The Hot Press*

At some point in their future, I will present a copy of this blog to my children, perhaps when they are about to have my grandchildren. Ahem, no pressure. They may at that point believe on reading it that I spent their infancy trying to avoid them. Not true. I spend their infancy trying to hide the fact that I was trying to avoid them. That brings me to a little ditty about a trip to my local book shop last November.

I’m a reader. An avid one. Most of my life I’ve escaped to a book to avoid study, teenage arguments, heartbreak and now children. No better place than in the care of a good writer. With that, I find good purveyors of books like a good waiter instinctively knowing what you’d like to sample from the menu. A good bookseller is one who can recommend exactly what you need in a book at a given time. Pure alchemy. I’ve found a good bookseller locally, a lovely lady in Listowel (Brenda of Woulfes Bookshop if you need a name). I was caught for time, as usual one day, and I must say looking the part, that is dishevelled, and rushed into the same shop. I need a book I say, post haste (I might not have put it in those exact words but it sounds good right?), something upbeat I say, easy, a city landscape, not necessarily romantic. The poor woman who had just opened her doors and used to a more elegant and considered customer I’m sure, leads me as always to just the right book.

Trying my hardest to remember my pin, she tells me the following; ‘You know I knew a farmer’s wife once that had a fine big farmhouse and a pile of children who used to hide in the hotpress.’ Finger on the nose, a nod and a smile. Understood. And whatsmore she added, ‘you’ll have time to read a chapter with a cup of coffee across the road’. See, a good bookseller, solid gold.

Have I used the hot press? Oh yes I have. Why just today when the crazy gang were simply crazy, I took myself off to finish a chapter with a coffee. It’s cosy in there, not the tidiest but warm and dry. The trick though is to make sure you’re not found out. In and about the third roar of ‘Mom’, they’ll start looking for you, you can time the little footsteps, exiting your oasis in time to cover the batcave up again. Finger on the nose, a nod and a smile. You heard it hear first. Shhhhhhh.

P.S Je suis absolument Charlie…

*Warm, dry storage cupboard you’ll find in an Irish home, quite cosy.

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