Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Reading . . a window to the world. Not forgetting libraries.

Libraries have been part of my life forever.

As a little girl growing up in Lancashire it was second nature to pay a regular visit to that wonderful building in Railway Road, Leigh, where I could lose myself in a world of . .well . . . whatever I wanted to read. Growing into the teen years, I remember my father asking to see what I was reading to make sure that it was 'suitable'.

Later, as a young mother, I regularly parked our daughter's Royale pram outside and climbed the steps into the the hallowed depths of the library. There, my baby and I spent many a happy hour as she nestled comfortably on one arm while I held a book - usually a medical one  - in my other hand. To this day I swear that she absorbed the contents as she later became a nurse! 
Picture of a man reading in a library
Moving to Wales and the Dee Valley we were many miles from town with a bus -up a steep hill to the bus stop  - once an hour. We continued our regular practice  of library visits we trundled up another even steeper hill to the George Edwards Hall in Cefn Mawr. As our family grew the  three children were never short of a book to read as they went at their own pace. The new library was a joy. 

Mills and Boon romances and Georgette Heyer historical novels were another of my escapes in those days and beyond. Or biology books, food nutrition as I checked that I was providing healthy meals, gardening, travel . . . Occasionally, when funds allowed,we bought a book for the children; especially for Christmas, birthdays or simply after saving up our pennies. But with a lending library, cost is not an issue. Can't decide between two? Borrow them both.

Nowadays, living nearer to Wrexham town, I use the very modern Wrexham Library. Thankfully, in spite of there not being as many books on the shelves as hitherto, it has escaped a complete cut in services. The Internet facilities, reading corners for children, strategically placed chairs among the rows of shelves, and the research and study facilities upstairs are a joy.

Libraries - we already pay for this service in our Council Tax charges.

Two people in a library among the bokshelves.Not being able to 'afford' to read is not an option and  when we are ordering 'cheap' books on the Internet, let us not forget our libraries. They are free to join and you can now download eBooks as well. We already pay for this service in our Council Tax bill. Nowadays, I can come away with a huge pile of books . . . a recipe for escaping into my own little world as I have done all my life,delving into the world waiting for me among the pages.

If a book that you would like to read is not in stock, just ask if it can be ordered. Askews and Holts are the main library supplier in the UK but -for all our titles at least -there are other global suppliers as we use the global distribution services of Ingram Lightning Source for print and eBooks as well the US Smashwords eBook distribution to libraries.

You know what they say. 'Use it or lose it'. Happy reading.


Images-Google Images)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

A Winter Wondrland and the Best Laid Plans . . .

The snow has fallen a little earlier than anticipated.

After weeks of waiting, we are nearer to our garden re-vamp. Yes, tomorrow is the day. Today? We are covered with a smattering of snow. It looks beautiful but we are hoping for
a few degrees warmer weather this week.

You may ask 'Why December?' Why? Our chosen gardener is in great demand and is booked up some months ahead. The bulbs have been dug up and packed away in a dark corner. New plants are waiting. I have been busy with graph paper, pencil and ruler - the old-fashioned but satisfying way. It certainly exercised my brain as I marked out the squares and what they represented in cm/inches; converting one to the other. Pictured is a Viburnum Tinus or snowball bush. They are meant to flower in Jan/Feb but the mild winter so far gave them other ideas.

We have spent the late summer visiting garden nurseries and garden centres far and wide from Powys to Cheshire. We had some lovely trips out as we delved down  country lanes hidden between the lush green fields heavy with the fruits of summer. We had fun deciding what to keep and what is past its best. Two rose bushes are still under the chop. We will leave it to the gardener to decide if a heavy pruning will re-generate them or if they should go the way of other that are past their sell-by date.

For now, we are in the throes of pre-Christmas lunches with friends far and wide. This morning, I logged on to Facebook to find that they had helpfully compiled  a list of events in 2017. It reminded me that the year was more than 365 days. It reminded me how many people make up the fabric of our lives and that, without them, we would be poorer without them. This is the positive side of social media. 

With another fall of snow in the night we are hoping that the roads are clear this morning as we journey to meet up with some of these fiends - the ones that Gold Wing motorbiking brought to us.

A small thought to leave you with. I am trying to remember this - the accepting part - in the midst of our current challenge. 
It says, 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.'


Monday, 4 December 2017

Shivering into Winter

My last post was full of the joys and beauty of Autumn. 

Winter is here with a flourish. 

Two weeks on and we have had a severe drop in temperature. It is cold and damp where  
we are in our corner of North Wales. Winter however, has its own beauty. At the Ponderosa on the Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen/Llandegla/Llantysilio area the other week, all signs of Autumn had not only gone as those golden leaves blew away in the wind, there was a smattering of - yes - snow.

I am not going to bore you with Christmassy stuff; there is enough of that around. It is a pity that the true meaning of Christmas has been overshadowed by the increasing commercialism that we see around. Advent Calendars in particular have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

Normally, we would have just left Spain with a tan, memories of the wonderful displays of banks of Poinsettia plants that the Spanish use to decorate their roundabouts, streets, and hotels, a bag of carefully chosen Christmas presents for family from the wonderful shops in Nerja and Granada,before a hurried rush to catch up on writing Christmas cards. A change of plan in June hurtled us into unplanned and unknown territory as we faced a crisis.
Meanwhile, here is a flavour of what we have missed this year - memories:

Other matters.

All our previous skills and experience in the realms of construction, engineering, research, report writing etc has stood us in good stead. Hopefully their is light at the end of the tunnel.

For now, I sincerely hope that I can get back to my SEO [search engine optimization] and website updates along with  long-neglected Aquafit and Gym routine. It is looking good on that score at least. I have party clothes to get into!