispered to me in the soft lilting accent of Mae-Rose Cottage in Under Milk Wood, “…call me Delores, like they do in the stories…”
So here she is, the latest member of the Liz Fielding writing team. Delores. You'll be hearing a lot from her. Her first assignment, the Amba lunch next week in London.