The bookshop, as you know, closed a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would be able to carry on with some online things (including our Cicero Boxes), but we are now ceasing trading all together during the current crisis. The Tree House is a limited company, and I am employed as its director; for the last 12 months I have been able to join up to PAYE and pay myself a small monthly wage. My accountant has suggested that I should be furloughed, and so henceforth I am indeed on furlough, which means the company has ceased trading completely. So no more Cicero boxes, and no more web posts for now. We are also eligible, as a small retail business, for a government grant, and so I hope that in due course we will open again, along with all our high street neighbours in Kenilworth. But I am not allowed to post on social media or here, as that implies the company is still operating. I will be setting up a personal website, where I can post bits of art history and blog about books and music, and I will post a link here when I have done that.
I leave you with the song that Bob Dylan recently gifted to us – a song he wrote and recorded a number of years ago but has never released until now. It is partly about the assassination of JFK, but really it’s a hymn to 20th century American culture and the need for music in dark times and, written well before Trump came to power, it strikes me as a powerfully anti-Trump statement too. It’s 17 minutes long and utterly glorious. Listen to it several times, listen to the lyrics, and it will soon have you under its spell. There’s no one like Bob.