Tag Archives: crystal palace

Beer in the library

I have long been a fan of traditional pubs, and when one adds into the mix a library, the Westow House is definitely my kind of establishment.

Some 25 minutes walking distance from my home in Crystal Palace, stands the Westow, a traditional pub. I haden’t visited the place for a while however, on Sunday 2 September I decided to treat myself to a good old-fashioned pub roast and a pint. I got to the Westow at approximately 12:30 as I wanted to gain a seat in a quiet corner with plenty of room for my guide dog, Trigger to stretch out. I was delighted to secure a seat in a corner of the library (a section of the Westow stocked with books, some of which have seen better days as testified by their tatty bindings, but all of which helps to add to the character of the place).

Seated comfortably in an armchair, I enjoyed an excellent roast beef dinner with a garnishing of Horse Raddish, together with a pint of beer. Being visually impaired I am unable to read print. It was, however lovely to be surrounded by books and I took pleasure in handling several volumes despite my inability to read them. Ever since I was a child I’ve always relished the scent and feel of books which does, I think go back to when my grandfather would take me to W. H. Smiths to buy a book, which he would read to me once we reached home.

On first entering the Westow the premises where quiet (a situation ideally suited for anyone wishing to avail themselves of a good book and a pint or 2 of beer). As the pub filled up, the sound of conversation and people playing snooker replaced the comparative silence. However, to someone lost in a good book I’m sure that this would not distract from the pleasure of reading.

My roast beef dinner, including a pint of beer, came to precisely £19. While some might consider this rather expensive, given the friendly atmosphere and the quality of the food I’d certainly recommend the Westow House, https://westowhouse.com

The Glorious Inefficiency Of Local Bookstores

“The elegiac atmosphere is part of the appeal. This bookstore, this artifact from a more literate past, serves as a reminder of values that have, in America, faded like pages in a weathered volume. The small, independent bookstore is simply a place out of sync with contemporary culture, chiefly because its very being emphasizes an appreciation of quietude, romance, and the kind of glorious inefficiency upon which the best of human life rests”.
(http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/11/local-bookstore-dean-abbott.html).

At the age of 49, (my 50th birthday looms, should that be lurks? Ahead), I can relate to much of the above article. I can recall visiting such places in the company of my late grandfather and browsing. To this day I still relish the scent of bookstores.

Some 15 minutes walking distance from my home, there sits the Bookseller Crow on the Hill, a great independent bookshop, https://booksellercrow.co.uk/. Not only does the Crow stock books, it also carries a range of audio CDs, calendars and postcaards depicting the Crystal Palace and surrounding area.

Independent bookshops are, from the perspective of authors a great place to get one’s books into. Particularly for independent authors, it can be difficult (frequently impossible) to get the big chains to stock one’s work. Consequently I am grateful to The Bookseller Crow for stocking my collection of poems, “My Old Clock I Wind”, http://moyhill.com/clock/. Its good to know that people in the area in which I live can see my books on display in my local, independent bookstore.

Kevin

Pubs and Books

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What could be more pleasant than a cooling pint on a hot summer’s day? A cooling pint and a good book.
I have been popping into the Westow House in Crystal Palace for some time now. They do an excellent Sunday roast and out of sheer politeness I feel obliged to have a pint or two while enjoying the convivial atmosphere of the pub!
I was unaware until Sunday 14 August that in addition to serving good food, the Westow House also hosts a small library. Having discovered this fact, I have donated a copy of my latest collection of poetry, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” to the pub’s library. The Westow is a busy place so I like to think that from time to time a pub goer will take down my book and enjoy a quiet read.
For “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” please visit http://moyhill.com/lost/. For details of the Westow House please see http://westowhouse.com/.

Nice

As inconsequencial as a child who did say
As she walked past the aquarium yesterday,
“I have fish like that”.

Me, on my way from my flat
To the pub, thought of France
And innocent children who can no longer dance.

There is a shop selling tropical fish, reptiles etc some 10 minutes walk from my home. While strolling along to the pub yesterday evening (Sunday 17 July),I overheard the above snatch of conversation.

Ball

A child plays ball below.
A long time ago
I lay in bed
The same sound running through my head.
The thud of ball on wall
Is all I recall.
The ball is now still
As evening falls over Beulah Hill.

As I wrote this, a child and an adult played ball in the garden below my home. The sound brought to mind lying in bed at boarding school (I was sick), as children played football in the playground below my window. The poem was penned today (as the game took place).

Listening To The Morning

The sun on my bookcase.

Books, their plain binding suffused with light.

Cars pass.

The song of the bird, here then gone.

The traffic continues on

Swishing as the great tide

That ebbs and flows.

The bird sings again

Competing with the vehicles noise (and winning)!

A crow khaws once.

A woodpecker joins in.

9:40, sitting at my computer, listening to the morning.

There But For The Grace Of

One of my favourite restaurants, the Thai Crystal, which is situated some 20 minutes walk from my home, was hit by a bus at 6:30 am on 23 September. Extensive damage was done to the front of the building but, fortunately the staff who live on the premises where uninjured, while the bus driver received only minor injuries. Had the accident taken place on a busy evening there is little doubt there could have been serious injuries or worse. I thank god (or fate) that the accident happened when it did.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/crystal-palace-bus-crash-was-like-earthquake-says-restaurant-owner-who-lost-family-in-2004-tsunami-a2954161.html

 

Kevin

How To Get Your Book Into A Library

I am fortunate to live within 10-15 minutes walking distance of Upper Norwood’s Joint Library, the oldest and, I believe the only independent institution of it’s kind, (http://uppernorwoodlibrary.org/).

In search of ways to get my book, “Dalliance: A Collection of Poetry and Prose” into the hands of more readers I visited the library to ascertain whether they would add it to their shelves. To my delight a librarian confirmed the library would be pleased to accept my book. Its wonderful to know that “Dalliance” is available for the residents of Noorwood to enjoy.

The following article contains useful advice on getting a self published book into a library, (http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Self-Published-Book-into-Libraries). The article mentions the importance of specifying that you wish your book to be added to the library’s stock rather than sold. This is good advice and I asked the librarian to add “Dalliance” to the library’s shelves rather than selling it.

My experience diverged from the advice contained in the article in the following manner. The article refers to many libraries requiring more than one copy of a book. I offered the Upper Norwood Joint Library 2 copies of “Dalliance”. However the librarian politely advised me that it is their policy to only accept 1 copy of a book.

On my next visit to the city of my birth, Liverpool I will make a point of popping into Liverpool’s central library and donating a copy of my work.

 

Kevin