Friday, 5 April 2013

Roller Coaster Ride of a week

I am late blogging, I have some very good excuses! honest I do...
Last week I was asked to be the face of the libraries at a visit to our county by the board of Management  I said yes,and then had a wonderful day, more about it later, but I enjoyed the challenge and being on the spot.

The long weekend just lulled me into a false sense of security, and allowed me to make more things for the craft fair which is looming now! I will take pics of the day and post next week. Then I went to Inverness on Tuesday to make sure I had a good night sleep for the Cilip portfolio building event I had helped organise on the Wednesday. I met the early train with our main speaker on, Mr Michael Martin who is Qualification Advisor, CPD based at Ridgemount Street in London, which holds fond memories of the basement hunting obscure references to hide the last minute rush of my course work :-) I am sure if I had put as much work into the content as I did on the obscurity I would have passed with a much higher mark :-). The train was on time and I found myself meeting a gentleman wrapped in a big thick coat and lovely Cossack style hat, in my shirt sleeves! The morning for me had been warm, nicely above freezing and the sun was shining  never waste some sunshine on a coat! Humor was found in the mixed views of the weather.

After leaving Mr Martin and CDG developmental officer Ruth Holmes setting up I went back to the station to collect Mr Ian Stringer. This day was a bit like a fantasy football line up, Michael was quietly inspirational, several participants came up and said how much they had enjoyed and got out of the day and that was just the first break! Ruth Spoke well and drew interest from everyone, even though she confessed to it being her first lead day, the rest wouldn't have known, she was great. Anna Herron, who captured my mind last time made the points I have tried making to my mentees so much better! The idea that the marker is a person, not to swamp them and make sure you fulfill the criteria. Amazing speaker and drew out chat from the whole group. Sadly Val Walker wasn't able to come, and while we did discuss mentors, I did miss her input.

The local 'just past' candidate was Robert Reid who is based in LSU, he is a computer wizz, and inside the organisation there are emails every so often that say 'I don't know, just send it to Robert, he'll fix it'. He chartered this January so could give a very immediate feedback to getting finished, a problem I am seeing more of :-), I loved his idea of stapling a CPD audit sheet to each record which allowed him to chose what he kept and what he could just dump! Robert hasn't had a lot of chance to talk in front of others but spoke well and showed a whole new level to his work and attitude, I was very pleased for him to do so well.

The whole event was rounded off by Ian, He spoke so easily and came from a whole new angle, I just hope the group of people there enjoyed his speech as much as I did. Amazing and challenging, the message that Cilip is us the members, not the committees, not the board or London but us, we make it and unless we make the effort to change it, we have not right to complain or moan. Makes me think of the Water babies by Charles Kingsley, and his wonderful characters namely Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby.

An exercise we did do on the day was using the CPD audit sheet here, which has 4 columns; Date, Activity, what you learnt, and what you have applied. I chose to look at the previous weeks Board visit (I said more later :-) ) The date isn't important, Helping at the Board visit, was my activity, the 'What I learnt' was how to be more positive, I had to 'sell' our services  and show how well we have done, and we had done very well. Being reflective and critical helps keep us aware and on our toes but it does mean we focus on the negative at times. The questions asked were good ones, the visitors all cared about the service and wanted to see more, ask more. I was more challenged and kept on my toes than by a double class of new first years! I had looked over figures and projections so I could answer these, but just looking at my own service from their eyes made me very proud. The next section 'What you have applied' was clear to me, I write the monthly report after this and put in my pride and having reviewed my month I also was able to find more positive things and a report a page and a half long was more like 3 pages. Which has encouraged me to sit back now and then to assess what we have done and done well. I know we must also ask what next and what could be better but that isn't an excuse to rush past the well done bit!

The roller coaster week happened due to my own forgetful nature, I meant to ring my mum on the weekend an forgot, she is a late to bed person but I try not to ring after 10 as she may be asleep, so at 9 pm ish on Wednesday flushed with happy success form the Cilip day, I rang her. Sadly I woke her and she was very tired and not sounding good, so I said goodnight and rang off. My brother then rings when I am at work yesterday (Thursday) to pass a message on she isn't well and to not ring her but he will ring me later. When he rang back I was expecting the news to be her poorly, but she is not well at all. She has finally agreed to care help, she has visits 3 times a day and the doctor visits to bring medicines. She has always been a very stubborn lady who would never ask for help (a fault I try not to copy too much), to have this much help means she is not well at all, my brothers biggest worry was I would come down to see her, but her biggest fear has always been, being seen as poorly, old or weak. If I went down it would upset her so much more than I am upset waiting here. So I work and do and try not to dwell.

We have also just been through April the first! I knew what day it was and thought no one would get me! then bam! saw this and believed it! dur, also have just been looking at my blog posts and one mentioned last years 'find' of a Unicorn Cook Book at the British Library! Sadly the other stories that have been cropping up are due to fire and not fun. the one that happened the day of the Cilip event was this, and now we lose a beautiful old building, but not as worrying as these, a friend is a fire fighter and was complaining last night that their clothes stink of smoke, and that they have averaged 4 hours a night sleep in the last 10 days! But with 80 fires in 72 hours at one point it has been worrying. While England and Southern Scotland has been covered in snow, we have just had dull and over cast but crucially no rain or snow! Dry Muir Burn has been a local thing for many years, but this year! not so good, but no burning off means no new growth for animals and food is already a problem for farmers, and just means the burn has to be next year and is more and thicker!

This is a shot of last years bad burn at Helmsdale, which took out acres and burned for days! The hill is still a bit of moonscape in places were the scars have not yet healed, and the fire has taken even the deep roots out, instead of the quick top burn that it should have been. We didn't go closer to take pictures as that would be just silly and dangerous.

Also I see one of the most amazing plays I have seen in years is Angus Weaver of grass and they plan another run! I would highly recommend it to anyone! And they are my blog recommendation :-). and Now I must catch up on days of emails, paperwork, and jobs put aside for the holidays for 'when I had time'.

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