A love letter to public libraries and fall days of dull grey

First, I just read and loved Leslie Vryenhoek’s, Ledger of the Open Hand.  Tis a book of fiction.  She was at the just finished Vancouver Writers’ Festival that I didn’t attend this year.  Not sure why not – it takes place an easy bicycle ride from my abode but alas, not.  Well, I’ve been sick and I come up with 800 excuses why not to schlepp.

“Sounds fun,”  noted S.T. at our last appointment.

“But I’ll seal bark cough in the audience and that won’t be pleasant.”

S.T. looked at me like she knew it was an excuse.

My newly discovered in the last year finger arthritis makes typing a bit painful.  I’m sure it will all clear up as I get older as things always do as one gets older.  I sometimes fall down when my weak ankle twists – all very violent and owie.  My mom obviously before she died she told me that she used to fall down a lot when she was my age too but then it magically cleared up.  Who knew that aging could be so good for you.

I wonder if my lack of desire to schlepp is because I over schlepp to the various workplaces and because it is how my mental health manifests – sometimes I just can’t be bothered, you know?  Cycling in the dark and cold;  meh.  I skipped the seven week afternoon Anglican Church Bible Study again – I missed it last week too due to illness.  Once I get there I really enjoy the intellectual stimulation.  But I had all ready schlepped to and from tutoring the tutee and .  . . etc.  I’ve been reading on the internet recently about how some people’s anxiety keeps them housebound for years and years.  That is some scary that is.

Phew.  Okay on to public libraries.  Great things, yes?  I think I have mentioned that I tutor two students at the downtown library:  an adult Iranian student given to me by my boss at L. College (I may not have that evening job after this session . . . .long story) and a 15 year old Chinese female tutee.  A teacher at the downtown school I sub at gave me the golden information about how rooms can be used for up to two hours at the library as long as there is space.  So far, everytime there has been space.  The rooms are freezing for some unknown reason but they offer a nice view and a private glassed in space.  This morning there was a bit of a fuss as a group were convinced that they had booked the space I had booked so I had to schlepp back downstairs to find out that I was actually right.  Oops, said the group.  The woman in the group had been very dimissively insistent that they had the room.  Gah.

‘That was annoying,” I said to student D.

“That was awesome,” said D. whose mother had driven her to the library and had gotten out of her car to bang her hand on a car she felt had cut her off.  “People were staring and everything,” said D.

“So you’ve had two middle-aged women losing their stuff this morning.”

“Yes, very cool,” said D.

The library!  The downtown library, the mothership, no longer has librarians on any floor except the main floor and the children’s library.  You can use a phone and one will pop up to the floor but other than that, there is not an employee in sight.  The downtown library attracts a whole lot of people who have nowhere else to go so sometimes little battles seem to break out.  I get a bit nervous when D. arrives before me at the library. One time a man approached her to tell her he liked what she was wearing.

“Good god go nowhere with any of these people,” I said.

“No, I wouldn’t,” she said.

I like the little branch of the library system a 15 minute walk/eight minute bicycle ride/three hour bus ride from my abode  Cozy and there are actual librarians.  Tutoring is not encouraged there though, fair enough.

The world should be a library – free access to all, meeting rooms for free, books to take out, speakers, workshops and the like.  So thank you VPL for providing me the tutoring space.  Bring back the librarians and all will be well.

Oh!  And on the fifth floor there are magazines of all sorts that can be read but not taken out (uh well).  That is lovely too.

The dark days of fall are here – low clouds hung over the day and it just seems dark and dull all of the time.  I think we change the clocks (fall back people) in two weeks which can only make it even more unpleasant.  Ugh.  This happens every year of course but it is really hitting me this year it seems.

Oh and I also recommend Patrick Taylor’s series of “An Irish Doctor . . ” so good and cozy and gentle and good and gentle and cozy and safe and innocent and good and nice and cozy.  Not my usual fair tis true.

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