Friday 12th July 2019. With the keys finally in our hands the real clock starts.

You can do all the planning, talking, contact building, website building, social media promotion, arranging of contractors, supplier account opening, finance arranging, book choosing but when those keys finally get into your hands all that seems to pale into comparison to the daunting prospect that you now effectively own (ok, lease but it feels perminent) a huge city centre property that you’re entirely responsible for turning into all the things you’ve been promising for months.

We’ve been inside 41 Timberhill a grand total of 3 times before this day and now it will be our second home. It’s so exciting, it’s so scary, it’s so daunting. Its Thrilling. It’s not hard to find joy in every moment. The neighbours popping in to offer support (and trade prices!) The enquisative eyes peering in through the windows of a building that’s stood emptying for 18 months. The last building on the street to be filled. The fact we can take a 2 minute walk to buy the most mundane supplies. The nooks and crannies of the building (there are so many!) The working top of the range video security system that the last proprietors left. The friends and family that turned up unasked to pick up scrapers and work for hours.

We have support in Norwich, we know that. But facebook likes dont always translate to paint brushes in hands. We have taken on something mammoth in 41 Timberhill. Our 3 ground floor rooms are covered in a variety of wallpapers (it was a furniture shop). Its ALL gone! All 5 of our children, parents, friends, friends children made what could have taken days take a few hours with laughter dancing singing and fun along the way. I’m fully aware this is day 1 exhilaration but I don’t care.

We have 36 days. 33 as I write this. Real life carries on. My day job continues, I’ll be in scotland next week helping another fantastic new indie bookshop open, we have a family holiday, I have the last 2 performances of Anglia Square – A love story, we have the school run, the shopping, all the humdrum. We can’t stop now. Luckily this is my wonderful wifes strong point. When she has a project she out performs every time. Anyone that came to our DIY wedding will know that. It’s not my strong point. Don’t get me wrong, when I work I work hard and throw everything into it but if I can lay in bed all day watching homes under the hammer I will!

Luckily now theres somewhere I’d rather be. Speaking of which, I’m heading there now. A few hours scraping, the final Common Lot show, the after show party and into a week of painting, ordering and beginning this new life we’ll be living.

A final note. This show I’m doing. It’s life affirming in every way. Thousands have seen the 7 shows so far. Last show today. Its everything I love about Norwich and it represents the spirit of what we want to portray at the bookshop. No questions asked love for your community and the people around you no matter where they have come from. Opening up theatre, the arts and literature to anybody who cares enough to show up. You’ll always be welcomed with a smile and a open mind in our shop.Β 

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