Tuesday 30 April 2013

I wrote a letter

On Sunday afternoon, we decided to go to one of my favourite bookshops ever Much ado books in Alfriston in East Sussex. It's a real delight full of quirky, old and new books and has a great section on crafting and design as well as cookery and the famous Bloomsbury Group who lived nearby in Charleston House.

As you come in there is a covered courtyard to greet you with shelves of old books which never cease to delight the likes of me. I could spend days hours looking at all of these, from their design to their smell to their contents (Yes, I love the smell of books)

Some Spring flowers to delight the senses too before going into the shop.

I bee lined to the beautiful selection of cards first as they have a wonderful array of Ravilious prints as cards and this pleased me no end for we are great admirer's of this artists work.

It was warm and cosy in the shop despite the breezy chills in the afternoon air and we spent what felt like hours there admiring, paging, drooling over the books.

I just love all the owner's attention to detail and secretly pipe dream about owning a quirky bookshop myself and what I would do to make it interesting and encouraging people to read.

Anyway, back to the letter writing. The owners just happened to be celebrating national stationary week upstairs in their beautiful extended bookshop and open studio. Well, who can resist the offer of a choice of delicious stationary, cards, stamps and pens to put pen to paper? I know i can't.

Because the letter had to be to someone in the UK, the only full address I could remember was my own(!)and a friend of mine who lives down the road. A bit sad I know, but I decided to write to card to Alice just because she knows about the joy and excitement of receiving post beyond emails(!) and to Janie my friend whom I know will appreciate some pen on paper too.

Alice got a Dottie Angel card and Janie got some beautiful paper with my ink writing on it. It was so relaxing just sitting and thinking in the sunny studio upstairs, a really welcomed break from the hub bub of everyday life.

I wrote a little list to Alice, just because...

Much Ado Books have promised to send our letters, so we will hopefully see this land on our door step sometime this week.

All in all it was a most satisfying afternoon and we came away with a couple of beautiful books too which I will no doubt be showing you over time. The absolute cherry on the top was meeting Janie's new puppy on the way home. Her name is Purdy and she is too sweet for words and has that lovely new puppy smell. He she is...

I hope you are all enjoying the changing seasons. Talking of change it's May day tomorrow and that just happens to be my day of birth too all those 43 years ago. I'm loving that its a Spring time day full of new life and a new year to look forward to.

Wishing you all a week full of new life and joys


  1. One of my favourite shops in a lovely village, run by an interesting, slightly eccentric couple

  2. Wow looks like my kind of shop could look around for ages. Purdy is gorgeous I know what you mean about that puppy smell all new and lovely :)

  3. How lovely to be given the opportunity to write a letter in that way ... I liked the look of Much Ado Books even before I read what you'd written about the place, now I think I'd love it.

    Happy Birthday for tomorrow Penny

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!! The sun is shining here, Penny, so I hope it is for you as well, have a lovely day.

    What a super bookshop to have on your doorstep! I would be spending hours and hours in there too! We had an Ottakars here which was lovely and reader friendly, taken over by Waterstones which just doesn't have the same ambiance. An independent little bookshop is something we don't have. Unfortunately, and I'm sure lots of us have the same pipe dream, Penny, a pipe dream is probably all it is ever likely to be; even the big boys are seeing falling profits, so small independents must really be struggling. I do hope we can preserve a few of these little gems! What fun when your post arrives! Lx

  5. Happy Birthday Penny! What a beautiful shop..I love the idea of being able to choose a card and write in it, leaving them to visit the post office to post it...a clever idea!

  6. Happy birthday to you Penny! That book shop looks wonderful, I could spend hours in there. I love Charleston too, I must try and visit that amazing house again.

    It's such a joy to receive something in the post which is not junk mail or a bill, your friends will love you for this gesture. x

  7. Happy Birthday Penny, have a great day tomorrow, hope you get spoilt rotten!
    I love old book shops too, Mr Bea and I used to spend an awful lot of time in them before the girls came along....hopefully we can do they same, one day! :) x

  8. What a lovely post Penny. I really like your card to Alice - I bet she treasures that forever. It's wonderful. Long live snail mail!

    I am so glad you've reminded me of Much Ado Books - we haven't been for ages and I think a visit is long overdue.

    And lastly...HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I truly hope your day is super special and you are cherished and spoilt and treated and pampered.

  9. Happy birthday dear Penny. I tried to say hello from my phone yesterday but I didn't think it worked so I've popped back on the kindle.
    Have a magical day. Love Alfriston we used to stay at red lion when we wanted to be looked after. Treats you can afford pre kids. X

  10. I've heard about the book shop, it features a lot in CL magazine. However, the one time I tried to contact them via the website about a book I wanted, I got no response! Luckily it's too far away for me to visit... love the smell and feel of old books and sadly most of our favourite secondhand shops have now closed and gone online or given up due to the recession.