We haven’t even left the city properly, and already I am wondering if this is a mistake. It’s COLD. Really really cold, and although there was blue sky earlier, the direction we are heading today looks ominously grey and damp. Still, I know for a fact that at the end of the road there is at the very least a couple of warm and toasty cafes, and another library waiting. Surely this is enough to guarantee a great road trip.
And as it turns out, it is! We are off to Little River, and although the weather is inclement, the scenery is still gorgeous – mist over Lake Ellesmere, fields full of black sheep, and cows (heard of cows?) – one particularly clever cow standing in a wee cave while her friends look jealously in at her from the wet. I love the road to Little River, and it’s only a short 40 minutes till we are pulling up outside the library. It’s on the main road, and there is heaps of parking out the back, although you can also park at the cafe and brave the crossing.
The library building shares with a few other groups, and the hours reflect this – open weekdays from 8.30 to 4.30, with a bit of a break for lunch, and Saturday mornings too. Inside there is not only the expected rows of books, but also a post office, Christchurch City Council service centre, earthquake info, community police, pest control, and something to do with noxious weeds. The building itself is a bit Tardis-like: so small from the main road, but inside there is room after room, even including a rather splendid boardroom with portraits of august persons peering down at me (although no swimming pool, as far as I can see).
The staff are friendly, and tolerate my silly questions and squee of excitement at finding a mystery door that turns out to be a walk-in safe. The shelves are full of shiny books, and once again DVDs that I’ve somehow never seen anywhere else. Like Halswell, Little River offers jigsaws to borrow, and there is also a warm and inviting kid’s area full of picture books and cushions. Despite the gloom outside the library is sunny and cosy, and we leave (reluctantly) with books and brochures and a promise to call in again soon.
Now, lunch, I think, and a wee spot of arty-fartery in the gallery across the road. Then home to reality and several piles of laundry. Still, even a quick mini-break to the Peninsula has done wonders for the spirit, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!