The branch library has closed. Not for good, just by dint of an act of god, for those of you who don’t go there to borrow books by strident atheist Richard Dawkins.
Storm damage has clad it in scaffolding - and shut it to this born-again regular user.
Heaven help those who can’t travel further afield to other branches if, like me, they panic upon receiving a “pre-overdue” notice.
I’ve rekindled my romance with reading proper books since leaving The Gazette although Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar struck the wrong note.
And it’s ever so handy if I forget to buy The Gazette or my computer conks out. The downside is there are queues for both.
It took one elderly lady three hours to read the paper cover to cover the other day before and – here’s an irony - handing it over with a sniffy “there’s nothing in it”.
My hackles still rise at that phrase.
In that time I’d surfed the net, read half of Dexter, walked in the park, scraped dog dirt off my shoes, collected my mum’s pension from the post office and worked out the quota of adverts to editorial in a leading county magazine.
And then I realised it was a Gazette I’d already read.
What had happened to the edition I’d missed?
“Oh, he’s got it now,” she said, pointing to a chap settled in another corner, other would be readers trying very hard not to look like a queue but a random assembly of people not taking their eyes off him for a moment in case it passed, like a baton, to another.
Talk about hanging on every word.
It’s worse than waiting for a table at a busy restaurant. And like waiting for a table in a restaurant, or eating sarnies in the officers’ mess at Sandhurst, there’s an etiquette involved.
Don’t catch anyone’s eye, don’t turn the pages too loud, don’t hand it over before reassembling the pages in their correct running order and never, but never, try reading over the shoulder of whoever’s got it.
Some of the shinier adverts work like rear view mirrors. I startled someone via an advert for very nice bathrooms.
I’ve only missed a couple of editions in the 30 days since I left the paper and on both occasions went into community arrest. It’s like cardiac arrest for news junkies – your lifeline to the local community is choked off.
“Police have issued this video of a man sought in connection with the alleged theft of Cathedral City cheddar from a South Shore branch of ...” Ah, that’s better.
Being a news junkie helps me spell Barack Obama correctly - fellow Tweeters note - in the coverage of the local girl who dubbed the president Barraco Barner in a tweet that went global.
Frankly I’m more worried that Jared Cameroon is uniting with Barraco in condemnation of Vlad the Putuponother’s invasion of the Youcrayon.
It’s an alternative universe, folks, if you’re going to tweet try not to make a twit of yourself.
And if there are any literals in that last line, forgive me.
Life-changing? Don’t bet on it
Hello reader! Did you miss me? I missed you.
It’s more than a month since I left The Gazette and I’ve managed to bag three PRO jobs in that time - it stands for public relations officer rather than anything naughty - and watch the entire series of Breaking Bad.
I tried embracing the concept of a more restful life by catching up with daytime telly but that seems to comprise entirely of antiques experts who either look like Basil Brush or as if someone’s poured Ronseal medium oak orange preservative over them.
Or those programmes showing me property I can’t afford abroad while those who can afford to move say they can’t bear to leave their family after all so are staying put in Bacup.
Don’t know about you but it would get my back up in Bacup if I missed out on free family hols in France because my mum wanted to see more of the grandchildren here. I’d deny her access rights.
So, how the devil are you?
How’s the family?
Dog person myself not that I have one since I lost my tug of love wolfhound to the ex.
These days I take my mum out for walks but she’s rubbish at catching sticks - just gives me stick each time she reads about herself here.
Another column I’ll have to hide. Now we’ve got more time to see my brother in France we can’t afford to go because pre-existing medical conditions cost an arm and a leg to insure.
I’ve also spent hours circumnavigating the new car park layout of the Vic - which appears to have placed staff on the doorstep of units and patients hoofing in from the multi storey.
Took my mum for her pacemaker op yesterday.
An attendant told me the multi storey was “just behind the heart unit so no distance at all.”
You try it with heart and kidney failure, mate.
Also did a guest spot on Radio Lancashire which was great because some local chap called in from the Ukraine so my nose for news extended like a bloodhound’s.
It also provided a welcome diversion from a promising career now behind me.
Who would have thought Putin’s tanks would roll in to retrieve me from that?