This month in Chelsea Library I have been engrossed in Lucy Hughes-Hallet’s biography of Gabriel D’Annunzio, The Pike: Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War . We can learn a lot about PR and customer service from D’Annunzio, a flamboyant and incendiary public speaker. He would certainly know how to increase cyber traffic! A lover of woman and bric-a-brac (although the bric-a-brac probably came first) he mingled warfare with self-promotion, managing on an early bombing raid above Trieste to drop bombs and pamphlets of his poetry.
What D’Annunzio teaches us is to make our lives into works of art. Every gesture, every pose, must be carefully thought out. Reading his book I’ve picked up the following tips: always wear pressed white shirts, arrive by plane or on horseback for business meetings, conduct your love affairs in the public eye and, if you have a new book out, concoct rumours of your own early death to boost sales.
The book at over 600 pages is a tall order for a three week read and the hold list is growing longer. Many of our readers coming back to borrow it for a second time to get to grips with this extraordinary individual.
The coffee morning is growing and we have many regulars with interests ranging from writing poetry and jazz to painting watercolours. People bake their own cakes so please spread the word if you know of anyone in need of a cup of coffee and slice of cake on Wednesdays at 10.30. There are plenty of activities for all- our weekly events now include a read and create session on Saturday afternoon, in the past we have made pigs and sunflowers!
Don’t forget that we are still running our under 5’s music event, Electric Babyland (aka Baby Rhyme Time), in the children’s library. Over 150 mothers and children come to wriggle and fall over to the primitive sound of Wild Thing and The Wheels on the Bus on Thursday mornings at 11.00am.
Please join us! For more information about our services and activities for children, take a look at the children’s pages on our website.
Welcome to the latest blog post from the staff at Chelsea Library. Over to Daniel Jeffreys to tell us more about what’s been happening.
Winter can be a challenging time: the lack of light (those early morning starts in dripping darkness). A sense of hibernation sets in, compounded by my re-reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising where snow falls continually over the Thames valley. This is a perfect winter read. In this gripping children’s book about the Holy Grail and Arthurian legends Christmas is the time where the battle between light and dark takes place. It is quite easy to imagine The Old Ones fighting it out in the residential gardens and nearby parks. This book is particularly good because it examines the Pagan beliefs behind Christmas. I would be interested to hear of any other wintry recommendations.
One antidote to the seasonal chill is our coffee morning every Wednesday at 10.30am. Word is spreading but please mention it to any of your more discriminating readers who might fancy a chat and a slice of organic carrot cake. The group is diverse, a lady with an in-depth knowledge of cakes and pastries, an aeronautical expert and a lady who refers to her ‘chequered career’ but as yet no one has been bold enough to find out what exactly it entails. We have had presentations from a health worker and the community police.
The children’s library has been extremely busy. We had over 100 adults and children for one of our electrified baby rhyme time sessions (every Thursday at 11am). Babies have an innate sense of rhythm, much like their ability to swim, and it is great watching the toddlers crawl and wobble and fall over.
The story craft event this month was themed around frogs. Senior Customer Services Assistant, Diana designed some action frogs, bunched up and ready to spring with long lolling tongues and crazy rolling eyes. The stories had a twist—some frogs don’t want to be rescued with a kiss and turned into handsome Princes. They prefer the damp and solitude of their ponds.
We had a brilliant but hectic book sale last week. Our readers were amazed at the bargains they were able to snap up.