Alarms and Diversions

I had intended to return to posting about book-related things this Sunday, but that changed when the furnace came on last Monday morning and started making a terrible noise. A man came to assess the problem on Tuesday afternoon. The furnace would not make the sound for him, but given the age of our high efficiency furnace he found several impending problems. Replacement is cheaper than repair (in the long run) and since we were able to catch the tail end of a reduced rate on the model we wanted, we will pay about the same amount as we paid thirteen years ago for the current furnace. Not bad.

Unfortunately, installation of the new furnace and the accompanying vacuuming of all the duct work means that workmen have to have easy access to all parts of the house.

We live in a very small house full of stuff. David and I have spent the week rationalising (read ‘throwing out’) things in the basement. If we were going to have to move things around anyway, we might as well get rid of some excess. (I am fully aware that, possibly as soon as next week, I will be regretting the decision to discard at least one item.) This pile is a condensed version of my completed editions remaining for sale, some bits and pieces from unfinished editions, and empty boxes/packing materials for shipping orders.

David decided he would tackle the downstairs pantry. Things were going well until he stepped back into the plumbing and a corroded joint gave way, creating a large geyser in a small space. Fortunately the pantry floor is several inches below the level of the rest of the basement (this house has no floor drain) so the flood was confined.

I have decided that it was a good sort of accident: the corroded joint might have given way when we were out of the house and the flooding would have continued until the pump emptied the well. It is also fortunate that David’s plumbing skills were up to the repair.

My only book activity this week was moving boxes of them from place to place.

In book arts news:

The J. Paul Getty Museum has published a new book on nature in Renaissance manuscripts. You can learn more about the exhibition here, and the book here.

In knitting news:

I have a story left over from our walking holiday. On the day we walked around Brotherswater, our route took us past a series of signs which all said the same thing.

The farm shop was closed when we passed, and the residents were occupied separating sheep in a pen —this seemed to involve a great deal of arm waving— so we decided to try on our way back.


I finally have yarn spun from Herdwick fleece. (Also a couple of skeins of mohair.) Here’s a sample I knitted. I love the natural variegation of the yarn.

Here’s David’s picture of me at a kissing gate* and a hillside full of damp Herdies.

*Although there are a number of explanations of the term ‘kissing gate’ on the web, all the ones I found fail to mention the real reason for the name. I don’t think it has anything to do with the inner moveable portion of the gate ‘kissing’ the outer framework. When negotiating a kissing gate one is forced to turn and face backwards. This makes it possible for the person following to steal a kiss.


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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5 Responses to Alarms and Diversions

  1. lcmt says:

    In the aftermath of our fire, we got rid of a lot of stuff, but there was one thing I will always regret. My manual typewriter, which I bought new when I was young and about to become a novelist.


    • Byopia Press says:

      My old manual typewriter is long gone, but still missed. It met its demise when my husband borrowed it to take on tour, and another actor spilled a Coke into it. It then rode in the back of a van on dusty roads for a couple of weeks. Although it had been carried around in its case, it was pronounced uncleanable by the repairman I took it to when I finally got it back. Sigh!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lcmt says:

    I loved your posts about your walking tour. A walking tour in the UK is one of my dreamy dreams.


    • Byopia Press says:

      It can be done relatively inexpensively, not including airfare. (You would have to fly even farther than I did.) If you plan carefully and walk from place to place and carry all your own stuff, it’s a much cheaper holiday than most. I highly recommend staying in youth hostels and at farm B&Bs. We didn’t do that this time because of being in the Lake District, but it is possible in other parts of England. I suggest investigating North Yorkshire, County Durham, and Northumberland.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lcmt says:

        Thanks for the tips. I don’t know when I will have the financial ability to make this dream possible, but long ago I made the decision to forgo some material advantages for immaterial ones. In the meantime, I will have to be content with vicariously enjoying other people’s adventures, and learn how to manage my envy. 😀


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