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Reasons to be hopeful for 2021: Part One

Reasons to be hopeful for 2021: Part One

It's a New Year and yet so many of the things we had to deal with in 2020 are still with us. It can be difficult to feel really positive when temperatures are plunging, the national health service is buckling and so many prices are going up (you know who you are Royal Mail). But this is Aardvark, and we don't do downhearted, or glass half-full, or on-the-one hand and on-the-other-hand.

So here with apologies to Ian Dury for mangling his title are our reasons to be cheerful: Part One!

1) Mr Trump like Elvis will be leaving the building. I try not to be political in the shop or in the blog, but leaving aside what he has done whilst in office, just his being in office has been exhausting. And we aren't even in America. I am longing for the sheer unadulterated dullness of Joe Biden. To hell with charisma, let's raise a glass to politicians who are decent and just quietly get on with the job.

2) The vaccine is coming. My first customer through the door tells me that even in sleepy Herefordshire they just vaccinated 1,000 health workers on New Year's Eve. If we can just hold on a little longer there is hope.

3) Bookshop.org has launched in the UK, is fab, and has paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds to independent booksellers. We ourselves have received £950 from Bookshop.org in the less than two months that it has been running, which has paid our electricity and insurance bills for the period. Finally the little guy can fight back, finally David has his sling-shot. If you haven't discovered it yet, click here and discover some of the fantastic booklists that we have been creating to amuse you. Our current bestseller on the site has been 'The Little Paris Bookshop', but our recommendation has led to tons of sales of some of our other favourites as well.

4) So far most of the high street has survived. Whilst chains have folded, closed branches and laid off staff, in the main independent shops have adapted and kept going. Again hats off to the little guys. Many of these shops are closed again if they are in Tier 4 areas, but when restrictions lapse go out and buy from them and make sure they can keep going in 2021.

5) We have all got a recallibration of our needs and what we really value. I had no idea how important live music was to me until I was deprived of it over the last year. Similarly there were times when I had started to sigh when contemplating some of our regular events, but no longer. The other day in the shop three of us were salivating at the prospect of Ludlow Food Festival in the autumn. I know that we are counting our chickens somewhat but I think there is a very good chance that events scheduled for the second half of 2021 will be able to run, and I will be first in the probably still socially distanced queue to get in.

6) Our Easter Car Boot. Our first event of 2021 will be our Easter Car Boot on the 3rd of April. Stalls will be well distanced, I have parking in the field opposite, social distancing will still be in operation but we will be having an event. I will try and get some brave musicians to play outside, and I think that the Cottage Herbery can be guaranteed to turn up with a fantastic display of plants.Call or email to book a pitch which will still be £12 (see, Royal Mail, it is possible not to keep putting up your prices).

7) Just a tremendous line up of new books for 2021. A new Kazuo Ishiguro, Bill Gates writing on Climate Change, new novels fropm Imbolo Mbue, Chang-Rae Lee, and Kate Quinn, new albums from the Foo Fighters, Sting, Lana Del Rey, Weezer and even if your tastes go in that direction, Megadeath. The one great thing about 2020 is that firstly lots of people were forced to be at home and became even more creative, and secondly lots of great stuff was delayed from last year and so 2021 will be like Christmas and birthdays rolled into one. And don't get me started on all the new movies due for release this year. And at some time we will be all able to go out and sit in the 4D seats at the cinema (no, I am not quite that old) and watch them!

After a few really tough months, 2021 is going to be straight out fab, and you are going to enjoy every moment of it. Because we have all earned it.

PS Thank you for all the kind responses to my last blog on my mother's passing. Very much appreciated.

Published by Aardvark Books Ltd on (modified )

2020
You are still always a child until your last parent dies It was two weeks before Christmas and right through the bookshop New Aardvark Bookshop.org lists for Christmas Small business saturday is soo necessary this year Come celebrate the real spirit of Christmas at Aardvark Books An appreciation for Fela Kuti is just one thing I learnt from my wife Robert Frost was a great poet but not always right Random Thoughts from the New Lockdown 1 Success is a letter in the New Yorker in New York City It's easy like a Sunday morning Look to my coming at first light on the 5th day Don't despair we will still be here, and bookshop.org is here now too! People say I'm a dreamer Lockdown is definitely coming - people are buying games and sex books Yes Santa Claus is coming and you better make sure you have been good! We have sooooo many books in the shop! Little Women is great and Greta Gerwig is fab We will endure, our testament is written in stone Fanshaw Books and a bit of nostalgia Back to the Between Time, Christmas Wow what a ride! CAR BOOT NOW FULL CAR BOOT NOW FULL Musings for the Between Time 5 Car Boot, Car Boot, Car Boot Death of Roger Emmerson, English Civil War Society Musings for the Between Time 4 A coda to my earlier exchange of letters on the bookshop Musings for the Between Time 3 An email from an unhappy customer and my response Musings for the Between Time 2 Musings from the Between Time 1 Coda Musings from the Between Time 1 Random Thoughts from Lockdown - Final Edition Random Thoughts from Lockdown 6 Random Thoughts from Lockdown 5 Random Thoughts from Lockdown 4 Random Thoughts from Lockdown 3 Random Thoughts from Lockdown 2 Random Thoughts from Lockdown Tough times for the book trade, Amadeus Quartet, Lee Miller Documentary Our New Website, more musings, Titian or Titien , books and more Good Friday Blog Back to the new normal Aardvark News: dispatches from behind the lines A llittle kindness goes a long way Oh Boy not what I expected 2020 to bring Cathy Nardiello, the Coming of Spring, London Bookfair, lots more books Lots and lots of new titles A New Year dawns
2018
End of year thoughts Thanks for the Christmas Fair, Poetry Breakfast, 2019 Where does the time go? A return to normality? Autumn Brocante Back from Frankfurt, Brocante on Sunday, Winter Event Autumn returns Long time no blog Bank Holiday Monday - Vide Grenier hoorah! Vide Grenier on Monday, J L Carr Day on 1st September, H.Art opens on the 8th of September Art Books, Angelfest Kingsland, Vide Grenier, Carr Celebration, H.Art Brilliant Scarecrow Sunday, lots of books, looking forward to J L Carr, H.Art and Ludlow Food Festival, sad goodbye Scarecrow Sunday, Applications for Café position, Idle Thoughts of a musical & vinous bent Art Opening - Summer Sextet, Scarecrow Sunday, Radio Fame, Pop-Ups, lots and lots of books Meetings with Remarkable Books, Summer Sextet, Scarecrow Sunday So much has happened, and so much is coming up Fabulous May Brocante about to open ! Don't Forget - Bank Holiday Brocante Bank Holiday Weekend, Out of the Hills Art of the Print, Blue Haze Quartet, new cake selection, looking forward to the Brocante and beyond Bookfair books all stowed away, Art of the Print, Out of the Hills etc Aardvarks Back from Norfolk, Art of the Print, Point to Point, hard pounding What a week its been Busy week in the bookshop, 'Art of the Print', 'Out of the Hills' and Much More Big thanks to all who made Easter so fantastic! Snow again, busy week, April book bonanza, Easter and sculpture, Jazz amongst the bookshelves Snow no more, Borderlines Sponsored Film, even more books Opening Hours 3rd of March Closing Early 2nd March Valentine's event is finally here Spring Fair, Epic victory in Kingsland Quiz, 'The Bookshop' performance at Courtyard, Valentine's Event And so the new year turns Roadworks, new philosophy library and lots of CDs New Year and lots of books
2017
New Year Resolutions 2 New Year's resolutions 1 Nothings gives pleasure more than a good book, a beautiful music and a wonderful view Christmas Fair cancelled, Christmas opening etc Christmas Fair, Aardvark Christmas opening, 2017 Thanks Winter Event - Bill Sewell, Jobs at Aardvark Winter Event, False Lights Review, Aardvark in 2018 Employment at Aardvark Books October Brocante, Frankfurt update, Winter Event Back from Frankfurt, Brocante Sunday, much more to come Syrinx and Harp Arcadia at Aardvark, Frankfurt Bookfair, October Brocante, Weekend helper required 'Syrinx and Harp', October Brocante, new titles in store False Lights, Tickets for Arcadia Music, Stall bookings for October Brocante Ludlow Food Festival, False Lights Book Launch, Syrinx and Harp Why Buy Art? Health updates, Vide Grenier news, H.Art, Literary Ludlow, Book Launch: False Lights Only two days to the Vide Grenier Civil War Weekend continues, H.Art, Literary Ludlow, Launch of 'False Lights' Civil War Weekend Awaits Thank you for best wishes, Re-enactment, History books galore Aardvarks back in the saddle, Jazz Brunch and Sale, Forward to the Re-enactment and the autumn Aardvark is Cyclist heaven, Solstice Exhibition, Changes to Jazz Brunch line up Last weekend of Shropshire Hills Art Exhibition, and opening next week of 'The Solstice' And Humour Books, Music and Art: The answer to all life's problems Mad May Bank Holiday, Shropshire Hills Art Week, Even More Books Catch up, books and forthcoming exhibitions Map exhibition opening, Bank Holiday weekend Last weekend of Fire and Earth Ceramics exhibit, excitement ahead of 'Maps and Mansions', big house clearance An incredible 3 years CDs, Fire + Earth Ceramics exhibition Clwyd Art Fund, Shropshire Books, Map Exhibition, Fire and Earth, Stuart Davies London Book Fair, Building a Library-'Quartet for the End of Time', Books Books Books! In memoriam Paul Williams,London Bookfair Blow Up, Borderlines Film Festival, Blow-Up Part 1 Beautiful bright day, Peter May, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts Richard Strauss, Rodrigo on Building a Library, Valentine's Day, Peter Reynolds Musicologist, Art of France Valentine's Saturday Who would have known it - books are back in fashion Busy week at Aardvark Books! Hope Bright clear morning, and exciting events to come New Year 2017
2016
New Year's Eve 2016 Five reasons to be cheerful for 2017! Christmas Eve 2016 CHRISTMAS FAIR 2016 Xmas Fair on Sunday, Greg Lake, Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy Grey Sunday morning, but ice free Barbara Strozzi on Building a Library, nearly at the end of Frankfurt Books, plans for Christmas Fair Winter Event, plans for 2017 Wigmore Abbey, Poobahs, Leonard Cohen Summer sun, Wi-fi in Café, working through Frankfurt books, next year's programme Slight wi-fi delay Post Frankfurt, Show tunes, new staff member, the coming of wi-fi to Aardvark Café 9 days of problems, followed by a period of sanity Arcadia continues, Brocante next Sunday, yet more books Arcadia at Aardvark; Arcadia weekend; more book Last day of H.Art, that's it for exhibitions for 2016 Good news on Aardvark H.Art; new books in stock; October Brocante; Arcadia Music Jobs at Aardvark Books; H.Art, Autumn programme H.Art & Ludlow Food Fair Vide Grenier day and the weather is fantastic! Vide Grenier Excitement, David Evans, Jill Alford Sale, More changes Charity Sale Today, Vide Grenier on Monday History Weekend (Day 2) History Weekend; H.Art preparations The Poetry of Ted Hughes So pleased with our 'Take Five' Exhibition Fantastic opening for 'Take Five', wonderful summer sunshine Back from La Belle France to Scarecrows, Art and More Work Too Many Tears Books the ultimate consolation Geoffrey Hilll, Peter Florence,Marking Time, Food and Farming Day To Friedrich Schiller in profound gratitude from a poor bookseller An Artist's Life, tragedy in Yorkshire and France, Folio Society Books Shropshire Hills Art Week Exhibition well and truly open Brocante well underway! Opening times over Bank Holiday Weekend and Half Term Arcadia, Vivaldi, Flea Market, Bank Holidays Bliss was it in that Dawn to Be Alive Last day of the map exhibition; thinking about 'An Actor's Life' Shropshire Hills Art Week, May Brocante, Travel Books Non-Marches Interloper for last week of map exhibition Slow morning Wonderful Carlos Acosta Maps Exhibition Opened, Awful weather, Cozy Fire Maps, books, random thoughts LBF, New York Review of Books, Map Exhibition Yet more changes at Aardvark, H.Art already, more DVDs and loads of art books Busy week, peculiar nature of media, Lots going on in April Easter holidays at Aardvark Easter Saturday, Sad News - Jill Alford No claim to infallibility; lots new in Superb bright Sunday morning; changes to the bookshop Slow start, busy week coming up Stop Press - wonderful children's books Beautiful morning, exciting days and weeks ahead As You Like It, the return of the sun Saturday Morning, the wonder of David Sedaris, Carter Dickson More and more and more books, Lucie starting, 'The Garden' Stunning sunny day, thoughts on London and being a country mouse Death of Mary Campbell, CD Review and R3 Schizophrenia, Wes Montgomery and Milt Jackson, fantastic academic library purchase Great Valentine's Day, Cimarosa, Friday Night Lights, Exciting News of Aardvark Appointment Valentine's Day is upon us Any Questions, Valentines Day, Jacques Rivette, James Lee Burke Two good pieces of news, Valentine's Day, Changes to tax reporting for small businesses and the self-employed, Working at Aardvark, D is for Doyle, Davis, Dexter, Deaver, Carter Dickson, Dunant, Durbridge, Dodge and Dickens Extending deadline for job offer, 'The Garden', Sale Tent Wonderful Royal Ballet, less than wonderful politicians Last weekend of sale - but don't despair Quite a busy month Bookshop and Café Person required B is for Bludgeon, Beaton, Bentley, Berkeley, Martin Beck and Burke First day of aardvark sale, job applications, cold weather, thoughts on the year CVs, Sale and more and more books More books for 2016 A is for Alibi, Ames, Allingham and Ambler Change, Change, Change 2016
2015
Post Christmas Thoughts Japanese Single book bookshop Busy day Christmas 2015 Books and opening times update Flaxman the magnificent; Christmas idea; last chance to see Fantastic day, beautiful morning So many art books and all for sale at incredible prices Only one more Aardvark Event before Christmas! Winter Event arrives on time Paris, Culture, What we leave behind Busy Beavers A wet day ... Autumn alert Frankfurt, Culture and Fleamarkets Through the fog, poetry and much more beside Books take centre stage - but art has a last hurrah! Back to life, back to reality H.Art, Ludlow Food Fair, Craaaaazy! Art, Art and a little food too! Phil Rickman at St James', Wigmore The pleasures of selling a special book The pleasures of Spenser Vide Grenier, H.Art, Non-stop activity Phew! Re-enactment under - our biggest ever Extraordinary evening at Brecon Summer Lightning Great opening! Back from an unsettle France, to a summer of madcap Aardvark Activity Make Your Summer Count! Make Your Summer Count! One door closes ... Long days, the Food Fair Camaraderie History is not Bunk ( it's official) Fantastic Iceland; Countdown to Food Fair Iceland is up, and will open tomorrow! Last weekend of Shropshire Hills Art Week, Food Fair, New Books Food Fair, New Books, Iceland Exhibition Fantastic opening to Shropshire Hills Art Week Bank Holiday Brocante Underway! Non-stop Aardvark craziness Great Lecture, Last day of the map exhibition Quiet days are made for Aardvark Books The Art of the Personal Lest any -one should think that there should be any lowering of the cake quality First week without Catherine; Maps Exhibition bonus; Brocante Update Last day for Catherine; great trip to London Bookfair; New Books in Stock Exhibition; George Butterworth; random culture Sunny Easter Monday; crazy Easter Saturday You heard it here first The exhibition is up; fingers crossed for Saturday! New members of the team; Easter events; Map exhibition Book Buying, CD Buying, Fantastic Eclipse Things I forgot Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. RSC 'Much Ado', new books, Welsh and World Book Day February ending, can Spring be far behind One down ... New Books, New Books Science Fiction; change is afoot New Carpet, Change, the Year Ahead Out of the loop If only we were all Charlie 12 Steps to Moving to the Country
2014
2015 awaits And at last it is Christmas Eve An endless river of books, a dreck day, a warm hearth Christmas Fair 2015 Christmas is very much upon us Christmas in the bookshop Busy Sunday, Wenlock Books Christmas Tree Flea Market Heaven More Upbeat Frankfurt; planning for Brocante Antiquarian Sales, children's books, Frankfurt preparations A quiet weekend, but some great sales! H.art sales! H.art carries on for two weeks Our H.Art exhibition is now hung and ready to open H.art is nearly here Vide Grenier, H.Art and onwards DVDs and CD's at Aardvark Books Day two of the history weekend History Weekend Preparations Previously in Aardvark Books ... Huge library purchase; last copies anywhere of Jo Brand Memoir Food, Food, Food First purchase for next year's map exhibition Why does dealing with publishers need to be so frustrating (2) Why does dealing with publishers need to be so frustrating Culture Vulture HIstory and fun this summer A warm Saturday in June Great response to the inaugural South Shropshire Art Week June starts with a bang Nearly a month on Driving rain cannot stop us What a month it has been Saddest News Imaginable Busy, Busy, Busy Quiet before the storm Thinking about books and bookselling Age recommendations on children's books Sunshine and children's books Theology Books and sunny weather Under the Hammer Valentine's Market All roads lead to Aardvark & Flavours of Hereford Festival Water, water everywhere ... Sale expectations The changing faces of winter 2014 comes with a fast forward button On tenterhooks with V I Warshawski Online Bookshop up at last ; acquisition of major literature library New Year Resolutions