Sunday, May 20, 2012

Libraries 1, Internet Nil

As a librarian I often find myself arguing against the mighty internet as the font of all knowledge.  Apparently you can find everything you need by typing in questions or statements into a search box.  If you are lucky you might find the answer to a simple most people are quite simple in their information needs, this is probably correct most of the time.  However, when you are a child looking for information that requires thought and research you can come across some utter inane bullshit.  Let's go to this website and find out if the Kiwi (bird) has been introduced to Australia...a recent question in a research project....

According to library.thinkquest the answer is they are a bird of Australia...who knew?
Digging a little deeper I find the Oracle Education Foundation has put together this website, pulling in a whole range of websites.  I for one will never believe anything written on the site.  Unverified, wrong, and very available to anyone who beilves the internet knows everything. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two sweeties

I love the movies and when I am retired I am going to go to EVERYTHING I want to. I am going to go to cheap sessions and take my own snacks, maybe some carrot sticks and an apple combo or vegemite sandwiches.  In the meantime I get to go to the movies with my lovely friend Alex, usually on a Saturday night and often indulge in a Kapiti ice cream to boot.

For the last two films we have probably been the youngest in the theatre but what the hay.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was another book group book that I just couldn't bring myself to read.  To my shame I am often admitting that I do get put off by the cover and the supposed location.  Bad bad bad.  This film was so sweet and quietly funny and I know I have deprived myself of yet another good read.  Ewan McGregor, Dr Alfred is called in to help a rich sheik establish salmon fishing in Yemen, an indulgence but done with a kind heart.  Acting on the Sheik's behalf Emily Blunt - Harriet - has to encourage Fred to get on board with the project.  Their characters are just fantastic.  Both quiet and very proper but quietly funny and compassionate.  Although the inevitable does happen, it is never a done deal and actually not really what you expect.  Kristen Scott Thomas is bloody fantastic and says all the things I would love to say and lives life not giving a toss what anyone thinks or says.  Ruthless and hilarious.  There are lots of lovely government 'in jokes' and pokes at the Englishness of England...all just very very nice.  Beautiful scenery in Scotland and "Yemen' adds another layer of warmth and atmosphere.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as I am sure everyone already knows is just gorgeous.  Great acting, superb location, a little bit scruffy and just perfect.  Dame Judy as always is a delight to watch, Bill Nighy so himself but just that tiny bit held in, Dame Maggie superb....all of it and all of them were just very very good.  I did have a sense of foreboding thinking about how fucking horrible it is going to be to be old, however, like the characters I soon discovered that age can set you free and that is all there is to it.  It makes me want to go to India more than ever.  Definitely worth seeing. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Library Love

My love of libraries plus my love of Saturdays.  After an impromptu lunch of Donna Hay French Onion soup
 we popped down to Parklands Library  (not our local) with our friends Karen and Nat.  I have a deep feeling of warmth for this library as it was the first real library building I worked on and had the pleasure of leading the team  for a while.

Although I blanched momentarily at the sight of cake crumbs being walked into 'my' carpet as we entered I was soon distracted by the buzz.  Kids on computers and playing games, all the cafe tables chokka and the coffee machine screaming, lots of people in such a tiny space.  Then I ran into a neighbour from the beach and then a customer who I had served when she was a child at her local library...I was almost a child myself then and watched our children enthusing over books and excitedly running from place to place and it was just gorgeous.

We left with groaning piles of books mags, cds, talking books and even some homework material.  I love that little library and I love Saturdays.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Before I forget

I spent two days in Auckland this week attending the Association of Public Library Managers conference as a guest of my manager.  Holed up in Rydges Hotel on Federal Street for two days with no shopping opportunities or art gallery visits was a bit sad.  However, I did manage to have two delicious meals out so in the spirit of social media and the need to share everything, here are two recommendations for those in the area and looking for tasty treats to warm the winter nights.

CafĂ© Hanoi, cnr Commerce & Galway Streets, has been quite rightly featured as  Metro top 50 restaurant.  Very good value for money a well as stunning Vietnamese flavours, fresh and piquant.  I enjoyed a girly catch up with gal pal Karen. 

A very affable and chatty night was spent with 50 other library types at the Wine Chambers in the cute skinny part of the city.  A lovely antedote to the broad brash Queen Street at 33 Shortland Street.  the food was good but could have been great.  Another top 50, I suspect it would be better on a less busy Monday night.  However, no complaints from me.