I have seen one or two of you recently and others have been in touch online to ask about Christmas and I’m glad to say currently it’s going ahead as usual on the 25th December. Sorry, joking aside my preparations are well underway at the shop, although there will of course be some changes this year, as I expect to still be working around the demands of Covid-19 and social distancing.
I realise it’s not ideal that you may have to wait outside, if there is another customer/family already in the shop but most seem happy to do this or call back later. I also realise that some of you feel obliged to hurry, as there is someone outside, when you would have preferred to browse at your leisure as you have in the past. My solution is to offer pre-bookable slots on two evenings a week in November and December, where you or your ‘bubble’ of up to 4 can have an exclusive 30 minutes to browse/shop. There will be a deposit to book the slot of £9.99, but this is returned on the evening either by being deducted from any purchases or returned if you don’t make any. I feel that this offers you a safe shopping experience and also helps us to increase the number of people through the shop, which will hopefully help me to make up for the losses through lock down. I am offering the bookable slots here first to newsletter subscribers. They will go on general release in five days time. You can book a slot here
The shop will be fully stocked and Christmas unveiled on November 1st in the shop and online. If there is another lock down, I may well bring the online date forward as I need to try and protect the artists and makers who supply us as well as myself and Happy Planet.
My gift to you in terms of links come from Cheltenham Literary Festival, which used to be an annual pilgrimage for me, where I was fortunate enough to listen to the likes of Maya Angelou, Alan Bennet, Stephen Fry, Alice Walker and Bethany Hughes to name a few. This year’s festival opens today and runs until the 22nd October. I am sure no matter what your favourite reading you will find something to enjoy. You can find full details here of the online events