Friday, August 24, 2007

A Rainy Night in Soho

This is what you get when you bitch too much about the heat in Atlanta: three straight days of rain and 60-degree temperatures in London. I can't remember the last time (if ever) that I've had to wear a jacket in August.

At least, though, it's something different to complain about, and today the rain has stopped and the temperatures are warmer; I even saw the sun briefly this morning.

I've spent a lot of time on Charing Cross Road, home to a whole bunch of great bookstores (and legendary for the now-long gone store at 84 CC). One of them, Henry Pordes Books, is the scene of a pleasant book memory -- in the basement, two years ago, I found Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time of Gifts," at the time unavailable (and impossible to find used) in the U.S.

Having heard of it, I got it, and then went and sat in a park near the British Museum (a sunny day, then) and immediately became enraptured. Sitting under a tree, alternately reading and daydreaming, suddenly anything seemed possible.

I also got Colin Thubron's "Journey Into Cyprus" that day, introducing me to that worthy author. I don't expect such a harvest of fine quality again, but I picked up a few books at Henry Pordes yesterday, just out of appreciation.

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