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Happy birthday to us!

I’ve come over all emotional this evening. Do you want to know why? Of course you do. We have reached our first birthday. It’s hard to believe that in the current economic climate…blah, blah, blah…kids not reading any more…waffle, waffle…we have reached a year relatively unscathed. We’ve managed to feed and clothe all three children, still love each other very much (aah), pay the bills and even sell a fair few books along the way. Not bad eh?!

Birthdays and anniversaries of any kind are always odd, I think. Time seems to lack a linear quality, for me at least, so on the one hand it feels like an absolute age since we opened our doors for the first time and yet, on the other, the year has flashed by incredibly quickly.

IMG_0696When I look back on all that we have achieved, from this,

Mr Frog hard at work. Purple is the future.
Mr Frog hard at work. Purple is the future.

to this,

Our first delivery
Our first delivery

to this,

A proper bookshop!
A proper bookshop!

I feel a bit overwhelmed. I decided to write a list. I love a list, me. Mr Frog, not so much, but I think that lists make the world go around. Here’s a list of just some of the things we have done in the past year.

Joined forces with the lovely Claire Mackaness, waved a fond and proud farewell to Mrs Mack as she opened Beautiful Things HQ, secured funding from the Brentwood Community Share Fund to launch a free Family Learning Project (which we have continued without funding this year), set up a thriving tuition centre, run Creative Writing clubs, handwriting club, hosted an art class with Russell Newton, hosted French and Spanish Rhythm & Rhyme sessions, story times, Rhythm & Rhyme, parties, launched an annual writing competition, sponsored a Brents Award, hosted school classes, consulted with local schools, run school holiday programs, included local indie businesses in a Where’s Wally Hunt and welcomed all of these great visitors into our little shop: Martin Brown, J.D.Irwin, Tamsyn Murray, Lucy Coats, J.N.Paquet, Christopher William Hill, Steven Lenton, Karen McCombie, Michelle Robinson, Sue Pavey – I think that’s everyone! Sorry if I’ve missed you off, I’m a very sleepy Mrs Chicken.

And in the very near future? Well, Nick and Annette Butterworth (Yes! THE Butterworths) are visiting us on the 16th November. Caryl Hart and Laura Dockrill are making plans for visits too and we are linking up with Brentwood Theatre for the annual Chicken and Frog Writing Competition.

Now for the soppy bit. Mr Frog and I want to publicly and affectionately thank our amazing children for accepting a massive change of life-style.

IMG_1324AliceHolly2

And our brilliant parents; without their support and faith in us, we would be nothing. Ditto to our friends, old and new. And last, but by no means least, the fantastic people who come through our doors every day to breath in the world of books. We thank-you all, with cake, chocolate lollies and a cheeky 20% sale on all books tomorrow 🙂

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The independent children's bookshop, tuition centre and cafe corner in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.