21 February 2009

In the company of Toulouse-Lautrec

Apparently Scottish people are great readers - well, I would imagine the weather lends itself to that kind of past-time - and the place is chockers with good book shops. The Antiquer has patronised many of them but I was forbidden from mentioning this to Tam O'Shanter who had, in turn, forbidden The Antiquer from returning from his travels with anything more than a backpack of stuff.

I wondered how he was going to slip all this contraband past her eagle eye. Turns out that years ago Initials in the Tree left a heap of books behind in Scotland and The Antiquer has sent those back to Initials' address, along with all his own illicit purchases. There's a couple of things in there for me, which I'm keen to get my hands on, but I'll be really fascinated to know just how Initials is going to fit those books into his house, which is already wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with groaning, heaving shelves. I'm imagining a Meaning of Life scenario as the last book is slotted into a space: "It's wafer thin!"

So I was at the ballet on Thursday night with k., and ran into Tam O'Shanter there. We were chatting away, as we like to do, when she asked me if I'd heard from The Antiquer in the last few days. Yes I had. I was pretty sure it was from Paris. I remembered The A had mentioned he'd just been to Shakespeare & Co.

"Oh yes, it was Paris!" I blurted out. "Because he mentioned he'd been to a b-"

"What?" TO'S looked suspicious and dismayed.

"Oooh. I'm not supposed to tell you. I'm in big trouble. He'd been to a bookshop."

"Oh that's okay - I thought you were going to say another 'b' word."

Well, he is an artist. He needs to experience different places and soak up the, uh, atmosphere.

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