Friday, 20 March 2015

Learning from Books

Dearest Emily,

I'm glad you liked the Bookshop. Thank-you for exclaiming 'Did you do this for me, GiGi- you did didn't you!'

You are learning from books right now and that's lovely to see. So is your Grandmother. There's much to learn about the 'Dark Art of Bookselling', which I see as a lifelong learning.

This week, I learned much about the kindness of dealers.

When we opened, I made much about being collaborative with each other as booksellers on the Island. All too often I've seen in the past when dealing with vintage clothing or objects- how people create divisions, guarding their patch so to speak. Frequently this lead to negative and paranoid competition, that didn't do anyone any good.

A few weeks ago the 'Ghost Man' (being the lovely chap here who takes groups of people on walks around the Island and scares them out of their wits) was telling me about how in Majorca on holiday, he found himself almost unknowingly being guided around the Island from attraction to attraction- just by the locals recommending each other.

I'm happy to report this beginning here too Em, my old Boss in Yarmouth has come out all supportive under gossip-fire about 'competition', and lovely Shanklin bookseller recommended a regular customer to us. Then, lovely Niton bookseller returned a favour when we sent someone to him.

It's Nice to be Nice, as the doormats say in the shop.

Now, on the subject of learning from books- here's a selection to amuse ourselves with.

One of the loveliest titles I've seen in the shop, (pictures on the right are of Blackgang Chine in the early '60's.)

Tales of a recent customer heheh.

A cautionary tale- to be read and digested.

Work-a-day book.

It was amusing to read about parts of my own life in my own 'association copy' of this!

Every picture tells a story eh, em?

Looking forwards to seeing you at Easter weekend. We have our very own street car-boot sale to look forward to on Easter Monday- heaven on earth!

Your ever=loving Grandmother,

GiGi xxx

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Magic and Circles of Wonder-Part One- 'The Dedication'

Dearest Emily,

Here's your painting from last weekend's visit. Weren't we lucky that the weather was fair and we got on the beach. The Bay is so beautiful even in stormy weather- but better when we have the sun starting to shine- and you can persuade Daddy that you really need a great big chunk of Cliff-rock to add to your treasure-box.

After you all went home on Sunday, Grumpa and I went out to a gig at Mrs Cameraman's old house.
We were going to see a Clown-Punk, whom GiGi remembered from the 100 club in 1977. It looked like fun, and had the additional benefit of a fabulous singer supporting him, who had played acoustically at GiGi's shop.

Grumpa and I were looking forward to one particular song- as Grumpa plays it over and over, and over again (just like you when you watch a programme on the iphone- but he's fifty and you are three.) Anyhow- we've kind of adopted it as our song, and it has even replaced 'Wet Sands' (Chilli Peppers played at our wedding before you were a twinkle in your Daddy's eye.)

So we were particularly chuffed when the singer told us he was going to play it as a request for us.

He announced this at the start of the gig, and then also added that he was paying a special song for one of the organisers, as it was so apt for the location.

We were all sat down and the set began. Grumpa was seated next to me in the second row- and as you know he's rather tall, and the rather short lady sat in the row behind would've had a restricted view. So Grumpa went to stand- and dear D.B.H got all a fluster and offered him his seat up-front at the side, and he sat next to me.

Our song got played, and I spied Grumpa smiling a tiny bit and nodding his head (a smidge) in time with the music. 

Then- the next dedication was announced- however said organiser was busy chatting in the hall-way and he missed it. DBH sat open-mouthed and chuckled slightly nervously under his breath...

The reason for this Em, is a bit bizarre really. Remember when GiGi was tasked with designing and overseeing the re-vamp at the location? I know you do, because you used to like the Mad Hatter painting particularly. Well, said organiser was a significant opposer of the brief, which caused GiGi much flak, and even after your little book was published- an anti- Carrollian link with Mrs Cameron became the 'Daily Mash'. Somehow or other, some over-active imaginations went as mad as March hares and had even spread rumours that GiGi was having an affair with a White Rabbit. The increased turn-over and end of year accountants summary were ignored, and to all intents and purposes- GiGi may have been viewed as bringing down the axe on the precarious company, rather than the reality that was holding the axe firmly away whilst carefully building it up. The Red Queen would've made sense of it, no doubt- but to GiGi- the nonsense made no sense whatsoever. 

Anyhow, that's all history now- and straight after GiGi left- the Mad Hatter was painted over, the Museums Award removed from sight, and all that remans is the little door painted in a corner- that someone forgot to make disappear.

So, when the song began with the line 'Go ask Alice- whilst she's ten feet tall' and then turned out to be all about both books in question- I started to laugh. 

The title Em? 'White Rabbits'...

If Carlsburg made dedications!

The main act was fabulous too- and we all left grinning like Cheshire Cats- for one reason or another.

I'll tell you another strange story in the Freshwater Circle scheme of things next time Emily. Right now I'm still chuckling.

Your ever-loving Grand-Mother,

GiGi xxx

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Stand There, She Shouted!

Dearest Emily,

It was lovely to spend time with you and Annabel this weekend. After we said goodbye, Grumpa and I have been to a gig- at Mrs Cameron's old house, and when we got back- a book that I have been looking to stock, had arrived at home.

This book Stand There! She Shouted, by Susan Goldman Rubin, with illustrations by Bagram Ibatouilline is FAB!

Pardon my gushing Em, but this little book is refreshing. It is written by an author who clearly knows her stuff,  and illustrated by someone who has made Mrs C look just how I see her too!

The book tells her story for me- at the core of who she was, and gives a very strong sense of her personality and colour through both the text and illustrations.

Hurrah, for this Em, it shows a clear picture of a lady whom in my opinion has been undersold and not clearly understood in her place in our heritage. I shall be stocking this title avec plaisire!

Thank-you for telling me you will make me up a bed in your room so I can stay, I shall look forwards to it...

Your ever-loving Grand-mother,

GiGi xxxx