Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bookshop, Martha, moonshadow: Easter Saturday

Today in the bookshop where now I work on Saturdays there were few buyers but lots of browsers, plus a third category of people who thought I was an information bureau: the gaggle of teenage boys who were looking for the cinema up the road; the Danish tourist who couldn't find the travel agent; the woman who wanted to know when the woman in the shop next door was opening up for her Easter sale.

I sent a couple looking for specialist books on contemporary Australian furniture-making down to the Experimental Art Foundation, and a man who rang looking for books on Stanley Spencer up to Carrick Hill, where they've got at least one Spencer hung. I like working in the bookshop, it makes me feel competent. I've learned a few things already, like never to trust anyone in a baseball cap, especially if he has it on the right way around. (If he is a she, call the police. Not difficult, as they're only a few doors down; I could step outside and shout.)

The shop is in Hindley Street, which is, erm, colourful, and last week I had to go to the front door and give a drug-crazed busker who was camped on the doorstep and competing with my own choice of ambient music -- Bach cellos -- a choice: would he please either move a few doors down or let me tune his guitar properly. He moved.

Sufficiently knackered by the time I shut up shop this afternoon to be grateful for a nice night in, I settled down with some buttered noodles to RocKwiz which I have decided is one of the kewlest shows on TV. I was listening to Martha Wainwright's mum and auntie before young Martha was born (just), so it was such a treat to see and hear her being truly stunning live on the teeve -- that show is very unforgiving, with weaknesses exposed for all to see, but Wainwright just ate it up, a big sexy girl in a faux-retro dress, crooning impromptu and a capella into the mic in a way that would have made her mommy and her daddy and her big brother Rufus proud.

And then when I went outside late tonight on the romantic errand of taking the pre-loved cat litter out to the bin, the Easter moon was so full and bright and the sky so clear that the shadow I threw on the pavers was sharp-cut enough for me to check out the silhouette of my haircut.

Haircut, six out of ten. Martha, ten. Moonshine, eleven.

2 comments:

Lucy Tartan said...

When I worked in retail, Easter Saturday was one of the biggest trading days of the year - wedged between two days when the shops are shut - it seemed to induce a kind of lemming panic in people in case they ran out of trousers.

I always wanted to work in a bookshop. Do you get a good discount?

Pavlov's Cat said...

I'm not sure too many people were worrying about running out of books on architecture and textile design over Easter, more's the pity. From this you will deduce that it's a specialist bookshop -- the aforementioned plus gardens, photography, art, graphic and interior design, and so forth. The books are gorgeous beyond the dreams of luxury and priced accordingly, so even a discount wouldn't help much.