The Life and Times of a busy bookseller, her husband and Gordon setter dogs in North Norfolk.

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Born In Essex, UK.
School in Luton.
College - Sussex.
Worked in Cambs.
Now Living in Norfolk.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

I have been rather busy of late - what with us having the VAT to do, our year end accounts to finish, the catalogue to get out - which yes, I did eventually do, a couple of Book fairs to go away for, and finally a weeks holiday to squeeze in (Lanzarote in the sunshine) to recover. So the Blog has suffered neglect - sorry. I am still not a natural blogger.  Some people can 'blog' as naturally as breathing - I guess they are generally younger than I am, and a great deal more creative, but for me it takes a little more work - and I always seem to have so many things to do.  I know we women are able to multi task - but there are limits at to things that you can do at the same time as blogging - and the blogging still make sense. I do have my coffe break at the same time, but I guess that doesn't count - and there is still the danger of the coffee going over the keyboard. Those who know me, will realise that isn't just a jokey remark but a very real possibility. My co-ordination isn't the best.

The holiday was great - and the 6 days away always gives Jeff and I our best thinking time.  The rest of the year we tend to spend chasing our tails, knowing that our lives could work better but not seeming to have the time to sort it out, but on holiday we actually stop, and after about day three we start to talk about how we could make changes. This includes just about everything.  One year we got out a paperbag and pencil whilst sitting at a poolside, and redesigned our house - the one we are now living in, and is now slowly taking shape (actually, our last one evolved in the same way too - maybe we should learn from this!). This year it was the business.  Jeff's contribution was to vastly improve the efficiency/timewasting through better organization - no surprises there.

Again those of you that know us, will also know that Jeff is the tidy organised part of our partnership. He loves systems, organization, things in place, efficiency,  in fact just about everything that I hate! (But I do have the good grace to understand are necessary for a business to work properly). Now to some degree this works well - Jeff takes care of the paperwork of the business - the accounts and the generally troublesome side that, even though I am quite cable of dealing with, I don't have to bother with - but Jeff actually likes it. Wonderful.  The problem comes more with issues of my untidiness and disorganization - things like me forgetting - (or to be honest, not being bothered), to write book purchases down,  and then having to recall afterwards and look for the receipts, and wasting oodles of time looking for them. Then there is the messy way I work - with piles of books everywhere - well you get the picture! Well we had a full and frank discussion - and I had to feel a little sorry for him, when he said he had even tried working a bit more messily himself to see if that helped him undestand - but it didn't! Anyhow - a few ideas emerged to see if we can 'streamline' to become a bit more efficient in our procedures. In my defence - I can try, but when you have my type of disorganized personality (I naughtily call it creative, but its not, its just untidy) it is very difficult to change.  My brain works in a disorganized way - ideas don't come in nice orderly pattern, I remember things either all at once or not at all.

Now - my contribution to the holiday discussion was somewhat different - shock horror!  For sometime I have been wanting to have another 'string to our bow' - just a little string. Both Jeff and I love old toys.  Jeff collects dinky toys - you probably won't be surprised to know (but I was) that when he was a child he actually kept some of his cars in their boxes, all neat and tidily when he finished playing with them - I didn't know anyone did that!  Needless to say his mum gave them all away, didn't mums always do that? He has slowly, and at great expense, been replacing them - only wanting all the ones he had as a child - and getting fussier and fussier as he has progressed.
I just like toys - especially those from the fifties and sixties - there is something about the colour and design that really appeals to me - although I am still searching for a replica of my doll with blue hair - I would only know her if I saw her again.  Anyhow - I would like to set up a separate Peakirk Vintage Toys & Collectables Shop soon - I have been squirreling away some things - just bits and pieces, to see how it goes, and I asked Jeff if he would register it with our accountant. He looked doubtful, as I expected - he is not one to be rushed - it took ages to get Peakirk Books going - but the seed is sown. Watch this space.


  1. Heather I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and even stopped rushing around for a second to read every word of it – most unusual for me I usually skim and ‘sort of get the gist’ of things. Terry and I are the complete opposite of you and Jeff – I’m the organised one and he’s the disorganised – his mounds of things to be done drive me up the wall! But he is also an accountant so I can happily hand over the ‘hard’ bits of bookselling to him. He’s also good on the computer so that’s a great help but he has no interest in books or anything ‘bookish’ – I keep trying to encourage him to look for/sell a few books but have no luck at all with that. Keep up the good work with your blog - I wish I could write half as well as you do!

  2. Hi Barbara - Typically me I have only just seen this - what a lovely thing to say! No one has ever said that I write well before.(I did maths at college amazingly, then when I studied the second time round studied global politics - I have never written!). I don't actually think many people read my blog - its more a place for me and my ramblings - but its nice to know that you are out there anyway.