Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This is what we Look Like!

This is our dedicated Religious, Christian Books & Church Supplies Section!

Christmas is here! Gifts, jewellery, Cards, Bibles and Kids Bible Books!

Nativity Sets now in stock! Bibles, Theology, Spirituality, Ministry, General Christian Life Etc

Church Supplies! Candles, Wafers, Church Stationary, Incense, Christian Music, Cards, Gifts etc.

Here are a few pictures of us for those who follow along on the blog but can't get in for whatever reason - as you will see we are a real bookshop for all we are open sided and open minded enough to be in a market hall.
Also you will note the picture of the Christian bit prove we have now moved into the pre-christmas season with lots of nativities and such now in stock - I challenge anyone out there who has recently been at meetings and have never been to see us to say we are not a real bookshop! Assuming makes... well we all know the adage! Come by and visit us and don't make assumptions based on the word Market - Marks & Spencers Started in a market! Starbucks started in a market and so did lots more! The market is fully enclosed and filled with specialist stalls as well as the mundane! A Science-fiction and Movie Memorabilia collectible specialist is the market! The Stamp Man for rare & collectible Stamps, Coins, Postcards and other such rare, treasured & exclusive finds is in the market! Artist Supplies & bespoke framing is in the market - Wendy the artist on artist supplies is a professional artist who is regularly commissioned for cover art and private work! She paints in the market and does art tuition in the market! Then of course there is us - not just a bookstall but a niche market book specialist - we import US fiction on a weekly basis covering Crime, Thrillers, Romance, Science-Fiction, LGBT and other markets - we are one of the few in the greater county and further afield that does so! We deal in specialist markets such as transport and military history - DVD's, Books & more! and of course there is my personal joy - our religious, christian & Church Supplies unit! Committed to serving Lincoln & Lincolnshire churches and faith communities, because no city should be without a Christian bookshop and resource centre.
Of course lets not forget Al's Arts & Crafty Bits also in the market and part of us - one of lincolnshires best papercraft suppliers for the last 5 years now!
Market is just a word, no one scoffs at going to the Supermarket but yet going to a Market Hall denotes something less worthy, something to be scorned and lessened - well put aside your preconceived notions and come visit Lincoln Central Market - you will be surprised at just how many upmarket (see there's that word again!) types pass through it and how many select customers it reaches out too - we have in the years I have now been here happily and repeatedly served on a weekly and monthly basis Judges, Bishops, MP's, Councillors, Doctors, Actors and just everything else on down. There's no shame in being in a market or visiting a market - the only shame is that some think there is and that's no shame on us, its just ashame that some can't work past a bias.
Ok rant over pictures following - enjoy and see you in the bookshop in the market tomorrow!

The Main Bookshop Pictures!

Science-Fiction, Horror, Military & Historical Fiction!

Large Print Books & Secondhand Crime & Thrillers Section

Our newest Niche Market -The LGBT Section - Small but growing!

The kids love to play in Pegasus Books! - Our Childrens section - almost impossible to keep tidy!

Autobiography, True Crime, and the beginning of Ladies & Saga Secondhand

Puzzles! Classic Literature, Secondhand Science-fiction & Horror

Always look up and not at your feet! Jigsaws, Paint-by-Numbers and lots more are up high!

Al's Arts & Crafty Bits, opposite the religious bit! Decoupage, Stamps etc - a papercraft heaven!

Hello & Welcome in!

Outside for Ladies & General Fiction, Westerns & Romance, The Entrance for Paranormal & Historical Fiction, inside for Pegasus Kids Books, Crime, Thrillers, Science Fiction, LGBT, DVD's, Audio Books, CD's, Jigsaws, Games and Arts, Secondhand Books Sections and lots more - oh and inside and passing through and across the aisle for Al's Arts & Crafty Bits and the Religious & Christian Books and Church Supplies!
Wow - not so little and yes very very real.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday or anniversary of something like that!

Today makes it exactly 2 years that I have in fact been the unicorntreebookshopboss!

Yes indeed on this day 2 years ago I did in fact sign over all the worldly goods I did not possess and indeed the hope of having them! in exchange for the messy little bookstall that was at the time browse awhile books! and now two years on it's not so messy, not so little and indeed not so bad!

I am still impoverished and tortured by minions, but at least its my poverty and my minions and in exchange I have the ability to read whatever book I want 'cause I have thousands of them!

I have a range of speciality genres and markets that match my likes!

The newest of these of course being the Christian Books (completely with its own unit! see not so little!) and I am so glad to have these on board, to be able to spend some of each day discussing a subject I absolutely love is phenomenal and a real dream continuing on.
Today's discussion was on the Shack and the imagery presented as to God and if it is indeed heretical and if so why?
This addition hasn't come without pain and heartbreak, but what it has come with is a continuing commitment and fervour to serve and reach out, after all pretty much all my book career had been in this section of the book trade and leaving it was painful (though also thrilling and enjoyable on another level as I was moving into the sphere of all books and not just one section!) but I remained resolute and with God's grace and a smidgen of faith in face of adversity it came to be that I got it back this year, lets hope that together we can all continue to grow it - oh and did I say that Advent Candles and Advent & Nativity Books and Christmas Play material came in this week?? No? well it did - so if you are a church then get in touch as we are now taking Advent & Christmas orders!

Then of course we have the Craft section - formerly an independent business in its own right this came into our safekeeping a year ago and now lends itself wonderfully to our creative talent discussions and displays - believe it or not I am in fact a whizz at tea-bag folding, usually after they have been dried out from the copious cups of tea needed to cope with minion antics! This is still called Al's Arts & Crafty Bits, but of course its now housed in Unicorn Tree Books!

Next is the LGBT section which is continuing to build a following and reputation and expanding as time goes on. The yaoi manga has been going phenomenally well.

All in all I am pretty proud of the changes that the shop has undergone and hope that in the years to come these will continue to grow and develop as we go forward together in faith, hope and community commitment!

So as its a new year we have old news to report on and new resolutions to put forward!
So old news - our sponsored charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital Childrens Charity was given £373.00 in the end, given our target was originally for £200 I think we did pretty well together!

Thank you all who gave their change, those 1p's soon add up, as of course does the tithe we make from our sales - actually truth to be told that's apportioned from the bookshopsboss wage as we still aren't quite there enough to say its from the profits - its a commitment I made and so its one I keep!. We really do believe it is right to give to others when we can, as in giving we receive, even when we don't know it or see it. After all sharing is caring!

So anyway this year we are continuing with the Children's Hospital theme but this time its Alder Hay hospital that will be the recipient of our donations and tithes:

(though of course come October there will of course be our Christmas Charity to give to as well - last years Christmas Charity was Habitat for Humanity and we gave £50.00, lets hope we can give more this year when we decide on the Charity!).

So anyway I want to say thank you all for using us, supporting us and following along with us - if you want to come in and celebrate with us, then please do and remember my favourite celebration tipple is a Caramelatte from Nero's or a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks!

Thanks guys for the last two years, and I look forward to serving and working with all of you in the next few ahead!

Friday, August 15, 2008

It'sssss Christmassss! Boo Hiss, bah humbug, its not even the end of summer!

OK, now I know this is just too extreme, but never the mind it is nonetheless a true fact, Christmas has indeed arrived and not just in the make your own cards craft department! (which yes, Al's Arts has indeed had in a bumper load of Christmas decoupage and sold over half of it already so you better get your skates on and jingle bell down if you are making your own cards!)

Yes indeed to go with the 2009 Diaries and Calenders, Parsons Pocket Books and Church Lectionaries, we did indeed have into stock today the Church Advent Candles (both Purple and Red Sets!) - actually this timed very well with the arrival of the new and very smart Advent and Christmas Order Forms from the printers (though these were down to be sent out next month - not this one!!).

Ahh but was it only Church Advent Candles that would be one thing - but no it was the Dated ones as well - lots of them! and then to add insult to injury a box arrived and in it were... yep you guessed it - Advent Calenders!!!

So there we go, not even the middle of August and already Christmas Silly season begins! ohh but get this, in the same box as the Calenders was...

So there we go, lets get out the mistletoe and wine and have an Australian Christmas - well come on Christmas in Summer we must be in the southern hemisphere and never noticed.

So ok, on a non-christmas theme, the Gluten Free Wafers finally came in today, as did some wonderful new incense named after st Luke. Very nice and tastily pungent when the temperature heats up a bit - however no need to fear on this front now as the Air Conditioning Unit really is working a treat - so much so all the other should be working somewhere on the market staff keep coming in on the pretext of looking for books and then hogging the cool delightful stream of swift blowing air! the cheek of it.

Also the Long awaited 'Acheron' (9780749908669) by Sherrilyn Kenyon is now in and is going like hot cakes! probably because we were the only ones to have had stocks in up until at least 2pm today! now whether Waterstones and WHSmiths have no had theirs in I cannot say, but I can say if you want one you better hurry as we only have a couple left on the shelves now! and by gum is it a mighty brick of a book or what, but three of those that purchased them on Wednesday have been back in today to extol the virtues of the book and story and get new books because they had finished the 700+ pages it is that good a read!
We also have in the New Stephanie Meyer Book 'Breaking Dawn' (9781905654284) - another mighty book and worth the read!
Here's an odd conundrum for you all, Josephine Cox - top British author - has had her new book 'Songbird' (9780060896980) come out in paperback in the states before it has here! and not just a few days before but almost 2 months before!
So it's just as well we are a specialist in US Imports, otherwise you would all have to wait until the 1st October before you could read it in paperback!
The first one on the shelf this afternoon sold within 7 minutes! So look likely ladies as once this batch are gone it will be another 7 days before the next batch gets in from the States!

So there we go, bah humbug but some cool (but not yule! though actually there are some advent books and nativity play books in now!) reading knocking around the shop.
Come by and visit and remember to bring the bookshopboss a coffee (caramelatte or caramel machiatto preferably) if you are feeling kind as due to minions wanting time and other such supposedly pressing urgent things this BookshopBoss has yet again not had a day off and deliveries by the shock loads!
By the way does anyone else spot the problem with shortening the BookshopBoss's title?? The minions say its too long and they believe it should be abbreviated to the BSBoss!!! I am pretty sure they are being less than polite again - so census time people, let me know what you think - should I be thoroughly offended or are the minions just that oblivious? what action would you take on that one!

OK enough now, books to be ordering! see you in the shop tomorrow.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Yes, we were included in Mr Brewers Cease & Desist Notices.

Dear All,
I can now confirm that this blog was indeed listed in a Cease and Desist Demand email issued on the 21st July!

However I can also confirm that I still have not actually been contacted directly by the person making the demand!! In fact I believe that in point of fact there may even be more emails than the first one in which this blog was mentioned, but they may be covered by confidentiality requests.

The first email was not only sent to someone within my sphere of livelihood but it was also copied and sent to a member of the British press! thus potentially having the repercussion of doing me more damage. Certainly some of the statements made are in all likelihood defammatory and certainly, as previously reported, they have had a knock on effect to my reputation and livelihood as demonstrated by my post on the 22nd - after all the news got around - of course this could well be because this initial email - to which I was not included either directly or copied into, thus not allowing me to take action, refutation or defense, - was not sent as a confidential email in any way! indeed as stated in point of fact it was sent to a member of the british press!

Now one of the reasons I may not have been contacted or included initially may stem from the fact that given how the email is phrased the sending party would like to claim they don’t know who owns this blog or who I am - how that could possibly be I don't know, and am sure no right thinking or reasonable person could understand either, as for goodness sake I give the name of my shop in the blogger header and blog title! I also give the place we are and the official website link there too! So there is no possible excuse for such a mistake or oversight to act as a defense in this action, indeed pretty much every blog headline is a direct link to my shops main website and my full professional contact details are clearly included on that site, as is a standard contact form. Indeed on that website my name is actually clearly reported on more than one page! Add to that the comments on this blog are not set to moderate so a message could have been left at any time, therefore there is no justification or defense for not having contacted me directly prior to the sending of the email, or my inclusion in the initial sending of the email, especially as the demand was for the total removal of my entire blog, most of which is entirely unrelated to the person, their company, their charity or anyone else within their sphere.

So what happens now?
Well I am going to be making contact with the Federation of Small Businesses legal department, as being a member of this I have recourse to their services for free - how good is that! I am also going to be getting in touch with the National Market Traders Federation legal department - another association to which I have membership - as well and asking them for some guidance on this issue.
Of course a letter of apology and retraction sent to me with an agreement it can be made public on this site, and a donation to our nominated charity, or a bunch of charities of our choice, might go quite some way towards mitigation! Oh and perhaps the donation to me of the remaining fittings, fixtures and stands and odds and sods etc. -or the equivalent- that are within the closed SPCK/SSG Lincoln shop that I note is listed as a Creditor in Schedule F of the SSG LLC Bankruptcy papers would be nice in way of compensation?

After all including my whole blog and therefore tarring me and my business with the unfounded allegations of wrongdoing, and bringing me under the threats made in the email, whilst completely keeping the email and substance of these threats from my knowledge may only be willful ignorance, but it is difficult to see how this could be interpreted as anything other than an act of malice given that he failed to do me the simply courtesy of sending the email to me directly, especially with the potential impact to my reputation and livelihood.

And I certainly am not a public company, charity or public individual - after all I am not currently involved in any actions of noteworthy legal proceedings or public interest either here in Lincoln or elsewhere, though of course as the individual that sent the email in the first instance is aware - I am listed on his schedule as one who has been involved in a prior legal issue with him, and resolved it. Therefore the failure to contact me -thus potentially occasioning much damage to myself, my reputation and my livelihood and my ability to trade - or attempt to inform or notify me in any way prior to contacting those within the sphere of my livelihood and the british press in what was a clearly unmarked email without even the most basic disclaimer attached as to privacy and confidentiality etc is surely without justification.

So there we have it.
Yes this blog was included in a C&D,
threats were made against it and therefore me and no I was not and still have not been contacted by the party making the demand and threats.
I shall be expecting a letter of apology and reparation in due course, meanwhile in case they should not be swiftly forthcoming I will be making contact with legal advisors and trade associations whilst we explore ramifications and options.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Uggh Ingrams!

You know at the minute this bookshopboss is not amused!
It would seem that the americans are conspiring against me this week - first the issue relating to the post before and now INGRAMS (this is said in the same tone and intonation as a very bad swear word at the minute!).
I have now been waiting for nearly a week for a delivery to leave the US warehouse and make it to these shores so I can share the lovely books inside with you my lovely and desperate customers - well don't hold your breaths as US systems transpire again to thwart the UK bound.
They can't send it as the card details they have to transact the payment expires this month - and because in the US that would mean the card had actually expired, their cards expire on the first day of the listed month it would seem, and would be unusable their system automatically keeps declining my card - even though in the UK our expiry date means the last day of the month its dated! So they won't be able to send the books until the 1st of August when the new card becomes active!! all because of an automated system that does the payment transaction and the fact that it would seem they cannot overide the system and do a manual transaction!

So ok moving on - it has been unbearably hot in the shop for the last few days - well thats what happens when you work in a glass roofed building - its like being an orchid in a hot house - and yes as you all know I really am that dainty, delicate and blooming wonderful!
Still we have the fan going, the doors open and the books in to help you all keep your cool and enjoy the time basking in the garden, on the beach or wherever with your books!

This week we have had deliveries of more books - a great set of christian books, including some great kids ones and a snuggly sunday bunny! great fun and at good proces (*edit: that was my 'allo allo' british fake french accent in honour of my friend Aude, the continental market that was in town and the fact that I can't actually type!!)too. We also have an offer going on some NT to give away this summer - they are only £1.50 instead of £3.99, and we are offering £1.00 off Richard S. Taylors 'What every Christian ought to know' (9781853453168) as well! For a review of this book go here its a site I am very involved with and even review for on occasion and I heartily endorse it for impartial christian reviews!(but whatever you do remember to come back to me to buy it!!!) :

Oh we had gifts in too! Very Very cool wooden toys - a Noahs Ark! A Nativity Set in a String Bag and some square blocks - 26 of them with words and pictures of them - the people in the pictures look a bit like BOD! I love it. There are also some BOD like magnet sets as well - a nativity set and a Life of Jesus set as well. Honestly they are great - I am thinking of going over to the kids corner and playing with them as stress relief from the week.

In the craft section we have had in some new stuff too, Christmas Card making materials and a whole load of pens, glitters, glues and other fun stuff to make a mess with over the summer while you pretend to be getting ready for Christmas!

Ohh talking of Christmas Cards - I did the Christmas Card order this week, lots and lots of Christmas cards will be in at the end of August - charity ones and normal ones! and the Christmas nativity and gift order is going in this week too! they too will no doubt arrive much to soon - there are some lovely Christmas ornaments going to be coming in.
and talking of charity -

So anyway come by and see - bookshopboss vent and share over now! going to have a coffee now. See you soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Interesting times!

Hey all - who knew my blog was of such potential interest!
I say this because today I have recieved no less than 3 phone calls from people in the publishing and bookselling world asking me if I am ok?
Why would I not be ok I queried - well it would appear that there is a nasty rumour going around that I have been threatened with libel action due to some of my posting in regards to SSG.
I want to state quite clearly and catagorically here that I have not personally been contacted in any way shape or form, by phone, letter, email or posting by anyone representing SSG, ENC or any related bodies or peoples! If I had I would make known this fact and would of course take whatever legal action was necessary in such a situation.
Now it could be that all the people contacting me today are practicing chinese rumours or of course it could be that I have been mentioned in correspondence to other people but not directly contacted, all I do know is that supposedly someone has made statements and potential threats to/or about me or my blog to which I cannot respond as I don't actaully know what they are as they haven't been represented to me directly - however I do know they are doing the rounds within the arena of my business and could therefore potentially have serious import and repurcussion on my good name and ability to trade within the arena of publishing and bookselling!
I would be very grateful if whoever has caused this injury to my name, person and work could kindly cease please.
Now though i do not know exactly what has been said and put in writing directly - though obviously it has been serious enough to warrant concern from at least 3 people within my work sphere - I am assuming based on the references made to me about Dave Walkers blog and his shut down that it must be to do with the SSG situation to which I have made references and posted on - to this end I am practicing discretion to a degree and am editing some of the posts contained here to take out third party references - though i reiterate that currently no-one has contacted me directly to ask me to do this - again when they do I will let you know and will of course take all legal action necessary and as required to safeguard myself and my livelihood.
I am also making a quite clear and catagorical statement here that nothing in this blog in regard to the situations above is untrue, and every word written is proveable by witnesses, written records or directly through first person or party observation.
Also much of what is written here is personal opinion and fair comment based on the truths and statements of fact I know and hold to be true due to first party observation and corroboration of evidences from other effected parties, and/or moral and ethical beliefs.
Also I want to make it clear that any Cease and Desist Notices etc in regards to this blog will be sent directly on to: This is 'A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics', for their studies and database compilation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shuffle, Sweat & Swines!

So Ok, for anyone not visiting the shop today - and that was quite a few of you! It was unbearably hot in the giant green house that is Central Market today. ( That is why I don't blame you for not visiting today - i bet you were all in the garden or at skeggy with the deckchair and knotted hankies on!)
Honestly I keep telling everyone about my market garden idea of growing my own Tomatoes, peas and lettuces on top of the shop but everyone keeps telling me I can't! I think it is just wrong of them - the swines!

Anyway today was swelteringly hot and so as per my usual want I was doing a bookshop shuffle again - this time in unit 3 - Unicorn Tree Christian Books!
Yes that's right - I was taking out bookcases and putting in slat wall and new units and it looks much bigger, brighter and better!

I have cleared out a lot of floorspace with judicious use of new units and slat wall that allows nice shiny things and gift cabinets to be suspended in the air, and there is also a new card unit that rests on top of nice new half shelving units that tidily display the multitued of candles we now have to keep in stock. It really does look good and not only did it tidy it up, make floor space and more gift and card space but believe it or not we fit in more books too!
Honestly with time and ingenuity I can build a tardis and disguise it as a bookshop!
So anyway we now have lots of gifts in to fill in the space we created - some very nice statues of the good shepherd and some nice standing Crosses as well. And Kids badges and notebooks came in from Hughes and Coleman as well.
Then add to that another delivery arrived and it was Atkinsons Parsons Pocket Books!
timed nicely to arrive with the Marston delivery of SPCK Church Pocket Book & Diaries! So there we go 2009 is here and it isn't even August.
So anyway then my rep arrives and begins showing me Christmas and Advent books - and believe it or not she even had some Lent 2009 material in her folder! Scary scary thought.
having said that I need to remind people that I will soon be placing my Advent Candle order and so if they could let me know in advance what size, type and colour sets they require then that would be good to ensure their orders are fulfilled!

So anyway I finish the shuffle, empty the boxes, enter them onto the machine and see the rep (by the way did i mention that minion no.1 was off yesterday and today with a summer flu! hence me being so hot, sticky and industrious?? and i had to give up my day off! minions and their germs! and they still expect to take time off to go on holiday working as a guide leader at Poachers later this month and they reckon thats not resting, what kind of minions are being germinated these days - no stamina!) so anyway as I was staying I have finished all this hard work and am just about to sit down and melt quietly in a corner when a delivery of 7 big boxes arrives! and this at gone 1pm!
That would be the Calender and Diary order for the general shop! yes we now have over 14 different styles of 2009 Diary in stock and and 19 different calenders for 2009! and even better yet I already sold some before I had priced them! and still people keep asking me for this years diary - sorry no we don't have any left in stock - its JULY already - you were supposed to get them in January at the latest, we even had them in February but we don't have them now as it would appear to be time for next years crop already!!!.
So thats the Calenders and diary's done - well at least the ones from that supplier, that just left the 3 boxes of stationery, stickers and over 24 jigsaws to do!
Yes we have fresh jigsaw designs in again - at the minute we are averaging selling a small jigsaw a day and a large jigsaw every 3 days! we are puzzled at how fast our lovely customers can do these things! - more trains and vintage cars in this batch than the last one.
Then there was an Ingram delivery as well - full of paranormal goodies, some manga and the new Batman Graphic novel! Lush.
- Talking of Lush and their glitter bath bombs, the new stickers that came in were all glitery too! wonderful Disney Princesses, WTP (that's Winnie the Pooh - it took me a good 2 minutes to figure that out when trying to match up what I had to the silly invoice -a lot of oh piglets was happening due to silly acronyms!) and Diego & Dora, along with stars and smiley faces - all with a glitter thing going on! Sparkly! -
anyway back to deliveries in today.

We also have a copies of 'The Shack' in - we have sold quite a few of these already and this was a top up order just in, along with it came one of Todd Bentleys books - just in time for God channel to take it off screen I note. Hmm I feel sorry for the fill-in pastors as I suppose it could feel a bit like a slap not being worthy of air time if it ain't Mr Bentley doing the impartation! Still God moves in myserious ways, His wonders to perform! Back to the Shack though, as thats also a book that shows God doing wonders in a different way than we would necessarily expect.
The Shack is a good book and well worth the read - feeling lazy here so instead of reviewing it myself I am including a couple of links for you all to follow to find out more about the book - except to say i heartily endorse the book, it is a great read!
This gives the publishers blurb (by the way this site is an excellent site for all types of Christian Book reviews! and is well worth looking at regularly - not least because the bookshop boss that is I does regular reviews for it - nothing like self aggrandisement there!) - Phil Groom's great website offers this review which is independent of the publisher!
By the way just ignore all the buy from someone else buttons on the sites please folks and remember to come back to me, after all we miss you and amuse you much more than they do!

So anyway as you can tell today was a busy day and it really is well worth popping in and visiting the shop, take in the new look at unit 3 and maybe check out a jigsaw or 24!

Anway its late and I am still hot and feeling tired so am going to say tattybye and see you in the shop tomorrow!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

electrical mayhem

HI all,

Well if you have been in this week, which I know of course you will have been! then you will know that the week was totally disrupted by the comedy duo and all round great guys - Dennis & Brian - the electricians who had the delightful job of trying to sort out something like 10 years of messed up wiring! we are talking attack of the killer cables, light switch from hell and find the hidden live socket! Its been fun and noisy, dusty and generally crowded in the space usually dedicated to browsers and books! still at least I can sleep well now knowing that my bookshop will not be an electrical short short of a blazing inferno!

I took this time to sort out some older stock that was cluttering up the place and got moved to make space for ladders and electricians and am now having a buster of a sale - hardbacks are marked at 20p each or 10 for £1.00 and once those are gone there will be no more hardback fiction taken in as it just is a dying medium to a larger extent ( though personal complaint here - I wish the darn publishers would stop with this stupid US type large paperback format - again its functionally useless as it don't fit a bag so wrecks the concept of portability, everyone complains at the extra price, and it ruins the look & flow of a bookcase - so come on guys can we just have standard paperbacks please, and if you ahve to keep a larger format then go with a special edition hardback for collectors!).
So anyway hardbacks done, overstocks of paperbacks - well there's the secondhand ones at 50p each or 5 for £1.00, and then on the unread and never owned before stock we have a yellow sticker offer going - any 4 yellow stickered books for only £5.00 - again top authors and titles.

I also rejigged the Jigsaws! as we had a new batch of over 6 large box loads in - new fantasy and gothic jigsaws in, a great collection called 'Wanted" where hidden in the wonderfully manic pictures are wanted characters you have to find - these are great!
For the kids we have glow in the dark scooby doo! (did I ever tell you all that the worst nightmare I ever had involved Scooby Doo! he was behind me as we ran up a never ending staircase trying to get away from what I now know to be the demon hoards of minions incapable of alphabeticising and the customers whose favourite puzzle mags got misdirected to aberdeen! I mean how do you mistake aberdeen for lincoln??), so anyway along with Scooby and gang there are some fantastic Famous Five jigsaws, which include the story that you read, a jigsaw to do and in the jigsaw the clues and answers that allow you to solve the mystery - again great concept fun. Jigsaws just seem to get cleverer!

On the Christian Side, well ok the 2009 Church Diairies are in -out - and in again!!, The 2009 Lectionaries are in - and there's a shed load of new books in this week from SCM-Canterbury, Church House, SPCK and Alban, along with Jeff Lucas's new book - well worth a read though at the minute I am reading his 'Prodigal Friendly Church' (Zondervan - 97803102678249 - £8.99) which is an excellent read and really speaks volume I can agree with!
Lots more cards now in and all in all the shelves are pretty full - but luckily people are beginnning to come in more now, oh yeah and Book Agents are now being canvassed for, there is a cool new leaflet all about the schemes we are offering on this one, but we are offering the service not just to churches but to Schools and other community groups and ventures too!

News - SSG declared Bankruptcy in the US Courts under Chapter 11 protection, but then founded a new managment company called ENC Management and told all remaining staff there jobs were gone and they would have to apply to the US courts if they wanted redundancy or their currently owed wages, however they could apply for their jobs to ENC and this would not be covered by TUPE - there are questions as to the rights of this situation, and at last report they had recanted on the last part whilst they sort a legal opinion! & &

cool or what - this raises a wonderful ethical question - how many ways can be found to hurt people and continue to try it on??
So anyway its an interesting proposition going on here - I tell you if this was fiction non of us would buy the book as it would be just way too unbelievable!
More details on all this can be found here:
and here:

OHH and we want to say congrats to the minion no.2 also known as Snowflake (and Eunice to her mum!) as she just got a new full time job (though she assures me she will still be available for saturday cover - after all she is the only minion that doesn't sing the alphabet whilst tidying the shelves!!). As I am sure you will all remember she was one of the staff sacked by email without notice by the SSG bookshops directors based in Texas! well done Eunice and enjoy - we know without doubt that you will be an excellent edition to your new employers team and will excel at the job as thats just who and how you are!

So that leaves one of the four that were so wrongly treated by them still looking for a job - again I put out a plea to you all that if you know of a job for a hardworking dedicated member of staff that has excellent office based, and shop based, skills, that was in charge of SPCK Lincolns Goods Inwards operations, then please get in touch and I will pass the details on! I can personally vouch for this member of staff and can assure you she is well worth hiring and a committed team player but more than able to organise herself and others (yes even bookshop bosses! so that just shows you what amazing skills she has!).

Oh yeah and we now have our LGBT Fiction section up and running now - we are intending our shop to be one that really serves the needs of Lincoln's Communities and outreaches, networks and welcomes everyone - after all its through our actions that we build community and show the light! - especially now the electricians have put new fittings and tubes in.

Ok other news and worthy mentions -
i want to wish my cohort Pinky ( who is also of course the teams Childrens Section Advisor) a big hug and get well soon as she fell off her Scooter last week (probably practicing dangerous curby stunts as pinky knows no fear!) and has broke her leg in two places and is in plaster to her knee! As you can imagine this puts a bit of a damper on our regular schemes to take over the world during the next 6 weeks while she heals up - but we are sure we can find other things to do to amuse ourselves! ( the colouring books are incredibly good fun and amazingly therapeutic, but we are not sure what people mean when they keep telling us that there are other colours to use then red, black, purple & Pink and we are meant to colour inside the lines!)

Minion no. 1 might provide some enjoyment for us yet! though of course she is taking up her Counselling Placement in the next few weeks (don't panic this has been arranged as a day off thing, so she will still be in store three days a week for you all to torture!) - for which we wish her all the best - we are sure that she will find all the help she needs!
oops of course we mean we are sure that she will recieve lots of assistance as she continues to grow her own skills as a training counsellor! No really we are sure minion no.1 will rock at this and many people will benefit from her assistance and we wish her all the best and are proud of her.

Anyway so ok then thats about all the news from the bookshop for now and the bookshop boss seriously needs a rest after all the activity of the week - yay sunday!, so I shall see you all in the shop next week!

(This post has been edited as a safeguard - for the reasons as to why this may have been necessary visit, Oops now wait you cant - I guess you better go here instead: Should I be notified personally and directly by the concerned parties of anything then I will of course let you know and then take any further necessary actions as may be required)

Friday, April 04, 2008

We got Candles, Wafers so don't Wine!

The Jigsaw, Paint-by-Number and Sticker people have been great and have been helping to keep us in the last few weeks - probably because they know a good deal when they see it and realise we are much better value than most of the competition in town! 
We have a full and exceedingly large spinner chocablock full of paint-by-numbers and scraper foils! and we have deals on them, you buy 2 and the price is less! 
We have a brand new and full sticker stand and a lot of the stickers on it are 3 for £1 - these include disney, pooh, dora the explorer, transformers and lots more! 
and we have had a whole range of new season designs in the Jigsaws. From Paul Lamond - some stunning Gothic and Fantasy Images on them! From JR a load of steam trains and rural/wwII scenes in! and lots more from about 3 or 4 different brands, and we have a whole slew of kiddy jigsaws as well as Jig Rolls at a really great price. Well worth looking at.

OK theres lots of new stuff coming in almost daily - and some of the Greetings Cards we now have in are really good as well and at a cracking price for the style and quality of them too! Come take a look some time soon! Just don't get the minions too excited as they get uncontrollable then and I end up having to calm them down with coffee and chocolate! oh or wait a minute is that me I end up having to calm down with Coffee and Chocolate (remember you are always welcome to come for coffee and a chat but just remember to bring me a Caramelatte from Nero's or a Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks when you come!)

Hey, so anyway we now have the most common sizes of Candles in stock! yes that includes fluted base, Votives - Stick & Cased, Sanctuary Lights, Baptism (3 sorts) and Wedding candles! and we have had to re-order twice as well! 
So yes we have candles - don't forget to pick up one of our spanky full colour Candle and Church Supply brochures when you are in - it even has a section on the back for you to fill in what size candles you normally have - if you don't do the candle buying then please pass it on to someone that does.
We also have Communion Wafers in ( and yes they have had to be re-ordered and topped up as well!), so thats Priests Crucifix, Peoples Crucifix, Priests Plain and Peoples Plain and yes Gluten Free ones as well!
Yes we have Baptism Certificates, Confirmation Certificates and SGA Packs in stock.
Yes we have Daily Reading Notes and Sunday School Material and yes please do place them on standing order with us, it makes re-ordering so much easier for me to do!
Yes we have Bibles, Books and everything else you can think of - Don't forget to take a postcard for the church/community noticeboard!!
No we are not fully stocked up yet, but we are getting there! but as it's all coming out my own pocket it will take a little time - and:
NO DON'T say when you come in - and I offer to order it for you - 'No thanks I will get it off the Internet'!!
I mean you can get it off the internet if you want (heck I shop the internet too!) but don't actually say it to me, or the minions, when out of my own pocket and at the sacrifice of my own wage I am struggling to kit out a Christian Bookshop so that you have the books and candles on hand! It is rather like Marie Antoinette saying about the poor, 'let them eat cake'! its just not really very well thought out, a bit like salt in a wound or a stab in the back! 
Just say - 'No thanks that's ok'. That we can live with much easier as we can fool ourselves you won't buy it off the internet and will come back in after you have looked around other shops and not found it!
But let me just point out - when I offer to order it for you it will usually be in stock within 3-7 days - you don't often get it from amazon etc any quicker, heck ask some of my customers and you will realise that in a lot of cases it comes in within 2 days depending on day of the week and suppliers! and when I order it for you from new you don't then have to pay a carriage charge for the item! so yes even if amazon or whoever are offering a bit of a discount add in the carriage charge and you may well find its actually no cheaper! and just think when you order it from me thats the money I need to buy the stock to make sure that the next time you come in needing that Nicky Gumbel book or Margaret Silf book its there on the shelf!
Ok whining done - rant over on that one. (and no we don't sell alcoholic communion wine - we can arrange to have it despatched to you but we don't actually stock or sell it as we are not allowed  to because of Licensing Laws).

New rant!
To all the gen book Unicorn Tree'rs I have who have done or are contemplating doing this! - Don't ask me, or the minions, to look stuff up on the computer because Waterstones, WHSmith etc, won't, can't... if you are not actually going to buy anything from us and are then going to come back in the shop and tell me you got the book whose title you had me look up for you on Fantastic last week from the competition! especially when its a book I have in stock and on the shelf when you come in clutching your gains!!
Please understand neither I nor the minions mind looking stuff up (unless you can see we are really busy- but then leave us what you want looking up and ordering on a note with a contact number and we will do it and get back to you after we have finished being busy!) we like playing on the computer! but please understand it is a service we offer to our customers and to be a customer you actually have to purchase something!! otherwise you are not a customer but at best a browser, and though we don't mind browsers in the shop we really want them to become and be customers that browse the shelves. 
Let me make clear I don't mind if we look something up and you then don't get it due to price, timing of delivery etc etc or any of the other really legit reasons there may be - I just object when you are using us as an information service with no intention of supporting us! lets face it, it's like getting on a bus for a ride out to view the scenery and then not paying the fare!
Also - sort of tangential to the last one, please do not moan at me and my minions when you bring me the books that you purchased from the competition for credit and I only give you a 25p or 50p credit on them! after all how much credit do the competition actually give you on your secondhand books?? and Yes by all means do give it/them/the books to a Charity Shop instead of to us - we support and believe in charitable giving and charity - and this statement is just annoying really, especially when prefaced with 'I might just as well take them to a Charity Shop then! I would be just as well off!' as I am pretty sure they dont give you a credit at all in the Charity shop either. 

(Oh and by the way this shop financial year - since September 07 - I (Unicorn Tree) with our customers help have given over £265 to our sponsored charities - yes you can check this out on our charity pages to make sure what I am saying is legit! I only give through justgiving so that it can be tracked and you all can be assured our charitable giving is a legitimate fact and not just something we say! - £215 to GOSHH and £50 Christmas appeal to Habitat for Humanity - so actually you know what, when you give your books to us and I give you a credit you are supporting charity as well - as I have made a commitment that I keep at my own expense to tithe a percentage of my shops profits to charity - when you donate stuff that percentage gets higher! how much of the actual money from some charity shops actually goes to charity?? I know for a fact the answer in at least one case is, well that would be about 0.01p a year! but thats another story.)

So please don't moan at me when you do not get much back on the competitions books, buy our books and leave our stickers on so I, and the minions, know they are ours and you might get a little more. 
Oh yes and the reason you get more back on the secondhand books than on new books is because the secondhand books cost me less to buy so I can afford to give you more, (but then think about this before you start saying how much money I make on them - you bring me a book and I give you a 50p credit on it, so it cost me 50p to buy, I then put it out at £2.00 - lots of profit you say?? only if i sell it in the first place! but saying I do, the purchaser pays £2.00 and then brings that book back and I then give them a £1.00 credit on it as its one of our secondhanders and you get a 50% Credit - so actually all I made on that book is 50p! Not much profit there at all really! especially if you then only buy a book that costs the value of that credit!).
If we gave you 50% on the new books we would be giving you more than we make on the book in the first place, in fact i would then be paying you to buy the book from me in the first instance! and if I was going to do that I might as well just leave the till open and say help yourself!
So OK I really do understand you all want the best return or best deal on things you can get (so do I, it's natural!) - but you know what I bust my back trying to give that best return and deal to you in the first place, I am not looking to get rich merely to make a decent living doing what I love- selling books.
My books are generally cheaper - often a lot cheaper that the competition - yes even most of the newest books!
Margaret Dickinson's new book - 'Sing As We Go' is full price in all the competition shops - £5.99 and it is only £5.75 with me - that 75p instead of 99p is pretty much true on all the brand new fiction - thats my pocket that comes out of - and I do not begrudge doing this as I want you to have good fiction at good prices, but please then think about it when you come in and don't then expect the unreasonable along with the reasonable.

Ask me and the minions nicely and we will happily try to explain all this, but please do not be rude and objectionable. Please think a little on what you say and how that effects me and the minions. After all when you ask us to do the work like looking up books but then you buy them elsewhere - well in time thats a minion less working, and then there won't be anyone with the time to look up the books for you!

On the secondhand side of it - well at least you are getting something back on the books you buy, and please don't just buy up to the value of the credit note you are given - especially when you keep coming in with other peoples books to make up that credit note - after all if you do that often enough I won't be here anymore as I don't get a government subsidy like the lending library does and essentially thats all I am if you keep buying off others and getting credits off me and just topping up the books to the value of the credit note! At least a few times a month can you actually buy something off me please, it doesn't have to be a full price brand new book, a cheap secondhand will do rather than just swapping books or using our knowledge and systems?

I want to be here to serve you all for a long time - and I want the minions to be here to serve me for a long time! - so please buy some stuff off us occasionally and not just use us!
Okay nother rant over.

Anyway thats me done for the night, see you in the shop in the morning - its a minion free day so feel free to bring the coffee!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Edited!! opens!

Just to let you all know that the Lincoln shop was open today - with the alarm system blaring!!
I ask that you consider, should it be open again, not to make use of their services - and not just because I want you to use my services - but because of the way that the four long serving members of Lincoln Staff were treated in the employ of SSG and then in their uncharitable dismissal at the hands of SSG, and of course for all the other staff at all the other shops that have been treated in such a shameful manner.
(If you need to know more about the, shameful and morally dubious to my way of thinking, actions of SSG then click on the title to go to Dave Walkers Cartoon Church blog as he has done a fantastic job of reporting on this issue!)

Anyway the shop was manned by two gentlemen - one from York and one from Birmingham.
I was phoned on my mobile phone by one of the gents to ask for the alarm code!!

Whilst one of the original Lincoln - and so uncharitably treated staff - was in the shop, The locksmith asked 'Should I make the invoice out to SPCK then' to which one of the young men, not sure if it was the one from York or the one from Birmingham, said yes
- the ex-member of staff immediately informed the locksmith that no he should not as SSG are not SPCK and do not have the right to use the name.

I would suggest SPCK really needs to crack down on this one soon - there surely must be something that can be done about this use of the name over the shop, when in point of fact both by SPCK's own statement
and SSG's Statements this name is not supposed to be being used by the shops!( & & ) I know from today that a lot of people do not realise it is not an SPCK Bookshop and that their money is not going where they believed it was, but is in fact going to a whole different charity with a whole different set of aims! come on SPCK at the least you are loosing out on your own potential donors let alone the continued damage to your name and reputation.

The young man from York later came into my shop to again ask for the code. I would tell you the conversation that ensued but I saw red when he told me he worked for "SPCK Bookshop" York, was a member of 'my team' and also in the union.

I pointed out all my team had been dismissed
by SSG and our union was involved in trying to safeguard their rights in relation to SSG, and that SPCK had no bookshops.

I have to admit there was a certain word that came to mind! union members that act against their union and other union members due to concerns only for themselves - hmm but that is uncharitable so I would like to say here, that I do understand that the gentlemen from other shops do have a need of a wage themselves and that I forgive them for stepping all over my friends
who have been so shamefully treated and for not thinking of them when choosing to come into and open a shop where all the staff were dismissed in so wrong a manner.

I do understand the need to earn a wage and am sorry if anything I said caused a feeling of guilt or made the gentleman from York feel bad, two wrongs don't make a right and I could have been more charitable myself - but then the young man in question could have given some consideration for others and thought how his action might have made them feel before phoning us or coming into our places of work and asking for the codes for the alarms.
One of the other ex-members of staff was also contacted by another
SSG employee on her mobile asking for the Codes for the shop! the sheer audacity of these people begger belief - you do not contact members of staff after you have terminated their employment in such harsh manner - this is surely a form of harrasment and not really very acceptable to my way of thinking.

Interestingly though is that although at least three people,
not in the employee of SSG and with grievances against SSG, were badgered for alarm codes no one had the codes to the shop as most of us have let such useless info drift from our frontbrain with many other much more pressing issues to think on!
(oops and talking of pressing issues that keep slipping the mind I need to take this moment to wish the Subaru a happy birthday! see not just regular minions get remembered and mentioned on my blog!)
So in the end the power leads were yanked from the main Fire System Zone Alarm box to silence the internal alarms that were set off after the locksmith popped the locks! this in turn set of the very loud and shrill external alarm ( its a failsafe!! hooked up to the main electrics, after all any thief can pop the electrics to a Zone Box!) so anyway in the end a hammer had to be taken to the external alarm box to smash it into silence after a couple of hours, and all this when the shop keys had been sent to the solicitors by the landlord, so they shouldn’t have needed to pop the lock anyway as their solicitors should have been able to give them the keys, and
the owners of SSG should have had the alarm code as they had been supplied with it quite a few times!
There is now a glaringly obvious hole in the casing where once there was a perfectly innocent and intact (if occasionally noisy but with good purpose!) Alarm box. I do believe I was also informed of smashed glass in the large window of the back office where online and goods inwards used to be housed, I guess they did not have keys to those locks either!
Sums up the SSG management technique perfectly if you ask me!

However this aside I still could have handled my reactions better and again apologise for what I said whilst he was in my shop and I genuinely do forgive him for the harm and pain caused, I like to believe and am sure that it was not intentional just misthought.

Like I said I offer up humble apologies and do indeed sympathise (well ok I did once I cooled down a little!) with the gents - especially as one did say he felt he had no choice but to go where sent
if he was to keep his shop open and the jobs of the others at his shop as that was the bargain he had to agree to to keep the shop open - I suggested he speak to his union rep. as what could possibly be percieved as blackmail, bullying or threats against staff to ensure compliance and make them do things they don’t want to do for fear of being responsible for a whole team losing their job is probably not pucka play!

One of the wrongfully treated ex-SSG staff works for me on a part time basis (the minion known as snowflake or minion no.2) and was in the shop when the gentleman from York came in to try to get the alarm codes again, his words and actions hurt her deeply as she needed and still needs the income that she has been cheated of - she did not in any way resign or quit, she said she would continue working under her old contract as was her right.

I know at least two other staff were also very distressed by this whole situation as I spoke to one almost immediately after I was contacted by mobile by the gentlemen in the shop, and the other made contact later that afternoon, again they did not in any way resign or quit, but said they would continue working under their old contracts as was their right.

Her need now is great, as is that of the other staff now without jobs, and though I offer what hours I can that is not enough to cover her mortgage, and for everything she earns from me she loses in respect of benefits and entitlements, thus unless I, or someone else, can offer her 30 hours a week she will continue to struggle.
As I said back last month - it is my hope to be able to provide employment where possible for my old staff, but I cannot do that yet so if anyone does have a job or three going then please contact me so I can pass on the info to these able people (on a lighter note - Being utterly selfish - I would appreciate it if one of these jobs I know you out there have to offer is mon-friday only so I can keep my excellent Saturday staff please!)
Just to remind, this particular member of staff had worked at the SPCK/SSG shop for over 6 years - the new girl! the other members of staff had all worked there for time frames between this 6 years and going up to 14/15 years! Dedicated, committed and hardworking people who served the Lincoln Christian Community with real commitment and faithfulness in this time.

I know, I worked with them, and we all would most likely still be working there if not for the way we had been treated by these employers. Our commitment to this community never wavered, our faithfulness to the message and job of Christian Bookselling as embodied in choosing to originally work for SPCK never altered, however we are not now there - not by our choice but by cruel circumstances that need never have been. Still we continue to serve where and how we can with a hope for the future!

So given all this, again I would ask you to consider should you support any ventures of SSG?? even if they are still pretending to be SPCK and trading on the good works of that institution and our, and our predecessors, work in Lincoln and for this community??

Speaking of Jobs, I want to congratulate Debbie on her new Job as Dr's Receptionist, she will do an excellent job as she never does any less! and the Surgery made the right choice in taking her on as she will be an asset to them! Well Done Debbie - you rock girl!
Now come on people we need 3 more jobs here please - at least until I am in a position to and can take some of the staff on more permanently with your kind support!

By the way I want to say a REALLY BIG AND HEARTFELT THANK YOU to Father Phillip of the local Orthodox Church for asking his congregations to support our endeavours here, and also to all the other members of Clergy and their congregations, including Bishop John Saxbee, Rev'd Ian Silk, Rev'd Richard Billinghurst & Rev'd Simeon Bishop to name just a very few who have been so supportive and wonderful as we have endeavoured to get the Christian Component fully up and running. I also want to thank all of the customers who have just "found" us and offered kind words and prayers! This really means much more than you can ever know and I do sincerely thank you all.

"Unicorn Tree Christian Books & Church Supplies" now has its own dedicated stall (Unit No. 3 - just opposite the rest of the bookshop) with Candles, Wafers, Incense, Hymn Books, Service Books, Bibles, Reading Notes, Stationery, Christian Books, Gifts, Cards and More now. Watch this space - PDQ is now in and Church/institution Accounts will be ready to be applied for and opened in the next few weeks!

I would also like to thank DLT, Kevin Mayhew, Alban, Church House Publishing, SCM-Canterbury, SPCK Publishing, Charles Farris, F.A. Dumont & Shinglers of Sutton amongst other publishers & Suppliers for being so fantastic in the last few weeks and helping get things moving.

Okay that's all for now - see you in the shop on Monday!

(This post has been edited as a safeguard - for the reasons as to why this may have been necessary visit, Oops now wait you cant - I guess you better go here instead: Should I be notified personally and directly by the concerned parties of anything then I will of course let you know and then take any further necessary actions as may be required)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


On tuesday my old work team and my friends were treated in a most reprehensible way, they turned up to work at the SPCK Bookshop as it had been (it still said SPCK outside but in point of fact it had been renamed as the SSG Bookshop some months ago by the current owners), to do their daily work at the Charity just to open the email system up and find that their employment had been terminated - effective immediately - by the Chairman of SSG from his base in Texas.
This I find to be a totally reprehensible act - to fire people by email - especially such dedicated people. The irony of it is that just the week before they had been out having a meal that was from the £100 they had been given by Mr P. Brewer when he awarded for the them the first 'Third Space' award in the chain. This was explained as being an award for having such an attractive, welcoming and well presented shop! the first two spaces being, our homes and our places of work - places we feel inately comfortable and welcomed - the third space and hence the award is a space other than these two where a similar feeling is invoked!!!
Well there will definitely be no third space awards going to SSG and their owners in my estimation.
So anyway if anyone out there knows of jobs going for some extremely talented and dedicated retailers, who are also skilled in customer service and office work, then please do let me know so I can pass this info onto them.
If I had the ability to give them jobs I would but currently the situation just does not allow for this - however as I am now the only retailer in town doing Christian Books and Church Supplies it is my hope that in the next few months I will have been able to grow this side of the business to such a level as was at the old SPCK and then be able to take on my old staff! so please assist in enabling this (that is if you haven't got a job you can give them yourselves!) by supporting me in growing this business!
Much more information on the goings on of SSG can be found at Dave Walkers wonderful Cartoonchurch blog here:
So thats the most of my news, though if you haven't been in since the last blog update then there is a music sale on - all cd's currently half price - this will only be on until the end of this month!
We have Jigsaws out on display and doing well - there will be a new delivery of jigsaws in by the end of the month, and also a full top up of Paint by Numbers, Scraperfoils and the Like at the end of the month too.
If you are a Church then let me know what Paschal product you want! and can you give me a clue as to the main size candles you want for every week use as well. On saturday i will have some palm crosses, baptism candles and votive stick candles in stock, along with basic church stationary ie certificates, registers etc. let me know what you need and i will get it!
Ok blog done for now, please again I reiterate either support me so I grow quickly and can give the spck crew jobs being out of their tree with me again (think of it as recycling! recycling staff now there's a green initiative for you get behind this lent!), or offer them a job yourselves if you can - they are great people and did not deserve this treatment.
(This post has been edited as a safeguard - for the reasons as to why this may have been necessary visit, Oops now wait you cant - I guess you better go here instead: Should I be notified personally and directly by the concerned parties of anything then I will of course let you know and then take any further necessary actions as may be required)