The Aardvark Blog
Frankfurt, Culture and Fleamarkets
Frankfurt, Culture and Fleamarkets
Having managed to pull a muscle in my back, I have been avoiding sitting down, hence the time that has passed since my last blog. Fortunately my back is now on the mend, and I am starting to feel more cheerful all round.
Last weekend we spent in Frankfurt for our annual trip to the Book fair. Picked up over 50 large boxes of superb books and am very much looking forward to them arriving here on Monday. Lots and lots of art, photography, architecture and gift items from our usual publishers and some new to us. Overall a positive cornucopia. In the weeks before Frankfurt I have not been idle and picked up several hundred books from a small local stately home including a lovely set of the History of English Furniture by MacQuoid in the original larger Country Life edition, all three volumes in jacket. An absolutely superb reference work that no house should be without.
Sales through both bookshop and online have been quite healthy, and the shop is generally going suspiciously well. Lots of new books hitting the shelves and if you haven't visited the shop for a while, you will find lots of new treasures on the shelves and goods in tables.
My annual trip to Germany gives me an opportunity to assess the state of the booktrade as a whole, and it seemed to me that this year publishers were seeming a little bit more stressed. Pressure on all parts of the booktrade is relentless, although it was very exciting to catch a glimpse of Isabel Allende who was the fair's principle guest.
Sunday brings our last Fleamarket of the year ( although we do have a Christmas market on the 6th of December). With over 30 stalls we are expecting a fantastic turnout, so what better opportunity to start your Christmas shopping - not least because we will just have unpacked this year's jumbo selection of Christmas cards. The fair starts at 10am and you are advised to arrive early and come with sharp elbows.
On the cultural front I am still recovering from the brilliance of this year's Arcadia music festival. Three wonderful programmes, and it was a great pleasure for Aardvark to also do an event this year ( Pele Cox's well attended poetry reading). Whilst in Frankfurt we took the opportunity to go to the wonderful Goethe museum. A replica of Goethe's parents house, the museum and accompanying art gallery is a wonderful introduction to Goethe and the artistic world that surrounded him. Some superb Angelica Kauffman paintings also.
Attached to the museum is a fantastic music shop where I bought a couple of CDs including a Japanese export edition of an early Ahmad Jahmal record a record called 'Prairie Dog' by the wonderful and little known jazz pianist Duke Pearson. Pearson recorded 'Wahoo' which is one of my favourite, favourite records and top of the jazz section in my Desert Island Choice. Finally I have now got Ethel Aardvark hooked on my favourite tv show 'Friday Night Lights'. If you have Netflix I cannot recommend it highly enough. Ethel has no interest in sport, and yet the superb writing and ensemble acting has got her hooked. The show's motto is 'Clear Eyes, Full hearts, Can't Lose' - could be Aardvark's raison d'etre also.
Enjoy the flea market, and look out for news of the Winter Event on the 21st of November.
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