A pleasure no more

Despite last Thursdays post telling you that I’d Plenty to smile about I’ve still got a touch of The summertime blues.

I suppose that’s because I only went to the plot once last week and the sun didn’t shine very much, and my bank is causing me needless aggravation yet again.

Oh yes and my local public libraries now have self service technology installed. That means when I return and borrow books instead of dealing with friendly staff at a counter I’m faced with a futuristic looking black post box which has a shelf and touch screen.

Harrow Council inform me that this will result in fewer queues and is faster to use, allow me to pay for items more quickly, provide a better online experience and staff will be available with more time to help me find what I need. No comment!

I was going to write more on the subject but won’t apart from saying that I suppose I should be relieved that I’ll still have libraries to go to in view of what some other councils are proposing due to government spending cuts.

I’ve been going to libraries regularly, usually weekly, for almost sixty years and visits to them that were once something I looked forward to are now, sadly, a pleasure no more for this lifelong book buff.

Anyway the sun is shining this morning and looks like it will be for much of the coming week which means that I’ve plenty of plotting to look forward to. I shall remember to do the Big Butterfly Count when perhaps I’ll see some more Gatekeepers like this one which I photographed on a neighbours plot the week before last.

Happy gardening!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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30 Responses to A pleasure no more

  1. Jennyta says:

    Love the photo, Flighty. Your library is going the way of some of the supermarkets, which have installed self-service checkouts, which I refuse to use on principle. As well as the lack of face to face contact, it’s doing people out of jobs, of course. 😦

  2. Jo says:

    Lovely photo of the Gatekeeper. We’ve had self service technology installed at our library too. I much prefer to deal with people than machines.

  3. It has been a week that would give anyone the summertime blues…

  4. Flighty, we are in accord with our views on self-service libraries. I can’t say too much on this subject as I’d be up on my soapbox; suffice to say I too am deeply saddened by this ‘innovation’. Who will be left to tut and shush whilst peering over the top of their horn-rimmed reading glasses, I wonder? I won’t go to Kentish Town library any more because of this development. Thankfully, my nearest port of call, Highgate Library (based in a beautifully restored listed building), remains fully staffed with friendly, knowledgeable faces. I too am a life long book buff, being able to read since I was four years old (“Run, Janet, Run!”) – I expect you know which books I’m referring to!! Beautiful butterfly – I also had a bit of unexpected nature for company yesterday, which I’ve written about. Caro x

    • Flighty says:

      Caro that’s good to know! I wrote a rough draft out last night and when I read it through I realised that it was a right rant!
      Thanks for a lovely comment, and I’ll be over to see your post later on. xx

  5. I went into my local library yesterday and luckily it is still staffed by humans. My question is, can a machine stock the shelves?

  6. Louise says:

    That’s a great photo Flighty! I’ve just been watching Gatekeepers in my garden. It’s now clouded over here. Where on earth has our Summer gone? x

  7. nikkipolani says:

    It’s too bad they don’t give you a choice to use the machine or not… Makes me glad my little library is still peopled. The other library has both options, the machine being much clumsier to use. Anyway, hope you have cheerier things to contemplate this week.

    p.s. Well done on that butterfly shot!

    • Flighty says:

      Nikki lucky you, sadly we have no such options here. I have indeed!
      Thanks, and I got another good butterfly photo today taken just outside the horticultural society’s trading shed. xx

      • nikkipolani says:

        The butterflies flitting through my garden just won’t hold STILL for a photo! I’ve seen monarchs, swallowtails, white something-or-others… so it’s great to hear SOMEBODY is getting photos!

  8. Jo Burton says:

    We have one self service machine in our fantastic library ( I probably pop in there at least 3 times a week!) and I don’t mind using it for checking books in and out.) I am on first name terms with many of the staff and there is usually someone around to have a few words with. I do worry that it might mean a reduction in staff there – but working in a library would be my perfect job I think.

    • Flighty says:

      Jo it’s good to see that you have such a good library! I used to work part-time in a small traditional bookshop a few years ago but I don’t think that I’d enjoy working in a library nowadays. xx

  9. Jo Burton says:

    Thanks for the tips about bulbs – I am going to get some gladioli as my Dad used to grow them in the garden when we were kids and I can remember always being told off for knocking them down with the football!!

  10. Carrie says:

    oh Flighty darling, it breaks my heart to read that all is not well. I too am not a fan of the lesser amount of human contact we get these days, no friendly chats about nothing much…..
    love you, you have friends here willing and more than ready to listen, chat and send sunshine xxxx

    • Flighty says:

      Carrie it’s a temporary blip I assure you! Sadly that’s an aspect that they never take into account do they.
      Thanks, I know and feel so lucky that I do. Love and hugs! xx

  11. Mo says:

    Like carolyn, I could rant about Libraries, but I won’t add to your Blues 🙂 It’s appropriate that you show a Gatekeeper in your post about Libarians though 🙂 Hope this week is better for you.

    • Flighty says:

      Mo I could too, but not here as I do try to keep my posts happy and upbeat! Yes I guess that it is.
      Thanks it’s certainly started off better! xx

  12. Self service libraries? An abomination, though not as great as closing them to save money. Love the gatekeeper.

  13. steffnouveau says:

    Hi Flighty, I know it isn’t the same is it? Our libraries in Norfolk – 2 I know of anyway, the 3rd is so small, a village library, it is still staffed by humans – are serviced by machines; just not the same is it? Because of my poor health I rarely get out anyway, so it’s really nice when I can to have a little human interaction, a sentence or two, a smile. Same reason why I hate mobiles…and I’m still in my 30s!

    Smiles for the pretty gatekeepers and golden yellow marigolds though 🙂

    • Flighty says:

      Steff no it’s not sadly! I think that a lot of people will miss the human interaction, which can mean so much to some. I don’t like mobiles either, and I don’t that it’s an age thing necessarily.
      Take care! xx

  14. Great shot of the butterfly Flighty! I hate all this automation that seems to be creeping into the nicer parts of life as well. I hope your time on the plot makes up for it!

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