Books Life with us

Paris letters

Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing you absolutely need to know, is the location of the library”.

I wholeheartedly agree – not surprisingly I guess given I’m a Librarian.
As a New Zealand Book Awards judge I’ve spent the last 3 months totally immersed in children’s books so I was more than ready recently to lose myself in some adult reading. Coincidentally our local library had an inspiring display this week titled….Walk With Me…There was an eclectic mix of autobiographies to choose from. It’s no surprise I zeroed in on Janice Macleod’s, Paris Letters. Only a few pages in I was  hooked,  following her journey, & have decided to initiate some of her hints & tips into my own life as I head toward early retirement.

One piece of sound advice from Janice was in her early chapter on Cleaning out your underwear drawer! 

Last time Gordon & I navigated our way through Europe we did so towing a 30kg bag each. Not fun when, with 5 minutes until the train left the station, the platform often changed from the one we were standing on, to one 6 tracks over. And worse still, we had just watched the train pull in to the platform – unlike New Zealand, European trains run precisely to time.This then, often involved a few choice words from Gordon, as he frantically plunged down the nearest stairwell 30kg’s in each hand.
Unable to keep pace, & stumbling along bravely with our 2 5kg pieces of hand luggage, I could only keep one eye on him as he bolted headlong down the concrete tunnel, yelling back the platform numbers as he passed each one – so I’d know how far away we were. Then, weaving his way back up the correct stairwell, through the casual wanderers, who obviously had more time than us, he’d throw, well heave, the bags at the door of the train & stand panting, doubled over, half on/half off, ensuring the train couldn’t leave the station until I arrived.
I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it!
As the weeks went by unfortunately, Gordon noticed I was only wearing a small portion of my suitcase & by the time we landed in La Spezia, he insisted I ship half the contents home.
I have 39 months to get my act together & downsize! I can do this!

Incidentally the library pictured is The Rijksmuseum Research Library. It is the largest public art history research library in the Netherlands. Wonderful place!

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