Over the past year my somewhat intact sense of etiquette has been tested again and again when lovely patrons, completely unaware of what goes on beyond our borders, have asked "Have you heard of a show called Downton Abbey?" The poor things have no idea that I have watched every episode drinking copious amounts of tea while snacking on tea bread made by my very own self from the Fortnum & Mason recipe. If I owned an Edwardian tea gown and corset I wouldn't be beyond changing my attire for the occasion. Thinking about it, there is still time before series three to whip something up...hmmm. Anyway, some upstairs/downstairs and Edwardian era books would be just the thing to hold people over until the next series airs here in Canada.
Searching the catalogue for ideas was a pleasure but also a bit disappointing at times when we didn't stock many of the wonderful titles that would have applied. I thoroughly enjoyed The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate earlier this year but I wasn't about to cough up my own copy, sorry. The past couple of weeks have been really satisfying, watching people browse the display and then tuck something under their arm. Men love to flip through the Victoria Cross book but then place it back where they found it. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water, as they say. Back in the inner sanctum that is our staff room I have been squirreling away replacement books and dvds to fill in any gaps. My friend and colleague, Liz, has been doing her best to sign out material as fast as I can put it up.
One book that caught my eye, although I resisted the urge to sign it out straight away, is Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford. Has anyone read it? It has rave reviews for its keen observation of Edwardian social history and has, I just found out, been made into a dramatization by the BBC starring Benedict Cumberbatch. (Note to self...make more tea bread). Once London's Olympic cauldron has been extinguished and my thoughts on The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen are sorted I would like to try Ford on for size and see how we get on.
And in case anyone is wondering, I made the bunting myself. Five dollars and a spare hour of my time, no problem! There was a slight moment of panic last week when I was greeted at the door by a member of upper management on my morning to open the library. The motion sensor had gone off during closed hours. A moment of dread filled me when I thought perhaps the bunting had fallen down and what a nuisance that would have been. The bunting was safe, a member of staff had forgot to lock up the night before and the front doors had swung open to greet a night maintenance employee at the community centre. Oh dear.