Treasure is to be found in many forms, both tangible and intangible. I’ve always loved reading fairy tales and fantasy stories, so I have a strong mental image of treasure as being a mountainous heap of gold and jewels, with a splendid dragon sitting atop it! Then there’s pirate treasure – this time the image is of an old iron bound chest, spilling over with gold coins, pearls and jewels.

But treasure isn’t always of great monetary value. There are simple gifts, much treasured because of the person who gave them – a book, a card, a bunch of flowers. Children’s treasure is among the most beautiful of these. Who has not treasured at some time a bunch of carefully gathered weed ‘flowers’, a special rock, a carefully drawn portrait of yourself, all offered with much love?

People can be treasured too. The friends who are always there for you when you’re down, or with whom you can share a good rib-aching laugh. And remembering a much loved and much missed friend? Treasured memory…

I have a coffee mug that was given to me by my children many years ago when they were small, bought with pocket money and carefully chosen . Printed on it is an enthusiastic gardener on her knees in a flower bed, with the words “I’d rather be gardening”. It’s still in use, a bit worn but unbroken, and I calculated that it’s about 45 years old. Treasure!


“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

Ancient Philosopher Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)

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Are dreams just my brain on night shift, bored, rummaging through the archives for something to do?

Dream catcher with feathers threads and beads rope hanging. Dreamcatcher handmade
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The God I Believe In

The God I believe in

sings with Magpies

hums with bees

enjoys the sun with

blue-tongue lizards

has four-footed angels

and like the wind

is everywhere.

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10 reasons Why You Should Never Enter a Second-hand Bookshop

“This means that second hand bookstores are evolving minute by minute.” Shelves and rooms shifting and books re-locating… can you find your way back to the door? Very Dr Who and Harry Potter. Love it!

The Book Keeper Book Shop

Second hand bookshops date from times past. And unfortunately, they drag all those dangerous times and ideas with them. So, if you enter one, you’ll have access to a stupefying blend of history, literature, art, science, geography, maths, biography, poetry, music, drama, and philosophy, and more.

Don’t make the mistake of anticipating a few safe and predictable choices. Second-hand bookshops don’t stock what sells or what’s new. Those categories are irrelevant.

Used bookshops sell whatever they want to. This is not conducive to peace of mind.

Yes, second-hand bookshops are also disappearing – but take care: there are a good many of them still waiting quietly on main roads or lurking down side streets. Here’s a handy guide to help you avoid one today.

  1. You will spend ages in a second-hand bookstore: you’ll never get that time back.

While new bookshops are about selling to you, the used bookstore is…

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Why read?

I’m re-blogging this so I can keep this excellent “To Read” list!

The Book Keeper Book Shop

I’ve set this out before. Here it is again. Reading is complex. Think Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. Reading’s not watching, and it’s not travel. It’s not something to do. It’s something you become, like fatigued, alert, or in love. This is because a book, once ingested, becomes part of your soft-lining.

Read: because it’s effective. Once read, a text will continue to inform you. It will exist in the muscles around your eye sockets. You cannot remove this new insight. Think That Deadman’s Dance by Kim Scott.

Best to burn books, or ban them, or just not read them, if you want to stay vanilla.

Read: because it’s powerful. Once read, you’re changed. You may not think so. But who can hear their own voice change? You’ll be the last person aware of it.  Think The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov.

Read: because it’s enraging. Once a text enters…

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Simple Pleasures

Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion

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High Places

Ever since trying to build the Tower of Babel, people have been fascinated by high places, by being “up” where God was supposed to be. Moses climbed Mt Sinai to collect the Ten Commandments, and people have been building cathedrals – soaring mountain-like edifices – ever since.

If God and heaven are “up” then the higher you go the closer you are to God. Mountains are good high places, until you decide to squabble with the Samaritans, who think their mountain is better than yours.

There are two kinds of high places, the natural and the man-made.
High places can be where we seek solitude and peace, connecting with nature, meditating; or they can be places where we look down instead of up, places where we build our hill fort ready to repel the “other”, the invader. Mountaintop fortifications mean that you can survey the land you own (and mean to keep!), and see if the enemy is coming and prepare accordingly.

Man made high places are also a source of human pride and hubris – the Tower of Babel was built with the intention of bringing mankind closer to God. Even if you don’t want to involve God… which country has the highest sky-scraper? Who has the biggest and most beautiful Cathedral or Mosque? And if you’re permitted to climb to the top, the city view spread out before you is amazing.

High places can be “just for fun” too – tree-top walks, zip-lines, hang gliders, vintage Tiger Moths, bungee leaps, Everest base camp… the list is endless.

Where’s your favourite high place? Mine is floating serenely and peacefully above the earth in a hot air balloon. Maybe we don’t think of God as being “up” in the sky any more, but when you rise above the clouds it’s as close to heaven as you can get.

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I really like both the poem and the art work – both worth keeping!

The Book Keeper Book Shop


Is my favourite. Who flies
like a nothing through the night,
who-whoing. Is a feather
duster in leafy corners ring-a-rosy-ing
boles of mice. Twice

you hear him call. Who
is he looking for? You hear
him hoovering over the floor
of the wood. O would you be gold
rings in the driving skull

if you could? Hooded and
vulnerable by the winter suns
owl looks. Is the grain of bark
in the dark. Round beaks are at
work in the pellety nest,

working. Owl is an eye
in the barn. For a hole
in the trunk owl’s blood
is to blame. Black talons in the
petrified fur! Cold walnut hands

on the case of the brain! In the reign
of the chicken owl comes like
a god. Is a goad in
the rain to the pink eyes,
dripping. For a meal in the day

flew, killed, on the moor…

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Poems are dancing in my head,

But by the time I’ve got out

Paper and pen

They’re gone again,

Shyly smiling, full of grace,

Gone without trace.

I go to bed, but cannot sleep

And find instead,

Poems dancing in my head.

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There is no shortage of good days

A life spent reading…yes!

The Book Keeper Book Shop

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Photography by Rosana Zanetti Fait

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