You are what you read

Are you influenced by what you read? Does your mind absorb the ideas set down by others? Do you live inside the scenes created, even temporarily? I suppose that’s why reading fiction is a form of escapism.


As a Librarian it is no surprise that I value books and reading for self improvement. I value learning from the experiences, and thoughts that others have worked so hard to set down in words. The more you read the more you learn. Even if you don’t retain it all and reject some ideas, we grow and evolve by taking on a little bit from each book we read.


At the moment I am reading a novel titled Deception” by Michael Meehan. It is about a young Australian man who traces his ancestry to France in order to unravel his family history. It is exquisitely told, set in the Australian desert, Paris and New Caledonia. He weaves his tale masterfully between the past and the present. I have engaged in tracing my family history in the past and yet for the first time it has occurred to me to trace the one French branch of my family tree. It would be so interesting to learn some more French history while unraveling my own family tree, also fulfilling my love of all things French.


Meanwhile someone close to me has discovered they have cancer. It is a shock. I remember reading a few years ago a book titled Your Life In Your Hands” by Jane Plant. She is a UK scientist who had breast cancer, suffered through chemotherapy, a mastectomy, radiation treatment, and was eventually given 6 months to live. As a scientist she researched the situation thoroughly, eventually having a “light-bulb” moment thinking that in Asian cultures the incidence of breast and prostrate cancer is remarkably low and they don’t eat dairy products. Eliminating dairy products from her diet from that moment the tumors shrank and disappeared altogether. She wrote her book in 2000 and now in 2008 she is alive and cancer free. Her experience, research and discoveries provide hope and practical advice for others facing the cancer death sentence. I gave the book to that person to read and make up their own mind. After all what have they got to lose?


Not only are we what we read but we are what we eat!

Smelling the roses

Yellow, purple, white, red and orange flowers are in full blossom in my garden. The perfume from the flowers on the orange tree and grapefruit tree fill the air with a citrus fragrance. I have picked the first roses of the season and their perfume fills my kitchen.


Since my recent change of direction I have not had a minute to spare. I have been totally occupied and feel fresh, rejuvenated and creative once again. I have so many ideas coming at me that it’s hard to keep up and to know which track to take.


I have practiced playing the piano, designed a new website, been to the movies, eaten out with friends and family on several occasions, shopped, walked, cycled a 60 kilometre route through the nearby hills, cleaned the house and my study, enjoyed a lively discussion at Book Club, listened to music and practiced yoga. And this is just week one of my new life. I am also thinking about the next stage of my oil painting of tree ferns. I have been stuck after the initial laying on of paint, but now I feel free to attack the next stage.


I have also worked in the local public library. What a great relief it is for me to once again be working in a positive, professional, and truly valued service to the community. To be able to help people find the information they seek and to see their immediate joy when we succeed in helping them. It is a pleasure and a privilege.


One elderly lady wanted pictures and diagrams of Couta boats so that she could restore a model of a Couta boat that she had inherited. We have, in the collection, a fantastic book that answered her question specifically.


This public library has Wii’s for the junior electronic games folk in our community. I have little experience with Wii’s, so after switching them on, I left it to the 6 year olds to work it out. And of course they did. One excited boy proudly told me he had reached Level 4!

Leap and the net will appear

I sat in the boat out on the bay soaking up the sunshine while my husband fished. No nets required but the bucket was soon full of Whiting for dinner.

I had leapt from my job hoping the net would appear. One can only stay in a job for so long when the feelings of being under-utilised, under valued and unproductive become burdens too great to carry. So I leapt without a safety net. And like magic the net has appeared and I begin work in a new job the very day after I finish the current one.

Returning to public library work feels like a gift to me. It is work that is busy, interesting, satisfying and of real and immediate benefit to the community. I love it. I can continue to follow my interest in technology, website design, art and architecture whilst also helping others follow their own interests.