Unstructured time

I feel rather flat today. It’s been a long time since I had an unstructured day. My job isn’t terribly difficult but it’s busy. We have a good base of regular patrons who use the One Card system to get all sorts of resources in from other libraries. But they are an ageing group and we need to get more people interested in what we offer. There are a lot of things I want to do to get generate more community interest;

  • offer lessons in basic computing (a big need here)
  • start a Friends of the Library group (for fundraising, help with our booksale, delivering books to our patrons who can’t come in)
  • be a venue for community groups (we don’t have a lot of space but we could host a boardgaming or D7D group, for example).

What I don’t have is a lot of time to plan. Our teacher/librarian has a very heavy teaching load (which lets me take more responsiblity) but there is always a pile of things to process (and as many to weed), and unruly kids to keep an eye on.

I have a lot of things I’m trying to do at home in my personal life, too. At the moment I’m:

  • running the Facebook page and website for our local museum
  • beginning to study Latin (though Quasilium)
  • learning French and Italian (using Babel)
  • (mostly) keeping on track with my 5:2 diet.

My writing is on hold at the moment but I’m desperate to get bck to my projects:

  • Three books set in the later Roman Empire (centered on Claudian, Stilicho and Honorius) – the Claudian work could be a two-parter
  • A biography of the Australian cricketer Jim Kelly (who was the wicketkeeper for the men’s national side from 1895-1905)
  • resuming my review writing (books and games).

At the moment i write down ideas and jot down the first draft of poems but haven’t turned them into anything serious.

I would like to simplify things and I need to learn to drop some things (but in a small town there’s not always the people available to take things up). Not travelling to Adelaide for work helps. But when I was in Adelaide i had a day free. I think that I might have to give my marking up at the end of the ear (though I enjoy it, and the money is handy).

But really, all I want to do is spend a week alone in a room somewhere reading,listening to the radio, and eating hot chips on buttered bread and ignoring all other demands on my time.




Not peace, but not war #blogjune


Nothing significant today. So hwre are two of our cats. ‘ScuseMe (on the left) is a new member of the household. His owner  (across the road) has new housemates, who have children and dogs.

Purrkins is still having none of it. Meanwhile, Loki was sunning himself out the front.

Another #blogjune

So I’ve been on leave for the first part of this year. We’ve relocated to the country (Meningie, on the shores of Lake Albert), which has its issues (chiefly commuting, which is now 2+ hours each way). But the benefits are wonderful (no mortgage, for a start).

But I’ve yet to pick my library mojo back up. I have a back yard that needs work and I’d like to spend some time planning what I want to do. I miss volunteering during the week at the local museum. I used the local joint-use public library a lot, but didn’t read anything professional.  I seem to have forgotten a lot of stuff, though I’ve learned about some new stuff too (how to paint a house,  tractors). Hopefully, #blogjune will give me the professional pep that I need.


#blogjune – A “#classic100 weekend

Today was the final part of ABC Classic FM’s Top 100. This year it was the baroque and before. As always, listeners got to vote for 10 pieces. I had decided not to vote for pieces by Bach or Handel because:

1) they would be popular anyway

2) one could easily pick 10 pieces from just either of these composers

I was pleased to see two Hildegard of Bingen pieces, though I was disappointed not to see Gaudete, by Anon, that most prolific of composers. It was the first piece of music that I ever heard Steeleye Span perform, and they have been my favourite band now for nearly 30 (?!?) years.

We didn’t get to hear as much of it this year with various family events, so it didn’t have quite the intensity for us that previous years have had. One of the events was my father-in-law’s birthday, and we have justr returned from there having had a couple of very nice wines. One was a Tim Adams Clare Valley Pinot Gris. The other was a fundraiser vintage made from 11 different grape varieties and was absolutely delightful.

Mixed Blessing 2009

I hasten to add that I don’t admire Churchill’s politics. However, having visited the Churchill Museum in London late last year, I got an appreciation of the breadth of his interests.

The annual Classic 100 selections make me realise how grateful I am that we have an excellent public broadcaster that has helped broadened my cultural horizons. I didn’t grow up with classical music, and the ABC has enriched my life in more ways than mere words can express. There is a quote doing the rounds that Winston Churchill opposed cutting arts expenditure during WW2 which unfortunately is inaccurate (though the sentiment behind it may not be). But he did say in 1938 that:

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”

Of course, I don’t love every program that graces SBS or the ABC, but I don’t expect it to, and don’t begrudge funding things that I myself am not interested in. But the arts and culture seems today to be unimportant, even though wee can spend huge sums of money locking up asylum seekers, and keeping them away from our shores by cloaking such efforts in ANZAC garb by calling it Operation Sovereign Borders. It seems to me that we have become a very mean-spirited people. Encouraging people to produce art and music and encouraging fine food is infinitely more useful than encouraging a nation of property and financial speculators. Art and food and culture can bring people together, even in difficult times. Indeed, this is when they are most at need. I hope that in the future we don’t have our Top 100 cut to a Top 80 or 90.

#blogjune Downtime and Rugby

I had thoughts of comparing a very ordinary and cheap pub dinner with a good quality lunch today and then tie it in with what I love about France and the importance they place on good quality food. But I haven’t. We had a nice relaxing day, and I think that we both needed a bit of downtime.

As much as I do like France though, I was pleased by tonight’s rugby result. 50:23 looks comprehensive, though I wasn’t sure that the Wallabies were quite as brilliant as the scoreline would indicate. But an encouraging start. Maybe this year the Bledisloe Cup returns to Australia?