Curled up in front of Bagpuss all those years ago after school, a cup of Bovril in one hand, a few biscuits in the other, my ignored school uniform crumpling, it never occurred to me that, like Emily, I too would one day own a little shop.
For those of you who don’t know, Bagpuss remains a beloved British institution. It’s right up there with Monty Python and Paddington. Bagpuss was one of those innocent quiet children’s shows with muted hand-drawn images and simple plots. I imagine Mr. Rogers played a similar role in the US but I don’t know of any others. I’ll have to ask.
In Bagpuss, forgotten toys — carefully gathered by Emily but then left to their own devices in a dusty shop-front — would gently come to life for just a little while. Bagpuss, a somewhat curmudgeonly ‘saggy, old cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams’ was always center stage. The stories began when he woke up and ended when he yawned. Not that I’m suggesting Mr. Rogers was ever grumpy or less than attentive.
Just like Emily’s little shop, ‘Serendipity Books’ is in a quiet town. The weekends get busy, but the weekdays are usually deliciously peaceful. I get time to myself to read and write and think and peruse the bookshelves and read some more. I hope to share some of those jotted-down thoughts on this blog.
One of these days, I’d love to get Serendipity Books a cat. Maybe a large orange tabby that looks just like Bagpuss. I have at least two friends who are anxious for their kitties to move in. I need to figure out how to keep a cat safe, my allergies under control, and landlords happy.
In the meantime, at least now you know why this collection of musings, written in a dusty bookstore by an English girl not called Emily, is to be named The Bagpuss Blog.