Monday, 11 January 2016

The Man who fell to Earth is gone

Dearest Emily,

We awoke this morning with the sad news that David Bowie has died. I thought I'd offer you some insight as to what he and his music meant to your Grandmother- who as a teenager bumped into his genius as we all did at that time- when Ziggy Stardust exploded in our ears.

I remember sitting late at night at a party in Kemp Town as we all sat serious faced listening to the album. I was transfixed- a story I didn't quite understand- one I'd never heard before- yet seemed familiar too- all at the same time (Carrollian even.)
At school, following the Alladin Sane album, a boy in my class got suspended for shaving off his eyebrows and dyeing the sides of his hair blue. Before this- it was merely that long hair meant suspension- and I was quite apalled that this boy, who had cut his hair short- was suspended!
Listening to Dom Jolly this morning talking about Bowie- he said that he was a Clarion Call for it being ok to be different- I can relate to that Emily, though you don't need one!
I never met Bowie- and actually I never felt the need to- his influence was so strong he felt close anyway.
I cut my musical teeth on Art Rock- Bowie and Ferry my men. A fresh and completely original march away from the fading Hippy movement- and precursor to Punk, it inspired, and delighted me- and has ever done so.
When daddy was still in my tummy- I remember his dad and I singing Kooks "Will you stay in a lovers story, if you stay you won't be sorry. Coz we believe in you. Soon you'll grow so take a chance with a couple of kooks hung up on romancing..."
I loved Bowie's originality- his spin on the zeitgeist- and moreover his encompassing commercialism. Not for him the high-brow- his own arched brow just was and is and evermore shall be.
Never before was there a David Bowie- and there never will be again.
A culture-shaper, without him- life would have been less interesting Emily...

Your ever-loving Grandmother,

GiGi xxx

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year's Day

Dearest Emily,

Hello 2016! What I wonder will it bring for you and Annabel?

I'm here in my favourite place (yes, you guessed it- the bookshop.) We're preparing for the move-in tomorrow to what I plan to be our Tearoom, and I was pondering what to write to you about for the New Year.

A lovely chap who regularly advises me on matters book-dealing, says many wise things- the favourite I have at the moment is "Book-selling makes you realise daily, just how little you know".

I treasure that quote Em- it says everything about life to me.

Here's a little snapshot of my day- to illuminate just what I love about life here in Freshwater.

Two customers come in and chat- they had been to our old shop last year, and found us again by chance driving past today.  They bought a book and the lady suddenly exclaimed- "Oh, look there's that book by your old school chum".

The old school chum had been into the shop the previous week. They had been schoolfriends on the mainland- but not seen each other since. The author had been here because he and his wife were looking to move here.

Message taken, and will pass on when said author comes back. Nice bit of 'small-world' stuff.

Then, in comes a chap who had put a book by- just saying that he'll pick it up tomorrow. 'Don't worry' says I 'take it and drop the money in". 

He was pleased with this- but concerned that I was trusting him- saying that it was a bit old-school. I just said that I preferred to trust people. We got chatting and he is going to bring me some fresh supplies of old Isle of Wight books.

Next- comes a chap who wants an old illustration of 'Little Jack Horner'- which I oblige with a 1930's Margaret Tarrant- and it turns out that he has a beautiful (and perfect) chandelier to go in my new shop!

The day ends with Uncle Paul arriving with a 1906 Ingle fireplace (pic above.)

No two days are the same here Emily- and you never know who or what is coming through the door.

People who like books like to talk.

You never know where that's going to lead- old friends meeting up- Chandeliers or Fireplaces.

It all works though Em.

Looking forwards to setting up tomorrow!

Your ever-loving Grand-mother GiGi xxx