Saturday, May 26, 2018

Back to the Stone Age

Our spring irises have bloomed, waving their blue flags in a corner of the flower bed beneath the faded camellia. I remember when we first moved here, that camellia dropped its blossoms and I felt obligated to try to collect them all and put them in the yard waste recycling -- just to neaten things up. This year I haven't picked up a single flower, and the garden still looks great. Why not leave them to compost beneath the bush?

Yesterday was an interesting day in the library. Our checkout system wasn't working at all. We could look books up in the catalog, but when we tried to check them in or out the system would hang up and freeze.

So we had to do everything the old-fashioned way -- with pencil and paper. I wrote down the names of kids who took materials and the bar code number of every item, and if they returned any of it later I'd just scratch them off the list. And I wrote down the numbers of all the items to check in. Hopefully, on Tuesday, when we're back at work, I can feed all this info into the computer and bring us back up to date.

It made me think of the high school librarians when I was a kid, and how they'd have to take a card from a pocket in the back of each book we checked out, and stamp it, and we'd have to sign it to show that we had the book, and then they'd file that card somehow. I suppose when books got turned in they'd put the card back in the pocket and return it to the shelf. All that fussing with cards! At least I didn't have to do that.

The kids found all my writing pretty amusing, I think. To them, not having a computer is like living "The Hunger Games."

I clipped this rose from our garden and brought it inside. It's huge! I put Solar Liz next to it for a sense of scale, but of course you don't know how big she is either, so I suppose that wasn't a very good system.

I mentioned going back to work Tuesday -- and that was not a typo! We're having another three-day weekend, our second May bank holiday. Woo hoo! Unfortunately the weather is going to be a bit damp, but not too terrible -- and dampness is good for the garden, after all. I hope to get out with the dog and also do one more leg of the LOOP. Stay tuned!


  1. Love the Iris they remind me of my Dad.
    As for old ways in the Library, I loved the date stamp on the inside of the book, I knew where I was then for returning, and I mourn for the little pockets. Can you tell I'm getting old, looking back and thinking things were better, lol

    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Do you think that the computer glitch was caused by The Russians? As far as I know no British school libraries have been affected in this way - just The American School. Very suspicious.

  3. Your irises are beautiful. Ours are on the verge of blooming, too.

    I'm with Briony, I loved the old-fashioned way of checking out books. Ha ha!

  4. That card and the stamp - those are things in the very happiest part of my memory. Without a doubt.
    Solar Liz makes me smile.

  5. Flower petals are never picked up here but I do like to keep things neat and tidy.

  6. I love remembering the old date stamped library book. When I was young and my little sister even younger, my parents brought us to the library. I already had a card, but in order to get one you had to be able to write your own name. My sister had practiced and practiced to get it right. She signed her name, got her card, and took out some books. Oh a true milestone that was! We let the flower petals stay where they have fallen.

  7. A giant rose for the Queen! How sweet! That iris is gorgeous!

  8. These days we have whole libraries online. My kids don’t understand how anyone did research before the internet.

  9. of course you should leave the fallen blooms to decompose beneath the bush, it's how it gets fertilized and does well the next year. decay is part of the cycle and is a form of beauty as well.

  10. Missing the old card catalogs in the library and the stamps on the cards, old fashioned google. Love your blue queen and the rose, they do go well together

  11. I LOVED messing with the cards the one semester I worked in the library in high school - it made me feel very important stamping the date & then filing the card to await the book's return. And for some reason, the smell of the cards was part of what I loved about the library. Weird!