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Diary of a Publisher on the Brink #SavedByOneBook

November 9, 2021

18 Days until move-out date

None of us really know what the future holds, but I’m going to take you on a journey into uncharted territory.

So, without much money but now with indefinite leave to remain, I, my brother and our black lab Harry have to move out of our beloved and delightful Mill cottage. Our landlord has been very accommodating, it’s not his fault that I’ve invested everything in Holland Park Press.

With 18 days to go before the move-out date we have come across incredible acts of kindness. We’ve received an offer of acting as a guarantor for rent by a neighbour, two offers of a house share and an offer of storage space.

I will miss working from my cosy study (and Harry will miss the snoozing under the window next to the radiator) but today I’ve made a start by going through my things in the study to see what I can throw out. So far, I managed to fill two black bin bags. Quite an achievement for a seasoned hoarder.

I am determined to keep Holland Park Press running and the best way to help us is by recommending our wonderful books to as many people as possible. Thank you!

17 Days until move-out date

We did a bit more cleaning out today and tomorrow I’m running the bookstall on the Shambles Market in Stroud. After driving me to Stroud, my brother is taking a few items we haven’t used for ages (I’m really not planning at doing any more ice skating) to the charity shop. Where would I be without him? Today some kind people in and around Malmesbury gave us some bubble wrap and removal boxes. So we can start packing and not too soon because here are just two of the bookcases that need packing up.

Yes, that’s Harry having a snooze, he’s the perfect publishing dog, he knows: ‘books are not for doggies’. But they are for human beings. Have you checked out our poetry list?

16 Days until move-out date

Today we got up at 6pm to reach Stroud in time to put up stall before the Shambles Market opens. After a day on the market I was ready to view our prospective new home: the house share offered in Malmesbury.

Lisa showed us around the top floor of her delightful family home and we decided that, in the short run, we could run Holland Park Press from here, as it even had a roomy cupboard perfect for storing our stock. Dog Harry was very excited, there were so many new things that had to be checked out, luckily Lisa’s son Tom turned out to be quite a dog whisperer.

If you couldn’t visit our bookstall today, there is always or virtual bookstall, open 24/7, not only for printed books but also for ebooks in Kindle & epub formats.

15 Days until move-out date

After another day on the market I was really ready for bed but even that has to go into storage and it has been with me since 1996.

14 Days until move-out date

List, lists & more lists. What to take with us, what to put in storage. Have we got a storage space? What about people helping us to move? So many things to chase and sort out. Not forgetting promoting our books! That’s what it all about, to continue publishing and selling great literature.

For now, it means things have to go: Caroline, my doll, a present from my godmother in 1964 (don’t tell granny how much she costs), sitting in my high chair (dating back to 1958). A drawing of myself aged three, and a drawing by myself from the eighties. They all have to go into storage.

But they can come back if you support us buy buying our books and telling your friends to buy our books.

13 Days until move-out date

Today, a Monday, I’ve been busy with publishing work, as always from my trusty old desk. I inherited from my father who bought it in 1951 when he and my mother married. It has the original fifties desk lamp (seen on the far left) and an original letter balance (on the right foreground). I’m determined to hang on to this desk and move it to our new home.

12 Days until move-out date

A very big thank you to all the lovely people who have helped us so far! Thanks to them, we’ve added to our boxes and bubble wrap, so that packing can start in earnest. We also continued with our decluttering, and removed the last items from the garden shed. Next (urgent!): to find storage space for most of our belongings but, of course, not our Holland Park Press books, they and I cannot be separated. Have you checked them out?

11 Days until move-out date

We’ve found storage for our personal books! Now we only have to pack the equivalent of 13 Billy bookcases. But spare a thought for my brother who is going to be separated from his large personal book collection for the third time. He can only take a small selection to our house share which will be centered around his own and Gerard’s Reve’s oeuvres.

We are fighting to keep Holland Park Press going and we’re so close to make the press pay for itself, but we need your help, our books deserve to be read so please tell your friends. If they all buy just one book we will be saved. So that’s our campaign: I’ve invested everything I owned, you need to only buy one book to save us #SavedByOneBook.

10 Days until move-out date

Today we dashed around Malmesbury to collect cardboard boxes people were about to throw out. It’s been amazing how helpful people have been but I hope I’m not gaining a local reputation as that strange lady wearing a hat looking for spare boxes. Now boxes are invading our house and they have just made into my last stronghold: the study.

However books are taken care of, but what about our furniture? Follow this diary to see what happens next.

By the way, on the photo below, if you look closely, you can spot my toy stove on which I have cooked real pancakes! Sadly it too goes into storage. The row of red folders are the Holland Press Order Books. We need many more of them. That’s why you come in: join our #SavedByOneBook campaign: just persuade everyone you know to buy just one of our books. Thanks!

9 Days until move-out date

My brother secured 12 more boxes today but otherwise I was busy running the bookstall on the Shambles Market in Stroud. However, I’m getting increasingly worried about our furniture. We can’t take it with us to our temporary new home and need to store it until we have found a more permanent solution. If anyone has space to store it please let me know. I need to take care of this lovely 17th century traditional oak Dutch cupboard, lovingly restored by a friend of my parents, the director of a Dutch museum. The two doors and the top can be taken off but I can still remember it took four man to carry the top bit into our parents house.

8 Days until move-out date

Another Shambles Market day, but we managed to find three more cardboard book boxes in Stroud on the Farmer’s Market and three more boxes in Malmesbury. My reputation has box collection wearing a hat must be growing. Today, we did also secure the use of a sack truck for moving our books into storage, thanks Ron! But still no storage space for our furniture. Very worrying as this lovely picture of our maternal grandparents, taken not long after their marriage in 1911, also has to go into storage.

7 Days until move-out date

Just one week left! I’ve started to clear out my study, so sad. Still more worried about where to find a temporary shelter for our furniture. But you can help. How? Our books and authors deserve to be read so please tell your friends. If they all buy just one book we will be saved. #SavedByOneBook

7 Days until move-out date & a bit more!

That’s the great news of today: we’ve been given a few days more to move our stuff into storage by our wonderful landlord Allan. Also our personal books are going to safe storage space this Saturday and I’ve been working hard to clear the shelves in my study which is also the Holland Park Press office. Sad to leave but great to continue publishing. Now I’ve cleared stuff you can actually spot my old school bag on the floor between the bookcases. I used it to carry books from one classroom to another (yes, you had to that in the 1970s!). Actually it doesn’t contain any books, but is now home to one of my old lab coats. What? Well, that’s another story. In the meantime if you and your friends all buy just one book we will be saved. #SavedByOneBook.

6 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

Even though we’ve been given a few more days to move out we can’t afford to slow down. Yet, nice things happen, today when packing up more books I came across this book of poems written by my relatives. A ‘poeziealbum’ was a must have for a primary school girl in the 1960s. Below is a contribution from my grandmother born in 1890. Remember the picture of her and my grandfather (see the ‘8 days until entry’) also has to go into storage and we haven’t yet found a space. But you can help, by buying more books we might actually be able to pay for storage, that would be great, so tell all your friends about #SavedByOneBook. Because great poetry and prose deserves to be published and read.

 

 

5 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

Today, we managed to book a van, so we can move our personal books into storage. The picture below shows them all boxed up. That’s the good news, the bad news is that my laptop, which was on its last legs anyway, doesn’t want to start up any longer. The only way to go on is to sell more books. So tell all your friends about our exceptional books and authors and to support #SavedByOneBook.

4 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

A good friend came to the rescue and gave us a new laptop! I fell in love with England in 1976 and it still manages to amaze me. The shelves are empty but we can and will go on. Don’t forget that you, book loving people, can really make the difference by buying our books and promoting #SavedByOneBook.

3 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

Today was a very good day on the market but it was my brother who put on an amazing performance. He, as usual, ferried me to and from the market, but also took three bookcases apart in my study and after we came home loaded the van with our personal books. He’s the best! I tried to make myself a bit useful by setting up the new laptop and taking care of our delightful black lab Harry, who continues to be very baffled by all the upheaval, but is very good about it, and follows us around.

2 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

Another rolling coaster day! From a publishing point of view, the Shambles Market in Stroud was good again, interestingly most books sold were poetry with The Houses Along the Wall –  A Pembrokeshire Poetry Cycle being the bestselling title. Andy Pointer gave us an excellent storage space for our personal books and he brought along a very strong young rugby player called Tilly to help my brother and him to carry our 130 plus book boxes up two flights of stairs. An hour in, I received a call for help: only half of the books had been carried up but they all were absolutely knackered. Luckily an extremely fit young stallholder called Taylor came to the rescue, and the books were safely delivered upstairs within half an hour. A big thank you to all these remarkable people! My brother and I both selected a few books to take to our new home and mine are on top of my grandmother’s old cupboard shown below.

1 (+ 4) Days until move-out date

Today, we carried all our 13 bookcases downstairs, then into the van and, with the help of another lovely friend Debbie, into her storage place. But getting more and more worried about finding storage space for the rest of our furniture. Trouble is that most of them have not much real but great sentimental value. Take for example this lovely cupboard from my maternal grandparents house. You can always help us buying one of our books. #SavedByOneBook

4 Extra Days until move-out date

If we were playing a football match, we’re now in injury time. We aren’t but we are playing the match of our lives. Yet, there is another bit of progress to report today, we found a storage space for the rest of our belongings including all of our furniture. In the meantime my publisher’s hat (unlike the thirty-odd non figurative ones I also own) is still firmly permanently placed on my head. I just packed another order for the US and, of course, the HPP books are moving with me to our new home. But if you support our #SavedByOneBook campaign there is less to add to the load.

3 Extra Days until move-out date

Today, the additional two strong persons necessary to move the rest of our things into storage didn’t materialise. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow. Our packing continues and today I’ve been busy sorting my clothes. I very much prefer selling and promoting our books or reading manuscripts but in order to do this we have to move and hence to pack and sort. I’m always wearing many hats but tomorrow I’ve have to decide which ones I can take to our new temporary home. And where is that van with two helpful men or women? You probably can’t sort this, but you can help us by supporting the SavedByOneBook campaign.

2 Extra Days until move-out date & 1 or 2 more

Good news! We’ve secure, I think, enough extra pair of hands so that we can move our remaining things into storage on Saturday. A very big thank you to Catherine from our pastoral council who persuaded her grandsons to lend us a hand. It’s been a hectic and challenging time which has required me to wear a lot of hats at the same time. Actually, I’m used to that anyway, wearing a lot of hats, but usually not all at once. Well, in my case, that would be quite of a challenge, the summer hats go into storage but the winter hats go with me. If you, like me, enjoy reading good literature support our SavedByOneBook campaign.

It’s official, we’re moving out on Sunday

The extra pair of hands have been secured and a van (with a lift!) has been booked. Saturday is the big removal day. Today, we moved the first few fragile things (including some paining by my brother Arnold) to the airtight container we rent from Tony and Natasha. Caroline my doll who has been with me since 1964 has moved, leaving this high chair (I sat in it myself) empty for the moment.

However, some things stay with me such as the company files. I also hope to hang on the desk from which I’ve run the company since 2009. Besides, it’s my father desk, which he and my mother bought when they married in 1951. My father was a business man and I feel his support when I encourage you to buy our books and save us SavedByOneBook.

End of Friday – Moving out on Sunday

First a big thank you to our wonderful landlord Allan. He waived two month’s of rent and allowed us to stay for few more days before moving out. Today, my brother, who is a published author and poet, he should have been writing, did a magnificent job by driving a rather  large van, with a lift at the back to our home. His time in the army came to the rescue.

We’re all set for moving most of our stuff into storage tomorrow.  I wish I had been on the market today, but I was rather preoccupied with the move. Meanwhile, our market suitcases are looking rather forlorn, but next weekend they will see a lot of action again . You can always support us by buying our of our books. Much appreciated essential for us to continue to exist. SavedByOneBook.

Day before move-out date

Today, with the help of Catherine’s sons and grandsons, we managed to put all our things in storage. Well, it was my brother Arnold with Catherine’s family who did all of the carrying. I packed the kitchen and tried to keep Harry, our black Labrador, happy. He was very confused by what was going on and extremely disappointed to find out, when he was finally allowed to move out of the kitchen, that ‘big basket’, he sleeps on the end of my bed, was gone! Well, we will all be gone tomorrow to write a new chapter in the continuing story of Holland Park Press. But remember we can be SavedByOneBook.

We’ve moved

We’ve moved to our new temporary home. The reassembled office desk is for now very basic but it is up and running. We’re still surrounded by unpacked boxes but Harry, our dog, really likes his new abode, so that’s good news. A very big thank you to all the good people to helped to get this far. We’re ready to add exciting new chapters to our publishing adventure.

I will start start a new diary and please remember you can help enormously by asking your friends to buy just one of our #novels, #shortstories or #poetry. Thanks! #SavedByOneBook