Harry Potter poem competition

Dave Lull sends along one of his links: AbeBooks: Salute Harry With Poetry. Write a poem about Harry Potter and you have the chance to win a bookshelf made out of Harry Potter books.

The bookshelf, commissioned specially by AbeBooks and created by acclaimed American book sculptor Jim Rosenau, is the only one of its kind and is the perfect accessory for your collection of JK Rowling novels. Not even JK owns one of these.

I don’t know why this would be an attractive prize to anyone, as I can’t come to terms with any project that involves destroying books (read more about the bookshelf-creating process via the link above if you can stand the pain), and  I could not bear to put books on a bookshelf made of shells of books, let alone contemplate the result. But the poems will be nice to read: if you feel like entering, you have until 10 July. 

Email Britain campaign

Emailbritainlogo Can you believe this? Without any apparent irony, The British Library has started a campaign to collect people’s emails for a digital archive. The ‘Email Britain’ campaign, which will run throughout May, asks the British public to make email history by forwarding a memorable or significant email from their sent mail or inbox, for inclusion in a digital archive that will be stored at the British Library for future generations.

From the BL website: "Email has become the most important communication tool for the 21st century with millions of emails containing rich and diverse content sent in the UK every day* – none of which have been captured and archived on this scale before. The Email Britain collection of real-life emails will provide an important snapshot of British life over email – the good, the bad, the ugly and the amusing – to produce a unique social history catalogue of life and culture in Britain today which can be read and enjoyed by Library visitors for centuries to come."

"To contribute to the Email Britain archive, emailers should go to this link or email directly. Emails should be submitted under one of the following categories in the subject box of the email: Blunders, Life Changing Emails, Complaints, Spam, Love and Romance, Humour, Everyday Emails, News, World Around You, Tales from Abroad."

I think I will spare them my emails, in particular my Spam.

Fine cheeses online

An elegant postcard came through our door yesterday, for the Norbiton Fine Cheese co — black design, tempting photos of cheese, etc.  "Experience Europe’s finest farmhouse and artisan cheeses delivered to your door…..over one hundred types of French, British and other European cheeses." I’ve never heard of this outfit before, which is odd as I have lived at the Norbiton end of Kingston for 16 years now. (Though it doesn’t feel like it.)  The NFCC are a bit shy about their street address on their website, though they provide email, phone number and order form. Here is how they describe themselves (their capitals):

The Norbiton Fine Cheese Co is all about good food. We have a passion for fresh natural produce, especially cheese and we are dedicated to providing only the finest British, French, Irish and other European cheeses. We also have a wide range of wonderful Pickles, Chutneys and Crackers, and to help you display and enjoy your cheeses to the fullest we have created a range of hand crafted cheese Larders, Knives, Boards and other fine accessories.
Why buy cheese from us online? Because all our cheeses are sold perfectly ripened for consumption, so you always get the freshest produce, and almost always delivered within 24 hours of ordering. Our selection of cheeses is second to none and from the best small farmhouse producers across Europe. You really will notice a difference in taste and quality.

At the prices they charge for delivery outside the UK, you might think twice before ordering cheese from them, especially if you are Susan and order something that is likely to go runny — would her postman retain his polite demeanour under such trying circumstances? — but even if you aren’t buying, there is lots of fascinating information on the site, for example "eating cheese" (yes, there are rules and tips) and "cheese recipes". If you are in the UK and want to find out about the upcoming cheese news (yes, really, there are events), order from the impressive collection available or find out any piece of information about cheese you can dream up, this is the site for you. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for the premises on my wanderings round the borough. Norm/Uriah of Crime Scraps, resident emeritus, did tell me that the area is going upmarket: first the fish shop has turned into a quasi-restaurant, and now this.