Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday Steals Vol 17

Well I promised myself this week that I would make it back for Saturday Steals. I thought about my post during the week. Decided what I would ‘steal’. My organisation was going to be superb, nay enviable this week. You would have been blown away by the sophistication and thought which was going to have gone in to my post. It was going to be awesome.

Unfortunately yesterday I was in a minor car crash and I have ended up with whiplash. About the best description I can come up with of what this feels like, is that my back is clicking like an unholy xylophone, being played by an over enthusiastic ghoul. This has rather stymied the grand plans I had for my Saturday Steals extravaganza of a post since I’m not really in the position to take the *amazing* photos I had planned.

So this leaves me to tell you about another steal I managed this week. Unsurprisingly I am back on the bandwagon of buying books. But as my daily Notes From The Universe tell me, an amazing collection of books is something to strive for, and who am I to argue! (Honestly if you’ve never heard or read these little notes they are a fantastic way to start your day.)

This book cost me the grand total of 25p from a bargain bucket of books that was outside an independent book retailer on my way to work. Hannah Hauxwell is a woman from the Yorkshire Dales who came to fame in the 1970’s for her solitary lifestyle without modern conveniences (such as say, running water or electricity). A couple of TV programs were made about her and this is one of the accompanying books.

(As you can see my photography is not going any further afield than my sofa!)

Whilst you might be quite rightly wondering why on earth I was attracted to this particular tatty paperback, it is a quite convoluted tale. When I was a kid, my parents had one of the other books from the series, and it sat on our bookshelf for years. I never read this book. I just remember noticing it a lot. It was called ‘Hannah in Yorkshire’, had a black dust jacket, and a very large photo of the aforementioned Hannah on the front. I have no idea why I did not read this book. My parents were very liberal in what they let me read. I read plenty of other things off of their bookshelves. Except this one book. Yet it must have made enough of an impression that I remember it all these years later and then go out of my way to buy a similar book. Perhaps the world is telling me that after all these years I should simply borrow that book off of my Dad, as I should have done about a decade ago!

After all these years this is a pretty good book. Simple but affecting. Not a long or a difficult read, but Hannah herself is a very likable woman, who has lead a most extraordinary life. Maybe I would not have appreciated her story at 5 or at 10. Maybe I would have fixated on the fact that she didn’t have TV, or that she couldn’t wash her hair every day and I would have not really understood what I glean from this tale now. Maybe the world wanted me to wait before meeting Hannah in the pages of a tatty paper back, aged 21. But whatever age I am, I’m glad to have met Hannah in the pages of this book, finally, and she strikes me as the kind of woman who would mind that I turned up a little late for our meeting.

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