For my fourth day on the road I met Gary at Heysham Library and we set off into some stunning countryside and picturesque villages including Wray and Wennington. Thank you Gary for making me feel so welcome. We started putting the world to rights around 9.30am and took it from there.
If you want to know how the borrowers feel about Gary, I offer you this photo. I asked these two women if I could take their photo and they said ‘Only if Gary is in it. This library is nothing without him’. Nuff said.
It was hard not to compare this route with the route I had been on with Mike previously, the route that took us into Preston City Centre. Some of the places we went to this time were really quite remote, but people seemed to know what was going on in their community and in their neighbour’s lives (even if those neighbours were a mile away). Someone told me that their village was very active with well attended events which, they said, was a good job because if you weren’t connected to the people in your village you might not see anyone. I think the remoteness pulls people together, which may be what is lacking in urban areas where it’s easy to assume everyone is OK as we get on with our lives (and I include myself in that).
However, once borrowers are in the mobile library it is exactly the same. We could be in a city, a coastal town, a village or a lay-by (which we were at one point as someone drove to meet the library there). Wherever it is, the mobile library is a special place where people browse, catch up with neighbours and share a passion for books.
One of the things that has left me feeling a little sad is how a lot of the women I have met talk about how they look. I ask people if I can take and use their photos for illustration inspiration and for the blog, and the number of women who describe themselves in the most awful terms is saddening. I know they would never talk to other women the way they talk about themselves. and I am sure they would defend another woman against anyone who talked about their looks so negatively.
I wish they could see themselves as I do. I have met so many vibrant, colourful, fascinating women. I have met girls and women of all ages and each one of them has their own beauty and I hope I am able to reflect that in my drawings.
Bus Bladder Update
Gary told me there were absolutely no loo stops on the route and I prepared myself with pockets full of loo roll and hand sanitiser.
Gary clearly doesn’t have his loo antennae tuned correctly. We stopped at a school, I popped in and asked if I could use the loo, they said of course. We stopped at a nursery in a community centre, I popped in and asked if I could use their loo, they said of course.