About Me

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bank holiday

The bank holiday has been a lovely break from work and I feel rested and relaxed. 

I could have done with less wind and more warmth - actually seeing the sun a bit more often would have been nice too, but it didn't rain a lot so it could have been worse.

Our systematic survey of cafes in St Davids was continued.  Saturday was extraordinarily quiet in St Davids, we were wondering where everyone was because even in winter it is busy.  Most odd.  It got much busier later in the weekend.  The Grove hotel was pleasant enough but the cake was a bit dry and the coffee a bit weak, so it only got a 7. 

We found an advert for a guided walk based on Waldo Williams.  He is a  Welsh poet who has had very little translated into English, so isn't well known outside Wales, but Brian really likes him, so we booked up and went off to Llandissilio on Monday.  It was charming.  Llandissilio is a small and unremarkable town and its only claim to fame is really that Waldo Williams was born and lived there, but the chap leading the walk loves his town, and was so enthusiastic that it rubbed off on all the rest of us.  The walk was good too, and my new boots were fine. 

Today the sun has come out, tomorrow I have to go to a funeral and then back to work. 

Life is just full of contrasts, which is probably a good thing, otherwise we might get bored.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

People on tv

People you know always look different on tv.

We have yet to see Boo and Jill on tv (soon I hope) so I don't know what that will be like, but one of the presenters on the local news programme has a house across the road from Brian, and it is odd when I watch John on the tv.  He is much smarter dressed - suit and tie instead of jeans etc - but he does look very different.

I have a video of Brian conducting on tv many moons ago and he looks very different from how he does in real life.

One of my colleagues in Barry library was on a local news slot about a big day they had in the library on Saturday, and a local writer who I also know was there as well and they both looked different too.

Why is that?  It isn't like watching people on home videos, there is a sort of glass wall between the viewer and them.  It is odd.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Superstitious - me?

I would claim that I am not superstitious.   I don't really believe that walking under ladders is a bad fate (unless someone drops something on you), have no problems with umbrellas indoors ......


I am a bit.

Yesterday my right hand was itching - sign of someone coming into money.

Today at lunchtime I got all 3 types of patience out - which is very unusual for me because I seldom get them out, but took that as a good sign so...

I bought a lottery ticket, and then decided to get a scratch card too.

I don't know if I have anything on the lottery ticket , but I have won £100 on the scratchcard.  Up till now the most I have ever won is £10 (and I only did that once).  Our lottery at work almost never breaks even - actually I don't think we have ever broken even.

I am extremely pleased about the money (who wouldn't be?) but is it superstition?  Did fate have it in store for  me??

Who can tell?

Monday, May 23, 2011

More bad news

To add to the blows of last week we have learnt that the granddaughter of one of our colleagues at work has been taken into hospital.  She is about 7 and has a tumor on her liver.  We don't know any more than that.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dull weeks have their bright side

The trouble with trying to write a blog is when nothing of interest has happened.

The last week I have been to work, I have come home, I have watched tv, and done nothing much - hence not much activity on the blog this week.

Then on Friday morning I heard that a friend has lost the battle with cancer.  There a group of us who have been in a book club for many years now, we have been away for a few weekends, and the bookclub morphed into a dinner club a few years ago - though we still do the books.  I don't see the others between meetings much, so they are friends but not close friends, but losing someone you have known for a long time is dreadful even if not someone very close. 

Judy has 5 children, the older two have finished university but the youngest is only about 8, so they younger ones are losing their mother at a terribly young age, and Judy herself was only in her forties.  There is no rhyme or reason in these things.  It is unfair, it is cruel to the family and her close friends.  I have another friend who I have been in choirs with for over 20 years - again not close friends, we chat in choir and have known each other a long time, but I look on her as a friend - and she is not responding to the chemo she has been given, and the prognosis isn't good.

It makes you count the blessings of even a dull week of going to work and chatting to colleagues, having a laugh, then coming home to talk to the kids, have dinner, watch tv etc etc.  But these are things I can do this week and next week.  These are things Judy can't do any more.  These are things Judy's family can't do with her anymore.

It is so very, very sad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Concerts and dinners

Last week was very busy.  I had lots of meetings for work, and lots of extra work as one of my colleagues is on holiday.

Wednesday was the judging day for the Dagger in the library.  I got the train to London and then the bus to get to where we were meeting for lunch.  Oxford St has roadworks so the bus got diverted.  It was so slow that I decided to get out and walk because it would be quicker!

We met in a restaurant with a wonderful basement and had a wonderful  lunch.  It was great talking about books and getting quite heated about who should get into the short list - actually getting very heated about who should be on the short list.  It was easier to decide who actually would be the winner but that is secret until July.  We finished in plenty of time for my train, so I walked back to the station which was lovely. 

Friday we were singing in a concert  in Monmouth which went very well.  There was a pretty good audience and (apart from one piece where we went very out of tune) the rest was good.

 We seemed to spend most of the weekend either deciding on paint colours for Brian's house or trying to find a name for the piece he is writing at the moment.  We decided on he first, but the second is still up in the air.  It is so difficult to find really good names for things.

Then yesterday I very uncleverly had arranged to have a staff lunch out with work colleagues (it was a delayed Xmas dinner which had been delayed by the snow) and have friends round to dinner.  I was so so so full!

Tonight I am doing nothing and very welcome it is too!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I am tired!

London yesterday was a long day - enjoyable but 6 hours on a train is just tiring.

At work it has been busy too, for some reason I had 2 meetings out of the office this week which takes time out of the usual work flow in the office.  However on top of that Pam is on holiday so I have to pick up a large chunk of her work while she is away.  That means that I am in the work for half of the week, but have work for one and half people which is  making Helen a busy girl!

Tomorrow we are singing in a concert in Monmouth.  We are doing part of a Bach motet - Jesu meine freude - which (to be completely frank) we don't know as well as we should, so it is a little bit nerve wracking.  There are  only me and Patsy on the top soprano line so that is a bit nerve wracking too.  Luckily neither of us have colds.    I am picking Patsy up and we will sing all the way to  Monmouth to warm ourselves up. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dagger judging

I went to London to join the other judges for the Dagger in the Library judging.  There are 6 judges and we have an observer from the Crime Writers Association, who run the Daggers, who sees fair play.

We had 16 people on the long list, and they were a very varied  list, quite a few of whom I hadn't read before.    Actually quite a few that all of us haven't read so we have all been reading masses recently to try to get a good feel for all of the writers. 

We has some who we agreed to take off the list fairly quickly, but then got into deep debate about some of the others which took us through 3 courses and a 3 hours very happily.  Eventually we got down to the short list of 6 (which will be published soon).

It is so agreeable to sit and talk with people who have knowledge and passion about books, and a  good lunch is an added bonus

Plus - all my trains were on time!

Though I gave up on the bus I took to Picadilly and got out and walked  because it was quicker.  And as I had lots of time to get back to Paddington I walked there too.  Some of the houses and streets in that part of London are so lovely! A gazillion pounds each of course, but still.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Incommunicado weekend

Down in Pembs this weekend.  Friday night B noticed that the little blue light on the BT internet hub was off, but we were going to be so we left it.  In the morning B reset it but nothing happened, and then we tried the phone. Dead.  No sound at all.

In order to use the mobile at Brian's house you have to
a) go outside - the walls are stone and there is no signal indoors
b) depending on the weather  you have to go up to the high spot  in the garden up the stairs and above the rockery or
c) stand on the bench which is on the common next to the house.
This is with Orange which has the best signal in Llandeloy - the others get no signal at all.

So we stood on the top of the garden (option b) and phoned BT.  After a few minutes of pressing 1  or 2 repeatedly I got into a queue - hadn't spoken to a person of course.  They said they would phone back in an hour so we didn't have to wait, so we left the mobile number and went into Haverfordwest to do some shopping.

3 hours later -  no call - we called BT again after lunch and B got through to a person (!) and we go told it would be 3 working days - ie 5 days from Saturday afternoon.  B asked for a refund on the line rental and the internet but the person in India didn't seem to understand that.  He is going to write to complain.  I did eventually get a text message to tell us the same thing an hour or so later. 

What rubbish service.

To add insult to injury we discovered that if B wanted to change his phone and broadband service to Orange instead of BT it would cost £29 per month.  If I wanted to do it I would pay £19 per month.  This is because BT own all the lines in Pembs and charge the line rental on top.  Despite the fact that the internet service has a maximum capacity of 1.5 meg and in the evenings sometimes get so slow it is   useless.  So B would then pay £10 more per month for a rubbish service.  There is something wrong with this.

We were thus  internet free for the weekend which was odd, and actually a bit inconvenient as there was something we wanted to do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


We had 3 votes today.

There were referendum votes on Alternative Voting which is a big thing but I think a lot of people have probably found it dull and I wonder what the turnout will be.   I have voted in favour of AV because the first past the post system is clearly unfair.  The AV is a compromise but a step towards a fairer system.

Then we had the Welsh Assembly votes.  One vote is for a person, the other vote is for a party.  There was a lot of choice for the persons, but only 4 parties listed.

I am so fed up with politicians I found it difficult to decide, but came to a reasonable conclusion, and I feel very strongly that everyone should vote. 

I'm curious what the results will be.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sun is going

It has been colder the last couple of days. 

It is probably getting to about the usual temperature for this time of year, but it has been so warm we have got used to feeling like being warm is normal.  Sigh

I shall have to get the socks back out.

And the cagoul because the weathermen say rain is  coming.  Think positive thoughts about how the farmers need the rain.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Highgate Cemetry

We had a family get together in London and went round Highgate cemetry last Saturday.It is in two halves and the West half, which has the more impressive architecture, is only viewable via a guided tour.  However although they don't accept bookings on the weekends and we were under the 10 people who need to book in advance, the grumpy lady who did the guided tours wouldn't let us in -because we should have booked.   ???  Despite that the East half is probably better to wander round.  It is full of all sorts of different memorials including a very subtle one of Karl Marx which brings the Pharoahs to mind.  Here are some of them

Here is the pic of Brian not quite falling into the stream

Walk round Strumble Head

 Here is a chough - a rare crow family bird with red beak and feet

Brian nearly falling off the stepping stones

We had a lovely walk - though longer than expected.