Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Spring Flowers


One thing I love about spring are primroses. And lambs. And fresh, new, unopened buds on trees (tiny leaves curled up, waiting for their chance to grow). And displays of colourful primulas in the shops.
Yes, that's more than one thing, but most of all I love those tiny little daffodils. Every year I buy some and bring them into my home. They seem even more welcome this year, because the buds on my outdoor, full size daffs are very reluctant to open. They've probably seen the crocuses, flattened by the rain and decided to hang on a bit longer.
When the tiny daffs have finished I plant the bulbs in the garden, usually some where in the woods, and completely forget about them until I make a lovely discovery, like I did a few days ago. I remember drying out some bulbs and not getting round to doing anything with them, until finally, at the start of winter all those months ago I hastily stuck them in the ground quite close together. Now a mix of daffs and hyacinths are emerging. Still budded, like the rest of the garden, so for now here is a photo of my little, indoor display.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Out Walking


Today I went on a walk I used to do a lot. It is just down the lane, into the nearest tiny hamlet of Yafford, cut through fields and along a stream and out along a lane that divides a large, flat field and home again. It took me about two hours, what with stopping and looking at things and taking photos.
Of course, I had to do the annual snowdrop photo. I just love them and I really must plant some bulbs in my garden this year.
Next, along the stream where the catkins were blowing in the wind. I noticed, for the first time, tiny red flowers on the willow branches, like mini sea anenomies.
Further along I took several photos of a kestrel, but none came out very well.







On the way home I stopped to look at this old telegraph pole. (Yes, I stop and look at anything!) I was just admiring how BT drilled out the neat letters when I noticed someone taking advantage of the sheltered place, waiting patiently for warmer days.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Libraries


I don't mention my work on this blog, because although I love it, it's work and this blog is about.....well, thinking about it I suppose it's about how I would really like to spend my days. At home with the cats, and plenty of books and cups of tea, or in my shed (usually with a cat) doing my pyrography, or out and about in the surrounding beautiful countryside.
Anyway, this post is about my work. I work in a tiny library. I am the only one there, apart from hundreds of lovely customers, many of whom visit on all three of the days it opens.
As with a lot of libraries, we have been under serious threat of closure for what seems like months now. Ideas have been thrown about, shouted down, thrown out or stubbornly adhered to. As a council employee, I cannot comment, just listen and listen and listen to the arguments and meanwhile the job I once loved becomes a trial. Faces I have never seen before come up with ideas, many so impossible and, frankly, ridiculous that I have to bite my tongue in replying.
The closing date for the library was the end of March. Last night the council extended it to the end of June. This thought does not fill me with joy. I have had enough, now. Funny how my job has been extended by three months, and our redundancy notice has to be.....three months.
Sometimes I get so angry when I read bias opinionated comments on the role of libraries today. People who never use them think it's so easy for everyone to download books onto their Kindle.
I would like to see them explain how to do that to my older customers who cannot even use a mobile phone, let alone a computer. People love visiting the library. On a Saturday morning it is a meeting point for the village, and quickly gets quite packed!
The two free internet computers are constantly in use. Yes, it may come as a suprise to certain people, but there are actually some folk who cannot afford internet access.
Not enough people use the libraries is another, ill-informed comment. In the three hours I open on a Saturday morning I have approximately 100 visitors. Thats 180 minutes with 100 people. 1.8 minutes per person, only that person wants to reserve a book or needs help with the computer or wants to join the library or just wants to have a chat with a friendly face.
At our main library, where I also work, the staff are so depressed. They have had the value of their job ripped apart by insensitive people asking about volunteering. They think we just sit and stamp books all day. They don't see the physical side of the work, which mostly has to be done when we are closed.
This has become a real rant, but that's how I feel right now. One of my work colleagues returned from a few days in New York. She visited the wonderful, valued library there and sent us photos.
When she returned she suddenly gave me a book bag and a bookmark, all the way from New York! I was so happily suprised! After weeks of gloom, a little bit of happiness in my work day, I had almost forgotten what it's like to feel happy at work.