Little Street Library Update and Dinosaurs

I’ve been taking the five minute walk up to the local parkland to check on the status of the Little Library every weekend. You know, making sure there is a variety of books to borrow and that there has been no vandalism.

I’m pleased to report that local residents have taken ownership and there are books being donated, and being taken, and more importantly, the facility is being respected.

Once a month I remove books that aren’t moving and donate those elsewhere. Those empty spots are always being refilled with fresh reads and magazines by strangers.

Our Little Library now has its own Facebook Page so it has taken on a life of its own.

The other weekend there was a children’s party held in the parkland. Lots of balloons, picnic rugs, and eskies full of supplies. At one stage, sitting around in a circle in the winter sun, each of the Little People had a book from the Library in their lap.

There are a couple of young families that ride their bikes down most afternoons, use the playground equipment       ( Way to go, Mums – wear the blighters out so they will sleep well), and then borrow a new book for bedtime reading.

Here are some photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks which indicate the enjoyment this has added to our neighbourhood, especially for our kiddies. (And no, I have never been considered childcentric, but instilling a love of reading in all People, Big and Little, has to be a good thing on so many levels, doesn’t it?)

 

 

Mid Year Update.

A friend is currently travelling across France and posted this beautiful photo of Poppies growing wild in the fields. Aren’t they just beautiful?

I recently planted my second lot of 2000 Poppy seeds to be in full bloom for Armistice Day. 100 per cent Fail Rate, second time in a row. The long dead Depression parents must be watching over me. I can hear “ Pet, if you can’t eat it, we don’t grow it” in my head.

 

FCE36840-0603-43FD-B500-FAE037479E4DAs of today’s date I have finished 60 books this year. Another dozen or so were started, but dismissed as trash. Life is too short for Trash.

Here is my haul from the latest book charity sale. $5 well spent, don’t you think?  Well, closer to $20 when you take into consideration raffle tickets and Girl Guide Biscuits.

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The Little Street Library is starting to get a few visitors, with locals both contributing and borrowing books.It looks like some of our littlest readers are having fun:

Only one book left to complete the 2018 Australian Author Challenge. Four years ago I could have named only a handful of successful authors from my own country. This Challenge has motivated me to read and appreciate more Aussie literature, and not just by those few making a good living out of it. It has also allowed me to track my reading habits – with not a wretched spreadsheet insight – which has in turn encouraged the reading of different genres. (Is that personal growth? And aren’t I too old to care?).

Local author, Daniel O’Malley, a friend of my youngest daughter, who I very courageously reviewed here recently, (courageously because he writes “ Sci Fi, Fantasy, with a dash of Monty Python” !!) has recently had his book, Rook, picked up by the BBC for conversion to a television series. Good job, young Dan!

Another of my projects is creating a list of authors that will encourage me to read an author from every country in 2019. I’m thinking an A – Z thing.

The Christmas in July Trivia Night is coming along ok although getting bums on seats can be a pain in the posterior. (Collective groan). It is a fundraiser for Wounded Heroes, an organisation which assists our exservice men and women when they need a hand up. The Country Women Association, those great purveyors of scones, jam and cream, are on board to cook Roast Lamb and veg and Apple Crumble for 150. Wish you all lived closer….

And a development in the She-Shack…….

Since downsizing 18 months ago I don’t have the same wall space to place my bibs and bobs.  Now I have an easel which will allow a rotating display. It’s my very own Peggy Gluggenheim Museum.

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It is winter now and I am loving it, though just like grizzley bears, I do tend to go into hibernation.
Continue reading “Mid Year Update.”

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:)

 

Updates and Fluff

I’ve been reading “fluff” over the last week or so. Sometimes a girl just needs too because that well in the head runs dry. So I sit with the fluff, with a glass of white and my music. It keeps me grounded.

There’s a preloved book sale all this weekend, run by a local Service organisation. Because it’s so local the books keep being recycled – you buy them, then take them back, and so on – which keeps the prices really cheap. $2 is an expensive book. I tend to fill a bag for five. Blame the Depression parents, okay…..Normally the funds raised go towards literacy projects. This year the funds will go towards rebuilding the Scout Hall where the event is held each year. An arsonist torched it a few weeks ago which is a shame as the building had been gifted to the Scouting movement from the American navy, when it was Macarthur’s port of call, and was relocated after the war. Although architecturally insignificant it was one of our last links with that era and has been a well used community space for yonks.

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Buying books under the shade of the towering Gums should be fun. Fingers crossed for a coffee van, hey…

I have a market stall coming up in a few weeks in conjunction with my friend, The Geranium Lady. All funds raised will go towards Wounded Heroes which is a very hands on organisation that helps our exservice personnel get a hand up and means I have only a few weeks to make more Basil Salt and Rosemary infused Olive Oil. The poor plants need to buck up as despite being 2 months into Autumn the days remain warm and humid. Hottest April ever recorded! My daily singing to the Rosemary shrubs to boost their growth and morale is beginning to annoy the LOML – can’t even imagine what the neighbours think.

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Here’s a chilling statistic I read today :

From The Age, 31st December, 2017.

“An estimated 84 defence force veterans committed suicide in 2017, sparking an attack on the Federal Government for allegedly failing to protect them.
Veterans’ advocates say the toll is a “conservative estimate” based on notifications from families and police reports.”

That means I will continue to sing to my plants!

The Poppies I planted and envisaged blooming for Remembrance Day in November have not survived. Blame the heat. I have purchased another 2,000 seeds, though am unsure if it’s worth the effort to replant. Blame the Gemini astrology : easily distracted.

 

And lastly, the Little Street Library:

Talk about Bigger than Ben Hur! The latest from the local Men’s Shed, who volunteered to create the structure which will House all the books and magazines in the local parkland, apparently had trouble fabricating the steel. The local Council gave them a grant to purchase a $3,000 machine to do whatever was necessary, so my little box on the wall, fuelled by the goodwill of so many, has become an expensive little exercise. Thankfully, it will be finalised within the fortnight. Emotionally and intellectually I am swinging from “bloody idiot – why did I ever get the Council involved” to “ fantastic, the expensive gadget means they’ll have the machinery to build Little Libraries all over the community.”

Here’s one I spotted recently:

 

Have a good weekend, one and all…….

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?