Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Changing Colors

The apartment complex on the street behind our flat has put out its Christmas lights -- these colored fixtures that hang over the doors.

The colors change, which you can see in these two photos, taken a few seconds apart.

This is Harvard Court, above, and across the street (directly behind our flat) is Yale Court. I've written about them before. I still wonder who thought to name them after American universities. I guess we have references to Oxford and Cambridge in America, so it's kind of the same thing.

I got up waaaaaaay too early this morning -- around 4:15 a.m. I just felt like I couldn't stay in bed anymore. I went to bed early, too -- about 9:30 p.m. I think all the darkness at this time of year messes with my internal clock. By the time 9 p.m. rolls around, it feels like midnight.

We're having a crazy week at work. It's exam week in the high school, which means a slightly different schedule with more unstructured time between classes. Ostensibly this is so the kids can study, but of course they all come and hang out in the library, so we are wall-to-wall. I'd say about half the kids are studying. There's also a whole lot of socializing going on, which will probably be reflected in some people's grades!

I spent much of yesterday re-shelving those 400 science books we pulled a few weeks ago. My knees and legs are getting a workout, crouching down to access those bottom shelves. I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to do this job, but then again, I guess doing it probably helps keep me limber.


River said...

I love those lights :)
Shelving books will definitely keep you limber. I get down on my knees every day to clean Lola's litter tray and after years of that I can still get down and up again with ease.

sparklingmerlot said...

An interesting display of lights. Quite restrained and refined. I like them.
I wonder what the origins of naming Harvard Court and Yale Court are.

Andrew said...

Such Christmas display restraint is seldom seen here. I said to R last week that we need one of those tiny Asian style stools where you are sitting about one foot of the ground. That might help in the library. They can also be used as a low step without having to bother getting out steps themselves.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Perhaps you need a little stool - the type that millkmaids used to use - when putting books on the bottom shelves. The stool could lengthen your library career by a decade or more.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I love the subtle Christmas lighting. Very elegant. It looks like a nice block in general. I was at first surprised by the names Harvard and Yale. Then again, those institutions were established at the time in British Colonies and named for a Welshman and an Englishman. So, I suppose I'll let it pass.

Jeanie said...

I'm with you on the sleep. I'm waking as you are -- way too early and try as I may to get back to sleep it doesn't work, so eventually I get up. Then I crash out while watching TV on the couch, wake up refreshed, go to bed at midnight and wake between four and five. Don't know how to get out of the cycle.

I love the lighting. It's very pretty and looks lovely in your evening shot.

Debby said...

I think, taking a break from all the over the top lighting here, inflatables, projection lights, and blinking, seeing this understated lighting is quite nice.

The Bug said...

Pretty lights! And being Dana Downer I wonder if it would be hard to see to put your key in the lock. (Wait - I looked again & I don't think those lights are for that purpose anyway.)

I really wish I would go to bed that early. I was so sleepy all day yesterday and I STILL didn't turn the light out until after 11:00. I need my mother. Ha!

Ellen D. said...

I like those lights. Those flats are nice looking and the area looks well-kept.
I remember those shelving days when I worked in the library. I was in much better shape than I am now!

Ms. Moon said...

I love those lights! They're like the string of star lights I have in my kitchen, changing colors.
There's a man who works at a Publix here who is quite elderly. I'd say in his late eighties at least. And he is a shelf stocker which means he's reaching up and bending down for his entire shifts. I have no idea how he does it. Lily told me that he works mostly because after his wife died, it gave him something to do. He never really speaks to anyone, just goes about his job. So maybe you've got plenty of years of re-shelving books left in your knees!

Boud said...

I think you need one of those roll about stools they have in my library. They're stationary when you stand on the rubberized top to reach high, and unlock when you sit on them to roll about shelving low down. They're official library furniture, so maybe your ptb can spring for one?

Ed said...

The long winter nights kill me. I'm often in bed by nine and as a result am always up by four. But I enjoy the three hours of solitude before the kids get up.

Red said...

Many kids do not really have studying on their mind.

ellen abbott said...

I should start doing squats. I can no longer stand up from sitting crosslegged without a boost from my hands. or maybe work in a library.

Kelly said...

If they have't learned it by now, I doubt a few minutes of studying in the (busy) library is going to help much.

I like the way the lights change colors! Subtle, but effective.

Margaret said...

I feel like there's a reason why animals hibernate in the winter and we are animals after all! I like Xmas lights; those are very tasteful, unlike many I see in my neighborhood.

Allison said...

The lights are nice - very calm and tasteful. I'm of two minds about the benefits/dangers of repeated squatting. I did it for years, weeding. Lately, I've noticed some new discomfort in my knees, and I wonder where it came from.

Susan said...

The colored lights at each entry are great; simple and understated but very lovely. All the weight bearing exercise you get at the library is good for maintaining flexibility and bone health. Just make sure you get the calcium and vitamin K-2 need for overall health and well being. Magnesium Malate is also good.

crafty cat corner said...

Simple but effective, I like them.

gz said...

In shop parlance, a kick stool or a Dalek๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜„

Michael said...

That Christmas lighting is very unique! I think I would hate being in your position monitoring all of those non-studying students!

Bob said...

I may be the odd man out, but a few more lights might look a bit more festive???

Janie Junebug said...

I think if the kids study in the library it's because they don't see the people they want to socialize with! lol


Colette said...

Maybe you could enlist a student volunteer or two to help you reshelve books.

Sharon said...

I like those lights and I like the look of those apartments.

Steve Reed said...

River: It's got to help, right? It's like doing deep-knee bends.

Caro: Yeah, I would love to know that myself!

Andrew: We have rolling stools but it seems easier to just kneel. At least for now!

YP: Or is it better for my knees to continue exercising them? I wonder.

Mitchell: Oh, well, that's a good point. I guess they ARE British names!

Jeanie: It's just a weird time of year, when we have no cues from nature and everything is in hibernation mode.

Debby: Yes, I like it too. Much nicer than all the Wal-Mart frippery.

Bug: I wonder if they bother people whose windows are near them? Like, do they get constantly changing colored lights in their apartments? Or maybe they like that.

Ellen D: I'd love to know what they look like on the inside. I've never been in the flats themselves, though I have been in the halls.

Ms Moon: Well, that's good to know. I think there's something to be said for staying active as we age and for getting exercise that (hopefully) keeps us mobile and limber.

Boud: We actually have three of those, but I find that sitting down to shelve a book is almost too much trouble. It's quicker to crouch or kneel and then stand. But my opinion may change as I get older!

Ed: Yeah, you and I are in the same boat. (Well, for me it's a dog rather than kids, but still...)

Red: Not at all! Especially so close to winter break.

Ellen: Well, I think being able to sit cross-legged at all in your 70s is pretty good!

Kelly: That's probably true, but I think I'd still be warming up with some re-reading!

Margaret: Yes, the hibernating instinct definitely comes out at this time of year!

Allison: But would those aches and pains have come sooner if you hadn't been bending or squatting? Or maybe in your case the cycling is to blame? :)

Susan: Thanks for the tips! The lights look especially nice as a group. A single light wouldn't have nearly the same effect.

Briony: Me too!

GZ: Ha! I've never heard them called Daleks!

Michael: It's one of the hardest weeks of the year. A constant headache for me.

Bob: Oh, see, I like the minimalist look!

Janie: Ha! Probably. Studying is a last resort.

Colette: We've tried that but the books wind up all over the place!

Sharon: I like them too! It's a nice street, especially at this time of year.