Since I’m too lazy to post every day, here are my thoughts on the past week’s # Bloganuary prompts.
22nd Jan: What is your favourite quote and why?
“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”
This nugget of wisdom is is from Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment, and is one of a veritable treasure trove from Pratchett, a selection of which you will find in my earlier post, Timeless Truths.
It was difficult to select one quote in particular, but given the preponderance of conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxers, and dietary evangelists expounding across the internet (and the streets) I thought this the most topical.
(PS. Having read others’ Bloganuary favourite quotes, I’ve been reminded of James McNeill Whistler’s response when Oscar Wilde told him, “I wish I’d said that.”
Reputedly the artist replied, “You will, Oscar, you will.”
Love it! And so true of all of us who can’t think up our own bon mots.)
23rd Jan: Interview a fictional character.
I am going to cheat and interview my own character Al: narrator of my recently-serialised story, Bunny. (Thanks to Stevie Turner for the idea.)
- Me: Mr Warren, the music librarian, has been likened to Alice in Wonderland‘s White Rabbit. How fair is this?
- Al: The music librarian of the borough had a liking for colourful clothes, occasionally velvet (it’s a ’70s thing). Other than that, and a certain punctiliousness (it’s a librarian thing) you probably wouldn’t recognise him.
- Me: Were there really all those people working in a local branch library back then?
- Al: Remember we were open six days a week – until 8pm on four of them. There were three chartered librarians, a children’s librarian (not often chartered), two full-time and four part-time library assistants. (See Olden Days in UK Public Libraries ##1-6.) Today, one professionally-trained librarian covers more than one branch, with assistants and volunteers staffing the reduced hours libraries now open. The building that then housed a lending library, separate children’s library, music library, and an exhibition space, now contains a gymnasium, with the library reduced to the space that formerly held the adult lending library.
- Me: It isn’t clear from the story whether you are male or female. Which is it?
- Al: Whatever the reader would like me to be.
- Me: You tell Mr Warren, “It’s not a demanding post.” Is that how you found the job?
- Al: We were a little community of our own, along with our regular borrowers. This was lovely, but I was often bored. It was before computerisation, so more staff were needed to physically sort loan records and cope with the borrowers queueing at the counter – out of the door on Saturdays – which isn’t the scenario now. My main role was timetabling and supervision of staff, and I only took on the branch librarian’s responsibilities (ordering books, etc.) in his absence. Computerisation and changing leisure habits reduced the queues, and the posts of deputy and music librarian were the first to be merged soon after I left; a move I couldn’t disagree with. It was a happy place, but I would have been more engaged with more to occupy me. I’ve never been your typical librarian though; I kind of fell into the job.
23th Jan: Write about a dream you remember.
I often dream about the family home where my children grew up. In my dreams the house is empty and neglected and I am considering its purchase and restoration. In some dreams, this merges with another building as we move through it – that of my secondary school. The school’s central building was formerly a local manor house which my school friend and I fantasised about buying to live in with our future families, both of us intending to find millionaires to marry – preferably pop stars. These millionaires don’t feature in my dreams, but sometimes my family and present husband do.
There is a third house that sometimes intrudes into these dreams. In my dreams, I know it well, but I don’t recognise it as a house I’ve ever lived in or visited. Yet it seems so familiar…
I’ve mentioned elsewhere my recent dream that also felt horribly familiar, of being driven over a precipice into empty air (See A Cheat’s #Bloganuary for 17th Jan.)
As a very small child (pre-school or nursery, I think) I had a dream where I was an adult in an overstuffed Victorian or Edwardian-furnished room talking to another adult. I don’t recall the conversation (maybe my waking brain didn’t understand it?) but I recall I seemed quite old, and we were both dressed in clothes similar to those my Gran wore. Why I should have remembered this dream even when I woke up, never mind now, I have no idea. Except that this dream also felt very familiar.
So I do wonder if, somewhere in our subconscious, lie fragments of former lives… Which is ironic, since I lately have trouble remembering details from my present one. 😦
25th Jan: Write about something that makes you feel strong.
Not a lot, these days. Hip pain is finally kicking in full-time (as opposed to the odd twinge I could ignore or convince myself that exercise was helping).
Who knew that carrying heavy shopping doesn’t only impact on your arms but on legs too? Who knew that pain could make a gentle walk so much more exhausting? And this is only to one leg; I still have one good one to take (some of) the strain. My husband, bless him, suffered with both hips before they were replaced.
No wonder he was so disbelieving when he came around from his first operation and the pain on that side had gone! Remembering his face gives me hope that I can be pain-free again.
Hope makes us stronger.
(And no, I wouldn’t like to travel back in time if I’d be expected to stay there.)
26th Jan: What is your favourite part about yourself?
My fingernails. They’re long and strong. I should paint them more often.
27th Jan: Where do you go when you need solitude?
If I need to be by myself I just get up early. (Not that early. My husband isn’t an early riser.) Back when my household included four small children, the bathroom was the only place I could lock the door and keep them out. As long as I got there first.
28th Jan: What is on your music playlist right now?
My ‘party’ playlist covers 1960’s to 2010ish, but most of it’s from the last century. (Doesn’t that sound ancient?) My ‘relax’ playlist includes most of those plus slower numbers – almost exclusively 1960s to 1980s. It’s probably my age, but what I hear on the radio today sounds very similar and forgetable.
(I recall my mum and dad saying the same in the sixties.)
My music is rarely played, as I’m not one of those who can write while listening to music. My body wants to move to the rhythm or harmonise with the song, and I can’t focus on what I’m writing.