Friday 20 March 2009

A Trainee Bibliophile

It is always a mistake
to buy a present for someone
when you really want it yourself.
You hand it over
and are gratified by their enthusiasm.
Then there is the titanic struggle with your conscience
in which you try to decide if it is polite
to borrow it immediately
or whether you have to wait for a day or so.
Such was my dilemma at Christmas.

I suggest to MrM that a subscription to
Slightly Foxed , the literary journal,
would be the perfect present for his father.
MrM is pleased with this idea.
Then I suggest that we could borrow
the journals after my father-in-law had read them.
MrM seems to think that this is acceptable.

I wait...for days...
and the first journal arrives.

I gloat over the cover,
A watercolour of St. Pauls!!
I read it quickly,
Sue Gee writing an article!!
I re-read it slowly,
An article about Hugh Walpole!!
I covet books in the list of collector's editions,
Blue Remembered Hills by Rosemary Sutcliff!!

I give in
and arrange my own subscription.

MrM does not know yet
so I am expecting a stern discussion
about frugality, economy and recycling.

I will be very contrite.


M said...

I just LOVE the title of the journal. That alone would make me want to steal it from the mailbox before Mr M sees it.

Anonymous said...

Worth every penny and you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to have been behindhand in sending you the Christmas/Winter edition (which I did last week when the Spring volume arrived) - and I was just on the point of passing that on too! What shall I do now? I think they both contain a wonderful selection of lierary essays.

Anonymous said...

In my zeal to type my apology I misspelt 'literary' - not the mark of a keen-eyed bibliophile!

Anonymous said...

Ah- the principle that forgiveness is easier to get than permission. Works for me...

Anonymous said...

On the basis that MrsM is more than slightly foxy and the editor is a cocker spaniel person I have no problem with this at all.

As you can see the Magpie household is built on consistent logic

trash said...

If it is not too cheeky may I proffer myself to assist Thomas in his sterling efforts at recycling these journals of note!?

kristina said...

Looks quite interesting! I agree you need your very own subscription. And I would be happy to assist in your recycling efforts! K x

Anonymous said...

Tailpiece: Perhaps it should be explained to your fellow bloggers that the unusual title 'Slightly Foxed' takes its inspiration from the phrase employed by antique booksellers, and one which delighted Ronald Searle so much that he used 'Slightly foxed but still desirable - Ronald Searle's world of book collecting' as the title for a selection of his wicked cartoons.

The Coffee Lady said...

you should ALWAYS buy presents that you want yourself. Why would you buy things that you wouldn't?

Anonymous said...

I always do that! Sometimes the gift never gets to the intended person :)

The domestic novice said...

Tee hee - I do that too. But what a wonderful journal. I also love the fact that your father-in-law reads your blog - that's fantastic! Have a lovely weekend, C x

p.s. thanks for the offer of coffee, next time I'm marching past I'll let you know!

BreadBox said...

Good for you! Were you, in days of yore, a reader of Granta? That used to scratch some of my literary reading-itches.... Haven't seen a copy in a decade or two, mind you...


Anonymous said...

Oh. Now I want it, too. Maybe the library gets it. (See how virtuous I am?)

Anonymous said...

oh my, now not only your posts are brilliantly written, your comments are fab too! I feel like I'm listening in on your Sunday lunch whilst hiding behind the door.

Thank you!