About Me

Llantwit Major, Wales, United Kingdom
I am mother, librarian, avid reader, sf fan, writer (unpubished), singer(amateur), animal lover, needlewoman.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Glad I'm not in Scotland

This is the park in the centre of Forres in North east Scotland during the summer two years ago when we went to visit Louise. This is now under a foot or so of snow. Despite being on the coast all that area is snowed under as well. Brr.

We are lucky that the flurry of snow this morning eased off and we have had no more today. It has gone off to London and other places instead.

We are just not equipped in this country for this weather. If it continues we need to start using snow tyres, have snow ploughs available, and so on.

Instead we keep getting taken by surprise.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Builder has been

Hurray, the builder came this morning. He is repairing the damage to the kitchen ceiling caused by a leaking sink in the bathroom.

Yesterday I cleared all the stuff off the worktops in that part of the kitchen and dumped most of it on the dining table so that they had a clear area to work, and everything wouldn't get covered with dust. It looks very empty in there. I have never mastered minimalism. I often look at these minimalist houses on tv and although I may sometimes admire it in an aesthetic sort of way, it actually baffles me too.

Why do people put everything away after use - including kettles and toasters? What a lot of work it must make.

Of course I do sometimes take it to the other extreme and you have problems finding any surface upon which to put anything.

At the moment it looks a bit like we are moving out.

They are coming back on Wednesday to paint the ceiling, and after that I can put it all back.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Animated adverts

Have you noticed that lots of adverts are now animated instead of using actors?

There are the creepy stuffed things in the Vauxhall adverts, Lloyds bank adverts are all animated, there's a polar bear, a monkey, and lord knows what else.

Is it just cheaper to use the animation than actors?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We have had snow

We had snow yesterday.

Although only November, when it is usually warm and very wet, the jet stream has decided we should have snow. I left work a bit early and drove home through snowy roads. However home was much less snowy than work and it was easing off, so we decided to be brave and venture out to the concert for which we had bought tickets.

The first piece of music I ever sang in a proper choir was Stravinsky' Mass, which was something of a baptism of fire as the harmonies are not Mozart and require some thought, but I loved it. So when I saw that the BBC choir were performing it we got tickets.

There was much less snow in Cardiff - cities are warmer - though I did a graceful slide to land on my backside as we went from the carpark over the grass verge, and I was glad I was wearing a long dark coat. Brian hauled me up both of us laughing, and a chap getting out of a car said 'I won't laugh, it might be me next' to which B replied 'I'm not pulling you up!' as he was a big bloke. We made it to the Millenium Centre without further mishap, and I am really glad we did.

The choir were fabulous and the performance was wonderful. They also sang Britten's song for St Cecelia's day which was lovely. It is appropriate that he was born on the saints day for the patron saint of music, she clearly blessed him at his birth. However as the second half was Bruckner and we weren't too bothered about that we decided to leave at the interval in case the snow got worse.

It also enabled us to come home and have a glass of wine, some cheese and olives and round off the day very pleasantly.

Today was white and snowy, but the main roads were fine. We went to the outskirts of Cardiff to get some presents and things and had a scary moment going down the hill into Cowbridge when the car skidded away from us a bit. The plus points were that M&S was delightfully quiet, as was B&Q (not buying presents there actually). We got most of what we went for and came home to a well deserved cup of tea and a read of the paper.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Postcode lotteries

I am watching a programme about care for victims of a stroke, and how you can be unlucky if you live in the wrong place. Healthcare is one of the things which has been given to the Welsh Assembly to organise so there are marked differences in some things eg we get all prescriptions for free, but get less good service for some things.

There are a growing number of things which are different in Wales (and presumably in Scotland but as the so called national news tends to only report what is happening in England it is hard to tell) some of which are actually very good. The support from the Assembly for libraries is much better in Wales than in England, we have a variety of things ongoing which English libraries would love to have, and going by the signs so far we may well end up with a fairly intact library service after all the cuts, whereas some English areas may well not.

The Foundation schools which are spreading through Welsh primary schools - ie learn through play up till age 7 - is an interesting concept.

Although the Assembly is not a separate government and only has some devolved powers it is fascinating to watch the differences grow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1

Nic and I went to see HP7 yesterday with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. We had been really disappointed by the 6th film and, having watched it again over the weekend I was even less impressed with it.

It was good.

They did a really good job of deciding what to keep and what to cut this time and generally kept the plot going well. They made a good job of the long boring bits in the tent, which was needed to focus on the difficulty of the job Harry and co had to do. Some of the effects were excellent and we literally jumped in our seats at one point. Despite some annoying girls behind us who kept saying they didn't know what was happening we thought it told the story well and with style.

I am really looking forward to the next one, and have gone back to the book to reread it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Royal engagement

It is interesting the different opinions the engagement of William and Kate creates.

There is a lot of 'ah, that is lovely' feeling - which any engagement can create.

There is the republican grumpy about anything royal feeling.

There is the who cares? feeling (or absence of feeling)

There is the what will that cost feeling

Some of it is daft - the theory that Kate will have to be Catherine instead - why? What is wrong with Kate?

Apparently there has been a run on sapphires for engagement rings since the announcement and they are now in short supply.

On the bright side it will be something cheerful next year, in a year that doesn't promise many major cheerful events. It will be good for tourism, and the people who make commemoration mugs, presents etc.

I was amused that the pottery people have had a problem with the initials - WC - they have had to make pretty patterns with the initials.

Nic loves it and is watching programmes about it on the tv, which I have watched with her when in the room.

I wish them well, and I wouldn't take on the job she is taking on for all the tea in China.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had Christmas today.

Carl is not going to be here for Christmas so we had an early Xmas dinner today. We also had Carl's mum, uncle and aunt with us, so we had a really lovely festive meal.

We had a beautiful piece of Welsh beef.

The we had Christmas pud or Chocolate mousse cake

We drank Prosecco.

I am full.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oops - wrong saddle

Nic has been selling some of the many saddles which don't fit Five-a-side. He is very difficult to fit so she has been buying and selling saddles on Ebay, though has now got one.

We got a buyer for the dressage saddle and I wrapped up a dressage saddle on Sunday for Nic to post on Monday.

Thursday I got an email from the buyer saying I had sent the wrong saddle.


She is right. I did send the wrong saddle.

I feel remarkably silly.

However I have now sent her the right saddle, along with her postage charge so she can post back the other one.

Expensive mistake this one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hurray no cold

I'm glad to say I don't have a cold.

I'm also glad to say that I had a really nice meal on Tuesday with bookclub.

I had a wet and rainy drive to Aberystwyth yesterday for a meeting about something to do with work.

Today I had training in how to programme Rfid tags in library books.

Gosh, life is full of events!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have a tickle in my throat.

I hope I am not getting a cold.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back from Manchester

I was in Manchester last week at a User Group meeting for the computer system at work, which was interesting. There was supposed to be internet access but it was so slow that it was virtually useless - hence no blogging last week.

For some reason the internet at home is going slow as well - not sure why.

All this makes internet communication somewhat tricky.

The user group was good, I met some nice people and picked up some tips about things to do on the system which is, after all, what the meeting was for.

On Friday B met me off the train, we went and had something to eat, then went to a concert in St Davids Hall. There was a pleasant piece by someone called Roussell, a new piece by Simon Holt which was ok. He is the composer in residence with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and up till now all the works of his we have heard have left us uninspired. However I quite liked this one. The second half was Sibelius symphony no 2 which was fantastic! Astounding piece of music.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Harry Potter soon

Things to look forward to :

Harry Potter film on 19 Nov - though I hope, hope, hope they make a better job of this than the last one, or it will be really disappointing

Sibelius symphony no 2 on Friday night in St Davids Hall

Getting my iPod touch for christmas


Warm weather next summer

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Swimming, shopping etc

I do love weekends.

You have time to do things.

Today we went for a swim in Haverfordwest's very nice Leisure centre pool. After that, feeling refreshed and virtuous we went to have coffee and a tea cake.

Then we bought a few Christmas presents, spent a long time pondering the virtues of various lights for my porch and decided not to buy anything yet, in case it was the wrong thing. B needs to look at how the existing light is wired in.

After lunch we went out because the rain had stopped and it was a glorious afternoon.

The new header picture is one which I took this afternoon with the sun on the sea - it was glorious.

We have had tea. We have dinner to look forward to.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Personal Development Report

I had my annual PDRS today. This is to say what you have done well in the last year, what helped you, what hindered you and what your goals are for the next year. It includes training goals and targets as well.

It is done as a very consultative and productive process - in libraries at any rate - and the goals are taken from the annual team plan. This is all well and good. Most of my targets for last year were met, and the ones I didn't meet were outside my ability to control.

We set out the plans for next year, all of which look realistic and achievable.

The problem is that we have no idea how severe the cuts we face are going to be. Until the Welsh Assembly tell the local councils in Wales how much money they are going to have the council don't know what cuts we face, and we won't know till after November at the earliest. So plans are all well and good, but they could all be pie in the sky. And the sad thing is that all over the country people are doing the same thing. They are all laying sensible service plans to try to give the service they are paid to provide to the public they serve. How many of these plans will come to fruition no one has any idea at the moment.

On one of the library list serves I subscribe to there were arguments today about whether closing libraries in order to preserve the overall service was better than the opposite. Some argued that closing a library is too final and they need to be kept to preserve some sort of service in that locality even if it is a more limited service. I suppose what will happen is that some services will do one and some the other, some will do both.

There are going to be some very,very hard decisions being made over the next year or two. I'm glad I don't have to make them.