Jonathan has a good laugh as we talk about our experiences in the antiques trade. In my own days as a dealer I handled a variety of odd writer-related material, some of it not necessarily 'antique' in the accepted sense, but collectable nonetheless. These included: a cassette recording of the poet R S Thomas cursing an English admirer in superfluent Welsh after discovering him peering through the windows of his cottage one sunny June afternoon in 1976. It's a rough recording made all the more entertaining by virtue of my own superfluent cursing of the clerical bard in equally superfluent English for having attacked me with a piece of wooden fence broken during the pursuit of the bleeding admirer; a pair of Wordsworth's wooden dentures with a chipped left canine and a missing lower molar (verified with some surprise by Professor Robert Woof of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne - 'My God, Michael, where did you find these? I had no idea they existed. We've only got his spectacles!'); one brown leather walking boot (left foot) belonging to W H Hudson; a lava lamp from the London flat inhabited by Germaine Greer in 1967 (stolen during a party; though Ms Greer denies the lamp was ever hers, saying it was left by a stoned 'friend' from New South Wales).

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