So in my last proper post I was all ‘ 😦 ‘ at the prospect of not being able to volunteer at Plas anymore. Well, it turns out that it’s just the type of place that A4e had in mind, and it’s far less work for them if I just continue as I have been. WIN. Of course, I’ve only been working 15 hours a week there, and even that’s only in theory because it never works out that way. To keep the Job Centre happy, I need to be doing 25 hours. And so for the two days I’m not at Plas, I’ll be working in a charity shop. Most likely Barnardos, because the guy from A4e’s mother works there and (again) it’s less work for him. He was keen to let me know that charity shops are more than old women sitting behind tills these days, and there’s actually a lot of IT work involved with stock taking etc. Either way, I see the variation as a good thing.
I was volunteering at Plas today in fact, and this time I wasn’t the only one. This other volunteer is on a similar course to mine, only for people over 50. He seems like a nice guy, very talkative, and so for the first time since my first week there the two of us and the head gardener actually chatted for most of the lunch break instead of everyone reading their own books quietly. I still took out my choice of literature out of habit – the first Spice and Wolf light novel, which I’d just reclaimed from my sister yesterday – but I got no further than the two page long prologue before resting it on my lap, cover (the anime style dust jacket, to be clear) in full view.
On the way back to the part of the garden we’d been working on, the head gardener suddenly asked me about the book, and whether there had been a film adaptation. I thought to myself, I could go into detail on how there’s actually two anime series, and then inevitably on to the seasons they aired in and the studios that produced them, and which of the two I preferred… but instead I decided to say ‘no’. He told me he only asked because he was sure he’d seen a DVD for it when browsing online for a new anime to buy.
I’ve been reading books there every lunch break from very early on. And when I say books, with the one exception of Spice and Wolf, I mean manga. The minibus driver who shares the office with us even pointed out that I was reading it (Sgt. Frog) once, saying it reminded him of Pokemon. But this was the first time the head gardener had even hinted at knowing anything about it, then all of a sudden he’s reeling off anime titles, and telling me how he preferred the 80’s – 90’s horror anime offerings to the current ‘comedy/giant robot’ fad amongst UK licensed stuff. I was actually stunned into silence. Although I later recovered enough to warn him about the decline in animation quality when he said he’d just picked up Ergo Proxy. 😛
I started this job search almost a year ago now, yet all I seem to be finding is anime fans in the weirdest of places. I can only assume I naturally gravitate towards places where they exist. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been finding gardening fun, when it’s not something I’d ever considered before? Until recently I honestly thought my sisters and I were the only anime fans within a 100 mile radius of this place. Well, and those random guys in Barmouth who were reading Bleach, and the guy in my sister’s year at school who asked my opinion on Tales of the Abyss, but that’s irrelevant. Turns out we’re not so unique, which isn’t a bad thing at all.