About Me

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

E Books - hmmm

I got given a Kobo ebook reader for Christmas, which, for those who haven't spent the last year getting very au fait with ereaders and ebooks, is like a Kindle but not tied to Amazon.  I have been reading ebooks on my iPod Touch during the last year and have gotten on very well with it, but the bigger screen of the Kobo does make reading easier, and when I take it outside the eink will be a lot easier to read because there is no glare, which you do get with a phone/iPod.etc

I have downloaded a book from the library website and am reading that, plus I have reserved the new Claire Tomalin biography of Dickens which I want to read.  All this is good.

However I am a library book user and always have been.  I only buy books which I want to keep or reread, I don't buy books which I just want to read once.  The reasons for this are the cost - I couldn't afford to buy all the books I read, and I couldn't find the place to keep them all either.  I do buy books, and have lots of books round the house, but by no means buy all that I read.

I was talking to a friend who was thinking about buying her husband an ereader for Christmas, but he is an even more avid library user than I am and he would be outraged at the thought that he would have to buy ebooks which he can borrow in hard copy for free from the library.

The publishers would undoubtedly stop libraries being developed today if someone suggested creating the library service today (as opposed to massacring it as the current goverenment is doing, but that is a different blog).  They are resisting ebooks with great vigour.  Libraries are being denied access to ebooks by the publishers and some of them are talking absolute twaddle as well.  All the ebook services work on one copy, one loan - exactly like the physical books.  Libraries buy the ebooks.  We also pay a download charge (only 5p, but still).  But publishers seem to think that people will break the digital rights management software which controls the loan period and send dozens of copies off into the big wide world.

They seem to have not noticed that you can't lend an ebook like you can a hard copy book.  If I bought a book dozens of other people can read that copy after me.  Unless I lend my reader, I can't lend the ebooks on it.

They also seem to have not noticed how easy it would be to scan a physical book.  If people really want to make a copy of a book it is easy to do.  In the same way the music industry had piracy problems because they didn't adapt to the new technologies, the publishers are not learning from that, and are making the same mistakes.  Stupid or what?

It is frustrating.    But I am not going to be blackmailed into buying ebooks just because they want me to, I will only buy the ones I want.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Christmas is nearly over, but I have put a picture of the tree on to get a bit more seasonal than a summer photo of the sea.

It has been a slightly odd Christmas as Christmas day was very quiet, Kate and Carl were at his parents, Adam and Nic at work, so B and I didn't do much - actually that isn't true because B had work he has to do by the end of the holidays, so I played with setting up my new Kobo ebook reader.  I am very impressed with it and it is very pleasant to hold and read from, having downloaded a book from the library ebook service.  I also got GHD hair straighteners from the kids which are very nice indeed, plus a necklace, chocs and wine, and some other bits and pieces. 

We have watched Love Actually, and I am now watching the Muppet Christmas Carol so that is two essentials of Xmas fulfilled.  But with everyone going in different directions we have only managed to get together for some meals, so it has been a somewhat disjointed feeling holiday.  Warm and no snow and ice which are a distinct plus!

I'm still off work till 3 Jan which is very relaxing. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


I have finished work for 9 days.


It isn't going to be a very strenuous Christmas as it is only the immediate family here, but I expect we will all eat and drink more than we should although we aren't having turkey this year.  It is ham for the main Christmas meal on Christmas eve, and beef on Christmas day.

So merry christmas to everyone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nearly Christmas

I am glad to say I did not have a cold on Sunday and the carol concert went extremely well, and we all enjoyed it very much.  I think the congregation did as well.  It is a real start to the Christmas festivities because we have been singing that concert for many years  now so it is part of the run up to Christmas.

On Saturday we went shopping for
- whisky and vouchers for John's retirement present
- 60th birthday presents for 2 colleagues for which we had collected the money
- the christmas tree
- a holly wreath

We had a very successful shop and here is the tree after we decorated it.

We are now looking very festive.

Today we had our Christmas lunch which we do by everyone bringing food in to the office because we got fed up with going out for not very exciting meals.  I have eaten too much!

With the public sector cuts going on we have 4 people retiring in the next month.  John is retiring next week, Cheryl finished yesterday, Mary and Christine will finish mid January.  It is going to be very strange when we go back after Christmas with so many people gone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paranoid about colds

We are singing our Christmas concert this coming Sunday and I was in a meeting yesterday with 2 people who had streaming colds.  I am now completely paranoid and hypochondriacal about getting a cold before Sunday.

I have taken First Defense, I have taken vitamin C......

I am crossing my fingers too.

Tomorrow is our Book Club Christmas dinner, which I am looking forward to, though I'm not sure what sort of entertainment this hotel is supposed to be providing, but I suppose I shall find out tomorrow.

We are getting a lot  of changes happening at work because 2 people are retiring from our office at Christmas - one made redundant, the other deciding to go because her job has been radically changed - so we are giving them little goodbye presents at our Christmas lunch next week. We also have two other members of staff who are turning 60 just before and just after Christmas so we are giving them presents too.  I have to go out and buy three of these presents at the weekend.

We are also  buying the tree.

Brian also has to fix the gate which broke in the wind.

Busy weekend ahead

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Xmas Decorations stage 1

We have put up the Christmas decorations in Brian's cottage and it is all looking very festive now.

We have done more shopping (for him this time) the fire is lit, the lights are on the tree, and we are feeling really quite festive now. 

I drove down here last night with a glorious full moon, which although I couldn't watch much of it  having to do boring things like watch the road, it still surprises me how much light it actually does give.  Once, when working at St Donats, I was coming home about 2am, and I know the road really well so I turned off the headlights to see if it was possible to drive by moonlight and discovered that it was, although probably not a good idea to do in an area with any traffic.

I took my car to get 2 new tyres on Thursday morning, and waited while they were fitted.  The guy came and said could I come and look at something, so I came, and discovered that the twit of a boy who had driven my car out of the bay hadn't looked behind him.  Since it had been driven in there some other twit had put another car behind it, and Twit 1 reversed my car into the car which Twit 2 had left in its path.  I was so startled I couldn't say anything much, and the guy was so busy apologising I didn't get much chance to get a word in anyway.  Actually, they had scratched the bumper, not dented it, and the scratches sort of match the ones I have done on the other side.  The other car however, has the whole of the side of the car caved in - probably up to a thousand pound's worth of damage.  I went back at 4pm to see the manager, and they will take my car to be fixed on Monday morning, drop me at work, pick me up again, and give me a voucher for £50 to use next time I come.  So I'm actually not that unhappy with them as they are doing everything to put it right, and I may get a completely unscratched bumper out of it.  I am impressed by the strength of the bumper on my car though.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas preparations

I have been busy this week.  I have written my Christmas cards, I have wrapped the presents that need to be posted, I have made the cake and this evening I have spent an hour or more looking for house insurance.  Comparison insurance hunting is boring, so I have quit for one night.

We did well with all the fund raising at work last week, and between us all selling cakes, dressing up in Panto costumes in the branches, we have raised nearly £930 for Latch.  We were really pleased because it was far more than we expected.  Our cake selling is done by asking for donations, this way we don't get caught by so many hygiene regulations which necessitate kitchen inspections etc.  We give away the cakes and people stick money into the tins.  This is also way more profitable because we couldn't charge as much as people give.  Lots of people put notes in, though the lady who put a cheque for £100 into one tin was unusually generous.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cake sale

I am baking tonight.

  I have done a batch of chocolate cup cakes, though they have yet to be iced.  We are selling cakes for charity tomorrow.  We work on a small industrial site so we go round with cakes and ask for donations.  Usually we do it for Breast Cancer but we missed the Wear it Pink day this year because of people being off etc.  However the libraries in the Vale are raising money for Latch, a local cancer charity this weekend.  Most of the libraries are having a Panto day, and wearing fancy dress, the Latch collecting tins on the counters for donations.  As we don't work with the public we are doing the cakes round the offices instead.  People are very generous most of the time and put in far more than you would actually ask for the cakes if you sold them.

After dinner I am making scones.  The scones were surprisingly popular last year, with a bit of butter and jam, so I am doing them again. 

We usually raise more than £100 so fingers crossed that all the guys are feeling hungry!