21 February 2011

Castles, cheese and cake

We decided to have a trip up to Alnwick today, to go to Barter Books, which is one of the largest secondhand bookshops in the country. Its schtick (aside from the fact that it's located in the old railway station) is that you can take a bagful of books and they'll give you a value for them...which can then be spent on yet more books.

We're currently in credit, and were looking for all sorts of stuff today. There's a great children's section, more cookery books than you can shake a stick at, and everything from fiction to railways, maps or music books.

M came home with several new Paddington books, a Dick King-Smith, a book about pasta (that's my girl - start with the cookery books early!) and a Peter and Jane (3b - I remember them well). Orb's collecting Ian Fleming's Bond novels, and managed to find Goldfinger. My masterpiece was the delightful Make a Meal of Cheese, published in 1973 by the Cheese Information Service. It contains such gems as cheese roundabouts, cheddar curry and crunchy cheese bobs, illustrated with some lovely 1970s brown and orange photos. I have been politely requested not to make any of the recipes it contains...

Our other two missions in Alnwick were to find (a) tea and cake and (b) castles. The first was surprisingly difficult - there don't seem to be that many good teashops in Alnwick. We eventually found Grannies on Narrowgate, which did a pretty good selection.

Castles were easier. M's project for school this week is to do something to do with castles, whether it's making one, drawing one or whatever. We've been taking photos all week of anything castle-related, so Alnwick scored highly for having a real, live castle in all its damp, rain-soaked glory.

Budget for the day: £8 on coffee, hot chocolate and lots and lots of cake.

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