We were talking last week about setting up a satellite office in that great urban center, the Pioneer Valley. That’s the part of Massachusetts people in Boston call “Western Mass,” but to us, out here in the Berkshire Hills, it’s almost the citified East. The buzz of Amherst and Northampton, centered in an area that is home to five well-known colleges, is very different from small town life in the Berkshires. (I know there are movie stars wandering around and more restaurants than you can count in Great Barrington, but this is still remote for the eastern United States.)
Trevor Young, our long-time computer guy, who is a bit like the Cheshire Cat in his comings and goings, is also English. When I asked him about the satellite office concept he said reflectively, “Yes, if we get that working, we could do it anywhere. London. The Cotswolds perhaps….” He’s the one who alerted us to a new supermarket down in Canaan, CT, with a surprising range of English goodies, from jaffa cakes to bangers. But no custard creams, a type of biscuit (=cookie) that goes nicely with a cup of tea. Tim Coates’s entries on the Good Library Blog can be very funny, but I was particularly taken by this comment by Mr. Atkins, of Bloggington-on-Sea, in response to something Tim wrote about Mr Custard Cream:
“And don’t forget the unlimited access to virtual teacake over the internet via the online version of the OED. My library can’t afford real teacake, and I’m so grateful to Mr Custard Cream and the DLA for allowing me virtual teacake wherever and whenever I want. I am getting used to it, but am I alone in not finding it quite so satisfying as what we old duffers think of as ‘the real thing’.”
Stay tuned: there are changes afoot in English libraries, and perhaps here, too, at Berkshire Publishing!