I am feeling very very VERY proud of myself today. Completely exhausted and worn out, body and soul, but also on top of the world.
The Book-ends, a new indie bookstore opened in Wellington today. I’ve been waiting for a few weeks, since the window blind and sign went up, and I’ve been cheering them along on social media. They announced a full day worth of events – including a talk by a children’s book illustrator – and sold a limited number of tickets which got you £10 off a book, an exclusive stamp in the book, plus coffee and cake. I bought myself a ticket because I figured it would mean I couldn’t talk myself out of going.
I got into town a couple of minutes before the ‘official opening’, with the cutting of the ribbons… and the heavens opened. It was pissing it down. So they did an ‘inside out’ opening, with everyone who had a ticket in the store. I had a moment of ARGH because I forgot to open the Eventbrite app on my phone and I never get a signal in town, but Richard (one of the owners, along with his wife Marcy) greets me by name which can I just say was absolutely fucking cool!
They had a DJ playing some cool jazzy music – a touch too loud, but I’d got my headphones so I was good. Everyone was talking to everyone, and I managed to not only talk to people I didn’t know, but I also joined their bookclub and am still interacting with them on Facebook! I picked up two books, The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods and Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang (what was I supposed to do, leave it on the shelf?!)
The shop is being bookstore and performing arts space, and both Richard & Marcy are creative types. Marcy, who has ‘ sung on stages around the world combining jazz, soul, gospel and hip-hop influences’ did a small acoustic set which turned into a super fun sing-along.
I then went for lunch (!!) with Gill, one of the women I’d met that morning. We went to the Gratitude Cafe next door to the Book-Ends, which is somewhere I’ve been wanting to try for probably years at this point but… well… anxiety, you know? I did make Gill aware of my agoraphobia (she was stunned that I was doing this opening, I mean so was I!) and we managed to find a table, in a corner, so my back was against the wall but I had a clear line of sight to the door. I had a fantastic stack of pancakes with bacon, sausage and a fried egg.
In the afternoon, the award-winning children’s book illustrator Dapo Adeola read one of his books and gave a talk. I picked up one of the books he co-created & illustrated, Look Up! which he signed for me.
I then stumbled home, completely exhausted but seriously on Cloud 9. I couldn’t believe I not only went to a space I didn’t know, but talked to people I didn’t know and stayed out all day.