Winter Stories

Off to the Neilson Hayes library again this weekend. The interior refurbishment of the building is complete and you can see what a beautiful neo-colonial setting it is.

The library was founded in the 1920s by the wife of one of the Doctors at the Naval Hospital. It was and remains a women-run organisation providing a wide range of English language materials to its members who come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

For my library friends, you may be interested in the glass fronted book cases and also the card catalogue which to my amazement is fully functional! It is the first time I have seen a card catalogue in use for 30 years. The last time I saw a set of catalogue drawers it was in an antique shop and being used as a quirky bottle holder (each drawer is just the right size for a bottle of wine! A good use for ex-library furniture I thought.

Anyway, my session was well attended and I told winter/snow themed stories. The children loved the tactile snow bear story and we all had lots of ‘strokes’ of the fur.

It was slightly incongruous though trying to explain cold and ice and snow to little children who have no frame of reference other than relentless heat! ‘Frog is fffffreezing’ meant little to them…

We cut out paper snowflakes and stuck cotton wool onto snowmen thanks to Meaw the talented assistant there. Only a very few had any concept of what snow was.

It was about 33 degrees outside so I put on my sun shades to leave. This is my strangest Christmas season to date. It is so hot that it doesn’t feel ‘Christmassy’. There are decorations in the malls but they all seem to be stylised trees or bears in Santa outfits. Not an angel, shepherd or nativity in sight.

One blessing though, we are not assaulted by tacky Christmas music wherever we go.

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