Sunday, 24 February 2008

You've missed a bit!

Tonight I thought the shop had given me my first grey hair. Thankfully, on closer inspection it actually turned out to be emulsion. I've paint in my hair, under my fingernails and, somewhat mysteriously, on the sole of my sock... On the bright side though, everything in the shop is now brilliant... 'brilliant white' that is. Everything has now had at least one coat of paint, and it's amazing the difference it makes. The whole place is starting to look actually quite big, and I'm beginning to think I might be able to fit in everything in the Grand Plan without the aid of a miracle after all. More painting to come during this week, then ... the floor.
Regarding the shop front, the meeting this week went as well as was expected and the outcome of it all is that for now I'm powering ahead with paint samples, signage quotes and, in a week or so, a great big scrubbing brush! Aside from that, ISBNs are being entered, carrier bags are being ordered, bookcases are being researched and the Inkspot & Silverleaf juggernaut just keeps right on trucking... well, it has to really, if it stops for more than 10 seconds someone will come along and paint it brilliant white!

Saturday, 23 February 2008


And google knows me too now! Cyberfame awaits... webtastic!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Just a quick midweek update - Yahoo knows I exist! Next on the agenda: Google!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Quick Catch Up...

Hello. Apologies, I've been a little lax in posting recently - I promised a midweek update on the book situation but failed to even get close to writing it up (flooring and spreadsheets got in the way). So here is an update on the books side of things... along with a little bit of everything else that's happened this week...

Books: After weeks of neglect, I've tackled the books issues head on (well, it is supposed to be a 'book' shop after all) and I'm now in the process of opening an account with Gardners for the majority of my stock. After a lovely cup of coffee with my local rep (hello Ruth!) I walked away with an armful of catalogues and promptly proceeded to mark up practically every single book in them all as 'must buy'. However, after a closer look I think there are a few I can probably afford to leave out for now... it is only a small shop after all. But the upshot of this is that most of the week I've been in spreadsheet heaven. A lifelong fan of formulas and pivot tables, I've spent most of my waking hours inputting ISBNs, prices, titles etc. into the mother of all spreadsheets so that when everything kicks off I have a complete record of everything I've even thought about ordering... ever! (What?! I like to be thorough!)

Shop: The shop itself is coming on apace. Inside, a stack of flooring is sitting in the corner ready to be laid... sometime. The left window is completely finished and the right is well on it's way. Everything has been cleaned (again) ready to start painting and I've finally decided how I can use the lovely table I've been shifting around the last few weeks as it always seems to be in my way... but I can't bring myself to throw it out. AND I got the new stockroom door handle fitted. Finally. Also draft 3 of The Grand Plan has been drawn up and I think (fingers crossed!) it's pretty close to being final. So, all in all, inside... check.

Sadly though, the outside is proving to be much slower going. However, I do have a meeting this week which should hopefully shift it all along a bit, so perhaps next week there will be more to report...

Admin: If I have to try to set up another account I may cry. It would be nice if one of them would go smoothly. Water, electric, phone, banking, credit card machine thingy, books, trade associations, blah, blah, blah... it's all going round in a big jumble in my head at the moment but it all does seem to be progressing, even if it is slowly.

Website: The big news from this weekend is that I've managed to get the basic skeleton of a webpage up and running! Woo hoo! I'm feeling very smug about this as I'm usually a bit of a luddite when it comes to all things technical. You can find it at... Please feel free to have a look, sign up for the newsletter and come back to this blog! I'm afraid that's about all I've managed to get working so far, but more will be added as the weeks count down... So far google and yahoo don't know I exist but they soon will, oh yes... they will.

And I think that's about all for now. Quite a lot to be getting on with though I think... another tiring but successful week under the belt. More updates to follow!

Monday, 11 February 2008


Well, it's just after midnight and here I am still slaving over a hot laptop... I think the saying goes something like 'when you're self employed you can start working half days... any 12 hours you like!' Going by that, I've been working full time and even putting in some overtime this week. However, with a little help from my friends the shop now has some re-constructed window display areas, the oddly installed laminate floor has been ripped up (as well as the cerise floral carpet it had been laid straight on top of ... !?!), and the walls have been washed ready for painting. I've also had a few more exciting developments on the books front this week but I'll have to save that posting for sometime in the next few days as (to be honest dear reader,) I'm just plumb tuckered out right now and wouldn't be able to tell it all with the consideration it deserves. (I'm told opening a bookshop isn't all manual labour but at this point I'm not sure how much I believe it!) My bed is calling and I've 8 hours of non-book-related work to get through tomorrow before I can even begin to think about the next set of tasks (picking up the new flooring, fixing the stock room door handle and organising a telephone number being the top priorities). Ah the joys of self employment!

In short, this week has been good but crazy busy, but despite drooping eyelids, sore muscles and bruises from the floor that fought back, I'm still looking forward to next week!

And so to bed... Nighty night, x

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Omlettes and Eggs...

This weekend the shop was almost completely gutted. With the last of the unwanted furniture gone to some lovely ebay people I was able to see the proper size and shape of the place, and so finally made some decisions as to how to proceed with The Grand Plan. First, the old carpet in the stockroom went the way of the local 'civic amenity and recycling centre' (aka, the dump), quickly followed by a rickety old bookcase that smelled funny and half a ceiling tile that had fallen down in the corner. Then we (my fabulous hard working family and I) attacked the window display unit with a wrecking bar and a claw hammer. FUN! Until I looked around through a cloud of plaster dust, tried to remove the skelves from my hands and realised exactly how much is left to do. Aaaaaaaaaargh!

OK, so I know that to make omlettes you have to crack a few eggs, but my poor little shop is currently being held together with string and some brown packing tape (literally, see the picture) till we can find the time to get back and do some more. And the deadlines I've set myself to get this whole thing up and running are looming ever close... will it be finished on time?? Will it be finished ever?? Why do door handles cost so much?? Just a few of the questions fighting for space in my now mushed brain. Well, I guess we'll all just need to wait and see!

Still, on the plus side, I've registered my domain name and arranged some web hosting for the super-duper, all singing and dancing web page I want... now I just have to build it. Easy peasy. Pass the wine.