Monday, 29 September 2014

Big Step Forwards

Greetings and welcome back, I know I stopped worrying about if I missed the odd week, but this now more the odd 3 months! I did start three posts in that time but none got finished to my own satisfaction, and so I have been missing. I haven't really, work has been busy as normal, life has continued as normal and nothing but everything has changed, as normal. Daughter came home for 6 whole days then I took her to University, and I am still washing the piles of clothes she rooted out and left and finding lost towels I had forgotten even existed.

Work has been frantic as it always is the first months back, the first years, the leavers, the classes moved and changed the whole new staff, and new groups. No matter how I plan ahead there is always something that changes it all, like a campaign of war that never survives the first sortie! I have been following the outside world and the wider library world, but I am needing to put more time in to my own desk to get sorted and organised!

Work gets closer and ground is cut for the new build in the town that will house a community library, which will be my new home come July 2016. The other end of the county has a currently vacant library which is starting work soon to be reopened next spring, again a large project I am helping on. I spent a while acting up this last winter and spring, which ended in the June, despite saying never again I am currently planning to trying again soon.

The Head of the School moved on this summer and we currently have an acting Head who is very good. The changes this is bringing to the school though are still happening and you never know what is coming next. Quite exiting to a certain extent, but exhausting as well. My other half got head hunted so has work for the whole year, which has meant less hassle worrying but he is about as far as you can get while still in the council area! But its not as far as Epsom which was last years base.

My craft world has been thrown for a loop as I am trying to get the quilt promised to daughter finished! it is pinned and ready to sew but getting time and space has been hellish! mind you I did see this rope basket how to and get some rope to play with, made a start with wool but had to take it out after an hour or so as the wool was too flexible :-) next try will be with dish cloth cotton! I shall take a picture of the finished quilt (one day).

I was lucky enough to be part of this campaign and got to read to a group of 7 to 11 years old's one Saturday morning. I meant to read for a short while chat to them then read a bit more, I looked up to faces paying rapt attention and kept going, as my voice gave out I found I had read for just over half an hour non stop (having never read the book first, bad me) and we had hit a natural stop point! I enjoyed it so much I may read to kids more often. :-)

The title of the blog today and the impetus to get back on here is that I finally jumped and I am starting my Fellowship, the re-validation was just the pat on the back that I needed and that I am heading in the right direction and all was well, I am happy and fulfilled at work and am finally getting more done outside work as extra support. I feel I am fulfilling all the criteria for the fellowship and now the time is right to jump. I wont say I haven't had a few odd sleepless nights, but I had more when I decided not yet in the past, so that's okay :-), watch this space for further posts about how this is going and how I am approaching this.
Bring on the challenge!

Happy new term (late) and happy autumn (even if the sun today is shining very brightly) and only 86 days to Christmas! :-) but for me only 2 weeks to going to Glasgow to stay with my daughter!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Summer Time

We are down to a few days to getting the building to ourselves... The promise of quiet has made the pupils extra noisy, the holidays close enough to smell has made even the staff demob happy. Folk who have been well behaved for years are kicking off now like they are first year again. My nice calm place has disappeared in the wind down to summer mess. Warning to anyone who encounters me this week, I will not take prisoners! In the time it has taken to get this finished the peace has arrived, even my cat is calmer.

Right with that out of the way, I finished my writing course and it was amazing, and I am still writing and I have great ideas, nothing big but then I am still learning and will be for probably the rest of my life! I took on a silly challenge, a friend was wanting to write a book so I said I would write with her as writing buddies! I think I scared her, she hasn't mentioned it since except to refer to 'that Idea I am not facing yet' so I shall have to go rattle her cage :-). Found  great resource which I hope to take away with me at Hamish MaDonald's Site About not only how to get writing but how to make the book and then how to sell it! well worth a look see, and I know his novels are good too, as well as the funniest blog style, which I adore.

The acting up post I was doing came to an end and the post got deleted, the rest at that level got restructured, which most folk seem to think I should be upset over but from my view its a relief, I wasn't getting lots of support and due to its temporary nature I couldn't change my working pattern so I was doing my normal work and that on top. This had gradually led to me struggling and getting bogged under. The changes also allowed them to delete a post and not have the rest reapply for the new posts! an idea I totally agree with, less hassle for all that way.

I was lucky enough to take part in a fundraiser with postcards of the sea, this was my painting done a few weeks back (yes I ran to the wire) and we had the opening night the other day, which was amazing but I forgot to take many shots and none of folk so I shall share the blog post from the website about how wonderful it was. And yes I am in there as is my son :-). Strangely my postcard isn't photographed in the group shots that whole board was missed.

I will be away for a couple of weeks and do not know how much time I will get online so I doubt I will be blogging for a few weeks until I get time, but I do have planned time to veg out and play later in the holidays too. I always have high hopes for the holidays and always come away a bit disappointed so this time I just plan to relax and see what comes, I want to go walking (bought some nice walks round Devon books) and I want to go for picnics on the moors and too the beach. My kids are already spreading their wings, I have already lost my daughter to other lives I shall enjoy the summer with my sons! Though the weather has changed so much you would think it was the holidays! oh hang on it is! :-).

We said farewell and good luck to two of our English staff and had a lovely meal out, I can highly recommend the French Restaurant in Wick 'Bord De L'eau' Which did us and them proud.

So I head into the nice summer peace I hope to get things done in. and Wish all who have breaks now happy times.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stolen weeks!

Okay who keeps stealing my weeks, I know I was booked very busy for June but where has it gone! I have been staff at the prom, paper maker, knitter, poetry reader, book group reader, spinner, and tree feller, and I did all of these out of work time.

The biggest event which I am still waiting to hit me but I think I am over the worst was my daughter going to work in America for the summer. She decided last September she wanted to and she make so many I am going to do this statements that later get changed we did our usual and went 'yes dear' She did all her home work and identified a company to go with which was not the one who had caught her attention but have a good track record, and we started to think she might actually go! Then in January she started asking about events to go to and meetings and registration fees, which she wanted me to pay. Gradually the paperwork and bills came and got sorted and paid, then she had the chance to chose a camp and went to a fair at Edinburgh and while one of her favorite was so busy she couldn't even get close her other favorite was clearer and she not only got through the first selection but they loved her and she signed on the day! Now she had a destination and the whole lot got realer.

Now she had a date and better still a T shirt! more on that later. Her phone had a countdown that she told me about every day, so much so I used to ask if she was sure, and was her count down right :-) nothing like winding up a teenager. Next came serious paperwork, getting an international disclosure that would be acceptable for the US, and once that came getting her visa which could only be done by person in the embassy in London. Cue trip to London, and final payments and set ups and booking buses and timings to get her flight that now had times and numbers attached. Of course the whole event was over shadowed by did she have enough shorts, how many tops would she need and how could she get the sheer amount of chocolate she wanted to America.

Now we were down to the last few weeks and suddenly a promise I made months ago came back to bite me. Yes I would get a T-shirt made for Nev and get the logo put on, I had made the logo up and she had painted it to be the right colour, but suddenly getting a baby t-shirt was impossible, had to be white body, blue arms and baseball style t-shirt, and to fit Nev! I ended up buying a cheap small men's baseball T and cutting it down and remaking it, then I had to get the logo put on it. We picked up the finished garment only days before as the packing gained momentum.

Pictures of him in his hand made top do look good.

All too fast the day of her departure was upon us, I took time off a course I had booked myself on to make sure she had all she needed and got to the first of several connections. She texted back bits and then tweeted an odd tweet, and finally messaged once a week as she has work and is busy. I have missed her and I am looking forward getting her back even if it is just to leave for uni again.

I didn't set out to write so much about her and her leaving but to get it out as a time line is very interesting. A follow up to her chocolate parcel was a note from her saying the Irn Bru hadn't coped and her parcel arrived a bit damp. Five minutes of thought would have told us this but in the frenzy before she went neither I nor her realised what would happen to a parcel in flight.

More next week of the rest of my life, and safe summers to the Campers of Camp America.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Summer returned or Day Two of the CILIPS 2014 Conference

The day has improved, the sun has burnt off the mist and the sky is that clear blue that makes you wish you could just lie in a garden and snooze the rest of the day away. I wont get home until late tonight and I am wishing it was different! well back to catch up time.

The breakfast was very nice, I ate early and enjoyed the peace, and sunshine. The opening was the AGM for CILIPS, which ran for a whole 4 minutes, which is a meeting win for me. Then the keynote speaker to start us off was Rolf Hapel, from Aarhus libraries in Denmark, and digitizing services and their impact as his theme. He was talking of the new build in the centre of Aarhus on the dock front and seeming to float on the water, with trams to a under ground station and buses through the very complex. The whole idea was very interesting, esp in the light of our own local new build. Again we had the theme of big Data, how we use it and how we make it show more value. The vision of a library full of partnership spaces that were designed for the folk who will be in them, with a library at the core.
A very scary view of the future according to him but one again we must take on board. The idea of the community space which he admittedly stolen from the UK ideas. What was also a shock was the extinction timeline, which I am sure many have seen but was new to me. and the end of libraries as we know them. He did end on a challenge he asked us 'To which problems in society are libraries the answer.' Another positive view and optimistic spin on a drech out look otherwise. 

The next sessions had me choosing again but as a mentor I felt I must chose the Professional registration and what you need to know. This was delivered by the always wroth listening to Simon Edwards from CILIP, I am glad I did as it has given me the nudge toward possibly going for Fellowship next time and not just re-validation. He gave a wonderful talk on the positives and how we are adding value to our own profession. I love the PKSB shorter form in the excel and will be downloading it and filling it in soon. also you only need to keep your eye on 6 to 10 areas max and you only need the killer pieces of evidence for them, not the small forest you currently seem to generate. Watch this space for more ideas...

Another fab lunch finally knocked me for six and I ended up sitting in the foyer knitting brain finally full and mind full of things to think about. I would have gone home then but I so wanted to hear Iain Macwhirter speak at the end. So glad I did, as he spoke so eloquently about the decline and demise of printed news papers esp the Scottish press. There are more copies sold of the Mail each day than the Scotsman and the herald combined! which is dreadful! and there are less than 10k sales for the whole of Scotland for the Guardian! Iain Challenged us to become the means of truthful record as the papers could no longer be that resource for us. We must help the public navigate the tidal wave of propaganda from the indy/ref information. This contrasted with the mornings message of citizens and not customers in Denmark, with sources and filters not passive supply for us.
No power points and glossy back drops, no pictures to distract us from his very hard hitting message. Another scary prospect but again another place we must adapt and change to fit what is needed.

The drive home was one of reflection all these new ideas being brought forward, all these views and ideas. we are not broad enough to do all in all places but some will fit in nicely, and may be Scotland will stay the top of the league table for the Carnegie trust for another year. 

Summer Pause or Day One of The CILIPS 2014 Conference

Well if I had got this done on Monday it would have been full of Sunshine and thunder storms, but today we have mist, lots of sea mist (called Haa up here) and while it is cold in the exposed areas the rooms inside are too hot! I managed to forget my normal glasses today so am wearing my reading glasses which work great for my screen but when I look past it the blur is very disconcerting. The past weeks have been so full and so busy I am not sure where to start.

Dundee in the sunshine was amazing, and I got to the town centre and round the shops a bit this time, I had a nice walk round the harbour again and I even spent time in the pool, which was so relaxing! The hotel was exceptional, as it had been last year, but this time I was a lot less worried and a lot more relaxed about being in a very nice hotel. The staff were so nice and so helpful, and the whole event went like a dream. nothing is perfect but the few things that cropped up got solved.

The Cilips 2014 conference was amazing, I always find I gain so much from them and there are so many things happening. Choosing has always been a problem and occasionally you wish you had been there not here but the sessions I was at were so interesting!
The opening was done by Robert Ruthven, who then passed us on to Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie Trust. He spoke passionately about how libraries are more than buildings and how the original set up has left a legacy which is relevant to day and beyond. He showed us how the most successful libraries in Britain are the Scottish who topped all but one survey and that one we came a close second in.

Martyn spoke of wellbeing being essential to our core business, and showed us slides of how it should be.
He went on to announce a series of dates that bids would be welcomed on for projects in the 5k to 10 k range and how they would run for 4 years and were for innovation, needs to be progressive and they will be looking to set up a mentor support system for those who need help to get it, and part of the criteria is the evaluation of its success for projects. The first wave of info about this will be available from September.
Despite a Fire Alarm in the middle of his presentation and a short stand in the car park, we all enjoyed hearing about this and the future.

Next up where the sessions, and after swithering I chose to go to the open badge event, I am so glad I did. I am always looking for new skills and new ways to show and share those skills, and I have a new library app planned to help me get the pupils used to library organisation and skills, and I hope now to set up an open badge for any kids finishing my app and maybe this will help with others and how do we note children successes, as well as CPD and how we note those successes. Tim Riches had decided to do a workshop on development which turned out to be more fun than just finding out what we need to do, I got a chance to give design a go and how we plan a badge and how me manage and roll out a badge. They have a nice website but I am still finding my way round it (in my spare time HAHAhahahahaha) more in the future.

Lunch was lovely and I would have enjoyed it more had I not been chairing one of the sessions after lunch. This group had caused my biggest choice issues when I first saw them, when I was asked to chair it took the choice away and meant that I was chairing one of the two I wanted to see most of all. I was lucky enough to chair the Pleasure Principle by Genevieve Clarke from the Reading Agency. I had a nice intro lined up and chatted to her before to make sure it was okay, then faced with a room of folks I fluffed it :-) I messed it up and got a wry sideways smile as she started as she knew I had fluffed, thankfully it didn't show and no one else knew. She spoke passionately about the way we support learners and how to increase the idea of reading for pleasure, she talked about the six book challenge which is like the summer reading challenge but aimed at adults and reluctant readers or emergent readers, the difference never really dawned on me before, both very interesting.

The missed session for me was the SDS one about how my world of work is helping and how the whole SDS is moving more into the support areas online and the universal credit due to come. This is very much the digital literacies stuff I adore, but I was lucky enough to hear most of his talk in Glasgow earlier in the year. He was such a nice man when I asked he told me what was different and extra so I knew what the talk was about. The Skills Development Scotland folk have been so nice to get to know and so helpful and positive. I recommend using their website for any job related stuff, esp making a CV which they help you do from scratch or to get an out of date one up to current and all for free!

The final Speaker of Day one was Ben Showers, who I was lucky enough to hear and meet at the Umbrella conference last year. His very positive and forward thinking message about digital futures was a wonderful way to end the day. The room though had got very warm by then and some of us were fading, but his message was still great and well received. He was talking about approaching issues from the inside out and not the outside in, changing the focus and what we are doing to better solve problems. Open libraries was his focus and the use of Big Data, which every library is collecting and we are all part of, we must embrace this view and show the value of this data that we collect and keep! either by our own use or by getting others to use if for us. This is part of the I want to be a dandelion from last year, we need to spread data to make its value show to float it out there for others to find its value! Scary prospects but we must move or stagnate.

The day was finished by a walk for me and then after dressing up we met up for drinks reception and the evening meal, which was very good, after that we had the Book Shop Band playing, which was very nice and pretty, sadly too loud to chat with and to quiet to chat under, but very pretty all the same.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rushing too much

This month seems to have just gone, I am sure I last looked at the start of May and now its coming to an end. This month is too short, and I have so much still too do. I am enjoying my writers course on future learn, my skills are increasing noticeably, but I am not brave enough to put work up here yet, maybe a poem or two after my trips away early next week.

This week and next I am doing much travelling, I shall be in Dundee by the end of the week at the Cilips Conference and I can't wait. There is always so much to see and do, and I get a bit flustered trying to do all of it at once :-). So I will be either blogging from there or blogging about there for next week.

My latest plan it to write a piece for the Scottish book trusts Home challenge, it has made me think about what is home and why I choose to call somewhere home. I have something written but I am coming to understand that I can spend time and draft and redraft to make my work better, so I am going to revisit my piece next week when its not fresh in my mind, I know what I want it to say but I am not sure it says it.

I went to the Highland Wool Festival at the weekend and I had so much fun, I planned ahead and booked myself workshops to keep me entertained, and I am so glad I chose well. The first was a bag making course, which we turned up slightly late for, but I still got my bag made and it is very professional too. All lined and fulled gusseted, and better still the right length for my body to carry it and not get it on the floor! This Christmas will be bag making gift time! :-) The workshops were a new idea and the venue and even the time of year was new and it all worked so well, I would have liked more money to buy things but that was my only real complaint!

The first shot is my half made bag, while the rest are the stalls and all the goodies, and the final shot is the decorated 'coo' that greeted us on arrival at the mart in Dingwall. I didnt stop all day, I chatted and did and made and spun and learnt and played and saw and so enjoyed myself. The next is due to be in October in Eden Court again so unlikely to have workshops but I do like the stalls and the sheer fun folk have at it.

I am now sorting for a meeting tomorrow all day and then my desk for Friday then packing for Dundee and back to my desk for Wednesday! Either next weeks blog will be stuffed or missing :-).

Friday, 16 May 2014


Many Years ago my father used to listen to old records and he had a very wide range in music. One he had on vinyl was Porgy and Bess, and from the listing, the one I enjoyed the most was Summertime. I would sit on the floor by the fireplace listening to the rich voices and wonderful lyrics rolling out of the speakers, humming and swaying along eyes often closed imaging I was there, I was part of the story. My love for story came from my dad, he would read to me and my brother at night when he was home, he would tell us stories as we drove round Devon, and I spent years watching the Forestry Commission land for the wolf! Always felt the tall pines were much ore likely to have wolves than the normal woodland.

Sadly I cant even hold a tune in a bucket, in fact at school where choir was compulsory and the lengths some kids went to avoid it were quite extreme, I was looking forward to it. The day the auditions note went up (to decide where you sang in the choir) the teacher stopped me and said to not bother coming, he had heard me in the corridors singing and didn't feel it would be fair to turn me down in front of the rest. At the time I was a bit non-plussed, but over time I have come to regret not going anyway. I wasn't the only child who didn't get sent to choir but we were very few. For all that I love listening to good music, and I esp. love stage music and big music.

My Dad's collection ran to Under Milk Wood, and quite a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan and well as the likes of Bizet's Carmen. My growing up was full of noise and music, of voices from all over the world with accents and rich tones that I didn't hear in Devon or at Grannies in Liverpool. I wasn't into Duran Duran, more Tom Jones, which made me a bit of an oddity when they talked pop at school. I bought Smash Hits to try and keep up and one week it had a poster of a girl all dolled up which I pinned to my study door cause I liked the image. I doubt I read the magazine and I found her on the cover I must have just taken out the poster and handed the magazine on. I like the image, didn't find out for months it was Madonna!

My 'to work to' playlist has all sorts of music from skyfall, to siggur ros and many more, which I enjoy when I get a chance. I occasionally add bits but very rarely take any away, it is a very fluid thing. I started this thinking about the sunshine and blue skies but all it has done is blow all day so much like my song that started this the day has been bitter sweet. 

A less reflective mood for next week. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

New ideas for Spring/summer

I started a creative writing course today. It is from Future Learn from the Open University Which should run for 8 weeks and be 3 hours commitment a week, which I doubt I will only spend that short a time. The first exercise was an odd challenge which we had to write a 50 - 100 word piece on ourselves with one fact and three fictions and then a piece with three facts and one fiction. strangely the first one was harder for me, my first attempt was nearly 300 words long and I had used lovely flowing language to describe the whole thing, but I needed to cut it down!

I would highly recommend them as some of the titles have me planning new things for my CPD, with 'managing people; engaging your workforce' listed as new courses to do. And the best yet if you miss one it is rerun again later in the year with a round a nine month gap between repeats allowing you to pick up a missed one or plan if you have the time then! I have already booked my self a space on the app development course in the autumn.

We have a youth event running today where our pupils get to vote in a mock election for the referendum, as today is our last day for the senior pupils and a few have not even come in I am not sure how we will do. One of the tables for the younger years was needing a person for a while earlier so I cover it and had to find names and cross them off and to hand out voting slips and make sure they came back to the right box. To my amusement a child asked after posting their vote 'What do I win Miss?' I explained about elections and how they are a chance to have you say and to affect the world etc but I am not sure they went away convinced. I thought it was amusing but thinking later I am not so sure, we are creating a whole group of youth who feel they only do things for something tangible, an Ipad, or tickets. They have no concept of the bigger picture, they do not seem to realize that if they don't vote they have no say or reason for complaint in how their world is arranged.

My age were part of the student poll tax protests, one of my fellow students ended up arrested and lost her college place due to how much she threw herself into the protests. My childhood education was punctuated by Strikes, miners, teachers, binmen! We saw how some methods of protest had little effect while others worked. I doubt many my age vote, but I always felt if I don't vote I am giving away something essential. I am one voice but if lots of us one voice folk vote the same way we have an effect.

Meanwhile in the real world we are at the end of the month again and I have the end of month paper work sat to do. The task is not onerous but it does sit like a breeze block on my day, a pile of paper going 'do me now, or you'll regret it' I wont take long to do but I need to get out forms and make notes and generally get things sorted. I suppose I am procrastinating. One of my cats has gone missing again and I have no idea where to start looking for her.

Living in Scotland has made us very aware of the idea of referendum, and the vote that is due this September, what I being missed is that a referendum is asking the population what they think, not what shall happen. Either side would need to win a very big majority to actually get any movement on the issues being raised, but folk keep getting caught up in it. This is the 10th referendum in the UK in the last 40 years, not new, not the be all and end all, not life threatening, (big sigh) we shall just have to wait and see.

I have become very serious in my blog so I shall lighten it. I had this shared with me today about Shakespeare and the original pronunciation (OP) when they introduced it to the Globe in London. With some wonderful lines and the jokes made more fun. The father and son pairing makes it more accessible, I would recommend a listen to it and an enjoy. And I shall just finish with a quick picture of missing cat in hope she is home when I get there!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Back up to speed

The Easter break was too short and over far too quick, the term we finished was one of the hardest I have ever seen, and that after more than 14 years in post! I do not feel we have had two weeks with no kids.

We did have study school and of course I did loads of things I can't do when school is in. Officially I had some days off but I had meetings and non work things in some of those days and also as normal when I get a few days off I fell ill. Sadly I found out a number of years ago I an intolerant to wheat, which means every so often I have to cut wheat out of my diet all together and detox, or suffer. I shouldn't eat any but I have found the odd item I can get away with and the odd weekend as long as I know I will suffer later can be done, but I missed the signs and ended up in a lot of pain. Slept for most of my days off which wasn't much fun, so in time honored tradition I meed a holiday to get over my holiday.

I do have a new fun thing to look into, The Sioban Dowd Trust are offering £6k to school libraries. The web site only asks for 50 to 250 words on what you do that's special. I am currently trying to get the wonderful things and plans I want to do into 250 words! thankfully I have been offered help and the more I look the more I find to add... If you a none fee paying school with a library feel free to go and have a go, as one of our senior staff here has said, you have to be in it to win it! If you don't enter you will never win anything, so give it a go.

The painting didn't get done but the garden did, the lawn is lawn again and the dead grass reseeded, (which means on dry days I am out watering) the hedges are now thinner and back a bit, the roses which I keep taking out and back are gone again! the potatoes planted are doing well, and the newer fruit tress thriving as well as the established ones, I must take a picture of the cherry blossom which started out last night! My potatoes are just some standard seed ones but my husband found these and had to get some, so his are blue potatoes and he is very proud of them! They came from  the group selling at the Easter fayre, mine have been chittled and brought on and carefully planted! His have been been dropped into a knocked together box at the foot of my garden! we shall see...

I plan on going to the CILIPS Conference this year at Dundee, I enjoyed myself a lot last year and I discovered that the fun I had at Umbrella in 2011 and 2013 is because they are library conferences and well run and not because they were the umbrella, I plan on going to more as I get time and enjoying myself more. I still subscribe to the idea that you have no ground to complain unless you get up and try and change it. I love the changes being brought from the main body in London and while every idea is not always right, that is fine we can try things and change, things that do not change or adapt, die! right off my soap box again :-).

With the summer coming I have found a new program to love, The Allotment, it is a cross between Kirsty's home made house idea and garden fete thing she did, and the Great British Bake off, with plants. The contestants have to grow 83 different plants and each week they get called to produce things, first a best in show for basic grown fruit, first weeks radishes was fascinating to watch, having grown radishes badly I thought that was it, but no, lots of different factors and I may try again! The next episode was runner beans and again much fun was had, they then had a flower challenge, now all the folk I know who grow either do veg or flowers, to see both was strange and so far the ones who get one haven't been the ones to get the other prize, not only do you produce a specimen flower you also have to make a flower arrangement, and two big guys made some fab ones, the judge reckoned he could make them florists! which is fun and funny. The final part is a cooking challenge, the first week was a jam and a Curd (do not ask why I like but do not make curd, ever) and this week was a sauce and a relish, which was fun. I find I like these program's, bake off was good and got better, sewing bee was good and got better and this is good, and I think has the potential to get better, unlike sewing and baking though you need time to get plants up and running and to hold the program! I would love to see next years in a snap shot, I know they are running already, as they started march 2013, I would love a 10 minutes slot of what they looked like this week, which would make a nice intro for the next show and lots of stock footage to back them up :-). I shall dream on.

I hope to get back to my Monday posts next week and normality, and hopefully study leave too.
Just a quick picture of the kitten who wanted to play while we painted. most of the paint is now off but she has the odd bitty still on her ear tips! Thankfully I bought safe paint.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Spring has Sprung yet again

Despite my best tries at being cold and miserable, the spring has sprung and flowers are up and about and the cats have all got the joys stuck in their coats and need to run round like nutters to get them out! I am currently working on my front door and am repainting it with the hope that it looks so good my husband will spend part of Easter with my sons painting all the rest! The inside needed three coats just to look okay and the outside is needing more yet so I shall be painting in the dark and cursing the whole Idea soon. Oddly found it has been very relaxing, almost meditative for me. just slowly painting the wood, getting it all smooth and even. This is after the first coat, and it started to look better! Yes my walls are bright yellow!

The clocks have changed meaning my lunch wasn't too late today but by the time my body clock resets I will be famished by lunchtime again. The sun is again low when I drive in for work and I have a really hard time getting myself out of bed. I know it will improve and when it returns in the autumn the world is so much nicer due to the extra time, but I am robbing me now to give me then a help.

The school is working to two major deadlines at the moment, and the closer of these has been fun. Next summer (2015) a group of children will be going to Belize to walk and complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, but this summer a group of children are going to Belarus to volunteer. They have been fundraising and are doing well, despite us being a small community and the kids new to fundraising they have been working really hard. The website for them is here and their latest you tube video is very funny and well worth a look (poor Anna) please go see and if you feel like supporting that would be good too.

On a library note I win!!!! I heard on Friday one of my Mentees got her qualification, and can now move on to her next bit and charter (does silly dance) and best bit is I also got my re validation through (repeats silly dance) So now I must make sure I am brushed up on the new chartership while I get the last two I have doing the paper version (old style) finished as soon as possible (Easter I hope) I do have more bits from my meeting two weeks ago but this blog is mine and not a public broadcast (even if I did that myself, and then put up a must support thing :-) just a catch up blog post). Next week is the start of Easter holidays and I will be a bit in and out for the following two weeks, I hope to still blog on Mondays but may be from home instead.

Just a cat picture to finish, with her ginger leg on show and the sun shining my baby monster wants me to love her!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Public Information broadcast or something similar

I was lucky to get to a day of information and last blogged about the third sector and how it has an effect and how it can affect Libraries and society. This week at work I have been helping host a student who is here to see about active teaching and active learning. I know that is not really my area but she is an ex pupil and I was her return point to come back and make a difference. Why I mention it is because we got into a big discussion on society and who has control and how we change and what we can do or can't to affect change, I covered some aspects of sociology in my degree course (which the type I did seems to have gone west now :-( all BSc based rather than BA) and my one change I would make in life on a redo would be to do a BA in sociology and then an MA in libraries (or MSc) as I loved the whole idea of sociology and how we see and are influenced by the world and society.

This introspection has led me to actively participate in a cause that I do feel strongly about but I may have not bothered last week more due to apathy or too busy syndrome. The Cilip are leading a drive to get the rules changed for e-books, to get them more widely available and to get them free for libraries to loan. I have signed up and will be shouting about it on and off, because in that old adage, if your not part of the solution your part of the problem!

So feel free to skim over it but if you get time do click the link and join in the drive to get things changed, it is part of the whole who runs our world and how sets the rules. We can make a change. (climbs down off the soap box).

The same day of information I was shown a Website that is fab! the skills development Scotland team have set up a web site to help them get 48 hours in every day :-) as we need them more there seem to be less of them so they have a site that allows you to get much more out of their information and support your own life. They have set it up for schools initially and more recently have expanded it out to all those who may want support int he jobs market or even to just keep check of what you have in the jobs market. The web site is called My World of Work and includes a 'DNA' test that looks at what your suited to and what you like as well as a My Strengths section that helps you tailor you choices and interests! Even with a job I found it interesting and it allows me to fill in the CV section and update as I go. The website has recently been revamped to help the post school user get more from it and I was amazing just how much is online, from how to apply for a job to how to dress for an interview and how to practice your answers etc ahead. The point of showing us was the fact that it is a tool that can be used to keep track of job searching as part of the universal credit and current job seekers requirements. Well worth a look and a try, and if your a librarian or other partner worker they have an extra section that allows you access to more tools and info to support other better, amazing tool.

I remember when I was a child getting programs on the TV pre-political broadcasts which were noted as Public Information Broadcasts I wasn't awfully aware as a small child about these but they seemed old, boring and stuffy, I know wished I had listened more :-) but this is my version of it. So in time honored fashion I now end with a note that; This is the end of the Public Information Broadcast. Thank you and Good night.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Normal Service is Resumed (I Hope)

After a few weeks of busy and none stop, fighting off colds and trying tot get as much sleep as possible, traveling over a thousand miles and still turning up on time, I am back to normal working.

My desk is full of work to do and work needing doing, the end of the financial year is more than it used to be for me, and I am needing to get my head round new processes, but despite that it is situation normal for me. The weather has been kindish but of course when I want to paint the outside of the house the snow makes an appearance! An odd weekend, the cats decided I have to be up at 6am! so fight at my door until I get up. The daylight has turned, we now get more daylight than nighttime, which is great for doing things and for plans but hard to get back to sleep when woken by furry noses! Sat in my bed on Saturday morning with a Capri sun drink and the end of a bag of Haribo, did the bad Facebook thing and put that as my status, which later cause problems when my kids found out I had Haribo and they didn't get any :-).

Last week I was lucky to hear Sally Dyson speak about how the third sector is developing in support of digital provision in Scotland. She was talking about 'digital by default' which is the new online credit and universal credit system, how folk have to go online or lose out. how this is not a good thing. Her main thrust was how to develop 'digital by desire' Now I must admit here that my own mum is very much a non digital person, her banks closed and her only answer form them was 'well you must bank online' so she shut her account and uses another bank that at least visit her village by van once a week. The thought that if she had to do anything more then post office for her government interactions she would have to find internet and learn how to is just wrong. But that is a whole other kettle of fish. Sally was talking about how support must be found and how the third sector is a good start point and how they also need help developing their own  online presence. More about her world on SCVO.

Also in the same bill was a guy called Richard Clifford form a company called MAKLab which quietly blew my mind away! They run form the light house in Glasgow and they have rooms set up for design and more for manufacture, what caught my eye was the jewelry where someone had tried to make a prototype to check it would hang and could be made, I love this idea, as a crafter I love the thought I could make a thing just to see! He was also talking about bringing 3D printing to a wider audience which would be amazing, I am sure this is not as 'tomorrows world' as I think it is and I will dream on.

There was more but I think I shall stop now as I am only a day behind my aimed for deadline :-).

I shall finish with a quick pic from Glasgow that I took, I was wandering the town center and found this, so had to take a shot. Forgive the Geeky son who had to lean on the box.

Back to processing the last few weeks before my head bursts with ideas...

Friday, 21 March 2014

Hokey Kokey world

Well I feel in out and shaken all about!

Spent Sunday going to Glasgow and Monday in a meeting, amazing place Glasgow, such a poor rep but such nice folk and clean and welcoming city. Wandered the length and beyond of Sauchiehall Street (pronounced socky hall) and saw so much and had fun. The meeting was very interesting and I am still processing some of the information. Monday night spent going home.

Work for Tuesday then Tuesday evening south on the local train to Inverness (known to the locals as Invernsnicky for some reason) Over night in the youth hostel to get an early train to Edinburgh for Wednesday. Very good value but I spent the night dreaming of Zombies due to the shuffling of feet past my door at all hours, snigger. The room next door was chatting till late but that was okay, they regretted it when I got up at 6am I am sure. The train south was nice and not busy, mind you that may have been due to the very large number of carriages!

Wednesday was spent in Edinburgh, I had a couple of hours to kill wandering the town and made the most of it, from one end of the princes street to the other, and up the mile, I made the most of the sunshine and good day and walked until I realized I would be late and took a taxi across town to the central library. The whole day was nice and relaxed even the meeting while it was heated and full of debate was good and productive.

Wednesday night was spent getting home, trains and cars and very late night arrivals again. but to sleep in my own bed was a treat. the morning came too quick, and of course I had organised things for the Thursday and so I needed to be in work early and had a training session all day, by 4.30 at night I had done so much I had to go home and sleep.

And so my week is now at an end and I haven't got much finished at all, I have done lots and made loads of links and connections, I have set in motion things I hope to report back on the future but for now I have got nothing done! My cats haven't forgiven me and I spend the home time swinging between 'love me love me', and 'I hate you' I get head bonks and face nuzzles and then bites and chews and claws in my skin.

The final bell has gone for the day and I am done in, I will post this and go home, see got one thing done today :-). Just to finish a cat picture...
Have a nice weekend.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Happy Birthday Internet

According to various sources the internet has reached 25 year old. In this Blog My friend Sara looks at what has changed in the last 25 years, and while some I agree are fun I have strangely different memories of the same time.

I was also in my second year at library school, and we had dial in LISA and some of the databases online to California, which would have been the early parts of the web, and the new invention the CD Rom! Which I loved as it was quick and you could build carousels and search several at once... Part of our course was how to catalogue, another how we used ICT etc.

But while Sara was up in the north of Scotland I was in west London, and no better place can I think of to be 20 and studying! I had yearly entry to Kew, and Royal academy of Arts, I saw the latest films and enjoyed live plays when ever we could be bothered to go. I got to see the Levelers on tour in three different venues (including their home town of Brighton due to getting a lift down) and moshed in the web at the Astoria, the palace at Camden and even saw the Wonder Stuff live the week they were number one.

I spent a busy Saturday afternoon at the site of the Rose Theater in London as part of the Save the Rose movement, and like every other things then I also got the T shirt. Sadly the T shirt later got trashed by a child, but I had it, and the levelers and the cure etc and so much fun! My friend an I were even out the day of the storms and were on streets from some of the worst carnage! but came home untouched until we saw the TV that night!

I worked in Richmond for part of my time and the summer of 1989 I worked at the Poetry Library in the South Banks Centre, which is an amazing place and I can highly recommend a visit, some of the things and info they have is second to none and well worth a nose around. The underground was my life blood and the noise bustle and life in the city what I thrived on.

25 years later I am married with 3 children (now at going to uni age!) with a job I love which challenges me and makes me think. I have a home and world that allows me to still get live plays, and latest films but also lets me curl up in front of the fire when I want to. The biggest difference is the internet, I could now work from anywhere, a friend recently got a job in Dublin company, but still working from the highlands with occasional visits to head office. I can read my mums paper in Devon while eating my lunch in Caithness, or check the latest headlines from Ealing.

The internet and mobile technology has made the world so much smaller, what we supplied in the past as librarians was access to information, that is no longer enough as any decent phone can do that, what we need to do is facilitate information, getting best info or help identify what information is needed. We need to start discussions about why they want information about a car? to buy one to see one to find an old one or just a picture to like! We need to help open dialogues and make talk more valuable, help use the skills we and other have but do not value or even use. Like the paperless office of the 'new computer age' the conversations that are not needed now we have the internet are even more valuable.

On a lighter note I have been running World Book Day things and the tokens for the children, but a few years ago I felt the small cost to get the books allows me to give the books out to all the younger years as a gift from the library, so I set up my tables this week and have been through all the first years and half the second so far, I also have older titles that they get to choose from. I think a book in a hand is valuable no matter how or why.
My camera has a panorama feature and I am still working it out but this looks okay for now :-).

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Don't worry Normal Service will be resumed.

I think this is the longest gap I have had since I restarted  blogging, I know I have missed the odd week and usually get to stressed and hassled at missed weeks, but the last few weeks have been so busy!

I have had to be prioritizing and organizing and make this my 'fun' thing, sadly that time has been sucked into the gaps just recently. Work has been fun, I took on certain things knowing it would be hard work. I just didn't think it would be this hard in places. Some of my work load has been lifted and I am getting a handle on the rest now, I also have a new assistant who is fab, but I need to bring them up to speed!

I had a weeks break from school only to find the other half of my job took over, I had to work most of the holiday and never got to my desk so had well over 100 emails to sort when I did get back. I am still catching up with missed calls and missed work and the end of the month things that I should have done and I so need to make a list.

Most of the last week was spent looking for a lost cat, it wasn't the usual lost one so we were very worried. She is a semi feral cat so can look after herself but rarely wanders far, she turned out to be next door stuck under floor boards that had been lifted for a few hours on Sunday and somehow she got under and too scared to come out again until too late! Some of the local children heard her on Thursday evening while waiting on the ice cream van (yes us hardy Scot's get an ice cream van in the mild winter, only minus 10 well bring it on) she was very thin and very very jumpy as they had been knocking walls down that week while she was stuck under the floor, never have I been so glad to open a food sachet than then.

I see that CPD23 has been revamped and is now 23 things uk and I for one love the idea, it was never meant to be static but needs someone to run it! or some way to keep it fresh, and this allows you to do some aspects and do it in your own time...

another area I am enjoying is the VLE from Cilip, I thought it would be annoying, or hard to keep track of but it is so much easier than before. I still need ideas and help, but I am getting round it more and more. I was a bit tough on my mentees, any who are not at submission point really need to think about transferring across! If they can't get done in 6 months then they need to start the new system. Some may do it but I know of two who really do not want to have to start again so both are now on a very short deadline! :-) how cruel of me (whistles as she walks away).

This is a feed me bacon face, we tend to have a small bacon roll fest every Sunday morning, we get up late and fry bacon, waking most of the teens and if they don't get up they don't get bacon, so its a bit of a first come gets the best bits idea, but of course as the furry ones can smell the packet opening and tend to haunt my feet they get bits of raw bacon while I cook. and this is very much the 'wheres mine' face! She is nearly long enough to reach the counter top, but not quite, and so she pulls herself up as high as she can and begs!

Normal service will be resumed in a week or so but thank you for your patience :-).

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

How the past still throws long shadows.

I sat down and wrote a blog post, I had the theme of change and how school is in flux at the moment with the prelims and the count down to the summer exams, how we can now say how many hours each of the seniors has in any class, and how this changes the whole feel of the school. The extra marking and other fun and how the knock on is much more pressure and much more focus. The whole education and how you motivate and punish children is doing the rounds of the media again. Political choices influencing who holds which post, as if this is new!

I recently made contact with some folk I had been at school with as a child, over 30 years ago it shut, I was so pleased as I hated the place, I felt alone and lonely and spent more time hiding than in class and must confess to not much reflection since then. I had thought I was past it, I am adult, the fears of my childhood are now in full light of day and as a Mum I can deal with anything. Then I sat and wrote my post. I always read them back and reflect on what I have written, mostly for sense and occasionally I re write bits that make no sense or say more than I want it too. This post I wrote was long, and many details, that I would need to edit out to keep from pointing any fingers, but what got me the most was how the persecuted feeling from my childhood still lurked under the calm of the adult.

I saved the post but will never put it up, the emotions are too raw the words too much of a rant and the whole tone unpleasant. How strange that I still feel these after 30 plus years of time. I am in touch and keeping in contact with these folk as I learned years ago that the person sat next to me at the school never saw any of my world there and I cannot expect any others to know. With the school in flux and my work in flux, this was a strange added world, they say the past is another country, nothing is truer.

The best thing for me though is the sunshine, I now drive to work (directly into the rising sun but I will not complain) in light and often drive home in light! As I type the top half of my library is illuminated and glowing, I haven't get been able to catch the warmth and joy of this light but it raises my soul and may be the only thing I truly miss when we decant to a whole new library which sadly faces the opposite way! Even as I type the sun is going down and the glow is fading, but its memory will keep me going for ages.

I took the closest to a selfie that I get to these days (who wants to see an ageing grey haired librarian anyway) and I felt I had to share.
I don't do favorite cats but if I did this would be it, my lovies kitten flopped out in my arms, so sleepy her jaw is twisted and her whole body seems boneless! Sweet Smokey was born grey all over and beneath the ginger and tabby fur is still grey in body, so she got the name smokey and then became tabbyshell! her sister was very dark mainly black so got the name midnight, now she is torty as well so neither match their names and this only means anything to us who cared and loved them from birth.
And finally a quick shot of Midnight who is not black at all mostly!

In my library I am reorganizing my Fiction and it has taken up all my library time, I will post pictures when it gets done.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Memories and Remembrance

Today is holocaust memorial day, and this came through my feed, the poem is one I am not very familiar with, but the reading is very raw. Olivia Colman reads Auschwitz, quiet and very moving. The use of history as a tool is a common thing, and the history is written by the victors is getting forgotten, the acceptance of anything because it was historical annoys me, they were wrong at times then so why should we accept the whole thing now as true, but on this I must confess to knowing people, who lost folk, who went there, folk who are not big names, are not lauded as shakers and movers, and not trying to make a point or grind an axe. Folk who just remember and still have trouble understanding how people can do that to people. My Uncle spent a while as a prisoner of war, his experience never truly left him, he was always fair and gave everyone a chance, but he was hunted by it and while no one ever spoke about it, we knew, sometimes he looked into space, bleak, then the warmth would return and he was here again.

The people who remember are becoming fewer and the few left are not loud or vocal, we must gain as many of these stories before it is too late. The first world war is being run as an ongoing memorial this summer on the BBC, while I appreciate the reasoning and any raise in profile so we never repeat these problems is welcome, I wish they would also see what is happening today. The peace talks in Syria which are so very important, the whole 'terrorist' situation in the world. There used to be a phrase when I was a kid 'One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.' thrown round during 'the troubles' (what troubles, people died, bombs went off, guns were fired, it should have been war but no one wanted to say that in the news). We should be getting the stories of these folk, how they coped and what they did, long before we lose them. One of Favorite blogs it the history girls who often touch on things like this.

I know this is a sad start to my blog this morning, but the topic of the Holocaust day brought it all to mind, another phrase that I try to apply to my own life is 'If you do not learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.' so I shall keep asking questions and noting people stories, I shall chat with my pupils and make them think about what they read and why. I shall keep trying to make the young people of the future think about things not just accept sound bites, and above all I shall give second chances.

On a less emotive note I saw this and it made me giggle, not that it isn't a great idea, but 3 or 4 years ago we had a strong literacy committee running and one of the literacy committee for highland came to talk we us about our success. She saw what we had and what we planned and loved it but she had one other idea, and every one reads idea. once a day or if we couldn't then once a week, every one downed tools and read for 5 to 10 minutes, now this may have been a goer in the primaries, and I can see it being very effective when kids get one teacher and they do stay in one classroom, but the chance of doing the whole school would be impossible and to have it timetabled in... well the teachers on the committee were all muttering and while most could see the benefit, the disruption would be immense, I like the idea and with just 3 school years you could give it a one off go. I shall think about it. The web link came with one of these e-cards that fly round the web and make us all snigger, they are old pictures with new captions. This one was just right.
Also my new phone has the ability to take panoramas and I took this while playing. Not perfect but gives you a taster.

Sadly my knitting has taken a knock, my wrists look like being RSI which means certain movements end up making my hands freeze in pain and curtail my whole life, I can knit but not long, I may look into one of these lap holders made for people with arthritis, I can not give up knitting. ( I am at SABLE any way which is stash acquisition beyond life expectancy.) I also designed my first from scratch project, I will be uploading it to ravelery when I am happy it works and I have pictures. So again watch this space.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Blue Monday, Sunrise Friday

I am not sure how they class this as Blue Monday, I know its the day when most bills come and the wages are not in and being paid early at Christmas means its that bit longer to the money in, but we know this ahead of time, we should be prepared for it, we have it every year! Why then does this become a particularly Blue Monday? Maybe its another media generated thing, like black Friday which was traditional the Friday that people got paid and went to get their Christmas things, but that has changed and now its just a sale driven hyped up nothing of a day! So much of our lives seems driven by consumerism, the bad Christmas we got stuck up in Scotland and as we expected to be in the west country we had no food and no things for Christmas! so had to shop on Christmas eve and as we only got just enough for the next day or so we had to go in again on boxing day, to my shock the seasonal isle was being set up with Easter eggs! Boxing day!

I am the world worst with my amazon habit, and I am guilty of just ordering things I could get but can't be bother to get. Having said that I am aware that if I do not use my local shops they will not survive. But I have hit SABLE which is stash beyond life expectancy! So I am now trying to use the wonderful wool I have tucked into bags and boxes dotted round my house, I opened some boxes before Christmas and didn't even recognize the wool stashed inside! I am finishing things at the moment, as this seems a good time of year to do this! though I did start a Christmas treat to myself, I needed a new hand bag so I started a bag knitting which will take longer so I get it right, hate rushed items once I use them so more time taken works well.

The sun has decided to shine which is very pretty but a bit late! the sun only seems to shine when I am sitting with it in my face or when I am ready to drive!

What happened to my week! I am here sat peaceful for a Friday thinking where did the week go! we have had sunset and sunrises, lots of rain and non stop work.

I did finally finish my revaildation (spurred on by someone I know getting hers) The whole process was so painless! my only minor criticism would be the information which is presented as a podcast is hard to take notes from and impossible to go back and check things part way though so I ended up watching the podcast twice and making copious notes! this did work but I may send them my notes for others to download if they want via the Cilip site. The whole process was painless, and ran very well, if this is the future I have no fear doing this every year or so, and I have started my next CPD already.

I also saw a story this morning from the Cornwall county libraries. They plan to reduce hours across the board and worse still are talking of removing all mobiles! I know that we have to make cuts but libraries are the one resource that helps people keep up to date in their own skills and needs and to keep relevant. Libraries add to our lives, if you suggested cutting hospitals they would be in arms but libraries have a much bigger long term on the ground effect but are being cut! Study are study has shown better read people and those with better access to information are healthier and more likely to do well! This is such a retrograde step I just wish I could shout and shake people!

At least the sun is up for longer, the day is no longer started in the dark and finished in the dark! The sun rise and sets have been full of colour, I now have a chance to enjoy them and see some light, makes a big difference to my day, I doubt I could live any further north than this. Mind you any further north than this and I would be getting wet :-) I have been posting the best pictures to my Blipfoto if you want a look see. Ignore the cats :-) and any with really short descriptions tend to be mobile posts, which are new and fun!

In that area I may add I am designing an app, but I am stalled so will need the help of an expert, I will catch me a 2nd year next week to help me. The school has won awards for the apps that the children have designed so I am using their skills to make mine better :-). I have a sketch and a page plan but then my skills drop off the scale! I have been recommended appinventor2 which seems okay but now I want to make it snazzy and need help (here little 2nd year come help the librarian) so will be app helper hunting soon. My app I plan is a library skills app where they get a chance to try some skills in a gamification style. More to come.

Monday, 13 January 2014


Somewhere over the last few weeks I read a blog that was part of the one word blog system, the person had picked Hope as their word for 2013 and she was looking back over her year and how she had found the word cropping up in books, on the TV and even in conversations, and how it had made her much more aware of how much hope she had in her life. I liked the idea, but I am good at positive and often need calming or reigning in from my fights of fancy instead of adding to them :-). I spent a good week thinking what I needed most in my life from myself and form the world around me, I am afraid I choose accountability, I need to make sure what I do is relevant, even if its fun! My work is in need of my applying this consistently, getting all aspects to be accountable, to make sure I am and others are accountable. Not a light a fluffy word, but one that I need now.

With this new focus in mind I am keeping track of my own work for my CPD, its  easy to say, yes that's CPD when I want to play at something but if I have to log it and account for it, somethings are just diversions :-), so more accountability and the new e-portfolio from the CILIP, this has helped me keep focused. I have heard various things about the new system, and I did have to work out how to a few times, the webcasts were good but a break down to follow so you can do and follow the info would be good. The basic layout is fine but the move to the portfolio side is clunky and if you forget you can't get back! spent half an hour finding my way back one evening because I had forgotten I had left the CILIP site! (face palm) but all in all I am enjoying it, my big issue now is how do I finish it, but I must work that out myself! the suggest 20 hour minimum is already in the high 60's and I haven't got to the one year on from my first item put in yet!.

I am trying to be more accountable in my own life. I like to blame ills on other things, I am over weight, this has been dropping slowly and steadily and to date I have lost nearly 7 stone (possibly more I do not tend to weight myself often) and the results are a whole new wardrobe, my old one that didn't fit and got put away! I must take some sort of control of this, my Dr has mentioned my lack of control over my own diet isn't good and that I need to address this. So with this in mind I have been looking for easy to cook and easy to make, quick but lower in fat etc foods stuffs, I know I will not find 'The Answer' as it doesn't exist, but anything that catches my eye and looks fun (and is accountable in my lower fat etc diet) gets saved and then tried, this week we had some home made Doner Kebabs which were lovely, all my family gave it the thumbs up  (though did ask for more which I did not make) and the increase in fruit and water instead of lemonade should help move the awareness of what I am eating to the fore.

As always I am on the look out for new and exciting things to play with, and saw a great e-learning platform which allows you to log in and do various units of the intro to computer use, from what is a mouse and how to use a laptop with no mouse attached! on wards, I will add this link later but I am in the wrong place to check the link! Again a lot of my 'play time' has been corralled into what is accountable and what is play! I still play but I do less at work even of work related things, my Time is getting too short anyway and I must be more accountable for that.

In my spare time I have taken to doing things that add value to my day, I aim to write a letter once a week (yes by hand) and spend some time each week balancing my bank account! And go for walks in the local area.
I am back to making to do lists but am no using my new phone, technology is so much fun but I am making sure each app is accountable :-) more when I finally work out what on earth I am doing with my phone...

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year and New Resolutions

Happy New Year

I tend to avoid making resolutions as I am very good at not following through and doing them more than once or twice. I have looked back at last years plans and am pleased to say I managed most of them but as I made few targets just aims that isn't as good as it could be.

  • The first was to tidy more often, this got a boost in the summer when I gained a more regular cover person who I could not leave to work at my messy desk and a quick apology and be netter soon wasn't washing! My excuses wore very thin! so I gutted my desk and the surrounding area, this led to more space and a tidier area, which then got even better organized and then a promotion led to me being honest about what I had sat waiting to be done round my desk! I threw out over a cubic meter of paper and waiting to be dine stuff and things I had kept for over a decade, went! So yes I am more tidy both at home and at work, and this is ongoing so I shall happily keep this one for this year.
  • My Cpd has not been still, and I spent a while before Christmas uploading it to the e portfolio that is now included on the Cilip Website, and I am impressed with myself, the minimum of 20 hours, ignoring online and reading I have attended over 60 hours of events and courses and meetings, I am so pleased and I must get the last bits done to re-validate, and that way I have a line drawn and know how to help my own mentees!This years plan is to re-validate and carry on CPDing.
  • I ran the course with the help of a wonderful woman called Kathleen Irving, she was inspirational and so much fun and so helpful but sadly shortly afterwards she had an accident while walking and was later found on the hills. I plan to run the course again, with the help of the the rest of the North branch committee which came out of the original set up and was Kathleen and I plan to help set up next, I found others interested and we have now done this. The North branch will grow and once its up and running I will step down and just help from the side lines. So more North Branch this year.
  • Being around for my staff has been a challenge, I have done more but now have more to do, the non school side of my job has eaten into so much of my work time. I think this will be another ongoing resolution or plan, I need to make sure they know how I work and that I will not bother them and they need to contact me to get me over and above the normal drop in occasionally. Personnel changes higher up the tree mean my own work patterns now have the light shining on them. I must keep a better track of this and be more efficient.
I have managed to post much more frequently, I have missed the odd weeks and the first time I did I worked myself into a right state and had to change my focus, I am now happy to blog every week and hope to keep doing this, but I wont be losing sleep over the odd miss :-).

I have spent the last two weeks enjoying this lovely tree and am now home again and getting back into the harness after 10 days of peace, sleep and lots of knitting.

I wish you all a happy new year, and I hope to be back to normal for the end of next week.