Monday, 27 June 2011

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat (Especially Sweat)

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat (Especially Sweat)

or The Most Diffuclty I've Ever Had Procuring A Book Series

or The Adventures of Octaboona Alone In The Middle (Almost) Of London

So now I've come up with several titles let me tell you all about today's adventure.

Today I discovered some book vouchers that were left over from my birthday six months ago and decided to spend them. However the nearest book shop that I actually like and which has actual books in it and which is simply amazing is several miles away in the middle (almost) of London. So I took a bus and then the underground to Belsize Park (yes I consider my self far enough away from my house to start giving out locations). Now that I'd done the majority and hardest part of my journey all I had to do was walk for about two minutes to the bookshop. The End.

Or So I Thought....

But then... I'd been walking for 50 minutes and there was still no sign of my beloved bookshop. I realised I was now about 2 miles from the station and I found myself outside Euston station, several stops along the line from Belsize park. Oops. Yes it's only 3 stops away but it seems much longer when you actually walk it. I realised I was lost. So I decided to reverse my route. But what with me being clever and it being boiling hot (31 degrees or there abouts) and not wanting to walk all the way back I decided to take a bus. Yes I was far enough away that there was a whole bus route between me and the bookshop. So on I clambered onto the 268 and relaxed onto the bus (having almost just missed it). The bus took me where I wanted to go and that's the end of that.

Or So I Thought...

When the bus turned left and started moving away from my bookshop I hastily got off the bus and went to the information thingy where I found out I should have taken the 168 not the 268. Oh dear. I was now even more lost than I was before and unsure how to reverse my rouute. I was hot and sweaty and lost. I wondered randomly around until I came out onto the main road that lead back to Belsize Park and trudged wearily along for half an hour until I arrived back at Belsize Park. I looked at the map on the station turned around, and right next to the station, (the actual building next to it) was Daunts Bookshop, my destination. Just as if to add insult to injury, if I'd bothered to turn around originally I'd have found the bookshop in seconds and saved my self a 2 hour goose chase through the middle (almost) of London.

And thus concludes my tale

Or So I Thought...

For although indeed this was A Daunts Bookshop it wasn't THE Daunts Bookshop, but a smaller one with less books in it. So I continued along the road for a few minutes, turned onto a street and found my self somewhere extremely familiar, the hospital I was born in. And that is actually good news for I knew that my beloved Daunts Bookshop was very nearby. I quickly located it, (Finally!) and then spent a happy hour browsing through it (I love browsing.. what can I say?) selected the book series I wanted to buy and then went to pay for it. And Octaboona lived happily ever after.

Or So I Thought...

Upon handing over the book vouchers I realised that half of them were specifically for Waterstones ONLY. As I wasn't in a Waterstones this made them worse than useless. I returned the two books I was unable to pay for ( Out of what currently is a seven book series) reluctantly to their shelves, paid for the five books I could afford and left my beloved bookshop. With a now heavier bag than before entering, I walked along the street in search of a bookshop. Around about 70 shops later I found a Waterstones.

There be absolutely nothing left to worry about.

Or So I Thought...

Upon entering the Waterstones I wondered exactly how much money was on the voucher. Would it be enough for the two remaining books? Apprehensively I went up to the counter and asked how much money there was on it. Well there was enough! Huzzah! Good Luck At Last! There was enough on it for three books. So again I spent an hour and a half browsing through the shelves trying to decide what the third book should be. During this browsing I managed to read the Skulduggery short stories for books 1,2 and 3 before deciding to search for the two books I still neeeded. I searched and searched, asked the staff and random customers (well a random customer) if they knew where they where eventually to be told they were out of stock and should be in tomorrow or a few days afterwards.

Well. I had enough money for the books but the shop hadn't got them in stock opposed to the other beloved bookshop which had them in stock (naturally) but I hadn't enough money to pay for them. Simple solution I hear you cry! Just ask the Waterstones people to take the money off the vouchers in exhange for a cash equivalant and then take the money down to the beloved bookshop which does have the books and buy them!

A fine solution

Or So I Thought...

Turns out the vouchers can't be exchanged for money and must be spent in the shop. Drat. So with a heavy weight in my heart and an even heavier weight hanging off the end of my arm I set off home only to collapse the minute I got into my house from dehydration and heat exhaustion. Without the two missing books in my series.

And that really, finally absolutely is the end of my story.

Or so I thought....

For tomorrow I shall repeat the whole experience (hopefully without getting lost), return to Waterstones and buy those two books which have caused me much blood, toil, tears and sweat (especially sweat), although not the blood. Just toil, tears, and sweat. I just add in the blood for two reasons. First is emphasis and secondly to complete the quote. I mean thats what the quote is. From Winston Churchill himself.

Um sidetracked... Sorry

Yep. Anyway for those who are interested the book series is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (I include the prequal books in this series even though it's actually a series in its own right), the two books I was unable to purchase are the last two, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain. I mean I've already read them anyway so I'm not sure why I went to so much bother. Maybe because I haven't read the prequal books and it seemed wise to buy the non prequal ones that I've already read whilst doing so.

The other book I brought is called Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams. I know it will be brilliant for Garth Nix is pretty much my favourite author until like a year ago. I still remain undecided on whether Derek Landy is better or not.

Um so yep.



  1. Oh Octa! What an adventure! Not an all together fun one! I'm sorry you has such a hassle. I hope you have an easier time tomorrow getting those books!
    No wonder you were so tired earlier! All that travel and in the heat too!
    *hugs Octa *
    I'm glad you got most of the books you wanted! YAY!

  2. awesome! wish my parents would let me wander round london on me own :) glad u finally got home with most o em, and without gettin mugged or something...

  3. I'm about to read them!

    Lol, something like this happened to me once....

    *flash back*

    Noooo! I caught the wrong train! AGAIN!


  4. I hate days like that.

    Um, I suggest you call Waterstones to make sure they have your books before you trek out there again.

  5. Hee hee...
    Poor Octaboona. My brother and I got lost in the woods once, but that was his fault. He wouldn't let me lead the way. That was...interesting. So he got my dog to lead (so insistent on being a leaf) us back home after he told him to.

    I've never gotten lost in a city before, even when I was in a strange one. I avoid getting lost like a bad disease of some sorts.

    Even when I was at the summer camp thing for a field trip, that was basically woods with clearings for stuff, I never got lost. (On my breaks I'd explore the woods and make sure to always go off the beaten path.) They had some really good food there.

    Jackie Chan is hilarious.
    (Jackie appears in the doorway holding a gun.)
    Jackie: Cheese!
    (Camera guys, directors, stage...people laugh.)
    Jackie: What...?
    Stage Lady...Person: It's freeze.
    (Look of understanding comes over Jackie.)
    Jackie: Oh...Freeze...


    Blessed be,
    Miss Mary Hiashi