The Aardvark Blog
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 )
When All The Fierce Passions Cease
All the Fun of the Fair, May Car Boot
Judge Not, That You Be Not Judged
Have a Heart