In: New Look, out: Borders

Bloody hell! There I was popping in to Borders on Oxford Street to ‘use the facilities’ and I was greeted by the world’s biggest queue for the tills, coiling every which way around the ground floor. There must be a new Harry Potter book out, I thought, but no, it’s much more sinister than that. New Look has bought five Borders stores and the Oxford Street branch is one of the unlucky ones. Almost everything is half price (but not the magazines, natch) hence the frenzy.

The photography section looked tantalising on first inspection but when I returned for a proper recce two hours later, everything was on the floor.

What a sorry state of affairs. What on earth is going to happen to the rest of our bookshops if this is happening to Borders now? What can we do? I don’t have anything against New Look but there is already a flagship store in Marble Arch (unless they are downsizing and swapping sites), is our appetite for jazzy leggings so great that we need two branches of the same store in the same street at the expense of a bookshop? It’s all too sad!

The Rock And Roll Public Library

This is turning out to be a week of scrapbook-mania, moodboard-making and ephemera-loving! Firstly, I decided to make some fashiony moodboards for my own pleasure so have started with the fun bit – namely deciding on themes and sorting all my relevant scraps into piles. To aid the creative flow, dear D came home this evening with a Waterstones carrier bag tucked under his arm. Therein was the Satchmo book, a present for us to share which is even better than I expected. Pages and pages of cut-out photos, hand rendered type and yellowing tape artfully arranged into beautiful, personal collages that tell the story of Louis Armstrong’s life. As if that wasn’t ‘WOW’ enough, an email just pinged in my inbox from PR pal R about The Rock And Roll Public Library.

This is an exhibition that opened today featuring a lifetime’s collecting of pop culture and ephemera by West London cool dude Mick Jones (otherwise known as iconic guitarist and songwriter from The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon Silicon). Jones has collected and archived all his Clash-related videos, magazines, stage clothes, artwork and instruments as well as more personal letters and artefacts amassed in his studio over the last three (or even four) decades. The exhibition is on show for a month but Jones has longer term aims for the collection. “Ultimately I’d like to have a permanent place to exhibit the whole collection like a museum, like a library where you can come and see the stuff and maybe get a copy or sit there and read it. I also would like to bring artists there because it’s history really,” he said. It’s on until 18th April and I can’t wait to go!

Read more about The Rock and Roll Public Library…