Sunday, 29 September 2013


After considering the number of books I've read this year, I faced the truth. My shelves have reached the final gasp. I almost considered that truth in the last library update blog post.
   But no.
   I stared at a space behind this computer, here in my library. That space is the same size as a tall thin bookshelf I have over in my office. And there is a very good reason for not having used that space.
   Power. Electricity. Not to go all Fenella Fielding on you, but, OH, SOCKET.
   My eyes flick right. There's the open storage shelf. With access through to the wall and the other source of power. So if I shift all my cables from the left to the right, I can block off that bookshelf-sized space with, gasp, a bookshelf...
   To do so, I must clamber around in the loft looking for a TV cable that must be guided another few feet down through the ceiling.
   The more I get into this, the longer it takes. I keep developing plans within schemes inside riddles wrapped in mysteries and so on.
   I find myself in that loft as a rainstorm comes on. Everything sounds louder. The wind seems ten times stronger. I smell the dusty wooden atmosphere and feel cheered as each move I make brings another skelf to the party.
   Then I start to wonder just how Scottish a skelf is.
   A splinter or fragment of wood. Like a tiny spear, driving into the fleshiest part of your hand. As you clamber from joist to joist, hoping not to fall through the loft into a hard surface on another level of the house.
   There's a lot of head-bumping. And to-ing. Followed by fro-ing. Eventually, I fix that cable. Then I return to the first floor - what an American would call the second floor - and I tidy all the cables I can find.
   After that, I switch machines on to ensure they still work. They don't. I discover I didn't really need a particular cable. The box that goes with the redundant cable is removed from the nest of wires.
   Finally, machines work. I tidy those cables. And then. Only then. I wrestle the bookcase from office to library.
   My work is done. (Ha!)
   I start to think of the space I now have in the office. Freeing that space opens so many possibilities. I can buy a new bookcase, and then I won't be on a knife-edge when it comes to adding next year's supply of books to the shelves.
   My last order of books this year was definitely my last order of books this year. Typing this, I remember one book's arrival was delayed. I'll have room for it. Just.
   What next? I spent the late evening moving the office around. In my mind. Then I started shifting things around. Temporary fix. I feel a skelf in my left hand, as I type.

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