The northwest was shrouded in fog this morning as we left to drive to York. We were visiting the largest one-day book fair in the UK which attracts sellers from all over the country and having a break from jobs around the house and garden. The focus is on rare and unusual books and also some maps, prints and ephemera. The fog persisted until we were over Saddleworth Moor and the highest point of the English motorway system. As we descended into the Vale of York we could at least see where we were going. This journey across the Pennines and into Yorkshire used to be a regular one around 20 years ago as my parents lived in North Yorkshire for a few years but it was some time since I had crossed the country on this route. Just as on our local portion of the M6, they are also upgrading part of the M62 to a smart motorway so there are several miles of road works north of Manchester. We found the York Racecourse without too much difficulty. I have never been to see horse racing or bet on a horse race but this time last year I had to give a lecture at Aintree Racecourse and here I am this January at another one.
Some familiar booksellers were there e.g. the Old Town Bookshop in Edinburgh and others I had not visited so far. Some, including one who used to be in Heswall but has now moved to North Wales now mainly sell via the internet and book fairs. I found a few volumes for one of my collections and enjoyed browsing and chatting to some of the sellers. The journey home was largely uneventful other than passing a Rowntrees Fruit Gum tanker. Presumably it was full of sugar syrup but I have not seen one of them before. Now it is time to rearrange the book shelves to accommodate the new purchases. I do have a large box in the study where books I am not going to read again are deposited for the next decluttering trip to Oxfam.