Don’t jump in!


Trinity Hall’s Jerwood Library, completed in 1998 and opened in 1999, just 649 years after Trinity Hall was founded in 1350. That’s a long time to wait for a decent library. I was a little anxious about the vaguely Alfred Hitchcockian man gazing down at the punt about to pass beneath him. I had a vision of him vaulting the railings, landing on the punt and crashing through the wooden floor.Needless to say, it was all in my head and no punt related incident or tragedy occurred.

I am now a returned club runner having virtually stopped attending from October last year. Yesterday was a pleasant, sunny day in Cambridge (see visual evidence above) but when I left home at 6.10 pm it was overcast cold and raining. By the time we road runners left the warmth and shelter of the Cambridge University Athletics clubhouse it was raining hard and continued to do so for three quarters of the session. Of course I under estimated the severity of the weather and didn’t wear the right jacket. I got thoroughly soaked and if the temperature had been lower I would probably have given up. However, after warming up and running the first of 4 x 1500 metres, I felt much better. On my return I had a shower and tasty meal and overall I felt energised, alert and more alive. So that’s my advice. If you’re feeling tired, lethargic and generally lackadaisical, go for a hard run (in the rain preferably) and you’ll find yourself on top form again (disclaimer : you need to have a certain amount of running fitness or you might go from bad to worse, and this approach  might only work for me. Has this advice been helpful? I’ll leave the world to decide.

I saw something relatively unusual today. A man and a women, probably in their mid seventies, passed by me riding a tandem tricycle. They weren’t sporty and didn’t look as if they were fitness advocates.They were cycling together, out in the sunshine, enjoying themselves and going places. The tandem tricycle was stable and they didn’t have to continually focus on balance. Marvellous!

I’m reading the third book, The Conscience of the Rich, in C.P.Snow’s Brothers and Strangers sequence. I think it’s the right one. They weren’t published in the right sequence and I’ve managed to mislay a number of them after I was forced to tidy them away. Note to self : begin to stack books in towers throughout the house so they are ever at hand.



4 thoughts on “Don’t jump in!

  1. Stacking books in towers? That’s the first step in a long journey which ultimately leads to being featured in a reality TV show. You may not wish for it but when your grandchildren get power of eterny you may find yourself featured in ‘grandpappy hoarders’. I’m contemplating my attachment to books. Now that I have a kindle app I’ve managed to accumulate 100 there, which is very handy for transportation and storage. Generally I try to pass on paperbacks after reading, unless they are ‘quality’ literature that I might want to read again or keep for my son to read. With the electronic versions though it’s hard to share, which is sad as I like to share a good book! Currently reading ‘the year of living danishly’ by Helen Russell which I highly recommend. With a house move imminent there may need to be a cull though. Anything that hasn’t been touched for a few years may need to go. But there’s now a free cycle type book scheme in the next town, I’ve seen people in there choosing books so that might be a good place. My love of reading started when I was about 6 or 7 and I picked up a copy of ‘the lion the witch and the wardrobe’ with a torn front cover at a jumble sale for 2p! It was the first ‘ big book’ I’d read. If my ‘surplus to requirement’ books can bring similar pleasure to someone else, I’d call that a win-win. 😃

    • Actually I see myself featuring in Country Life (Eccentric issue) showcasing a hidden gem library whose custodian (me) gently guides interviewer and photographer around narrow corridors bounded by books on all sides. You won’t catch me starring in a Channel 5 programme (I think!).
      Your rationale for reading style, retaining or passing on books and love of reading makes complete sense. Your use of the word “cull” sent a cold shiver down my spine, however. I would hope your new house includes a library.Ideally it would be temperature, light and moisture controlled but you could install that later.
      PS : does your Kindle allow you to enjoy the odour of books? I think I win!

      • Aaah book smell! I confess I’m always at home in a library. Even our modern library in Blackburn where lowbrow paperbacks are displayed with their covers showing to tempt in the literary thrill seekers! Did I mention that I suspect that my husband has a similar fantasy to yours, concerning his ability to provide the last 30 yrs of BMJ’s to a library suffering a catastrophic loss? Probably. Needless to say I’m not a country life reader but I have been known to indulge in some channel surfing (how did we manage before remote control?). The books have gone to be re- homed now (cull does suggest more of a bonfire approach) so don’t fret I’m sure that they will be loved again. Now I need to start on the non fiction, cookery etc. The problem is when you start to look you think that you just might need them…..

  2. Okay, it’s pruning rather than culling but still, these are not nice terms to use in the context of books. And now your shears are directed towards innocent non fiction. I like your husband’s forward thinking. Perhaps you should take a leaf out of his book?

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