Sunday, 13 November 2011

Peacocks and Pocket Guides



I've had a bit of a thing for peacocks ever since I was first given this beautiful copy of Pride and Prejudice, they are majestic, beautiful and proud but admittedly prone to chasing people over castle lawns for their cheese sandwiches.  So Alfie the Albino Porcelain Peacock was always going to be coming home with me - especially given the princely price tag of 20 pence.


On the same charity shop sweep I found this little pocket sized 'Thorough Guide: North Devon and North Cornwall'.  My family have some really happy memories of visiting my Aunt and Uncle down in Cornwall during school holidays and for the solar eclipse in August 1999 - one of the most eerie and awe-inspiring experiences I've ever had.


Who should I find hanging out inside but another peacock - albeit a bit flattened - book roadkill.  I love picking up old or secondhand books, you never know what fingerprints the previous owners will leave behind be they annotations, inscriptions or a leathery friend.


This little guidebook is full of colourful pull-out maps, walks to take and places to visit - it was published in 1904 and I wonder how many of the places it has mentioned remain relatively unspoilt over a century later.


The adverts at the back of the book made me smile, the whole thing is bursting with history and I was very happy to pay £1 to bring it home!


It has been a quiet weekend here on the edge of the Peaks, plenty of sofa surfing, film watching and friends dropping over.  Back to work tomorrow - ding, dong, the lurg is gone. Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend!

Pop along to Her Library Adventures for more adventures in thrifting.

21 comments:

  1. I love old books - I think it's their feel of them, the thick pages and that dusty smell that comes with them. I especially love them if they have some dedication as a gift at the moment. I really want to try get my hands on some more old books though.

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  2. The peacock is so lovely, I will always pay a little more for the things that really speak to me.

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  3. You did really well; a two-peacock weekend! The porcelain one is lovely and will go nicely with Pride and Prejudice. I got rid of so many old and treasured books (needlessly) when we emigrated so I’m trying to make amends now and whenever we return to UK I’m on the lookout.

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  4. i LOVE your story, it pales mine on a peacock, but here goes. [lovely guide, by the way].
    recently i encountered a peacock nearby a church where a funeral was to take place. i thought up a few story lines, before i tried to photograph the peacock. it didn't work. a few officials noticed me and i shrugged. so i asked them, you do realize there is a peacock running on and off the curb? to which they laughed, and said, yeah, it's the parsons's...
    peacock also reminds me of the cult of beauty. i mean, even in black and white, the peacock commands respect...
    n♥

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  5. now that is a good story! but that gorgeous porcelain peacock wont definitely wont chase you for cheese sandwiches! and i too love old books and to find another peacock albeit a bookmark, it's just spooky! the only time i saw a peacock that's abit eerie was when i went to crematorium with my in laws.

    x susan

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  6. The peacock is beeeooootiful. What a brilliant bargain for 20p. Love the travel guide too. I've just started collecting them, would you believe. I've only got two at the moment and neither are as old as yours (50s/60s).

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  7. This finds are amazing! That peacock is beautiful but that guidebook, wow! I would love to find something like that! Amazing find!

    Hope you've had a great weekend! //Niina

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  8. Peacocks clearly find their way to you - whether paid for or not! And that's a beautiful book.

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  9. The book was obviously meant to be having the peacock in it.
    I do wonder what are the holes in the feathers are for on the other peacock? I think I'd have to put something colourful on it, somehow xxx

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  10. What a lovely surprise to find in that book, I'm never that lucky! Glad you're feeling better sweets xx

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  11. Ooh, I wonder if a third peacock will stalk you this week?
    I don't know what it is about your phbotography, but I can almost 'feel' the mysterious quality they have about them. Lots of sofa surfing here too, I'm looking forward to getting out and breathing in fresh air next week, I'll hibernate the rest of the winter!

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  12. I do love your peacock P&P, am very covetous of it. I am slightly superstitious about some things but manage to ignore all the ridiculous notions about peacock feathers in the house, they're just too pretty!

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  13. I love peacocks too and really am into them alot this year for some reason I am always on look ou for them now.Love the bookmark one so cute and a lovely surprise too

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  14. I love finding hidden treasures inside old books and the book and both peacocks are delightful and such bargains.

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  15. Lovely finds, eps. As they evoke memories x

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  16. p.s Jem, thought you may like this post about things a bookseller found inside old books:

    http://ageofuncertainty.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

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  17. Love the peacock, and it can be quite exciting looking through an old book, there can be many finds!!

    Thank you for sharing.

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  18. Ohh I love old books and all of their secrets :) good find!
    Just seen you are from The Peak District! My boyfriend is from Derbyshire and I am slowly being introduced to its wonders... It really is a beautiful place, I'd love to live there one day!

    x Rachel
    ps. thanks for the lovely comment the other day!

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  19. Oh I havent been on a thrifting adventure for awhile :-( Need to fix that! That book is so gorgeous! Great price too hehe.

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  20. this blog is really amazing! love it

    http://cashmereflowers.blogspot.com/

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  21. Oooooh the peacocks are brill! Although I find the real things a bit scarey when they are close (i blame being chased by one as a child). Glad you are feeling better hun. Scarlett x

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