Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Has it been that long?
Somebody pointed out yesterday that we have not been keeping up with our daily countdown to opening and, in fact, have not posted since Thursday (has it been that long?). Where has the time gone? So, just in case you were getting worried that we are staggering under a weight of slightly dodgy looking opening stock - here's a quick update. (Actually a few people have said to us recently 'oh won't you be busy when you open', as if we have actually gone to bed before midnight once in the last few months and made us remember we actually started this mad scheme when mark was still in a full-time job and spent large amounts of this time in the jungle where there wasn't even running water, let alone an internet connection. We did also get a terrified text message from the bloke who's stepped into mark's shoes who had just landed after a hair-raising internal flight in the Congo - I believe he's considering opening a bookshop.) Anyway, we did manage to get our initial stock into the back room in a 'not at all we are open' sort of a way for Saturday. The idea was more of a marketing exercise than anything else and has (we think) generated some interest for Saturday, when we are actually opening, although still not in a grand way. (Far to terrified.) We decided we'd need a few weeks to find out what on earth we were doing before we felt confident to ramp up any sort of marketing / publicity as we definitely won't cope if there is anything like a rush. (BTW, I have just checked the weather for this Saturday - 31°C. Coupled with a certain football match in the afternoon, a rush might be a bit hopeful. I think serving lemonade in the garden might be added to the list...) The stock arrived in about twenty boxes, of which all was opened, except one, and all the stock put on the shelves. We opened the last one finally yesterday and that's the one that contained the delivery note. What are the chances of that? Sunday we had a family descent day when a load of people got into the shop and we started to install shelves in earnest in the front room (currently still in use as a cookware shop). The transformation is really beginning to take shape. The cookware was replaced, with just a few books sneaked in here and there. Then yesterday our friend Paul was back and moved the enormous counter from the front of the shop, replaced it with shelves and has built us a nice compact counter and coffee serving area. It has opened up the shop enormously and is now looking really fantastic. Thanks Paul. (There might have been photos of this if Mark had remembered when he returned, bleary eyed at midnight last night.) Our second stock order has arrived. We shall not attempt to get this on the shelves until The Big Push on Friday night, but we think we have enough stock now to open with. Thanks very much for all the helpful display comments. It's all really useful stuff and has halted some of the panic, particularly when we realised about a quarter of our first order wasn't in stock and won't arrive until the middle of next month. Perhaps we have been far too quirky with what we've ordered??? Well, we wanted to look a bit different and our main aim has been to create an interesting browsing experience. Only time will tell whether we are anywhere near getting it right, but we expect things to evolve anyway. Or change utterly. Today our computer should be arriving. So what have we still to do that we should have done? Mark confessed last week that he never, ever read past the first page of our critical to do list as it was just too scary. At the beginning it ran to at least four pages. But it is now down to a manageable one. The main one oustanding is that we haven't actually signed the lease yet! Still. Then the last big list remains for Friday night. When we move current stock out, move our stock in, replace final big shelves with tables and about a million other things that should only take twenty or so hours to do, leaving us with at least one hour's sleep before we open. Let's hope the coffee machine is up and running because we will be drinking it by the gallon to keep ourselves awake through that first day.