Born seer and intuitive counsellor Mili Kaikkonen was in town recently at Woolfson & Tay. Mili, from Helsinki, will be dropping by in London once a month. She will conduct psychic platform events and day workshops. To experience an audience with Mili, and so you don't miss out the next time she's in London, visit this link. To discover abilities you may not even know you have, sign up for the Intuitive Self Empowerment workshops.
Peter Millar's Black Madonna was officially launched last night at Woolfson & Tay by Arcadia books. Invitees included authors, publishers, booktrade members, friends and family.
Local storyteller Vanessa Woolf charms children of all ages :) at Woolfson & Tay during the Bermondsey Street Festival 2010 on 18 September.
Inaugural monthly event, Evening With Rosie Furber And...., kicked off with author of Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard To Be Happy, Michael Foley. It was a lively discussion. On the matter of reading, Michael suggested that 'reading is an extreme sport. Strenous. Vigorous. It's like wrestling with a superior mind'...
Tim Butcher, author of Blood River, shared about his epic trek across Sierra Leone and Liberia in the footsteps of Graham Greene. It was a fascinating talk which Tim illustrated with archival images as well as snapshots from his travel. The Q&A session was equally enlightening with Tim sharing his experiences and views of the situation in West Africa. Thank you Tim - we felt as if we were on that arduous trek with you in the sweltering heat. In the process we learnt a lot about the complexities of the struggles involved and gained an appreciation for Africa's fighting spirit to survive and to thrive.
Oh what an evening it was! Jillian Edelstein's Truth & Lies exhibition was launched last night at Woolfson & Tay - the first public showing in London of her seminal body of photographs and text on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
In total, there were 50 guests. It was a real treat - Jillian spoke about her experiences of documenting the TRC across South Africa. Actor and playwright Paul Herzberg performed a short segment from his play The Dead Wait. His transformation on the stage was just mindblowing. Renowned actress Janet Suzman moved the crowd with her reading of two poems she had selected. Richard Freedman, director of the South African Holocaust Foundation - in town just for the night - shared his private recollections of the impact of apartheid on him, his family and those he knew. He spoke movingly about his guilt and about the loss he felt in a country torn apart by the creation of 'The Other.' The audience was rapturous in its applause for all the guest speakers. A few people, after the main event, told me how moved they had been.
It was truly an amazing night. Thank you Jillian, Janet, Paul and Richard for sharing a piece of history with us and for reminding us of the thin line between 'Us' and 'The Other' and how we lose when we choose to draw that dividing line.
More photos below....
The opening day was an amazing experience! I expected people to trickle in when we opened the doors and maybe this would grow into a bit of a swell by midday, but at 10.30am, there were people outside the doors waiting to get in! We were still scrambling about getting stuff ready and were to open at 11am. I was feeling a bit jittery, butterflies in stomach and all that, and when I looked about, I think the team was buzzing too, Anna showed me her hands and they were shaking some :)
From the moment we unlocked the doors at 10 past 11, people filtered in. This soon grew to be a throng, which lasted until about 4pm before it smoothed out a little. What an amazing response, I recognised many local people who had, over the few days leading up to the opening, dropped by and chatted to us at the doors.
Also, because of the Thames Festival, we didn't really know how many people would come by, including some local representatives we had invited. So imagine my surprise when Simon Hughes MP showed up with local councillor Tim McNally! I think I was a little shellshocked and started blabbering; saved by my having to go make them lattes! They gave a lovely speech, especially Simon, who rounded off his speech with "SE1 is the best postcode!" to resounding claps and cheers from those assembled. Local councillor Val Shawcross showed up not too long after to say 'hello' despite having had a full day officiating at the festival. Thank you!
Okay, so not everything was perfect and we still aren't completely done with our renovations, but everyone was very forgiving, never mind the masking tape over an unfinished crack in the WC door frame, half a plastic sheeting on the air flow over the door, and two non-functioning air conds!
Edwina Hayes played two sets to an enraptured crowd while kids were enthralled with balloons, balloons everywhere which Rabbie Kadhim liberally dispensed. Del Aziz kept the drinks and food flowing - thank you Suna and your amazing team! Sixwineseight kept the proseccos coming. By the time we closed our doors at 6pm, the team were elated, tired but beaming from ear to ear. Thank you everyone for making it such a special day!
How time flies! Almost there - but not quite. Must be almost there 'cos a young man plugged into his iPod strode in, went halfway across the shop floor and up to a book bay, looked around before he realised his mistake, said, 'You're not open yet, are you?' and sheepishly apologised before ambling out again!
It's time to party again! Mark the date down in your calendar. The Bermondsey Street Festival will take place Saturday, 18th Sept 2010. Woolfson & Tay, in conjunction with Bermondsey Square, is offering 5 x £10 vouchers and 1 x Grand Prize of £50. So join in the festivities, tell your friends, and head on down to Bermondsey, London SE1!
For more info, visit BSF 2010 website.
It's going to be an exciting month at Woolfson & Tay, not least because we're finally opening our doors this coming Saturday, Sept 11. Now, some people have asked us, why on 9/11 of all dates? We did give it a real long, hard think and decided, why not? As you may know, at W&T, we hope to promulgate the ethos we developed with our non profit company Living Imprint - that is, to harness the transformational power of life stories to enliven, enlighten and educate. So what could be more life affirming than to open our doors on 9/11?
We are really, really excited, especially about our life stories section. Here, you'll find a score of biographies, autobiographies and life stories - perhaps even of people you may not have heard of. Take for example Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, about one man's mission to promote peace by building schools in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan. Then there's Bridge Across My Sorrows by Christina Noble, about an Irish woman's amazing work with street kids in Ho Chi Minh. There's also From Emperor To Citizen by Aisin Giori Pu Yi. Yes, that Pu Yi, as in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Emperor. A must read is West by nature writer Jim Perrin, a heartbreaking journey through the landscape of loss. And of course, we have Tony Blair's recently released The Journey!
Come this Saturday, we'll be having some entertainment, food, fun, and wine. Singer songwriter Edwina Hayes will be performing. I'll share with you a personal story - Edwina played at our civil partnership service. The special song we chose was Feels Like Home. There was not a dry eye in the house! Later, she played at our dinner and all I can say is, Edwina has an amazing ability to make you stand still and just listen. She also has an awesome repertoire of original material. Not long after this, Edwina's version of Feels Like Home was included in the soundtrack of My Sister's Keeper (yup, the one where Cameron Diaz's daughter sues her parents for treating her like an organ farm). So don't miss her live performance! More info on our website, including kiddie fun with Rabbie Kadhim.
Then there are author events with Tim Butcher and Michael Foley (in conversation with local author Rosemary Furber), the exhibition launch of award-winning photographer Jillian Edelstein's Truth & Lies show, performances by the Academy Award-nominated, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning actress Janet Suzman and playwright Paul Herzberg, an awesome creative writing workshop by Shaun Levin, the evening psychic reading session with Mili Kaikkonen ... just too many to mention. So do check out our calendar of events for a full listing. We hope to see you soon!