17.1.05

An entrance or a hindrance?


Although I wouldn't say that I am fully recovered, I am certainly the least affected of all of us. Yesterday every bone and muscle in my body was aching, my temperature was hovering around the 102 degree mark, my nose was blocked and I had a thumping headache. Now, I have a semi blocked nose and a sore back. Linda, however, has been pole-axed, and unable to do a thing; Liam has come out in sympathy with her. Linda's mum is laid low as well, and refuses to take the medicine the doctor prescribed. So, not long out of my sickbed myself, and I am nursing three patients! Not that I mind, because I am well looked after on the rare occasions I get ill, and they are the people I love after all! Quid pro quo. Strange thing happened at the library. Linda had several books overdue, so I said I would return them and pay the fines after I had looked in on Cathie. So off I went, and handed the books over to the librarian and asked her how much was due (I knew how much was owing, because we had checked over the internet from home, I just wanted to make sure that it hadn't gone up). The librarian refused to tell me, because the books were out on my wife's ticket. I told her that I knew that we owed £2.40, and that I would like to pay it while I was there. She said that she could not confirm that the fine was £2.40. I insisted she took the money, which she did, saying that she couldn't tell me if that was the total fine cleared. I just thought 'whatever' as I waited for my receipt. I reached out for my receipt, and the librarian tore it up and put it in the bin, saying that I couldn't have it! I asked her why. She said that it was because of data protection legislation. I asked her to explain just how data protection legislation is applicable for till receipts that solely state that a certain amount of money was paid into a certain till at a certain time on a certain date. She said that it was because I was paying a fine that I shouldn't know about, and that she couldn't give me proof that I had paid it, or anything towards it. I asked if the receipt made any mention of the books, my wife's name, her library card number, or anything at all that could identify either my wife or why the money was paid. She rang it up again and gave me the receipt. When I got back home I checked on the internet to make sure that she had marked the fines as being paid. She had. Later on in the evening I went for a walk up round Baldovan - the first time I have managed to get out since last Wednesday. While I was out, I came across a small wood covered with snowdrops. I got to thinking: the snowdrops are blooming and it's getting lighter at night... that can only mean one thing: it's mid-January! Got back home just ahead of the snow. Apparently we are in for a few days of blizzards. Just as long as it all calms down on Saturday.

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