We are library

My little girl is very much a library baby. She hung about in Christchurch’s Central Library (in utero), and then when she was born and I was back at work, she visited every lunchtime for a feed.
Hornby LibrarySabrina and Grandad at Hornby LibrarySabrina at Hornby Library

The librarians knew her name, and kept a track on her progress as she got older.

After the earthquakes, Central Library was closed and the staff moved to different libraries and workplaces. I worked from home, then at Linwood, and as a library user I just darted in and out to pick up my stuff. My daughter didn’t get to see all the nice librarians in the same way.

But when Central Library Peterborough opened in December 2011, we felt like we had our own place to visit.


Every weekend, she asks “Is it library day?” It is up there with the park as a cool desintation. We load up the pram full of books and pop in for a visit. We bring books and DVDs and CDs back, and get a new load of goodies.

She likes to “go to work” and have a play on the kids’ computers. She likes to get a stamp, and help issue books on the RFID terminal where her toddler ethos of  “I can do it myself” gets a workout.  We say Hi to the friendly librarians.


I’ve always like taking photographs of books – on my desk,  the “to read” pile at home. My wee girl is into this idea, and when we get our library haul home, sometimes we take a picture and she likes to be in it.



Jiri Trnka: Books made me

Some books are so part of you that they have crept into your DNA.

My first:

Han Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Published by Paul Hamlyn
Illustrated by Jiri Trnka

I got this book for my second Christmas, so it has been around with me for a long, long time. It is now a dirty white, and the binding is nearly gone.

There are some grim little silhouettes:

And it is quite funny to spot the occasional drawings by little me.

But Trnka’s soft, smudgy, ethereal work are the star. There is something dark and mysterious and so Other about them.

Ugly beautiful Christchurch

What a place. Demolition, detritus and ruins like the remnants of archaeological digs.

But sometimes in all this shit, mess and grind – you find beauty. The eye consoles the soul.

Paper on a demolition site.

Worcester Street, old sign and leaves.

Broken glass by Centennial Leisure Centre.

Plastic in tree, Colombo Street.

The day Durham Street North reopened, in the cold and rain the camera loses focus.

A wall on Colombo Street.

All is vanities, Peterborough Street.

It’s you.

What is, is.