Going through a drawer in a big old desk I find a notebook bound in pigskin with "1947" impressed in gold on the cover. It belonged to my grandfather- and still smells of his tobacco. The front page has been neatly excised- with scissors I think- and most of the pages are empty. On the three opening pages are some quotations in my grandfather's writing and on the back page four telephone numbers- two with addresses- in a different hand, presumably my grandmother's. The earliest quotations are written with a fountain pen, the later ones with a ballpoint; the addresses ditto. The first address has a modern 6 character postcode and so must date from some time after 1967- which is when Brighton and Hove adopted the system.
The authors my grandfather quotes are- in order: Horace Gregory, Cervantes, the un-named author of a Life of Hazlitt, Goethe, the prophet Micah, and D.T. Suzuki, author of Living Zen.
I inherited my grandfather's copy of Living Zen. It's a book that means a lot to me. The last quotation in the pigskin book is a favourite of mine too- one I try to keep in mind whenever the world gets particularly shouty- as it is doing at the moment- what with the US election and all: "Cease to cherish opinions."