Back to my roots

I was treated to a fresh cup of coffee, waiting for me when I got in to work this morning. How very civilised, and relatively unusual that was. People working in libraries tend to be fairly iconoclastic loners, even working as a group. We tend to have a hugely diverse set of backgrounds and prior careers, leading to as awkward a set of independent attitudes and worldviews as you might hope for.

Somehow that seems to often manifest in everyone sorting out their own refreshments, hence my surprise at finding a big mug of black coffee waiting for me.

I might have a reputation for being a bit grouchy and uncoordinated first thing in the morning. I’m choosing to believe this was a nod to that from someone I’ve been working alongside for the best part of seven years now, rather than a bribe for their not having to perform Rhymetime.

I handled Rhymetime. We had fun. There was only one child startled into a screaming fit; and no injuries worth reporting were sustained if you don’t count the toddlers that headbutted each other.

There weren’t many parents there, and I didn’t recognise any of them, but I did recognise the slightly starry-eyed expressions among a few of the mums swayed by singing and a jolly appearance. I could almost hear the simultaneous laughter and growling of lady s and Lady M as I politely packed everything away at the end of the session. It’s flattering, and there’s no harm to a low level flirt, but that’s all it is.

All in all, it wasn’t too odd a day, and it was reassuring to work a Saturday in a library where I first restarted in libraries for a change.

Water Day

No I’m not sorry even in the slightest for that pun. Between one library having streams of water pouring through the roof, and the one I was at today having no water because of a burst water main at the local pumping station it’s been an odd one.

The pumping station problem took out the water supply for most of West London and it’s still only just really getting back to normal. As you might imagine, loads of people immediately panic-bought all the bottled water they could find.

We set a watch on Twitter feeds and news aggregates so that we could answer locals’ questions about what was going on. We’re a library. Knowing things is what we do.

It did mean though that I’ve gone most of the day without coffee and am now in caffeine withdrawal. Yay.

I suppose the detox will do me good.

A Moment

The whirr of coffee grinding, the hiss of steam. The clink of cups and saucers is a counterpoint to the bland music being played at hearing threshold, which itself just underlies the chatter of customers. It’s a strangely timeless moment that feels like it could stretch on and on in defiance of the world passing by outside the window.

I’m content, here and now, and that’s okay.

On a Runaround

I shouldn’t have been working today, but life and the trials and tribulations of staffing issues demanded otherwise. This has led to a somewhat rushed day of bouncing from GP appointment to library opening to lunch cover to blood tests to prescription gathering… and now to my first coffee of the day. Phew.

I’m exhausted. I’m supposed to be going out tonight. I’m working tomorrow. Who has time to entertain depression and anxiety? I’m too busy for the black dog today!

Oh but it is nice to just sit in a comfy chair with a good coffee, that most importantly was made by someone else!

Tricksy Tricksy Back

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It’s a sunny day, the painkillers seem to be working, and there’s no food in the house that doesn’t need thorough defrosting and cooking. A walk down to the local supermarket to grab a loaf of bread, some spare paracetamol and something simple for tonight’s supper shouldn’t be too bad, right?

I am under no illusions right now that this was too much too soon. I’ve got what I needed, but the extended time on my feet – not to mention the stop-start of avoiding other people, prams, baskets, or random bits of display – has my back throbbing, and not in a fun way.

So, a quick coffee while I rest, then back to the sofa and enforced invalid mode for a bit. In case you couldn’t tell, I don’t do being ill.

The staff here at Harris and Hoole have all been very helpful though, and the cane has been it’s usual distracting conversation point, so there’s that at least.

Exam Stresses Ahoy

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Not mine, just to make that clear, but rather for two of my nearest and dearest. Lady M has picked up her CIPS professional studies again, which she had to put to one side when everything hit the fan at the beginning of the year. The Charleesi is fast approaching her AS levels, and is racing to beat her deadlines for her photography portfolio this week.

It’s not easy seeing the stresses induced by exam periods, and I’m proud of the dedication, discipline, and focus that they are both showing. Even when I’m not around them, I’m reminded of it by the expressions on the faces of the students who come in to the library every day.

I’m getting used to the sighs, the frantic tapping of keyboards, the slightly glazed expressions and the sometimes zombie-like thirst for cups of tea all around me. Hopefully, when they’ve finished their exams, they’ll look back on this blog entry and laugh with me rather than push me down the stairs.

If they are addicted more than usual to the healing power of tea, my own adventures in caffeine took a somewhat dark step last week. We’d cancelled our usual Monday D&D session due to people’s life and work getting in the way, but a certain Lord Danger lives about five minutes’ drive away and I had a birthday present to deliver.

“I’ll put the kettle on.” He said, and I noticed a certain Sir K in the background. I killed the Hangout session and let Lady M know I was popping out. What’s the worst that could happen, I asked?

On my arrival, I was greeted with a large jug of mocha made from the ground up souls of the damned. Sorry I mean: Fucking Strong Coffee,  which Lord Danger had been sent as a gift by his brother. I can only infer that this was in fact an assassination attempt by his brother rather than a token of filial birthday appreciation.

We collapsed on the sofa, cranked up Starsky & Hutch on Netflix, and poured a mug each. Two cups later, I was hearing colours, Lord Danger had leg spasms, and Sir K was having a panic attack. The next morning, I had what can best be described as a caffeine hangover and my reputation for being able to consume outrageous substances was intact.

So far I have resisted buying any for myself, if only because my GP is trying to get my blood pressure to stabilise and taking stupidly powerful stimulants seems a poor way of repaying their efforts.

Maybe I should invest in some Calm The Fuck Down Tea for everyone?