Sunday, 4 December 2016

Frosty Mornings, Phone Kiosk Village Library

A glorious crisp frost-rimed morning with clear blue skies dotted with silver-backed gulls and ragged black rooks tossing around in the sharp wind as they caw & cark spying out the land below them. The frost has outlined leaves and grasses and they will remain so throughout the day in the sheltered corners unreached by the low sun as will the marbled ice in the water-filled wheel-ruts in gateways. There is a thin skim of ice on the ponds, not enough to bear a duck as in the old country saying that if, before Christmas, for three days the ice can bear a duck then we're in for hard winter, but we have plenty of time yet for three days of duck-bearing ice to arrive.

On a recent journey we drove through a small village and came across this novel use for an old telephone kiosk. It functions as a village library. People are encouraged to borrow books and to add to the collection and is brilliant way of giving a new lease of life to what are now redundant and useless structures in these days of almost universal mobile phone ownership (except for me!). As there is a real shortage of proper bookshops in this area and the public libraries are under threat of closure perhaps more villages should utilise small buildings in such a way. It can only be of benefit to the local communities & to the reading public.

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