Re-thinking Christmas

Like a lot of people, ever so predictably, I love Christmas. I love the food, the smells, the ritual lethargy.

When I was younger, my Nan always stayed with us on Christmas Eve.  At around seven the next day, I would wake her up with a timely ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’. We would traipse downstairs, en masse, feeling a mixture of jittery anticipation and familiarity.

One year, the highlight of the day was receiving the gift of a tent, which stayed up in the living room for at least a fortnight.  I cannot recall it ever going outside, but it did provide a suitable hiding place  for my chocolate stash. Another year, it was the walkie-talkie headset that had a range of approximately twenty metres. Phases came and went quickly, a reflection of the childhood crazes of the late nineties and early noughties.

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Buddy Bag Foundation- an Introduction

We’re so happy to be able to introduce you to this great organisation.

Buddy Bags Foundation  were established in the UK in 2015 when the founder, Karen Williams, realised the huge need of children in an emergency care setting or fleeing a dangerous situation.

A ‘Buddy Bag’ is a backpack containing all the  essentials a child might need straight away, such as pyjamas, underwear and toiletries. They also contain a comforting item for the child, such as a book or a toy, tailored to the age of the child.

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September Wrap Up: What We’ve Been Reading

Well, this September has been packed with glorious new books, and we saw a Super Thursday like no other, with over 600 books published on the same day following lockdown publication delays across the industry.  Just like that, it seems as though we’re on the run up to Christmas. Well, as a bookseller Super Thursday has always meant the start of Christmas for me!

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A Taste of Holidays

The sky is bright and cloudless, the sun already making its presence known.  Fresh coffee calls to sleepy people and glasses of fruit juice drip condensation onto the counter top.  Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries piled high in a bowl next to bread, fresh from the bakery, and locally sourced butter.  Breakfast Al Fresco beckons, and as I open the French doors onto the flower-scented patio, stretching and smiling at the prospect of another glorious day… at home!

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My Year of Dickens, an interview with Victoria Keating

One of the few nice consequences of the pandemic was a chance to properly get to know my neighbour, singer songwriter Victoria Keating, without the stiff formalities of nodding hello on the morning commute. As she moved in just prior to lockdown I had the privilege of getting to know her in a strange isolation: we were meeting no family or friends and jumped at the chance to chat across the garden fence.

As the country began to emerge from lockdown, I sat down to chat with Victoria about her inspirations and her creative process, and how a year spent immersed in the works of Dickens inspired both a new song, and the title for her lockdown project: Little Rooms, Big Music.

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