It has occurred to me lately that I need to take a break from my studies. I have a fascinating PhD topic, a small part of the research effort focused on understanding how HIV-1 mutates in response to the immune system of the person it has infected, but I am sure boredom is the enemy of anyone attempting to write a thesis. I need to escape from it for a while. My husband has very kindly offered to relieve me of my responsibilities for a few weeks early next year, and suggested that I hop on a plane to the UK and spend a few weeks wandering about in the villages of England or the suburbs of London continuing the search for Penguins to add to the collection. I know it would probably be cheaper to sit here at the computer in Perth and buy them through ebay, but I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much.
Ariel in Kentish Town, and I love to walk the streets of Hampstead, through the churchyard of St John-at-Hampstead, ending up at the charity stores in West End Lane.
Unfortunately relying on chance doesn't always work. A few weeks after I returned from a family holiday that involved a lovely stay in the village of Frome, Yvonne of Fiction Books left a comment on this blog about a wonderful book store near Bath stocked with hundreds old Penguins. I must have only been a few miles away and yet I never found it. So this time I'm asking for help before I go.
If you have any advice or recommendations, I would love to hear them. Is there any village I should particularly head to? Any shop that I shouldn't miss? If you have seen a stash of old Penguins for sale anywhere in the UK I would love to know.
In search of old Penguins: Part 2
Vintage Penguins in Amsterdam
Vintage Penguins in Newcastle
Vintage Penguins in Lyme Regis
Penguins and the Bristol archive
Vintage Penguins in London
Vintage Penguins in Oxford
Vintage Penguins in Adelaide (Aus)
I just wanted to thank everyone who left a message in the comments below, or who contacted me by email or by twitter. When I get some time over the weekend I plan to sit here at the computer with google maps and a train/bus schedule and work out where all these places are, and see what is feasible. Having journeyed by car last year in the UK and seen the havoc caused by the snow and black ice, and dealt with the roundabouts, and the parking (though only as a passenger), I know that hiring a car would be far too stressful. In Western Australia country roads tend to be long, straight, wide, and empty.
In case anyone else is interested, the other suggestions that I have received which are not listed below are: Joel Segal in Exeter, Adelphi Books in Portsmouth, Book Cupboard in Plymouth, Charing Cross Rd in London, Scoob in London, and the mystery novel shop in Hay-on-Wye, courtesy of @CAPittard, @timesflow, @SimonTateBooks, and @detectivecritic on twitter.
Sarah, my email address is karynreevesATgmail.com. Simon, you are just lovely, and I would like nothing more than to come and say hello when I am in Oxford.
Thanks once again for all these wonderful suggestions,