Isn’t She Lovely, Isn’t She Won-der-ful…

September 8, 2010 at 4:41 am (Uncategorized)

Just hours before The Screen Went Dark, I was having such a good day. I’d really enjoyed the two interviews of the day before, and was practically whistling while working transcribing them. The good thing about Special Reports writing from my point of view is that it’s soft news, and that means people are generally happy to share their experience, expertise and perspective, plus it’s usually interesting to hear, and last week’s story was no exception. I was totally into it. Happy to talk to these people – a course coordinator/lecturer and one of her mature-aged Indigenous students – and more than happy to write about their program and the good work it’s doing in the area of Indigenous health. I was feeling good. The other reason I was so chipper last Wednesday is that the cabinetmaker and his installer arrived to put in my bookshelf/wall unit. At last! It’s here!

What can I tell you? It is a thing of beauty. I’m enchanted by it. As I sit here –  in what is still my office, at what is still my desk – I can gaze up at it filling the wall opposite. I admire it every time I walk by. What’s not to love? It’s so functional, so perfectly proportioned, and such a supremely economic and stylish use of an otherwise entirely unusable cavity between the doorframes at either end of the room and the start of the wall that separates them. I love it. We both love it. My Man Town writer friend L loves it, too. She and I stood before it this morning stroking book spines and murmuring reverently about all those clean lines. When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, I get this little thrill walking past it to get to the bathroom. I just like knowing it’s there. It exudes a very powerful book aura that makes my heart swell. Look at me! I can’t take my eyes off it. I am utterly besotted.

And the void! Please allow me just a moment to brag about my void. Some of you may recall that the decision to incorporate a void at the unit’s centre was difficult; having always fantasised in vivid detail about a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall library space, why would I – how could I – carve out a massive square in the middle? The answer was display space. We’re running out of walls, and I wanted to keep the antiquarian lithograph – ‘Bird’s Eye View of the Port of Sydney,’ a gift I gave Llew – hanging where it has happily hung since we moved here. So we measured it up, and it’s just worked out PERFECTLY. It honestly looks better than it did when it had the whole wall to itself. Something about its being slightly recessed and surrounded by books now draws you into the map in a way that wasn’t achieved nearly so effectively before. Everything about it is more absorbing. The whole thing has come up a bloody treat.

Now we’re just trying to figure out what the hell took us so long.



  1. charlotteotter said,

    OK, Di, and here’ s your chance to post a picture! I need to see the picture in the void in the middle of the shelf.

    • doctordi said,

      Trust me, Charlotte, it’s the business! I was wondering about taking a photo of it for you guys, since I so deprive you of any visual stimulus whatsoever, but I’m not sure how I would go about even doing it… we use a film camera, you see. No digital camera on the premises. I know this adds to our generally accepted freakdom (people are universally saucer-eyed about the absence of a TV), but there you have it.

  2. Pete said,

    Well I say stick to the film camera but use digital pics as well. That way your blogger friends can admire the beauty that is your bookshelf with a void in the middle. Sounds perfect. As for the no-TV, do you find that you can get by perfectly well with the laptop?

    • doctordi said,

      I’ll see what I can do. I’ll have to ask Llewie how he feels about it, too – he is extraordinarily gracious about the extent to which I blab about our lives on this blog, but I’m not sure how he’d feel about photos of our home – even if we’re not in them – being on the web. I’ll discuss it with him, because I can always get an image disk the next time I am having a film developed – that’s what I do with my photos for travel stories.

      Laptop… I occasionally watch clips on it, such as when Rudd was rolled and when the new government was announced yesterday, but we get by without a TV because we have a projector, a DVD player, and an old VCR through which Llew can somehow, when we really need it, tune in several free-to-air stations, which is how we were able to watch the Election Night coverage. And that does work perfectly well.

  3. litlove said,

    Hurray for new bookcases!! They always lift my heart right up. I’ll settle for a drawing if your photos won’t transfer….?

    • doctordi said,

      They do elicit a little jig from yours truly too, LL – imagine waving pom-poms and high kicks!

  4. Fiona Wood said,

    This sounds absolutely beautiful. And re previous post – what a relief – and what a nail biter.

    • doctordi said,

      Fiona, it’s also really *adult* – Llew and I feel quite grown up having such a monument in the place!

      Nail-biter all right – I’ve chewed off half my hand.

  5. Grad said,

    Hooray! Borrow a digital camera, or scan a photo, and post…pleeeeease. I love my bookshelves. In fact, the room where they are has always been called “the room with the bookshelves.” Not “the room with the fireplace,” nor “the room with the pocket doors,” nor even “the room with the bar,” (which for some in my social circle is paramount to the books). But I don’t have enough space on the shelves. I would love to build some more. I’m sure yours are a thing of beauty.

    • doctordi said,

      They are, Graddikins, they really are. I love to think we both have rooms with proper shelves – I just can’t tell you how thrilling I find them!

  6. Lilian Nattel said,

    How wonderful–I can just picture you admiring the shelves.

    • doctordi said,

      I think it would make you laugh if you could see me at it, Lilian!

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