British Library Crime Classics

I’ve recently been given a whole load of books, first by our friend Eric and then even more by Peggy from the US. I had decided that I wasn’t going to look at any books whenever we went out anywhere, just so that I could concentrate on whittling away at some of my book piles.

But there is no hope for me, just as I had said that to Jack he came up to me in a shop to give me the news that he had found two British Library Crime Classic books, of course it was the lovely 1930s covers which had attracted him. So it’s his fault entirely that I added those ones to the ever growing piles. Both of them by Mavis Doriel Hay, I don’t even recall ever hearing anything about her, but I couldn’t resist them. They are Death on the Cherwell and Murder Underground.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, in another charity shop today he spotted Mystery in White by J.Jefferson Farjeon, now I have heard only good things of this one so I couldn’t pass up the chance to buy it.

As luck would have it we were both feeling a bit under the weather over the last couple of weeks and indeed the actual weather was not helping our moods either, so we both sort of read our way out of it, whilst totally ignoring everything else. Luxury. It’s wonderful to be able to read a book in a day! So I’m fairly ploughing through the book piles.

On another bookish note, we’ve been using our local libraries a lot since moving to a more rural location last year. There are several small libraries in villages a short drive from us and we had been hoping that using those ones and pushing their lending statistics up would mean they would be safer from closure. Honestly we did our best! But there gas been an announcement to the effect that Fife Council intend to close 16 libraries! I honestly never thought that so many would be under threat.

Those small libraries are often a sort of local hub and the only place where some people can get access to a computer. Primary schools won’t be able to take the children to library visits and that means that for a lot of them they just will never see the inside of a library as their parents are either too busy to take them, or just don’t have the inclination to do so.

I feel a campaign coming on!

On a happier note, if you are in the Kirkcaldy area then do yourself a favour and get along to the library and museum where The Great Tapestry of Scotland is on exhibition. We saw it when it was at the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh but went again yesterday, really as we were just killing time but I think I enjoyed it even more on the second viewing. The exhibition is on until the 20th of September.

Kirkcaldy’s Tesco – closing down

It’s well known that the supermarket chain Tesco has been having a hard time of it recently, their profits have been cut to about £squillion, instead of their usual 0.5 £squillion. So it was no surprise that they intended to close some of their stores, however I was gobsmacked when it was announced on the Scottish news tonight that one of the stores closing is to be the Kirkcaldy one. As they were asking some customers how they felt about the news I was even more surprised to see my friend Christine’s husband on the TV saying how gutted he feels about it. I feel exactly the same, although we recently moved out of the town we still travelled to Kirkcaldy to do our grocery shopping. It’s the shop we are used to and we know the staff, and it’s also a reasonable size. I can’t stand bigger shops as I feel exhausted almost before I start – if I can’t see the end of the shop. I know it means loads of walking searching for what I want, and probably giving up on finding it altogether.

Apparently it is one of their ‘loss-making’ stores, I really can’t understand how that can be because it is the busiest supermarket which I’ve been in. It doesn’t matter when you go there are always a lot of shoppers in it. It’s the only supermarket in Kirkcaldy town centre, it’s close to the bus station so is handy for people who don’t have a car. Tesco closing means that if you don’t have a car you have to make your way to a supermarket on the edge of town, or half-way to Glenrothes, by bus.

What is more, the only Post Office remaining in Kirkcaldy town centre is located inside the Tesco store, so what is going to happen there. Are we going to be left with no Post Office in Kirkcaldy?!

The employment situation in Kirkcaldy has always been dire, in fact it’s dire in the whole of Fife and I really feel for the members of staff who are going to be made unemployed, it’s not going to be easy for them to find another job. Is there any point in starting a campaign to keep the Kirkcaldy store open? It looks like it’s a done deal, but I would like to see the evidence that the store is actually loss making, it seems hardly possible to me.

It’s just a blessing that Kirkcaldy’s famous Tesco cat popped off to cat heaven in the summer! How many supermarkets had a resident cat to greet you in the doorway? If you want to know more about him have a look at the short film below.

Kirkcaldy’s Promenade Opening Stroll

IMG_2391

The promenade/esplanade at Kirkcaldy has been shut to the public for over a year whilst refurbishment was in progress and a few weeks ago they had a ‘promenade stroll’ to officially re-open it. The photo above is of the west end of the prom, where there is a gathering of strollers who were being led by a pipe band.

IMG_2392 The Firth of Forth

Various groups of people were taking part in the festivities, including kayakers, rowers and someone zipping around on a jet-ski. There had been reports that there would be a group of wild swimmers but that turned out not to be true which is just as well as they would have got hypothermia in no time flat. I did see one chap struggling to get into a wet suit but I never did see him reach the water! The wee baton twirlers weren’t there either, it was just too cold and wet for them I think.

IMG_2407 Kirkcaldy Beach

As you can see, there’s now a smart new sea wall and hundreds of tons of rocks have been dumped on the beach beneath the wall in an effort to break the wild seas up and protect the wall. It’s a process which has been very successful in villages a bit further along the coastline.

IMG_2417 Pipe Band

And above is a photo of the small pipe band which proceeded from the west to the east of the promenade for the opening. The work was started when we were still living in Kirkcaldy and as the prom walk was one of our regular exercise routes we were sad not to be able to go along it for so long but Jack photographed the work in progress and you can see some of them here.