Key Frame. Moments in Time.

Reading by ‘dipping into’ books. They do differ?

Information books. Seek word/phrase meaning, language or linguistic enquiry with use of a  dictionary, Thesaurus, reverse dictionary, idioms, etc. Hobby, interest themed books like gardening books, DIY, cookery, photography, etc. Themed health related books for my job when I was a nurse. Books on places to visit like Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, DK Eyewitness, Maps, Circuit Walks, Bicycle routes, etc. 

Go back to for a quick read books. Ones to pick out from the line of favourites of short stories or poetry. To read over a half to one hour.

Oh so very many books to grab at and throw back down to be picked up an hour, day, week, month or years later. 

Would you separate them all out from the fiction and non-fiction long reads and have a reference section on your bookshelves? Include all the books you possess on bookshelves. Centralise them in a one room ‘library’. Or place information aids accordingly in specific spaces. Cookery books in the kitchen. DIY advice in the workshop shed or tool bag. Gardening or shrubs plants/herbs books in the greenhouse or garden tool shed. Mechanics books in VeeDub, camper van, transport van, car or whatever transport you drive. Photography Camera or Darkroom advice in your camera bag or darkroom. The Coffee table lightweight oddity books on the actual coffee table. Magazine or newspaper side of chair/settee/couch racks.  

Or are many types of books replaced with electronic devices now. Google or equivalent search engines or YouTube for information or advice required. Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc. for listening to or to read longer stories of fiction and non-fiction.

Well. Not in my book. I tend to use them as essential additions for the ambience of that moment in time. A road map to grab a Sharpie yellow or orange highlighter pen and trace a road route in a £5.99 Map of Wales thin guide book. Add observations in the margins or a slip of information from the journey. A promotion advert leaflet, etc. No satellite system would do that for you. No need for satellite when you are ambling along on various journeys with the ideal of ‘I wonder what’s around the next bend’. 

A cookery book becomes a friend you open up and even write extra advice into. Like Snape’s ‘Half-Blood Prince’ and his Advanced Potion Making book with it’s hand written advice extras. Found in an old cupboard by Harry Potter. It’s great seeing handwritten old family recipes included inside old cookery books bought from charity/thrift/vintage book shops. 

A cherished long owned and often re-read book, becoming more battered and worn, housing your memories of photographs, letters, old recipes, a pressed flower within the pages. Akin to the ideology of what books are important for in regards to past and future exchanges in the film The English Patient. Herodotus’s Histories, Anna Karenina or Last of the Mohicans in the film. Some worn in appearance and heavily added to with annotations or maps, snippets of information, Bible passages, dried leaves, etc. 

However. I have to admit that in reality, a collective of sources makes you more confident. Google or YouTube have been vital for exclusive guidance. Yesterday I was watching a guy showing how to dismantle and clean out an idle jet in a Volkswagen Bosch Solex carburettor. Alleviated the fear if I decide to undertake the job. To cross off or identify it as not the problem or found the problem of fuel starvation and engine cut out at low speeds. Also. If and when I do then look at my own carburettor….it may find it to be a different design. But the basics have been planted. I can read one of my six different workshop manual/guidebooks with different visual or explanatory preferences to pinpoint even further in order to cement the process. I’m no natural mechanic who can just ‘see instinctively’ what is required. I have to plan. I have met the naturals and watched them do it too. My Dad was one. He’s still alive, has advanced dementia but can tell you over the telephone, ‘Oh! Try this, then that and remember to…….’. Dementia and Short-term or Long-term memory loss. Baffling isn’t it? 

Here is an example of a book I know will kick around and get more patina. ‘The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows’ by John Koenig. I dip in and out of this one, open up to any page and think ‘Yes! That reminds me of………’. The other day? I wrote his thoughts on an experience, and the individual word/s that probably most of us have had, down. I haven’t yet chosen to write these words in an individual journal with added inclusions of an experience or experiences from my own life’s history to each of John Koenig’s words. Should do really. 

So! If I were to write in a personal journal? It would look like this.

Key Frame? (Then write it’s scenario down as here in the photograph). Additionally the journal to continue with:

Have I had many ‘massive, but not harmful’, changes in the blink of an eye’ moments throughout life? Think about it Gray. Bet you have…..Oh! Well. Here’s one.

Sitting having a coffee in college. I was part time teaching adult learners, on my break, in the staff room drinking said coffee and then met a fellow lecturer for the first time. Light discussion turned to our own professional experiences in our disciplines. I was saying I badly needed a change in my life. He was chatting about his new course. As ‘luck’ would have it? He was designing and teaching an ‘Access to Nursing Course’. A Royal Navy trained nurse, now retired from the armed forces, himself. Really knew his stuff! 

‘Fancy becoming a Nurse?’ he says……….

What road would I have gone down if:

Coffee or not coffee. That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the coffee with white, not brown Demerara, sugar and outrageous fortune.

Or to take a cup of tea alone in my classroom against a sea of troubles. 

Shakespeare knew his onions. So does John Koenig. 

If another ‘Key Frame’ example came to mind later down the weeks, months, years? Would I write it down on a separate piece of paper and slip it alongside and within the ‘Key Frame’ pages? Like The English Patient’s annotations? 


Please tap on individual photographs to enlarge

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