The special CiB meme ‘Xmas in books, accompanied by carefully chosen pictures’ is back!
Every December on the blog I feature Xmas scenes and Xmas books – I never seem to run out, but am still open to ideas and suggestions.
If you use Pinterest you can see some of the beautiful seasonal pictures on this page, and you can find (endless!) more Xmas books via the labels at the bottom of the page.
Bond Street Story by Norman Collins
[Being a Christmas temp in a department store]
That’s why she looks forward so much to Christmas. She’s on Rammell’s temporary list, of course. One of the permanent temporaries, so to speak. Good assistants aren’t three a penny. And she can go back whenever she wants to. Last Christmas, for example, was heavenly. The same rush in the morning. Standing up in the train. Worked off her feet as soon as she got there. Only half an hour for lunch because there were all the things to put straight again. Ten minutes for tea. A splitting headache by five-thirty. And the glorious sense of being in the swim again.
comments: Christmas in Rammell’s department store in Bond Street – the book (which is wonderful) gave us several entries during 2018. In fact Christmas doesn’t feature much in it, but I liked this description: those of us who have worked in shops at Christmas will recognize the love-hate relationship that goes with the job. The short snappy sentences are very typical of Collins' style - you get used to it. I loved both Bond Street Story and his London Belongs to Me, also much featured on the blog.
And these pictures from the Tyne and Wear archives – shopfronts in Newcastle and Sunderland in 1960 – are so lovely, and so perfect for Rammell’s. The one with the stars is Fenwicks, which very much seemed as if it might be a model for Rammells. The display of baubles is from Woolworths: Mr Rammell would be horrified, tbh.
The Christmas party at Rammell’s featured in an entry last year – the young woman above had quite the time choosing her outfit. And I compared Bond Street Story with another blog favourite, Rona Jaffe’s blissful Best of Everything, whose Xmas party is one of its highlights – this entry features the parties in both the Jaffe book and Bond Street Story. I said then that ‘both books are an absolute delight on the clothes choices and problems of young women going out to work: and both show honest admiration for the way the young women solve those problems on tiny budgets.’