Friday, 27 June 2008

Bo'ness Children's Fair Festival 2008

In a blatant case of 'no rest for the wicked ... or the self employed (or both)!' here I am on the one day "off" I've had in the last 70... and I'm back at the computer! Still, I most certainly wouldn't trade it for a normal 9-5 (been there, done that) so on I'll carry with spreadsheets, orders and blah blah blah. But first, a bit of fun!

The reason I'm off today is that the shop is closed (for one day only!) for the Bo'ness Children's Fair Festival 2008. For those of you who've never experienced it (as I never had till today) I'm hoping my poor attempts at photography will give you a bit of an idea of the brilliant atmosphere that surrounds the Fair all over town. For those of you who've been in the town for years, well you know what I'm on about!

First, last night we literally went all round the houses on a quest to find some of the amazing arches the kids in the Fair have had built. Below are the very impressive arches of Callum, the Queen's Champion (a full scale steam train!)...

...and below, Queen Eilidh's arch - a giant cake with the names of the past 100 Queens and complete with confetti cannons!

Bo'nessians certainly don't do things by half! As well as these two, there were some amazing Sweet Home Alabama antibellum plantation style arches, some fantastic High School Musical and Robbie and Kylie style ones and some lovely page, fairy, flower girl, character, and presentee arches and much, much, much more! The imagination, time and attention to detail put into these arches is unbelievable.

So today is Fair Day, and this morning was the crowning ceremony of Queen Eilidh, this afternoon is the Royal Command Performance, and over lunch was the parade through the town (which I managed to get away from the computer for) and again, I loved it! I took some more piccies (below) of everyone coming from this morning's ceremony into town to watch the parade, as well as some of the bands, floats and the Queen and her retinue...

With no less than 11 pipe, silver, brass and samba(!) bands in the parade, children from all the local schools resplendant in their Fair finery cheering their schools, and some fantastic floats including the Hogwarts Express, Thomas the Tank Engine and Dr Who, the parade was amazing to see and I'd like to say well done to everyone who took part. Absolutely brilliant! And despite some heavy looking clouds and a few drops of rain mid-morning even the weather held out!

So yet again, the town of Bo'ness pulls together and puts on an amazing event and I'm looking forward to next year's already!

Back to bookselling news next week - this week it's all about the Fair!

Friday, 20 June 2008

We're baaaaaaaack!

Well, first, apologies for the long break between posts! After the nightmare that was the aftermath of dropping the computer, we've now (just about!) got things back on an even keel... more or less. Computer glitches, motherboard hassles and lots of broken little plastic-y bits aside, we've had a busy few weeks, so here's a bit of a catch up!

First there was the Victorian Street Fair... about a month ago now! We changed the window and display table to show all our Victorian and Victorian related books, and the Fair itself on the Sunday had a fantastic turnout and thankfully the weather stayed sunny all day! I had planned to get out and about for a while and take some pictures but in reality I only managed a quick spin around the main few streets and back to the shop to help with orders etc. so the taking of pictures went out the window.

Over the next few weeks post-fair we pottered along quite happily tackling complicated, brain-mushing governmenty type paperwork and dropping laptops as well as selling the odd book, organising enewsletters and setting up a few accounts. We also appeared in an article in Lothian Life, a local online magazine, and at the start of June our 'Bookseller Diary' feature appeared in 'Bookseller & Publisher" Magazine in Australia! (A big Scottish 'Hiya!' to any Aussies reading this for the first time!)... then it was Father's Day. We had a great Father's Day weekend in the shop and hope all the Dads in the crowd enjoy their books / tokens / cards etc.!

And next we're preparing for the Bo'ness Children's Fair Festival which is next Friday 27th. To coincide with this, our theme highlights local and Scottish books - we've some fantastic ones in including old favourites...

For those of you who don't know, Fair Day is one of the biggest days of the year in the town! With most other businesses closing and the majority of the town with their minds on things that day, we've decided to close the shop for that one day too so we can all go and enjoy the kirking, the procession, see the arches and generally take part in all the fun of the Fair! Of course, normal business will resume the day after for all your book related needs!

So that's a brief catch up for now. Hopefully there will be no more computer related disasters and I can get back to blogging normally again from now on! Fingers crossed! And hope to see you all in the shop or at the Fair!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Laptops and great heights do not mix

Apologies for the break in posts these last few weeks. I promise I will post updates on the street fair, new books and all the fun of the shop soon, however thanks to the fact that I cleverly dropped my laptop on its poor little microchipped noggin, I'm now having trouble accessing computers with the correct software for all the different things I need to be getting on with at the moment. So I'm afraid this is just a brief "oopsy! I'm a clumsy oaf post" - coupled with a promise that normal service will resume asap, and a gentle, kindly, unstressed warning to everyone to BACK EVERYTHING UP RIGHT NOW!!! Seriously, right now. Do it. You never know when your computer will decide to take its final leap off the desktop.