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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A heavy blow

Having granted her editor temporary leave to take over this humble blog for the duration of BADD, Lady Bracknell feels it is time she reasserted her authority over its pages. Frankly, if the editor wishes to compose excessively lengthy, complex and politically-charged entries at regular intervals, she must set up a blog of her own.

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.


Blogger Sally's Life said...

Dear Lady Bracknell

I hope your municipal authority can afford the munificence of a borough web site, such that your staff will find a virtual library, with facilities to order by subject, author or title, to be collected at your ladyship's convenience, perhaps by your chauffeur, from whichever other library is convenient to his route whilst carrying out other duties.

I believe that your Ladyship's honourable status of impairment will be accorded the consideration it deserves, so that no charge will be made for any book so reserved, or even, late returned.

My own impairment of vestibularopathy prevents the unbecoming stance of reading the titles of books on shelves with my left ear on my left shoulder, which led my search for this libary service.

I trust Lady Bracknell will be able to avail herself of this service in her own locality.

11:11 pm  
Blogger pete said...

Flaming June? It is not good enough!

10:35 am  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I would like to second Ms Sally's advice to your Ladyship.

I recommend that you contact your Head Library without delay, explain the situation, and ask what arrangements are in place for Disabled Readers. It might flick a nerve.

12:52 pm  
Blogger dotandcarryone said...

To Lady Bracknell's Editor


Do you think that you could approach your distinguished employer, tactfully, and suggest that the old faggot (pardon me) gracious lady is not applying her normally penetrating intelligence to this problem?

As I understand the issue, her Ladyship is not a car-driver, and is physically disabled from carrying heavy loads, such as books, for long distances either on foot or by public transport.

Thus, the closure of this nearby Library has meant that the dear person is prevented from access to a facility which she, as a presumed Council-Tax-payer, has a right to.

Were I still practising, I would have unhesitatingly urged Lady Bracknell to approach her Library Authority with a view to getting registered as a Housebound Reader for the duration of the closure, so that books of her choice could be delivered to Bracknell Towers at her convenience and without charge. This I would regard as a reasonable adjustment. Indeed, if this closure is to continue (because I place no trust in the promises of Building Contractors, having suffered from them myself) it would be worth her Ladyship pursuing this course, anyway.

Yours respectfully


2:58 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is touched by her readers' concern, and is prepared - just this once, mark you - to overlook the accusation of being an "old faggot".

Having reviewed her posting on this subject from December last, her ladyship now realises that she did not relay a full account of her conversations with her delightful local librarians.

Lady Bracknell was offered the option of classifying herself as "housebound" for the duration of the closure. But the local system is clearly not so sophisticated as that with which Ms Sally is familiar. No virtual library here: instead one can inform the manager of this service of the sorts of books one likes and be delivered a random selection.

Something about this offer struck Lady Bracknell as so unappealing that she plumped for the alternative of limitless borrowing.

She could, of course, still avail herself of the option. Although things are perhaps not quite so desperate as she intimated last evening.

Frantic stockpiling has resulted in the "unread" teetering pile currently standing (or teetering) at a total of 18 novels.

8:32 pm  
Blogger Agent Fang said...

Dear Lady B,

I just wanted to come over and say thank you for all the work you have put into making Blogging Against Disablism Day so succesful.

This surely must have required a large amount of reading. Yet I find you here clearly willing to devour yet more reading matter.

Madam, I salute you!


8:43 am  
Blogger ke`chara{BP} said...

Dear Lady Bracknell,

Have you thought about looking at www.bookcrossing.com ? The idea is that you register and find out where books are being left (or released) locally to you, then you go get them, read them, then re-release them. A kind of open source library, i guess. I don't know if this would be at all suitable for you...?



11:30 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

How fascinating. Lady Bracknell knew nothing about this. She is most grateful to ke'chara for the information.

12:05 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

It is a very great pleasure for Lady Bracknell to be visited on her own blog by Agent Fang (whose own BADD graphic was used on Ragged Edge, so much kudos.)

Lady Bracknell's own efforts re BADD pale into insignificance in comparison with those of the Goldfish. But she was only too happy to assist.

12:09 pm  

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