Thursday, May 03, 2007

And the winner is...

I love elections - I can't help it. Despite the blandness, spin and who-on-earth-stands-for-what postmodern political landscape, there's something optimistic and (to me) life-affirming about going to cast your vote.

This year I was able to introduce Alex to the concept of local democracy, and although my first explanation got a response of "wot?"he did manage to post my ballot papers for me to a round of applause from the polling station staff. Heady stuff.

Back in 1992, and the general election that year, on what was also a gloriously sunny May day, I was a fresh-faced(ish) fairweather-lefty student (in Birmingham's Selly Oak - where crusty Tory Anthony Beaumont-Darke was about to get dumped by a Labour newbie much to our delight). I walked up to the polling booth with a mate of mine Denis - who was most definitely a committed lefty - and he asked me to take a picture of him in front of the polling station sign. He had been born on an election day, and there were photographs of him on every polling day ever since. I remember that walk vividly, and the excitement and optimism that Kinnock would trump Major, not knowing that "The Sun Would Win It", etc.

I thought the photo thing was a nice tradition - so hence the above picture.

Talking of elections (well, votes) is a thinly-veiled segue to say congratulations to Much Ado Books, in Alfriston, East Sussex - voted Independent Bookshop of the Year at the recent British Book Industry Awards. It looks a fantastic shop, as does the website. Nicki and I will be shamelessly pouring over the site in the weeks to come for ideas and inspiration, but I have to say the Paperback Piazza is a stroke of genius...

I notice that Charkblog noted the lack of booksellers who attended the awards this year - well, we would have been there apart from recent family developments, so we'll definitely try to go next year...

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