Leafy Hawthorn Road (where I live) celebrated it's one hundredth birthday on Saturday 8th Sept 2007 with a fantastic street party. I must admit that I had fairly low expectations of the day, so I spent the whole afternoon in a state of surprise. Wow number one. The people I share this road with are really nice. Wow number two. The kids are actually having fun (not moping around whinging 'Da-ad, there's nuffin to do') Wow number three. Local councillors, and politicians and the Mayor actually turned up. Wow number four. They are nice people too (with the possible exception of the Mayor, who is quite obviously barking. Nice-but-mad)
I had a really good chat to Councillor Errol Reid, who really loved bookshops, and was really keen to add his support to this project. I asked him for money. He laughed. I laughed too, just to put him at ease. Then I asked him for money again - apparently it's only funny once. He did give me some quite good advice. "Maybe," he said. "You don't need to be right on Wood Green High Road. The rents come down quite sharply just off the main drag." This bit of advice seems to have been telepathically transmitted to Simon, as the site he has arranged for us to look at later this week is - in fact - just off the high street.
I had another really good chat with our local MP, Lynne Featherstone, who is a genuinely nice person. She was also really keen to add her support to the project. I asked her for money. She laughed. I laughed too and, having learnt my lesson, I didn't ask again. She did however add me to her blog. Read it here http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/blog.htm The bit about me is under the heading 'How to cut the crime rate in your area'. I had no idea that bookshops held such sway with the criminal fraternity. I shall add this little known fact to the business plan. You will notice that she mentions the begging for money, but not my name. Heartless woman, after all we meant to each other.
Sunday - hangover. Simon's making me feel guilty by working. The guilt doesn't last too long as I plan...
Monday - cinema. Took Julie (the wife whom I am not allowed to mention) to see Run Fatboy Run as it's the last day of her holiday. Great film, really funny. I managed to squeeze in a couple of phone calls just to make it feel like I'm contributing, and I work a little on our pre-trading expense calculations.
Tuesday - Nice chat to the manager of WHSmiths in Brent Cross. He seems like a good guy, and understood my position, and wished me well with the bookshop. The rest of our conversation was private, and involved pictures of a close family friend and a teenage ninja turtle costume.