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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

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oh, rapture!

It is with unalloyed joy and considerable relief that Lady Bracknell can reveal to her readers that her local lending library has at last re-opened its doors to the public, albeit two months behind schedule.

She is also pleased to note that the designers of the new interior have taken accessibility issues into account. The faded paint lines on the edges of the steps up to the front door have been restored to a dazzling whiteness. The old counter has been replaced with that very rare phenomenon: a split level front desk. There are high ledges for persons such as her ladyship who experience great discomfort on bending, and a lower section for persons who use wheelchairs. Astonishingly (and this is something Lady Bracknell has never seen before), there is actually a gap under the low desk so that persons who use wheelchairs can pull right up under it and converse with the librarians from a friendly and comfortable distance.

There is also a new automated system for checking books out, which Lady Bracknell has not yet had cause to test. It would seem that borrowers must swipe the barcodes in the books they have chosen over a lens. (Or something. Regular readers will have gathered some time ago that technological advances are not her ladyship's strongest suit.)

In any event, it was very pleasant to see the library staff again and to catch up with all their doings. Courtesy such as theirs is, sadly, not so widespread in our modern world as it used to be and, once encountered, should be cultivated.

Were this the only joyous news Lady Bracknell had to convey, she would be a happy woman indeed. But there is more to come.

To her incredulous delight, Lady Bracknell read earlier this week that she may well be Saki reincarnated. Never has a compliment been so carefully chosen to appeal to its intended recipient! Whilst, in all honesty, Lady Bracknell does not believe that she really has one tenth of the wit or literary skill of that revered gentleman, to be compared to him at all is succour to her soul, and she is most grateful to the authors of Ceely's Modern Usage for their kind words.

(Should it be the case that any of Lady Bracknell's readers are not familiar with Saki's works - and even she is forced to admit that his star is not currently in the literary ascendant - they could do worse than to sample those of his short stories which are available here. Should this whet their appetite - and Lady Bracknell would be disappointed if it does not - the good people at Amazon are offering the Wordsworth's Classics edition of his Collected Short Stories for the exceptionally reasonable price of £1.99.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being Saki reincarnated is indeed a fine thing. Having been delighted, on numerous occasions, both by Saki's wit and elegance, and by Lady Bracknell's, I would like to offer my humble support of this theory, despite not actually believing in reincarnation.

2:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saki! I'm reading "Beasts and Superbeasts" right now.

The libraries in my county (residence in any town in my county provides borrowing privileges in dozens of libraries) have used a bar coding system since the early 90's.

One of the libraries now prints out an actual receipt for the books. I find this rather unnecessary. It makes one feel like one is checking out from a supermarket.

2:50 pm  

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