About Me

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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Techy weekend

I spent a lot of Sunday playing with computers and gadgets.  We are having a push on the E Books service which we offer now, and to do that in a local government environment is complicated because the Co
uncil firewalls won't let you download things.

So we got a laptop which is thankfully unencrypted and not locked to an administrator's passwords.  This is after a meeting where we had an ancient laptop which was so old it didn't have an ethernet port so was useless, then we had a new one which needed admin privileges to do anything, so we gave up on that one, and I got hold of another one which I brought home at the weekend to sort out.

So after a while it connected to my internet, we got the software sorted out, and introduced it to my ereader so it would transfer books onto the ereader easily.

To download them onto an Apple mobile device (phone iPad etc) is easy once you have downloaded the Bluefire software from the App store.

I unwisely assumed that doing the same thing with the Android software would be the same.  Wrong!

I am pretty comfortable playing with computers but it took me about an hour to figure out what to do, and involved looking on Aldiko (the software)'s website which was singularly unhelpful, and then browsing round other websites till I found one that told me what I wanted.  It actually isn't that difficult but the website tells you to do something which is not in the least apparent.  It says 'go to my catalogues' and shows you a picture with a folder called 'my catalogues'.  No.  Actually the software doesn't display that, you have to go into the store and then find my catalogue instead. 


However at least when we are demonstrating the system we will now know what to do.

Cowbridge library got attacked by a tree yesterday when the tree was blown down in the gales.  There is now a hole in the roof, and the tree surgeon says the remaining half of the tree will have to come down because it is unsafe. 

Could have been nasty!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


We went to a concert on Friday which we had booked some time ago and was supposed to be Mahler's 4th Symphony and the other was a commissioned work for a first performance by the BBC Wales composer in residence Simon Holt  Unfortunately we got an email to say that the main singer for the Holt piece was unwell and couldn't be replaced at short notice so the Holt piece was being replaced by a Haydn symphony.

A bit of a strange replacement I thought, going from a contemporary work to a classical symphony, it would have been more understandable if they had replaced it with a more modern work.  However they did perform the Haydn beautifully, and I had never heard it before so that was lovely.

The second half was the Mahler which I have never heard live, and which was fabulous.  I had goose bumps and shivers through a lot of it.  Thierry Fischer was conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and he is really very good.  Brian was really impressed by his technical skill as a conductor (stick technique etc) and I was really  impressed by the emotion and how he gave the music enough space to be itself.  There is a fashion these days to play classical music really FAST, so  much so that I listened to a piece of Swan Lake and it would have been impossible to dance to, so it is refreshing to listen to a concert where the conductor isn't playing the music so fast you feel he wants to get the early train home.

It was also confirmation that the performance of Mahler's 1st we went to in the Millenium Centre was in completely the wrong venue because the sound was wonderful in St Davids Hall and dreadful in the Millenium centre.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pilates app

I found a Pilates app for the iPod last week and it is brilliant.  I have done enough Pilates to know most of the moves, but the only class at a convenient time for me (ie not in the daytime while I am at work) is very expensive, so I have stopped going to save money.  However this app gives you a number of routines for 15, 30 or 45 minutes and concentrate on different areas eg abs or back or whatever.  I started last week and and they are really good.  I am going to try to do a session most days, especially as my going up and down the cliffs at the beach is being rained off at the moment.

We have booked a 3 night break in Machynlleth in mid Wales in May as it is an area we don't know at all well.  At least, to be accurate, I know Aberystwyth very well as I was at University there, but as I didn't have a car then I don't know the area.  The Snowdonia National Park comes down nearly that far, and there are fabulous nature reserves and bird sanctuaries round there which will be lovely to see.  I am really quite excited about it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April showers?

It is April, it has been raining - quite a lot from time to time.

However even in Wales the river levels are really low, the fields and paths are dry despite pouring rain, so I can see why parts of England are officially in drought.

They are talking of selling water from one water company to another - it is yet another instance of the idiocy of having de-nationalised the utilities.  A service isn't something that should make a profit, it should be there as a service.  There is a hint int he word really.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dagger longlist

We have been long listing the nominees for the Dagger in the Library today.  We do it by email, having set a day when all the judges will be in the office and near email first.  We all put a list of top 5, next 5 and bottom 5, and see where we overlap and where we differ.  That usually creates a list of about 6-9 people we all agree should be on the long list, then we haggle to get the  list down to a reasonable length.

We have a pretty long longlist this year, with 3 authors who were being strongly supported by one or more but hadn't had lots of initial votes.  The list we have ended up with is very satisfying with a mix of long standing authors, fairly new authors, mixes of styles, and types of stories too.  Something for everyone in this list I think.

The list with links is on Facebook on the CWA site, but here is is on this blog
Belinda Bauer;
Simon Beckett;
S.J. Bolton;
Frances Brody;
Gordon Ferris;
Elena Forbes;
Nicci French;
Elly Griffiths;
John Harvey;
Susan Hill;
Shona MacLean;
Peter May;
Steve Mosby;
Imogen Robertson;
M.J. Trow;

If you like crime novels - dip in!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We have done the garage door and it looks great!  It took 2 days and thankfully they were the two dry days over Easter.

Kate is here for Easter which is lovely, and is staying the week which is even lovelier - time to chat and chill.

Ad was 30 yesterday (!) and we went out to see 'The Woman in Black' in a weirdly empty cinema in a very empty Cardiff.  The film was very good and very scary and we all jumped repeatedly - I cannot see why it is only 12a because it would give a 12 year old nightmares I would think.  I read the book many years ago, so couldn't remember the details, but thought that the ending was different.  I looked up the plot summary today and I was right - they did significantly change the end. 

The longlisting day for the Dagger in the library is tomorrow so there is a last minute rush to try to read some (at least) of all the late nominations to see if they get to the longlist.    My top 5 are easy and have been fairly consistent for the last week or so.  The next 5 have a late entrant added and they are much harder to choose.  The bottom 5 were pretty easy.  It is all the inbetween ones that are hard, especially if you haven't had time to read more than one book by the author.  The idea of the longlist is that we then have time to read more by those authors before the final judging.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dogs and doors

I have had Minnie the guide dog all week.  She has hurt her back so the vet said she needed to rest it,  She hasn't been working all week, not has she been allowed to go for walks, she has instead come in to work with me where she has been a star.  She has wandered round a bit, but  mostly slept on her bed and not pestered me at all.  She must think I am the dullest dog carer ever though.  She is going back to Debbie tomorrow and back to work next week, and I'm sure she will be pleased about that.

We have decided to take down the roller door on the garage because it isn't waterproof, so we went and bought some upvc double glazed french doors from the salvage yard last weekend, and we will - hopefully - put them in this weekend.

(David Cameron is burbling on the tv so I have put the mute button on so I don't have to listen to him)

I am reading  lots and lots and lots of crime novels because we had a rush of nominations for the Dagger in the Library at the last minute lots of whom I have never read before.  We are doing the longlisting next week, so I need to have read at least 100 pages of each of them by then.  We are allowed to publicise the longlist now which we weren't allowed to do before.  Once we have the  longlist I need to try to read a couple of books by each author before we do the judging in May. 

Shame it isn't sunny - I'd have a really good excuse to sit in the sun