Last week, my colleagues and I decided to celebrate the year of the Rabbit a few days earlier. Actually it was just an excuse to meet up over lovely food and even lovelier company. We felt that we needed to blow away this dragging long winter blues by bringing a bit of laughter and inject a bit of colour into our lives. 15 of us met at the Noodle Bar after office and following the dress code, red. Some were wearing red for the first time in their life. HH said red made her look pale and so she wore red socks. DE wore a red basque. Oo la la…
It was chaotic ordering the food. I’d the usual udon with seafood special and Chinese vegetables. It was interesting to see the different and very strange combinations that arrived. HH had the satay prawns and I swapped a piece of calamari with her. It was delicious but surprisingly spicy. We chatted, joked and basically just relaxed. We would have stayed longer but there was a football match that night and we don’t want to get caught in the exodus. The Sky Blues was playing against Nottingham Forest and they lost, again. The boys were sliding down the ranking very, very quickly.
Chinese New Year was the most important festival of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. It was always celebrated on the second new Moon after the winter solstice. It was a time for renewal, homes brightly decorated, families gathered for a yamseng and children and singletons given red angpows (envelopes containing £££). I think next year I might go to Chinatown either in London or Birmingham because the festival was often celebrated with a bang, marked by firework displays and traditional lion/dragon dances.
On Monday, it was AM’s 50th birthday and, off course, another excuse to have a party. Her work station was decorated to death and posters and banners were strewn all over the staff lounge. She’d a fit when she arrived for work but I’m sure she thoroughly enjoyed it. The table was groaning with delicious spread and I contributed my usual vegetable spring rolls and prawn crackers. I took out my Pentax to take a few photographs of the birthday girl but my battery went dead!!!Not a happy bunny at all.
I had a training session with a 16 year old work placement student. It was hard work. You just don’t know how much information you want to give on such a short time to someone who hasn’t a clue about cataloguing and classification. But you don’t want to scare a potential cataloguer away, do you? So I gave him the very basic of why we catalogue and classify books and the different classification systems that we used. The only question he asked was why did we throw away the covers which surprised the hell out of me. Why??? Because they become tatty after constant use. Paperbacks will be lyfguarded.
It was also the One World Week, a student-run international extravanga. It was an annual celebration of the world’s mosaic of cultures and diversity, now in its 16th year. I only managed to attend the Indo Asia Day with a folk dance from the Kazakhstan society. I was quite surprised to see a large presence from this country. These beautiful dancers in a vision of blue left the audience mesmerised with their slick performance. They received a standing ovation from the very appreciative crowd.
Wednesday was Candlemas, the day that is the midpoint between winter and spring. According to the saying,
If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.
Hmmm, it was a white cloud day that day. So I guess, we still don’t know what the weather will be like.
I’d a very sore throat at the beginning of the week. And then I started sneezing and sneezing and sneezing… By Wednesday, I lost my voice and started coughing and coughing and coughing… On Thursday, I’d to go home by lunch time and on Friday, called in sick. I was wheezing and had to sleep sitting upright. I bet I kept the whole neighbourhood up with my coughing fits. It was awful.
They asked if the sneezles come after the wheezles or if the first sneezle came first
~A.A. Milne, Sneezles~
To make matters worst, we’d new neighbours moving in on both sides of the casa. The drillings and banging didn’t help at all. My poor head!!! But I guess, I was soo tired and sick that somehow I managed to fall asleep on Babe’s reclining chair downstairs with the front door into the garden open to let some fresh air in. The drilling doesn’t sound that loud with the door open.
The sun came out that Friday. Grr…Babe went out to BMNR to get away from the noise and also some fresh air. He got some lovely photographs of the Greylags flying around the reserve, Shelducks, moulting cormorants and a New Zealand Scaup or Black teal. I haven’t seen that before. Lots of fungi too were popping up in the damp forest.
On Saturday, I managed to do the laundry but the machine died halfway :-(. What a lousy week this had been. I shouldn’t complain cos it had served us for more than 10 years. So I guess it was time to get a new one. The problem is that I prefer the top loader washing machine because of space and it doesn’t involved any plumbing etc. So far none of the major retailers stock it in-store. You can only order them on-line and they are much more expensive than the usual one. But I think I’d seen one in one of the electrical shops in town. We will have to check that out next week. In the mean time, I guess we have to make do with the launderette.
After all that chaos, I cleared my head my checking out the shops at Arena Park. First stop was M&S. They still have the sale on and all the clothes were on the rails. I was very surprised to find a beautiful jersey dress in my size of 2 different colours, red and purple. Choices, choices??? I tried them both and off course, the red one wins big time. It was only £19 down from £35. Teamed with black pants (or leggings if I’m brave enough), it will look smashing. I also bought fabric conditioner which was buy one, get one free for £1.75. Another bargain.
At Boots, I tested 2 perfumes which was on sale for Valentine’s Day. One was CK Eternity Moment (£25.65/50ml) and Ghost The Fragrance (£31.66/100ml). I always love CK but I’m thinking of trying a new one. I sprayed them on the litmus paper and asked Babe which one he liked cos he’s paying :-). Guess what? He liked Ghost. Yippee… I will get that one ASAP cos it was for a short period only before the price goes up. I quickly browsed in New Look and Next. I saw something I liked in Next and will check it out next time. In Tesco, bought a few bits and bobs before borrowing a few books from the library.
The library was very busy today. I truly love this library. Always buzzing, full of people of different ages and races, each doing their own thing. Warwickshire City Council had published a hit-list of 16 libraries earmarked for closure. They were described as “unsustainable” under a £2m savings plan. Do you think these Councillors visit these libraries? And to the communities who are facing the closure, if you don’t use your library, you are going to loose it. Once lost, you are going to have a hard time, having it back. Once its gone, its gone.
This image was from CILIP ( Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) which supported Save Our Libraries Day, a day of action to bring greater attention to the cuts and closures facing many public libraries. The day of action comes after a study by the National Literacy Trust revealed children who used their local library were twice as likely to be above-average readers. CILIP have a great sliding scale of actions, suggesting how you can use whatever spare time you have to get involved. I’m keeping a very keen eye on what’s going on and I hoped you will too.
By the time, I came out of the library, it was raining. Gee…my laundry was soaked. As I was bringing the clothes in, my new neighbour came over to say hello. Guess what? Her parents were from Malaysia. What a very, very small world. Her grandparents were from India who came to Malaysia in search of a better life. Her mother came to the UK to search for a better life and became a nurse. SK was born here. We just couldn’t help laughing.
I’d another bad night last night. At about 5am, I went downstairs and managed to fall asleep on Babe’s reclining chair armed with a hot water bottle and Vicks vapour rub. I was awakened at about 10am with the drilling from next door. Oh no…wasn’t Sunday supposed to be a day of rest. I opened the door and startled a robin who was feeding on the feeder. He watched me watching him. He flew to the nearby bush and waited while I top up the bird feeder with food.. He trained me well.
After brunch, we went to the Outdoors store to see if they stock table top washing machines which were often used in caravans. None, nada, zilch. They’d a sale on but we only came out with a discounted Warwickshire calendar which I bought for the scenic photographs. We also checked out Currys and PC World. Then a bit of shopping in Morisson before we head back to the casa to hibernate.
We’d a very easy lunch of brioche, cherries and biscuits. And then a short siesta. The week started with a bang and went out with a whimper. I hoped your weekend wasn’t as dramatic as mine. I love this photograph by Babe. I felt like this pigeon, balancing with one leg on the wire and trying to scratch my head…:-)