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Monday, 30 August 2010

George and Anything Goes

Well, here's an old friend.

George the Jazz Man (at the back) used to supply the occasional disc to us. Recordings of his band Anything Goes. We still have a few. He's promised to drop in some time which is a shame - we probably owe him money.

Here he is with his band, belting it out at our village fete. As he says - 'A band to suit every possible occasion. Jazz, Blues, Swing, Dance. Any place - Any time.'

Check them out on

Wonder if they have a recording of Just In Time from the Broadway hit?

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Justin Thyme Window

Shop shut at 6.30 but I wanted to get Justin Thyme out and about on this holiday weekend. A hasty window was the result. Thanks to the jewellers across the road( Howards of Moreton-in-Marsh) and Wild at Heart a few doors away for the wonderful props. They were so good that a group of visitors, a friendly bunch, (Mum and Dad from New Zealand) stopped to take photographs. Naturally, they went away having ordered a copy of Justin Thyme! Our total sales figure is now 282. Nutty Nina now wants us to aim high and go for 350!

The visitors also spotted some dice which I'd removed from our last window display so I sold five of those too. The toyshop will be pleased!

Notice the time on the large clock. It was set like that when Nina fetched it from Wild at Heart. The hands pointing exactly as those on the cover of the book. Wierd eh? Even weirder, the date was set at 15, just as on the book jacket. I changed it to 11 as that is the date of the signing.

Rebecca Tope signing.

We had a terrific signing when Rebecca Tope came to sign both her new hardback A Grave in the Cotswolds and the recently published paperback Fear in the Cotswolds. In the event, customers wanted books from her whole range and we were reduced to very small numbers in stock by the end of the afternoon.

We were delighted too, to meet her friend and fellow author Jan Margrave who brought along her soon to be released The Nine Lives of Kit Marlowe.

Thanks for coming both of you. Sorry that we were so busy we only had time for one cuppa.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Joining the Thyme Clan

Nina seems to be enjoying herself while I try to join the clan. No, not the Clu clux clan. The Thyme Family Clan.

Unfortunately it did not produce quite the effect that we wanted!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Justin Thyme arrives!

They've arrived! Delivered in the rain so we had to rush them out of their plastic wraps, one dozen at a time, and make sure they were all dry. However, we did make time for a quick snap of my evident pride and pleasure stood beside some of them.

Here's the rest, transferred upstairs and waiting for signatures and labels in two weeks time. That's when the work really starts! Boy, are we going to be busy and that include Panama Oxridge who will have over 300 copies to sign. ( Advance sales from across the UK and beyond stand at 272 !!!)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Katie and Des Fforde visit

Nina and I were delighted to greet surprise visiting authors, Katie Fforde and her husband Des. I was hugely embarrassed that my intention to order her latest had not been followed through and we didn't have a single one of her titles in the shop.

Katie's new hardback, A Perfect Proposal, is doing very well and we really will have it on our shelves in the next day or two - promise.

Des has put together a collection of seafaring stories containing pieces by Forrester, Monsarrat, Captain Marryat etc and profits will go to The Prostate Cancer Charity. If you want to know more about A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories go to and click 'New Titles' We'll have the book in soon.
Des is an ex seaman and still looks the part.

Nice meeting you both. Perhaps we could organise a family signing with the pair of you and Jasper?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Lincolnshire Curly-coats

It would seem that our pig picture has upset two groups of people. We've had complaints from the farming community here that the Cumberland wooly-pigs which we showed here recently were, in fact, Lincolnshire curly-coats in disguise! I admit it. I was completely fooled.

Unfortunately, upsetting the second group of people was much more serious. A petition has been got up by a small but vociferous group of little old ladies who objected to the sight of the second pig, the one with her rear end pointing in the viewers direction (see earlier page). The had no fewer than three signatures after their own so we have decide to remove her altogether from the new photo.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Celia Lendis Reception

An interesting end to our day at the shop. David and I trotted along to 'Celia Lendis' to view some of the massive and majestic works by John Lendis.
I stayed for little more than an hour and listened to an insightful talk by Eleanor Rawling, research fellow and writer at Oxford, as she talked about the selection of paintings and the work of the Gloucester poet Ivor Gurney.

Thank you Celia, for the invite. We hope you did well.

Sarah's wedding Day

Here, at last, are a couple of Sarah's wedding shots taken by another pro'.

A Pro' at Fairford Show

These superb shots were taken by a visiting pro who kindly sent some of his results from his home in Switzerland after his trip to Fairford.

He'd been there the day before us and caught the weather.

He was also lucky enough to see the Lancaster airborne and a gleam of sunshine on the Vulcan.

The Spitfire shot is spot on though. The prop is perfection. I think he's done it before.

The pro's name is Marcel Mivelaz and you can find him on

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Mr Rosenblum's Dorset wooly-pig

I recently read and reviewed
Mr Rosenblum’s List
(or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman) by Natasha Solomons and the paperback has just arrived.
Part of the fun in the book is when Mr Rosenblum, under the influence of rather too much home made cider, gets a fleeting glimpse of the mythical(?) Dorset wooly-pig. Naturally I assumed that such a creature was as likely as, say, a computer literate gorilla. However, thanks to Mr Stephen Holmes I have been put right. The photo here shows one of the Dorset wooly-pig's close relations The Cumberland Pig. Isn't it amazing what you can learn over the counter of a bookshop!

Now where have I read about a computer literate gorilla?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Edge of the Wild

So very busy after visiting the Edge of the Wild that I've not had time to comment on the appearance of old friends, Tinkerscuss.
Briony and Erin Holden have increased the group by 50% by taking on-board Kathryn Wheeler and so added accordion, viola and violin to all their other instruments (and she sings too, giving Briony a rest). Here's the cover of the CD, however, you'd all like to hear them wouldn't you? Check them out at

The show was amazing, by the way. Several new paintings from all the artists with my favourite being 'Conversation with Smaug' by Ted Nasmith. Check out for some of his paintings and those of Jef Murray, Ruth Lacon and Peter Pracownik plus all sorts of other LOTR and fantasy items. Ted also does a bit of song writing and sings himself. See his paintings and hear him on

Other contact points are

Don't miss it next year. I aim to give it more time myself.
Thanks to Andy, Malcolm and all others for a showstopping, er, show.
(Thanks also for doing some advertising for me on our booksignings coming up.)

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Jane Bailey - An Angel in Waiting

We were pleased to have the company of author, Jane Bailey and her two daughters, Lucy and Anna today. Not only because of their charming company but also because they returned, later in the day, with some excellent cakes. They obviously thought David and I were looking undernourished.

Oh, nearly forgot. Jane was kind enough to bring with her some copies of one of her earlier books, An Angel in Waiting. She has signed a number of hardbacks for us and they are available for the price of £11.99 (reduced from £16.99). There are also a few paperbacks of the same title at £6.99. She signed a number of copies of her more recent books, Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven and Mad Joy.

If there is anyone out there who has not tried Jane's work, don't miss out. She really is a most talented lady and any one of the three will have you returning for the others. They all have highly original plots, are warm, engrossing reads and in each, she shows a great talent for comedy.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Discovered - A Justin Thyme Secret

You would think that, as David Nina and I have had our copies of the amazing Justin Thyme for three years now, there would be nothing left to find. How wrong could you be. Not only did I find yet another terrible pun in the name of one of the Thyme family but also, sharp eyed Nina spotted something we have all been looking for all this time!
( I immediately mailed the author to tell him what I thought of him!)
Nope - can't tell you what it is and certainly can't tell you where it is. We swore an oath, that we would never divulge the secret. even if forced to listen to an audio tape of Katie Price's latest book for days on end.
We have received congratulations from the author who believes this may be the first time this particular secret has been discovered. Only four hundred and seventy two more to go!
Well done Nina. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

Marilyn shoots Arrows

Marilyn, baker first class with bar, who has oft delivered wondrous cakes to us in our hour of dire need and iced buns when all seems lost, whose crunchy cheese straws and biscuits have helped us keep our heads held high when customers are scarce and whose expertise on the arcane creation of banana cake we shall require when Eliza the computer literate gorilla comes, has taken up photography!
Marilyn was at the Fairford show the day I was there and despite the grey skies, has a nice shot of the arrows.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

How to Flambé a Banana

Did you know there was such a thing as the International Banana Club? Well, obviously Eliza the computer literate gorilla does. For advice on how to flambé a banana (and how not to), look in on Eliza's Banana-Blog