Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Crazy Wednesday

Crazy Wednesday is a regular feature of my working week, and today was the first one for 2012. Last week didn't count because many of the elements that make it crazy were absent due to the semi holiday nature of the first week of January. Today offered up almost the whole raft of possibilities: the first staff meeting of the year, the first lunchtime concert, two liturgical books to get prepared because January is the season of the orchestral mass, and a major publication in the making... Still missing was the insert for the Evensong service book, because Evensong doesn't happen in January, and my editorial meeting for the monthly magazine, because the person I meet with was out of the office...

It means that there is a level of brain deadness that has interfered with my usually insatiable appetite for a book - I've read too much stuff all day. I've also sat in front of a computer screen for too long today already, so writing this post makes no sense on many levels. However, I've just written two elements of this weeks writing assignment for my freelancing work, and there are a few more to push through this evening so the whole thing will be halfway finished before lights out, and this is a combination of a break, distraction and procrastination!

We are going to be moving soon. There are a number of factors contributing to this. It will be OK, something of an adventure, and a potential major step ahead for us. However, when it became certain that it would have to happen, I started eyeing the bookcases thinking, for the umpteenth time, oh we go again.... My eldest son, years ago during one move, was heard to spit - while on one end of a large oak table - "why couldn't you have collected feathers and painted watercolours?" He'd already shifted countless crates of books, a trailer load of terracotta clay, innumerable large clay sculptures and pots, and half a house full of antique furniture.... He probably has a valid point. At his apartment at the moment are three of my artworks and a large crate of photographs - brought from interstate from my aunt's place after her death. And so it continues...

As my dearly beloved said to me tonight, the books are part of who I am. Most of our stuff will be going into storage. If everything works out as we're planning, we'll be moving into a house that we will be renovating. That means we will need to keep our stuff to a minimum because the less stuff we have in the place, the easier it will be to work around. I was having cold chills at the thought of packing the books away for the 6-9 months it may take to do this project. None of my best friends within reach for all that time...?? Not to be contemplated really. And then there's the practical reality that they actually take up less room stacked in the bookcases than packed in boxes - scary thought. So, the books are coming with us - we'll just have to try and plan it so that they only need to be moved once after we're in.

I remember the first time I disembowelled all my bookcases at once to completely reorganise them. They took up the entire living room floor - the WHOLE floor. I was picking my way on tip toes between them all to get from one side of the room to the other. It was frightening - and VERY reassuring to have them all stacked back in their shelves flat against the wall, with only a 30cm footprint along the length of the wall! It's funny how a whole wall of bookcases can look both impressive and quite reasonable. It's totally not funny seeing an entire floor disappear under the same collection....

My absolute fantasy is to own a house with a library - a whole room just for my books, with built in floor to ceiling timber bookcases. With one of those ladders on runners. A cosy couch for curling up in. A beautiful rug and floor cushions for sprawling out with the big art books. A fireplace would be lovely. A deep, cushion filled window seat would be a bonus. But the most basic requirement is that it have four walls, high ceilings and its own door. I'd love a set of French doors out to a terrace too, but that would start to interfere significantly with the wall space - and that really does have to come first. So, perhaps there needs to be a plan for French doors somewhere else in the house!

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I have made a few decisions about things I'd like to do better this year. One is to reorder the bookcases - because I've moved between three much unloved apartments in the last six years and after getting through the basics of unpacking, I've not done all the refining bits - like getting the books sorted and into alphabetical order within their categories. This will change. I WILL house the books properly when we move, and get them back where they can talk to each other in their familiar groups again. In my bones, I feel that it is a small step towards achieving that library.

PS...anyone who wants to come help me pack the books would be most welcome -  the activity can be fueled with good wine!

PPS Friend of mine posted this on Facebook tonight, had to drop it in here, it's just too perfect!

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