Saturday, September 12, 2009

Seen AND heard!

The tyranny of the young is a concept that all parents must know. When you have a representative individual of the young human persuasion actually staying with you the full import of the word ‘tyranny’ leaps into focus!

The sacrosanct territory of the third floor ‘attic’ has been violated. A four year old child sleeping in my study! It is unthinkable. I’m not sure that his aunt sleeping in my study too doesn’t make it even worse. That was bad enough but worse was to follow.

We had to replenish our stocks of cooked meat so went into our local shopping centre and decided to have some lunch. As in many centres there is a sort of area where the caf├ęs (I will not dignify them with the appellation of ‘restaurants’) are concentrated. There are some which serve half decent food and there are others which are Mcdonalds.

As is quite obvious to even the meanest intelligence, I would as soon eat in Mcdonalds as I would have a rat-dog as a pet so we went to a branch of Tot Tapas. The four year old did not agree with this gastronomic decision and contrived to kick his aunt until she relented and took him to the double arches!

I tried to think of circumstances from my youth in Cardiff when I would have been able to get away with something similar to that small human. I decided that I would have had to have been suffering from some terminal wasting disease and been at my last gasp before my parents would have given in to my whims.

Having said that, my mother always maintained that I could always wrap my Aunt Raye around my little finger: if only I have known at the time, just imagine what I could have got away with!

Perhaps I am looking at my past life through cyan and green tinted lenses (well, that the opposite of rose on the colour wheel) and I actually was indulged as much as our Young Visiter - and that’s not a spelling mistake but a reference to a great book. But I don’t think so.

Last night, just before the arrival of the guest, I went to Bluespace to look at what books are actually left there. I could, I thought, sort through those books which could stay there before I sold them off or whatever.

I want all of the books that are left there. Some twenty boxes full. Each box is at least a shelf and a half, so allow thirty shelves or four extra Billy Bookcases – which in my case I have not got. I had thought that the book choices that I had to make were going to be difficult, not impossible!

I also tried, when I got back to bring some sort of order to the top ‘open’ shelves in the living room. It so long that I eventually decided to accept a rough ordering of the volumes and worry about a global order (doesn’t that sound utopian or fascist!) when I have brought some semblance of a system to individual bookcases.

Although a bookcase by bookcase sorting seems short term and time heavy it is the only way that sorting can be done when all bookcases are full and space is limited. And some sort of ordering is essential as I found out this morning when I decided that I wanted to make up some worksheets on James Thurber. I found a book of his cartoons without much difficulty but I am still looking for the book with his stories and fables.

A library is only as good as the system which allows it to be used. Friends have said that I should leave the books as they are and just enjoy the unlikely sequences. This is tempting but it is not as Jane Eyre might have said, ‘useful.’ A double process of ‘utility’ will have to movitivate my retension and selection. It is all too much for a simple bibliophile such as I.

Though it should be fun!
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