Reviews

‘an intriguing read . . . keeps the reader guessing . . . a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge Commons . . . a strong sense of place and a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging.’ [Dead Letters]

- Margaret Murphy, SHERLOCK

Three Little Words

What do these things have in common: my daughter’s birthday present, the printer cable, several thousand books and the kitchen scissors. Just this: I have no idea where any of them are. Well, I know where the books ARE. They are in one of the many many cardboard boxes that surround me as I write, but as for putting my hand on one particular title ….

In short, I have moved. It is a long time since I have posted and that’s why. Three small words but what lies behind them is huge and has involved vast reserves of physical, emotional, and organisational energy and it’s not over yet. I am now living in a house half the size of the one in which Peter and I spent our married life, the home of my stepchildren as teenagers and the only one our daughter has known.

Although I have brought many, many books with me – of course! – I have also had to dispose of many. Happily 350 of Peter’s most important books on twentieth century German, Austrian and Swedish architecture have gone to Robinson College in Cambridge, the university where he began his teaching career. It is a great pleasure to know that they will inspire another generation of students. Others have gone to friends and ex-students and hundreds of less importance – both mine and Peter’s – to charities.

My new house, though so suitable in many ways, had no shelves and I have hated having all my books packed away. Yes, they really do furnish a room. More than that, they are old friends. But now I have had two lovely bookcases built by an excellent cabinet-maker and the books have begun to emerge from their boxes. My friend Sue has been helping me to unpack them. She threatened to go home if she caught me reading instead of shelving them, a great temptation. I will need more book shelves, but this is a start and I hope I will have more time for book blogging soon.

16 Comments

  1. Margot Kinberg
    May 1, 2024

    Moving is a major, major change, Christine, especially from a home you had for so long. Little wonder it’s taken the toll it has on you. I’m delighted to hear from you again and I wish you well as you start this new chapter of your life.

    Reply
  2. P.J. Coldren
    May 1, 2024

    No idea where you actually are in the real world; I’d be happy to come help you unpack, sort, put away, whatever – if you want/need me to. I’m in Michigan.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 1, 2024

      It’s a lovely thought and a kind offer, but Google tell me that you are around 3,600 miles away! I’m in the UK in South Yorkshire.

      Reply
  3. Ann Oxford
    May 1, 2024

    What a surprise, Chrissie! I’m been thinking of you so much in the past few weeks — some kind of telepathy, maybe. Anxious to hear more about this, but wishing you all the best in your new location and life. Annie

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 2, 2024

      It was time for several reasons, now that the children are all grown, time to move from a big house, hard to look after, to a smaller one, time to move from the country to the town. All for the best and the new place will be lovely when I have finally managed to find places for everything, but it has been a wrench and an upheaval …

      Reply
  4. di
    May 1, 2024

    My books are such source of comfort and connection to me. Reminders of the past. Hope the unpacking goes well and you feel properly at home soon!

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 2, 2024

      Yes, me too, I keep wanting to reach for a particular title, knowing just where it was on the shelves in my old home.

      Reply
  5. Jean Briggs
    May 2, 2024

    I do hope you are settling in after such an upheaval, and that the books are emerging from their hiding places to tap you on the shoulder like old friends not seen for some time. And, of which, lovely to see you in Brighton. I’m wondering about Leeds as a potential lunch spot… You’ll no doubt have one of those old friends in your pocket. Something sensational to read on the train, Miss Cardew…

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 2, 2024

      It was lovely to see you, too, Yes, Leeds would be good. Will be in touch.

      Reply
  6. Bill Selnes
    May 3, 2024

    A house without books would be a lonely place. I have never lived in such a home. Glad many books can be with you.

    Reply
  7. Helen
    May 3, 2024

    Congratulations on getting through the last few months of planning and executing your move! There has been so much for you to think about!
    Yes books are like old friends aren’t they – the touch, the smell and the content all evoke meaning and memories.
    I wish you all the very best in your new house and look forward to seeing it develop into your new home.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 4, 2024

      Thanks, Helen. Yes, it will be a while before it really feels like home, but I am getting there.

      Reply
  8. Lyn Baines
    May 22, 2024

    Good luck with the unpacking, it’s such a massive task.It will be wonderful to have all the books within easy reach, though. I hope you enjoy your new home once you’re more settled.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      May 24, 2024

      Lovely to hear from you, Lyn. I’ve ordered more bookcases and am looking forward to getting more of them out of boxes.

      Reply

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