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The Girl with the Daffodil Tattoo

A Welsh girl let loose in a wild world

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Milwaukee

Library fines

I love books, but one of the sacrifices a nomad must make is not to buy these sweet smelling travel weights, or if you buy them, be prepared to pass them on to others (parting is sweet sorrow, indeed).

My library card is my most cherished possession. In the UK, in the US, in Spain, wherever I’m living, I’m a library geek, and I am not ashamed to say it.

I love the libraries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA. You can take out 99 books, you can renew online, and you can drop any book at any library within the system, and it is *returned*. You can even put it through a handy wee letter box doodad if the library is closed. How neat is that?

Spain on the other hand is a different story. I remember the first day I returned my library books a late to the library in Madrid. I tried to take out more books, and the (very impatient) woman explained to me that I couldn’t take out books for a month. It was my first month in Madrid, and I was living in a not-knowing-Spanish-nightmare, so I just couldn’t really get what she was saying, so she wrote down the date when I could next take out books, and shoved it in my face, before turning abruptly to serve another customer.

I was like “WhAt ThE fAk?” when I realised. “Que barbaridad!!!!! In Britain or the US, you just pay a little bit. But here they STOP you from taking out BOOKS? WHAAAAAAAT? Franco is actually DEAD, isn’t he? Christ on a fucking bike!”.

Maybe that was a slight overreaction on my part. Maybe it makes sense. If you want people to give back books on time, surely banning them from taking out more books for a specific amount of time makes more sense than fining them a small amount of money per item. But personally, I would much rather pay the fine (or “donation”, as I like to call it).

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A Classical Treat

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One thing I love about Milwaukee is that for a relatively small city, it has a diverse range of events going on. If you didn’t go to Wisconsin Conservatory of Music last Thursday night to see Peter Thomas and Matthew Bergey perform the third and final installment of the Beethoven Cello Sonata project (pictured above in the venue’s sumptuous performance hall), then you really did miss out. Entering the beautifully decorated hall and listening to the live performance was like stepping into a cozy room after being out in the cold and not even knowing you were freezing before. I found it incredible that such a lovely experience only cost $10. God Bless America!

If you would like to keep up with events at this venue, like them on Facebook here, or join their mailing list here.

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