A quote from one of my favourite songs from the ever popular Fairport Convention (written by Sandy Denny)- I’m already really looking forward to the August weekend we’ll spend at Cropredy this year. There’s a great line up, and we know we won’t have to put up with too much rain and wind as we’re opting for a hotel stay locally rather than camping – think our camping days are over…
This last year has felt like a whirlwind, with lots of change, lots of events and not enough time to just relax and enjoy things… Is that a sign of age? Or do I just try and fit in too many things around my already busy job? Can’t imagine I’m going to change too much at this stage.
A few high (and low) lights –
Totally thrilled to be asked to be Chair of Youth Libraries Group in 2017 – the year the Carnegie Medal is 80, the Kate Greenaway Medal is 60 and the SLA is also 80. We’re going to have some fun with all the celebrations…
Lovely family wedding in Northumberland – my second cousin (I think) got married in the teeth of a gale last December – wonderful wedding! And one of the few times I get to see my tiny extended family.
Disturbing times that we live in – the Brexit vote has shaken me (and many others) and I struggle to envisage a future with the UK being alone.
Some of the concerts Sarah and Canter Semper have performed at – uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable.
92 year old father-in-law dying – though his funeral will be a celebration of a life well lived.
The great work Screen Northants is doing with young people and with the community around inspiration, literacy and engagement – well done to Becky and her partners
Reading some fantastic books ready for judging the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals – trying to see what might get nominated in October!
The fight to save libraries and school libraries continue – particularly worrying as this is often the only access to culture for a large number of people.
Wonder what next will throw my way?
Well, I’ve failed again in my attempts to keep up to date! I do try but life just seems to get in the way, but a little reflection now and again is all to the good.
The end of last year was spent in catching up with some old friends – you know, those friends who you don’t see for years and years, then you meet and it’s as if there has been no time in between meetings! In both cases it was as delight and we reveled in enjoying each others company again – and vowed not to let it go so long again…
The winter has been exceedingly mild – lots of rain and lots of standing water round us – but by no means as bad as many parts of the country. The one day of snow came and went in a flash.
The family all seem settled in there various locations, and it is great that we get together for usually very brief but highly enjoyable meals, BBQs and the odd overnight stop!
My reading in the last six months of 2015 was mainly dedicated to catching up with possible Carnegie and Greenaway Medal nominations – and then the actual readings of the 91 and 73 (respectively) nominated titles. Jut about to hear the shortlists – so watch the website for the announcements. I was amazingly honoured to be asked to be Chair of Youth Libraries Group for 2017 (making me VC now) and thus VC of Judges this year. I’ve already started reading titles that are likely to be on the nominations for the 2017 medal – catch my Goodreads feed for the best of them that I add to my reviews.
Beyond that work at the School Library Association is amazingly busy – but I’m sure I’ll get some catch up time in the Easter holidays – I hope!
Just uploaded this to You Tube – Will and friend Peter as Sweet FA doing a revue back in March – very funny, slightly naughty and just fun!
I was going to be so organised and add things on a regular basis – well that really must be acknowledged as the end of good intentions and I’ll just blog when I can!
The cast at the launch of the play at Sweet Venues
August flew by in a whirl of activity which started in Edinburgh at the Fringe – with Call Me and the girls. I think I amazed Sarah when she saw me chatting to random strangers about her play and urging them to come! Interestingly, it’s part of what being a librarian is all about – talking to strangers! Anyway, the play was a success with above average attendances. In fact the venue told them their bad nights were everyone else’s average nights! Some nice reviews, though the Scotsman was a bit sniffy, but audiences loved it! We also managed to fit in quite a few other shows when we weren’t working the Mile touting for business!
We came home by train and then I spent a day packing before dashing off to Helsinki for the World Library and Information Congress of IFLA. Turned out to be a very busy congress, lots to do and see. As I have blogged about it in detail at work I suggest anyone interested look there. I didn’t have much free time (2 half days in fact) but found that what I saw of Helsinki was delightful. The history of Finland is short as they were part of Sweden and then Russia so their style of architecture is very mixed, but their love of nature, high regard for culture and their sense of simplicity and design make for a very appealing city – I shall visit again (I hope).
The whole of the congress was complicated as I had the most awful virus cold/flu which gave me an awful cough and lethargy (which unfortunately is still here with me).
Once I returned it was back to work and catch up on all the things that needed action – and that proved to be not to bad as I had had good wifi throughout the Helsinki stay and that made life simpler!
Then I had a couple of days at the IBBY World Congress in London and had the joy of hearing Shaun Tan talk about his illustration and the why’s of what he does – a fascinating very unassuming man. There were lots of folks I knew (both UK and international) so lovely to catch up and also to hear the talks throughout the day. The other day spent there was as exhibitor at a YLG/SLA table boosting our wares – and very successful too.
A few days later and it was some more R&R – at Burghley. The weather was very variable, and although we did walk the Cross Country course on the Saturday we saw little as there were so many people there. Usually you get to some of the more distant jumps and the crowd thins and you can relax – well that never happened! But a successful trip where I was joined by Jane, Becky and Pete and Will, as well as Jan, Rachel, Barney and Boo. The shopping was good too!
Today it is Will’s 60th birthday – and he seems thrilled with it! Big party at The GCR in Loughborough on Sunday – looking forward to it!
Order of darkness
I have long been a reader of Philippa Gregory’s historical novels and usually have one on my bed side table ready to dive into. They are especially enthralling when you know you can just give yourself up to a good read and only move when you need a fresh cup of tea! The fact the Gregory is a remarkable researcher and yet wears her knowledge lightly always adds to the sense of veracity and authenticity and adds that extra layer to the way she writes and you as reader can enjoy her work. So I was really looking forward to the young adult novel she has just published – Changeling. And she doesn’t disappoint – this is the start of a series Order of Darkness – and is set in the 15th Century when a 17 year old expelled monk is sent off to track and enquire into the evil and darkness in the Christian world and try to find out what is driving man to the end of the world. The sense of the time is again worn lightly, but this is no fictionalised biography of historical characters but a full blooded adventure set at a time when adventure was to invite inherent danger and distrust. A good gripping story, well told and will be a welcome addition to the canon. The website contains all sorts of useful background information as well as extracts and teacher’s resources.
This blog is a bit of an experiment. I wanted somewhere to share, record and muse on work, travel, life, reading and music. Though I tweet and use FB and am even exploring Google+ I think there is still space and time to use a blog.
I used to keep a diary but for various reasons (not least that my arthritis makes it painful to try to keep a handwritten one) I haven’t kept a regular comment record of any sort for some years and yet I miss that. Perhaps this will be the way forward. I shall have huge fun setting it all up regardless!