Saturday, November 12, 2011

Postcard from the pond

Autumn's colours are already fading. A walk through Highbury Park this afternoon proved that the leaves are falling, not just turning. A mob of ducks gathered at the other end of the pond where a toddler had food for them and I was left with this reflection. Bonfires were smoking in back gardens and squirrels were dashing up trees and dislodging more leaf litter. Somehow it's less antisocial when nature behaves in a loutish manner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Postcard from the library

Well, not so much the library as the building site of what will be Birmingham's central library. It's not quite ready for the books yet. Given the issues with funding for libraries elsewhere in the country, it's great to see Brum investing in the concept with a whizzy new building. Also good to see is that it won't be another concrete hulk and will instead be a little bit bling. Nice.

I know I'm not the only Birmingham writer to use the central library resources for research as well as sometimes working at a desk there. So I'm hoping facilities at the new building will be everything we need. That's not much: desk, light, chair. The fancy exterior and cutting edge technological fit out is all very nice; but my biggest wish for the new building is that the escalators don't squeak. The noise from the current ones is ear bleedingly distracting.

I was lucky enough to be visiting the new building on a tour which included a chance to see some of the treasures which will move into the building once it's complete. Among the inspirational items for a writer included a First Folio of Shakespeare's plays and Caxton's first printed book. One item which will remind me of the old library though was a German speaking picture book. You can see an example demonstrated here then imagine those sounds on a constant loop coming from the escalator. Now do you understand why I can't wait for the new building to be ready?