On the way back from Porthgain to Wiseman’s Bridge (or Wisemansbridge as some have it), we stopped off at Narberth to pick up some essential supplies, mostly Schweppes tonic and yogurt. Also fruit: some delicious cherries, and two ‘flat peaches’, from a wonderful shop called WiseBuys. Have you come across flat peaches? No, nor had I. They’re very small, as peaches go, and, erm, flat. And also delicious. If your local fruitier doesn’t stock them, instruct him/her to do so. They could be the next cranberry.
I wanted to show Narberth/Arberth off to B, so we wandered around a bit. At the top of the high street, I noticed the bookshop. It looked closed from a distance, but we approached anyway. It’s open. For reasons lost in time, the sign above the door reads ‘BOOKS Animal Kitchen BOOKS’. If that doesn’t entice you in, what will?
The proprietor is there, just as he was a decade ago when I last visited: and I mean ‘just’; sitting behind the counter, reading a book. “Look around,” he suggests. “They’re arranged in categories.” I am in no doubt that this is true, but it would take me some hours to analyse the non-Dewey system being applied, so we just wandered around in awe. The shop measures maybe 200 square metres. The aisles are elbow wide, if you’re slim. And the books tower to head height, those that aren’t in floor level cardboard boxes. There must be thousands of them.
It’s impossible to choose one, so we drift back to the entrance. On the way, B spots a book about Afghanistan that interests her, so picks it up. As we’re about to pay, I see a copy of the ‘Tao Te Ching’, in poll position on the counter. I read this when I was in my twenties, and had been thinking only the other day that I should read it again. I reckon he assessed me as I walked in, thought “he’ll buy this, maybe,” fished it out and put it there.
Back at the caravan, we finished cleaning the algae off the walls and the weeds from the patio, and planted up a couple of pots. The television has packed up again, so we missed the weather forecast. “The TV is hidden and nameless,” as Lao Tzu almost pointed out.