23 Mar New Leaf
We’ve been very silent for a couple of months — for the best of reasons. After years of homelessness, Cambridge Imprint has premises. For two months we’ve been packing, unpacking, arranging, rearranging, painting, building and generally bustling about and moving in. There are a lot of charming stories about businesses that are run from the kitchen table, with capable people resourcefully juggling their home and work life, but having experienced it for a few years now, we were very ready for a return to a less multi-tasking arrangement, where things you’re working on can stay put in a state of unresolved creative confusion until you return to them in the morning, instead of having to be tidied away. Ever since we lost our enormous, leaky, mouldering but beloved studio in Christ’s College (the spiffy new building that is replacing it is at last nearing completion – it’s been over five years) we’ve been printing at home and our office has been camping out in various minuscule rooms, moving frequently and looking for a new permanent home. We are so happy to have found it.
Incredibly, it turns out there is still an old windmill on the higher ground north of the river in Cambridge, hidden in a maze of residential streets. We are not in the windmill itself — we suspected that would be romantic, like living in a lighthouse must be, but that after a (short) while the romance of the multiple small round rooms with staircases in the middle might wear off. Also we couldn’t afford it. Instead we are in a more sensibly square old structure at the base of the windmill proper, occupying the first floor and the eccentrically wonky attic, which has a crazy little outbuilding sticking out of the roof for the easy loading and unloading of sacks of wheat and flour, should we be so inclined. If we’re ever besieged it will be useful for dropping boiling oil on our attackers. Very small amounts of boiling oil, since we only have salad dressing and a microwave. But I would imagine even a tiny amount would have a deterrent effect.
Siege defences are not the only advantages enjoyed by our new home. The Mill is light and warm and dry. It has a fast internet connection and no rats to speak of. We have a fridge and we’re awaiting the arrival of a state of the art coffee machine. We have multiple tables and it is indeed possible to have more than one project on the go and still not need to clear up to eat your lunch. When the weather is nice it is filled with sunlight all day, streaming in from windows that face in every direction. It feels almost sinful to be this comfortable.
At last office and workshop are back under one roof. The one thing that’s missing is — and we know some of you will be disappointed — there’s no shop. Some of us have hankered after a shop for years, and some of us have very much NOT hankered after a shop, and in the end the more sensible voices prevailed, at least for now. Perhaps one day, when the stars align and we are all somehow, miraculously, endowed with great dollops of extra free time, the shop will have its day. In the meantime, we think the occasional workshop or open morning might be possible in this new space once we’re settled. We’ll keep you posted.
With all this new space we are, at long last, in a position to hire some much-needed administrative help. We are looking for a friendly, resourceful and organised person to answer the telephone, help customers with their queries, and begin to learn the nuts and bolts of the business. It’s an in-person job for five hours a day, Monday to Thursday, which could grow into a full-time position. If you are interested, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.