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!
Leave for a whole week – bliss!! The weather is very wearing though – June had the highest rainfall on record and July seems to be the month of floods and cloud! The water meadows have come into their own and look like a major lake, and friends with river frontages are keeping a close eye on the levels!
Meanwhile Dad has had his cataract operations and seems to be good from it, Mum is, as always, stuck in her chair. Any suggestions from Will tend to be dismissed as they can’t be bothered so we just have to let it be.
Girls very busy on their way to Edinburgh and the Fringe – Call Me promises to be fun – looking forward to our week up there…
Oundle Festival is proving to be good yet again, in fact this is the first year under the new director and the programme seems even more varied than before. Darius Brubeck was wonderful jazz on Friday, Monday we had Kit and James (Kit Hesketh-Harvey) – wonderfully clever, rude and so funny plus a wonderful singer to boot. Yesterday we had a day at Boughton House with a tour and a concert (lute and viol). Looking forward to the folk, world music and orchestra for the rest of the week.
If the rain holds off we shall go and photograph some more old railway stations for Will’s new book, otherwise catching up with washing, ironing an dreading is the order of the day.
Well what a busy time this has been. Had a wonderful conference in Ennis, Ireland at a Comenius funded SLAMit conference with a wonderful group of international librarians and teachers all interested in school library design and their work. It was a great experience and also included a day of tourism – which was one of the requirements of the EU funding. Loved talking to all the librarians about their work and how local conditions and traditions impact on the set up in their countries.
Then been incredibly busy with work. Not only the day to day stuff, but planning some work with CILIP around the ShoutAbout School Libraries campaign, as well as getting everything ready for the Lighting the Future conference.
In the midst of all this there was a quick dash up to Manchester to see Sarah in a super play Seven showing at a small theatre in Affleck’s Palace. It was seven short plays by different playwrights, and all acted by an ensemble of folk – Sarah was in a 17 minute monologue of Gluttony and she was superb! I would say that wouldn’t I but the reviewers thought so too, and an RSC actor told her it was a masterclass in monologue!
Meanwhile we also had a super time at Ben Piercy-Hughes wedding blessing. The ceremony was in Denford and then followed by a lovely meal at the Fox at Thorpe Waterville. It was a lovely day and Becky managed to get up here too.
Becky’s madly busy filming with the RSC – to do with their work in schools and also with their trailers for the season. Great that she’s busy and seems to be happy with it all. Meanwhile she is also busy raising sponsorship and making connections to take Sarah’s play Call Me to Edinburgh Fringe this year. So we’re spending the first week of August in Ed for the Fringe – working the Royal Mile I imagine.
Looking forward to mid June when I expect to get a bit more time to draw breath, meanwhile back to the grindstone!
I am just now recovering from only 48 hours at the Edinburgh Fringe – but it was a real pleasure to have been there. The crowds were phenomenal – and the atmosphere very buzzy! The purpose in visiting was to see daughter Sarah in the interesting and complex The Carroll Myth at the Sweet in the Grassmarket. The venue is basically a meeting room in the Apex City Hotel which has been converted into a raked seating area with a tiny performance area. Whilst thoroughly enjoying the play – I was amazed that such a large cast (about eight) could manage in such a tight performance space and yet still give the impression of a Victorian drawing room with lots of space! The reviews are good – catch it if you are in the area!
Whilst there we also had a chance to stroll the hills of Edinburgh (oh- my aching muscles!) marvelling at the buildings, as well as catch a couple of other shows – The Sorries, lovely Scottish folk music, and the Oxford Gargoyles – jazz acappella – well staged and fun show. We ate at the Apex City Hotel one night – excellent food, and also I had the joy of a pizza place (Mamma’s) serving gluten free pizza – a real treat! The train there and back was packed – good job we had booked ahead! And we stayed at an interesting hotel in Bonnyrigg – the Retreat Castle. This was a real Adams’ family Gothic building but with a lovely warm welcome – and the food portions were incredibly generous! If you like your hotels a little different do try this.
Meanwhile in the real world there has been a tragedy with a Red Arrows plane crashing after a performance in Bournemouth (they were superb when we saw them at Silverstone), backlash against differing sentencing of rioters from the disturbances last week and other horrors in Libya and Afghanistan, as well as shootings in Newport in Wales – of all places. It’s good to get away from it all…