All work and no play. Hardly true, this week at least – a seasonal round of partying, beginning with the ABA Christmas party last Wednesday, lunch with booksellers in the north on Friday,
local festivities with friends on Saturday, and then last night – Cocktails with Natalie Galustian. Her splendid shop in Cecil Court ablaze with light and filled with booksellers for the launch of a new book – Cocktails with Bompas and Parr.
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr were there in person. Green and flowery cocktails were flowing and for once Natalie’s fine and idiosyncratic stock took second place to a display of the book of honour. Terrific book – wonderful photographs – ideal Christmas gift at £14.99.
Always a pleasure to visit the shop of course – just look at some of the catalogues on her website: poker and gambling; cookery and cocktails; African American and Cuban literature; early gay fiction – offbeat, quirky and a wholly original mix of stock stylishly displayed. I’ve obviously signed her up to give one of the ABA seminars next year.
Some of the usual suspects also in evidence. Angus O’Neill (Omega Bookshop), head of the ABA Management & Communications Committee – for the moment concentrating on the communications side (he somehow seemed to turn up in every photograph). Glenn Mitchell from Peter Harrington was there. Kenneth Fuller from Marchpane – and many another. The trade in top form. And Tim Bryars was there too, ABA Press Officer and something of an arbiter on matters cocktail (see his comment on Hijacked by Wild Swimmers back in August).
Tim’s always on the lookout to promote the book trade – don’t miss his Carols in the Court this coming Thursday. A welcome back to Opera Holland Park – Thursday 15th December from 4.30pm. As dusk draws on and Cecil Court is bathed in the warm glow of Victorian gas lamps, ten professional singers will perform traditional carols, with a few jazzier pieces and some other sacred music. There will be wine, mince pies and other festive treats. Don’t miss it! Get there early and visit the bookshops too.