A heavy blow
Regular readers will recall Lady Bracknell's despondency when she discovered that her local lending library was to shut for several months for refurbishments, and her delight in discovering, in February, that work appeared to be continuing apace. Her ladyship's generous allowance of library books was exhausted some time ago: a problem which can be attributed in the main to the three week period during which she was confined to bed by the Evil Virus. She has re-read old favourites (including the sublime, "Precious Bane"); she has scoured the shelves of local charity shops; and she has instructed the editor to order books from Amazon. Bracknell Towers, which was never exactly short of books, is now become well nigh impassable.
However, today being the promised grand re-opening date for the lending library, Lady Bracknell ventured forth with some optimism. (She did not burden herself with a heavy portmanteau filled to the brim with books, though: there is a difference between optimism and naiveté.) Would the doors to the library be standing open, offering an enticing glimpse of its gleaming and freshly-painted interior? Would the charming librarians be standing behind the counter, wreathed in smiles, and ready to relieve Lady Bracknell of the books she borrowed so many months ago?
Alas, no. The doors remained locked. Ditto the wrought iron gates. Workmen were conspicuous by their absence. (Perhaps their bank holidays are longer than those of ordinary mortals?) The only visible alteration was a small and evidently hastily-erected sign explaining that the work was taking longer than anticipated and that the library will now not re-open until June.
So Lady Bracknell must needs cast her eyes once more over the contents of her bookcases, and over the teetering piles of books on both floor and windowsill, and attempt to extract some volumes which she has either not read at all, or which she can fancy reading again.
Persons who do not themselves read voraciously may find it hard to empathise with Lady Bracknell's ongoing predicament. But then, perhaps they do not need to spend quite so many hours every day resting in bed as does her ladyship to protect their inflamed joints.