A morning that started off frustrating ended quite pleasantly. I’d arranged to meet Jenny for lunch, so as MrPloppy and I had a couple of bits and pieces we wanted to get done in town before that, we decided to try and catch an earlier bus than we usually would. Of course given that, it was pretty much guaranteed that the outlaws would ring and want to spend hours telling us they really had nothing to tell us…
So it was quite a bit later than planned that we finally made it into town, but we’d still have time to do everything we wanted. Except the universe was once again conspiring to stop us actually achieving anything. First stop was… actually, I can’t tell you about the first stop, because it involves a secret mission, but suffice to say that several shops later we’d confirmed that yet again I’ve been struck by the evil discontinuing genie that seems to have been dogging me lately.
Anyway, after that wild goose chase we went to Alice’s, where MrPloppy wanted to rent a particular video. Something suitably obscure, that according to their catalogue they only had on VHS, not DVD. But when we got there, what did we find but that they’ve got rid of all the VHS tapes, and there’s only DVDs on the shelves. So we couldn’t get the video he’d been looking for (though we did find a box set of the wonderfully incomprehensible Lexx, so it wasn’t all bad news).
We’d been planning to hit a few second hand bookshops while in town, but I was running out of time, and given our luck so far we weren’t hopeful for any great finds anyway, so MrPloppy headed for the bus exchange and home, and I headed for the library where I was meeting Jenny.
I was a few minutes early, so I browsed the shelves for a while (and continued my run of bad shopping luck by not finding any of the books I had been vaguely looking out for), and then when I went to go upstairs for a quick toilet break not only was the escalator not working (and surrounded by large barriers – heaven forbid anyone should actually *walk* up it!) so that the only way up or down was by the one tiny lift (I assume there’s a staircase somewhere, at least as a fire exit, but if there is it isn’t anywhere the public can get at it), but I got accosted in the lift by the type of weird person I usually only meet when lytteltonwitch is around 😉
But thankfully that was the last of the annoyances of the day, because as I stepped out of the lift, I ran into Jenny on her way into it. We escaped from the library unaccosted by any more mad people (ok, so the alarm did go off when we walked through the door, but that was a minor problem), and headed for the Belgian Beer Cafe, a place I’ve only ever been to for drinks for work-type functions, not for food.
I can now report that the food is excellent (though of infeasibly large portions – and we were only ordering from the “light lunch” menu – I’d hate to see what their full meals look like!). We spent a very pleasant couple of hours sitting in the sun discussing work gossip, America, poetry, educational changes in the 17th century (!), and other worthy and not so worthy topics.
After lunch I wanted to keep enjoying the sunshine (which, along with good food and good conversation, had improved my mood greatly), so I declined Jenny’s offer of a lift home, and walked through the gardens and park to Riccarton Road, releasing the odd book as I went.
Reaching Riccarton Road, I knew my shopping luck had definitely changed, for what did I see outside St Christopher’s but the elusive “Fill a bag for $5” sign. Well, I couldn’t ignore that, could I? The tables were pretty well picked over already, but I still managed to get a respectable haul of children’s books that will be good for releasing.
What do you mean I don’t need any more books? Yes, I know I’ve still got all those boxes of books from lytteltonwitch taking up half the spare room. But it was a fill a bag for $5 sale! Do you know how infrequently St Christopher’s does them? And anyway, what’s need got to do with it? When it comes to books, it’s never a question of need…