Today’s Life Lesson…… And The Little Street Library.

It has been over six months since I first mulled over the concept of erecting  a Little Street Library on my front lawn. I love both the practise of sharing and recycling books, as well as contributing to my local community. I shop locally, play locally, and extoll the virtues of my neighbourhood to a wider audience with my reviews of cafes, theatre, and exhibitions in the area via the World Wide Web.

For those wonderful souls in the blogosphere who have quietly listened to my frustration getting this Little Library project off the ground, literally, over the past months, I have some news to share.

Drum Roll please…………….

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I think the wait has been well worth it, don’t you?

Thanks must go to so many community groups for the completion of this project, including the local Men’s Shed who gave up the purchase of a ride on lawn mower to instead purchase the steel fabrication machine to build the container that holds the books. The artist, a young man by the name of Ben, donated his time to complete this work over the weekend, and was a Grafitti artist/terrorist in a previous lifetime, and now works as a Youth Worker. What a journey for a young man with a family!

My local Council representative has been wonderful to deal with having dropped in to my home on several occasions to discuss issues concerning the project – usually when I’m looking my worst having been in the garden for hours, up to my armpits in chook manure. Tracey, I have so many more projects that we need to discuss : a Street vegetable garden, road signs to warn drivers of the wildlife sharing our roads, and Bees. Yes, Native Bees.

Next week, the Library mobile van will be setting up in this parkland for the very first time, promoting Books and Reading in an event including craft and storytelling, aimed at the 0 to 5 year olds. Picnic blankets, hats and water bottles required. This kind of service wasn’t around when mine were Wee People but I can well imagine the pleasure of both mums and bubs.

The gas barbecue and rotunda are still on the agenda.

So, Today’s Life Lesson: You have to make things happen – they don’t just happen by themselves.

Woot Woo!

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Finishing with a Nice Story:

Lots of locals gathered at the park yesterday to watch Ben quietly work away at his artwork. A little girl said to him  “ but there are no fairies”. Guess what. There is now:)

 

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

When my daughters visited from interstate a few weeks ago I subtly asked them about the 17 large packing cartons that I have been storing for them in my garage. Being subtle with girls who are both taller and brighter than their mother is an art form. We managed to unpack and sort through seven cartons, making only another ten to wade through on their next trip.

Fluffy toys, board games, letters from first boyfriends, and a collection of snow domes surfaced from within these boxes, as did a disco ball, karaoke machine and at least one hundred children’s books.

Most of these treasures have been rehomed. Well, except for the pink LEGO set. I have always had great fun with LEGO and this was the first developed with females in mind. I think I can have fun with this one Friday night with a glass of plonk.

The local High School is having a massive Garage Sale this coming Saturday and were only too pleased to be the recipients of much of this gear.

Funds raised will be going towards the Schools Chaplaincy program. The Chaplains are not wholly funded by the Government and as they are non denominational I truly believe they provide a respite, a quiet haven, a listening post, to many a student in need.

My tall, bright daughters attended this school over ten years ago. It is a tough school, a State School. It was the first High School in Queensland where the students held a sit-in on the school oval. I don’t mind a little Bolshoi. Indeed, I think these times call for more of it, but I digress…..

My girls did not utilise the services the Chaplains provided but I was always pleased to know there was an avenue for them should it be required. The vibe was very much “ it takes a village to raise a child”.

Some of the funds raised from this Garage Sale, which will have the local Community Centre full to the brim with furniture, brick a brac, plants, and an additional 100 children’s books thanks to our tidy up, will be donated elsewhere. And I just love this:-

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Funds will be donated to The Library Project which is a group of local schools, churches and community service organizations who have banded together to provide libraries on the South Pacific Island of Vanuatu. This beautiful but poor little Island ranked last in Literacy and Numeracy in a list of South Pacific countries. The Library Project states that “the journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page”.

WOW, is that powerful stuff or what?

Talk about it taking a village to raise a child……And there is a lot more space in my garage too.

 

 

 

Refer http://www.thelibraryproject.com.au

Updates Only.

News in from the Uniting Church’s Hands Up monthly newsletter states : “January saw the Brisbane Bookfest and what a whopper it was! Over $1.459 million raised to support our 24 hour Lifeline Crisis Support line which was over $200k above the target!”

That’s a lot of preloved books, comics, magazines and CDs sold for charity. And here’s the rub – Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city. What must the figures be like in Sydney and Melbourne? And who said it was the time of electronic reading devices?

We do it all again mid year. I’m already squirrelling my gold coins away!

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The Little Street Library Project which I instigated will be fully functioning by late March. After spotting one of these mini constructions whilst holidaying I initiated the building of something similar on my own front lawn, only to realise that in a cul de sac there would be minimal traffic to take advantage of the facility.

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So I took the concept to my local Councillor who ran with the idea of erecting a mini library in the local parkland. Construction has been completed by the local Men’s Shed as a community project using steel for anti vandalism purposes. The Councillor has arranged for the locking and unlocking of the Little Street Library to be part of the daily tasks of the cleaner, employed by Council, when he attends to his duties each morning and night. So that’s kicking Vandalism’s butt also.

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So why the delay? In an attempt to beautify the area in which the Little Street Library will be installed, and because the surrounding area is native bushland that abounds with wildlife, the Councillor has organised a bushland mural which will soften the look of the building to which the facility will be attached, adding to the total ambience – touch wood.

This is the pattern of the mural:

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The books are ready for inclusion, thanks to friends for donations, especially the magazines and children’s books. I’m wondering if I should add a couple of small family board games…….

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I also have a box of pre loved DVDs and CDs , all very playable, though have concerns about possible claims of damage to electronics. I’m told a couple of blokey sports books would also be appreciated. Yeah, like I have anything of that genre laying around…….

The LOML is donating a couple of books festooned with Dragons, and is adamant that the collection include a book covering chakras/meridians/astrological influences. Because the local Leaf Blowing Brigade will just love that!

Any additions required, you think?

 

Valentines Day, For The Love Of…….

With Valentines Day knocking at the front door, some thoughts on love – not necessarily number one on my personal list of attributes.

Attended the annual fundraiser for the local Museum over the weekend. It’s only a small set up with a passionate belief in preserving the area’s past and is almost completely run on the goodwill of volunteers: lots of farm machinery, military history, and the usual assortment of haberdashery are on display.

The local community theatre group performed Love Letters, after our Roast Lamb and Apple Crumble tea, which was cooked by Museum Members and served under the towering Eucalyptus Gums. Love Letters is a play by A. R. Gurney that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd 111 , and follows the power of love, through the point of a pen, over a period of some fifty years.

I’m no theatre critic but this was a community event in every sense of the word.

Sunday was designed for airconditioning. The experts had been tipping a week of 36 to 40 degree days, plus humidity. After venturing out early and spending some time in the garden, I made a mad dash to the Nursery where I discovered these Poppy Seeds for sale as a fundraiser for Legacy. No advertising, no fanfare whatsoever.

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I love the Red Poppies and their symbolism is one that takes me back to places and events from before I was born. Anyway, I have to get back to the Nursery pretty damn quick as I’ve taken orders for another twenty odd seed packets. Everybody seems keen to plant them as a commemorative display to mark the end of WW1 one hundred years ago this coming November.

Today is even hotter, even stickier, and instead of mopping floors it’s a day for sitting quietly with a good book. I’ve returned to one I was gifted back in 1988 when my youngest daughter was born. It’s another that is well travelled and won’t be leaving my side.

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Pictures In The Post is a book containing some of the illustrated cards that Sir Henry Thornhill, a distinguished soldier-administrator of the British Raj, sent to his two year old grandson, commencing from 1914. This tradition continued with each of his three grand daughters, though when the children reached 5 years of age he would write a message in capital letters, in addition to an illustration.

Not only are these letters to his kin nostalgic, but the book also outlines the life of a fine old gentleman from a long gone era.

Lurvvve is in the air, even at the office.

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They say “Love makes the world go round”.  Whatever it is you love, whoever it is you love, simply enjoy.

That’s my annual display of mush over and done with. I promise there will be no more till this time next year.