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The main event for our bookfest calendar was held last Wednesday at Glasgow City Chambers. Shop Manager John Connolly had worked himself to the bone during preparations so first off major credit goes to him. It was an excellent line-up and the day went very well. We hope there will be a full review on the oxfam.org.uk site soon.

Last Thursday evening 3 members of Strathclyde Police came to the shop to show us the techniques used in crime scene investigations (see photos below). They mocked up a crime scene in the store and brought a miscellany of actual forensic tools of the trade like dna sampling bags, evidence containers etc. Glasgow crime author Caro Ramsay was in attendance and was the first to agree to have her DNA sampled (given back to her of course!). We were then asked to split in to teams and come up with plausible (or rediculous) scenarios for the crime scene. An excellent event all round. Our many thanks to Strathclyde police for giving up their time (I think they enjoyed it as much as we did!).

Then on Tuesday we hosted performances of poetry and music. Our featured acts were Leela Soma, an Indo-Scot author living in Glasgow, and Tawona Sithole, a Zimbabwean also living in Glasgow who runs the Seeds of Thought poetry events (see photos below). Leela alternated between the everydayand the earnest to great effect,  underscoring the message more often than not with well-timed homour. Tawona’s work is more metaphoric and expansive in expression, inviting us into at times an almost mythical representation of his story. We heard several solo pieces from him. His brother Ernest was also in attendance and both brought Mbira with them. Mbira is a traditional African instrument. Playing of Mbira was a cornerstone of community and was once punishable by death in Zimbabwe. Many were burned, but in Tawona’s family two have been preserved. Tawona and Ernest play them to connect with, and educate us about, their heritage. The instrument makes a beautiful, slightly discordant (to ears used to well-tempered western instruments anyway) sound,  and we were treated to several pieces from the brothers. We are grateful to have had these unique artists in our shop.

More information can be found on Leela Soma at http://leelasom.com/Welcome.html

Tawona can be contacted thought their group webpage: http://www.geocities.com/seeds_ofthought/

Seeds of Thought runs regularly at the CCA and I recommend going along to see them perform.

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We are now on twitter (facebook on the way too):

http://twitter.com/Oxfamshopf6029

For all you who are on, there’s the link to go and follow us.

Our little shop is like a green house in this weather, the sheer volume of glass in the frontage heating up the shop floor bit by bit.

We’ve been very busy this week,  dealing with a huge surge in donation while trying to ensure everything is organised for Bookfest. If you’re new to the blog and don’t know what I’m speaking about,  just go to the events tab for details. Anyway, I’ve hardly  had time to update here and I still have event photos to post from the recent refugee poetry. I will try to get event reviews for bookfest up as soon as I can. Anyone attending is welcome to leave comment/feedback on what they thought. We can use your opinion to help us organise our events in future. 

And I believe Andy Murray is locked in battle with Roddick as I type, so best of luck to him!

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