When I tell people that I have a pile of books at home that I’m reading/about to read, I really mean a pile. Not a stack, or a tower. A pile. Spread out. Chaotic. Piled.
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Mmm. Today is a good day because I get to share these sample chapters from The Greatest Blogger in the World (out in July) with you. Think of the chapters as cheese, the pdf as the toothpick and me as the old woman giving out samples next to the deli.
One week into BEDA and I’m finding blogging every day to be easier than I thought it would be. It certainly helps when I’m sent articles like this one about my namesake Andrew McDonald the Shoemaker from Sydney.
That’s a photo of Andrew above, taken from the interview in today’s small business section of the Age. I already have to compete with Andrew McDonald the Victorian cricketer now I have to compete with Andrew McDonald the Shoemaker getting all this media attention too.
To try to counteract all the attention Shoe-Andrew is getting I have taken the Q&A he did with the Age, removed his answers and inserted my own answers:
The Age: How is bespoke retailing faring right at the moment? Are you finding customers are being more economical?
Me: I would say that bespoke retailing is most likely doing less business than usual at the moment. I say this because I have certainly not purchased any bespoke or custom-made items in the past year or so. Excluding that suit I got in Vietnam.
What changes have you had to make to the way you run your business to accommodate the current economic climate?
I wouldn’t exactly call being a writer a business. But if I did run a business I would probably cut back on all marketing, fire most of my staff and spend my weekends just generally panicking.
How has the downturn impacted on your business plans for the next 12 months?
It means that I can no longer afford to pay my business planner Joseph to plan my business. Although I think he was working on a five-year plan not a 12-month plan.
What things would you never compromise on and what things are ok to scale back on?
Writers should try scaling back on compound verbs — they take up too much space and as money gets tighter, books are going to have fewer pages.
Is luxury retailing facing the need to re-invent itself? Oroton markets itself as ‘affordable luxury’. Can this work for others?
Affordable luxury is when you break into a rich person’s backyard and swim in their pool. Or when you attend a wedding with the inside of your jacket lined with plastic bags to put caviar into. I’m not sure that Oroton counts.
If you had a crystal ball, what would you picture for the next 12 months?
I don’t think this question makes grammatical sense. I mean, are you asking what do I picture happening in the forthcoming 12 months or what would I see if I stared at a crystal ball for 12 months in a row? The answer to that last question is…crystal ball. I would probably just see a whole lot of crystal ball.
When I was out riding my bike yesterday I came across this sight:
Not that I believe the old myth that says a pair of shoes flung over powerlines indicates the residence of drug dealers but there sure are a lot of shoes up there. Should someone call the Feds?
I’m fairly sure I’m not in denial about underwear shopping.
I walk casually past the K-Mart and stall when I see the 25% Off Underwear sign. I stop and rub my chin so as to give the impression that this is the first I have known of this sale. I check the time on my phone and shrug my shoulders as if to say ‘I suppose I have time for an impulse K-Mart visit’. I walk in.
I search through the isles of the Outdoor Furniture and am surprised to suddenly find myself on the edge of the Mens Underwear section. ‘While I’m here I might as well have a look,’ I say in the body language of my swagger towards the underwears.
As I pass the sale underwears I run my eyes over them all without actually stopping. There is not much time to peruse since I am impulse shopping. The only thing I am checking for is the top rim of elastic of the underwears — the part that the general public might see should I bend over one day or wear my pants slightly too low. I reach out and grab two underwears with waist elastics that I deem to be adequate in appearance and I hustle back to the Outdoor Furniture.
In the line for the checkout I check my shopping list which has ‘Groceries’ written at the top of it. Clearly, my K-Mart trip has been a slight detour to buy my brother some new underwears. I grab a small tin of mints from the candy stand and strategically place them on top of my pile of goods, concealing the underwears from the naked eye. The checkout girl processes my items and I give her a smile that says ‘My wife asked me to buy these to clean the shower with.’ She looks at my bare ring finger as I sign the receipt but to her credit she says nothing but ‘Have a nice day’. I shove my goods into my backpack and walk out like I am very disappointed that I didn’t find anything to buy at K-Mart.
I’m fairly sure I’m not in denial about underwear shopping.