Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It’s strange the way your priorities change, as you get older. A few years ago I would have laughed at anyone who suggested that a new fireplace, new roof or new window would have caused me to get excited, yet here I am at the age of 42 spending far too long looking at (rather than through) our lovely new window.

The joy however is tinged with guilt. When we moved into our house around 10 years ago, we knew that this particular wooden window needed attention, yet we let things drift on year after year. Finally this winter, we decided that something had to be done, so sadly the old draughty wooden window had to go. So now we have a pristine, shiny double-glazed window. The old banging closure of the window has been replaced by a gentle “swoosh”. It’s quite shocking how grown up it makes me feel.

Today I formed a new and very successful partnership with Norah Jones! Our Oxfam shop had been rather quiet, so I had spent most of my time in the back room, sorting out new stock. My colleague Simon eventually tired of his rather fruitless time on the till, so I offered to take over from him. We also decided to change the music, plumping for Simon’s copy of Norah’s first album “Come away with me”. Suddenly customers were beating a path to till, like it was Xmas eve and we had the last of Santa’s goodies wrapped up and ready to go. Maybe the next time Norah is the country she could do an “in-store “show for us? I’ll be happy man the till, which I’m sure would be ringing away merrily!

It’s always interesting to see what music gets people going in a shop. It was great in Imperial, you could put a CD on and then people would come to the counter to ask what was playing and before you knew it you’d sold 5 copies of an album, which people had never heard of when they came through the door. Obviously it’s a bit different in a second hand shop, when you sell a CD that’s it – it’s gone. You can though, still set a tone for the place, it is mainly a bookshop, so we can’t really be blasting the latest drum and bass classic from Roni Size. Consequently a lot of laid-back jazz gets played, nothing that’s going to upset or confuse, not quite the same as playing Captain Beefheart to the confused looking tourists in Imperial.


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