Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 5 in The Big Green Bookshop


I was a bit too tired to blog last night. It must have been that sleeping liquid I drank at the pub. Anyway back in action with an update.

An absolutely brilliant day. Tim, John and I spent the morning finishing the office and building a false wall to cover a multitude a chaos in one corner of the shop. We were expecting the carpet to be delivered today, as well as a new skip and the bookcases etc, so after a call out to the facebook army we had a team a legends turn up at 1pm to help with all the lugging around. Legend 1 is Neil Wilcock (Jameson's and coke), who used to work at the Waterstone's in Wood Green, before sensibly leaving 2 months before it closed to be employed at King's Cross station encouraging people to stand behind the yellow line and not to leave baggage unattended.

Second Legend was Stuart Evers,(kronenborg) back for a second time, who seems to have been given all the rotten jobs, like taking the plastic lettering off the front of the shop. He seems quite happy though..

Legends 3 and 4 were Kelly Arnstein (kronenborg), who's offered help ever time the call's been made and is a natural with polyfilla, and Mark Farley (kronenborg). Yes, the Bookseller to the Stars came for a visit from the lowly slums of West London to the glamorous Wood Green,

With a team like that how could we fail. The day was helped along by some lovely Cherry and Almond slices that Katie had made for us, and with energy levels high and skip delivered, we cleared all the rubbish out of the shop in a jiffy.
The next step, whilst John manfully continued making the false wall, was pollyfilla-ing the holes in the wall. Like a well oiled machine, the 4 volunteers shot around the shop and in a trice the job was done.
The carpet duly arrived and so , as we were so far ahead of the game it was already to put the first coat of green paint on the walls of the Big Green Bookshop!
A historic moment and as such we re-enacted a well known moment from earlier on in our quest,

As we started on the walls for real it was a truly great feeling. It was becoming a reality in front of us.
The team took over and with Tim sanding down followed hot on his heels by 2 people doing the edges and two people with rollers, all the walls (that are going to be exposed after the shelving's been done) were finished in an hour.

As we sat and admired our work, we realised there wasn't much else we could do today, and we just had to wait for Ikea to deliver the bookcases. I'm sure there must be a word to describe the very moment when delivery drivers finally appear, after they say they'll turn up at a certain time, are a little bit late, and you begin to worry that they're not going to make it at all. That was the exact moment the van arrived.
Once again the army took over and over a ton and a half of bookcases was carried in in less time than it takes to get to the pub from the shop.
Which is where we ended up.

There's more photo's on Mark Farley's blog and also on the facebook group.
It's BT day today, and we'll be taking the big sign down off the side of the building. And maybe a bit of painitng.

Just in case Tim and I had lost our touch, Stuart gave us a brilliant present. It's a book called 'Beginning In Bookselling. A handbook in Bookshop Practice' by Irene Babbage, and is full of wise advice from the halcyon days of boookselling. I'll be sharing some of the advice with you soon, but I think by the look of things Mark was keen to get his hands on it too.

The sun's out.


Ieatbooks said...

I look very contemplative of that polyfilla... like I'm trying to see the future in it.

("lots of books... lots and lots of books...")

Anyway, nice to meet you all and good luck for a productive week!


Alis said...

Looks like it's all going brilliantly - fantastic. Loving that green, btw, the yellow was giving me a headache, just looking at the pictures. Who was it that used to say 'too loud, man, too loud'? I have a suspicion it was Dylan the stoner rabbit on The Magic Roundabout!

G d L aka I K aka Corrie Ten Boom said...

Great work Simon and Tim. I can't wait to pay my first visit (if I still have a job, that is. There's trooble at t'mill!).

Just for Alis's benefit, Dylan the rabbit might have said it but the original, I believe, was a character from Stan Freberg's" record "The Banana Boat Song."

Karen said...

Congratulations guys, I can't believe how fast you're getting through everything! I seem to have taken forever to get to this stage but you've only had the keys for a few days - very impressive! You'll be open in no time!

Lindsay said...

Wow it's really coming on! Love the green.

MarkFarley said...

I can't believe how drunk I look in those pictures. I hope my sponsor doesn't see them.

I may be working when you have the opening party, but the honour was totally getting to paint THE BIG GREEN BOOKSHOP green!!

Angela Young said...

Oh so fantastically exciting ... .

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your long links with Shortest and make money for every visitor to your shortened links.