Something pretty cool happened yesterday.
By now, pretty much everyone and their uncle would recognize the iconic 'Keep Calm & Carry On' poster and logo which has been turned into various mugs, coasters, tote bags, aprons, and other positively Brit-fabulous twee merchandise. A couple years ago, I wanted to know what the deal was so I looked it up [wikipedia: i owe you everything]. I found out it [along with several less-iconic others] is a poster designed and printed by the UK Ministry of Information at the start of WW2, designed to keep morale up in the case of a German invasion or other war disaster. Obviously they never had to be used, so they faded into oblivion. Then, about 10 years ago, an original copy was randomly found by a couple in the attic of their bookstore in a small town somewhere and they liked it, reprinted it, brought it back to life, and it just went crazy from there.
Flash forward to the present day.
My old friend Christie from middle school is staying in Europe right now and she came to stay with me for the past 5 days. We hadn't seen each other in, like, 8 years! Can i really be that old? Anyways, we reconnected, had the best time ever, and generally just went about our awesome lives for 5 days. One day we took a day trip down to the English town of Alnwick to see some old stuff [more on that later] and stumbled onto this incredible second-hand book store, Barter Books, one of the largest and best in Europe. It's in a converted Victorian railway station. I almost died- if it were normal to have a favorite building type, old train stations would absolutely be mine. This was hands-down one of the coolest shops i have ever seen.
And now the [unexpected I'm sure] big reveal!
As it turns out, Barter books is... drumroll please... the very same 'bookstore in a small town somewhere' that provided 'Keep Calm & Carry On' to the world! WHATT???? how insanely cool is that? And we had no idea when we walked in! We actually didn't realize until we got to the train station after, to go back up to Edinburgh and saw a sign advertising Barter books: the home of Keep Calm and Carry On. And of course since i knew the story and I knew it was a bookstore I got so excited and much jumping up and down occurred.
I didn't buy anything because I got overwhelmed by greatness [wouldn't you?] and we didn't have time due to a small 'needing to be at the train station in 10 minutes and it takes 12 minutes to get there' situation. We made it and of course the train was 10 minutes late. Ironic then, since we could have just kept calm and carried on reading books. But you better believe I'll be back and this time I'll bring hours of time with me!