Monday, 27 January 2014

Memories and Remembrance

Today is holocaust memorial day, and this came through my feed, the poem is one I am not very familiar with, but the reading is very raw. Olivia Colman reads Auschwitz, quiet and very moving. The use of history as a tool is a common thing, and the history is written by the victors is getting forgotten, the acceptance of anything because it was historical annoys me, they were wrong at times then so why should we accept the whole thing now as true, but on this I must confess to knowing people, who lost folk, who went there, folk who are not big names, are not lauded as shakers and movers, and not trying to make a point or grind an axe. Folk who just remember and still have trouble understanding how people can do that to people. My Uncle spent a while as a prisoner of war, his experience never truly left him, he was always fair and gave everyone a chance, but he was hunted by it and while no one ever spoke about it, we knew, sometimes he looked into space, bleak, then the warmth would return and he was here again.

The people who remember are becoming fewer and the few left are not loud or vocal, we must gain as many of these stories before it is too late. The first world war is being run as an ongoing memorial this summer on the BBC, while I appreciate the reasoning and any raise in profile so we never repeat these problems is welcome, I wish they would also see what is happening today. The peace talks in Syria which are so very important, the whole 'terrorist' situation in the world. There used to be a phrase when I was a kid 'One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.' thrown round during 'the troubles' (what troubles, people died, bombs went off, guns were fired, it should have been war but no one wanted to say that in the news). We should be getting the stories of these folk, how they coped and what they did, long before we lose them. One of Favorite blogs it the history girls who often touch on things like this.

I know this is a sad start to my blog this morning, but the topic of the Holocaust day brought it all to mind, another phrase that I try to apply to my own life is 'If you do not learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.' so I shall keep asking questions and noting people stories, I shall chat with my pupils and make them think about what they read and why. I shall keep trying to make the young people of the future think about things not just accept sound bites, and above all I shall give second chances.

On a less emotive note I saw this and it made me giggle, not that it isn't a great idea, but 3 or 4 years ago we had a strong literacy committee running and one of the literacy committee for highland came to talk we us about our success. She saw what we had and what we planned and loved it but she had one other idea, and every one reads idea. once a day or if we couldn't then once a week, every one downed tools and read for 5 to 10 minutes, now this may have been a goer in the primaries, and I can see it being very effective when kids get one teacher and they do stay in one classroom, but the chance of doing the whole school would be impossible and to have it timetabled in... well the teachers on the committee were all muttering and while most could see the benefit, the disruption would be immense, I like the idea and with just 3 school years you could give it a one off go. I shall think about it. The web link came with one of these e-cards that fly round the web and make us all snigger, they are old pictures with new captions. This one was just right.
Also my new phone has the ability to take panoramas and I took this while playing. Not perfect but gives you a taster.

Sadly my knitting has taken a knock, my wrists look like being RSI which means certain movements end up making my hands freeze in pain and curtail my whole life, I can knit but not long, I may look into one of these lap holders made for people with arthritis, I can not give up knitting. ( I am at SABLE any way which is stash acquisition beyond life expectancy.) I also designed my first from scratch project, I will be uploading it to ravelery when I am happy it works and I have pictures. So again watch this space.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Blue Monday, Sunrise Friday

I am not sure how they class this as Blue Monday, I know its the day when most bills come and the wages are not in and being paid early at Christmas means its that bit longer to the money in, but we know this ahead of time, we should be prepared for it, we have it every year! Why then does this become a particularly Blue Monday? Maybe its another media generated thing, like black Friday which was traditional the Friday that people got paid and went to get their Christmas things, but that has changed and now its just a sale driven hyped up nothing of a day! So much of our lives seems driven by consumerism, the bad Christmas we got stuck up in Scotland and as we expected to be in the west country we had no food and no things for Christmas! so had to shop on Christmas eve and as we only got just enough for the next day or so we had to go in again on boxing day, to my shock the seasonal isle was being set up with Easter eggs! Boxing day!

I am the world worst with my amazon habit, and I am guilty of just ordering things I could get but can't be bother to get. Having said that I am aware that if I do not use my local shops they will not survive. But I have hit SABLE which is stash beyond life expectancy! So I am now trying to use the wonderful wool I have tucked into bags and boxes dotted round my house, I opened some boxes before Christmas and didn't even recognize the wool stashed inside! I am finishing things at the moment, as this seems a good time of year to do this! though I did start a Christmas treat to myself, I needed a new hand bag so I started a bag knitting which will take longer so I get it right, hate rushed items once I use them so more time taken works well.

The sun has decided to shine which is very pretty but a bit late! the sun only seems to shine when I am sitting with it in my face or when I am ready to drive!

What happened to my week! I am here sat peaceful for a Friday thinking where did the week go! we have had sunset and sunrises, lots of rain and non stop work.

I did finally finish my revaildation (spurred on by someone I know getting hers) The whole process was so painless! my only minor criticism would be the information which is presented as a podcast is hard to take notes from and impossible to go back and check things part way though so I ended up watching the podcast twice and making copious notes! this did work but I may send them my notes for others to download if they want via the Cilip site. The whole process was painless, and ran very well, if this is the future I have no fear doing this every year or so, and I have started my next CPD already.

I also saw a story this morning from the Cornwall county libraries. They plan to reduce hours across the board and worse still are talking of removing all mobiles! I know that we have to make cuts but libraries are the one resource that helps people keep up to date in their own skills and needs and to keep relevant. Libraries add to our lives, if you suggested cutting hospitals they would be in arms but libraries have a much bigger long term on the ground effect but are being cut! Study are study has shown better read people and those with better access to information are healthier and more likely to do well! This is such a retrograde step I just wish I could shout and shake people!

At least the sun is up for longer, the day is no longer started in the dark and finished in the dark! The sun rise and sets have been full of colour, I now have a chance to enjoy them and see some light, makes a big difference to my day, I doubt I could live any further north than this. Mind you any further north than this and I would be getting wet :-) I have been posting the best pictures to my Blipfoto if you want a look see. Ignore the cats :-) and any with really short descriptions tend to be mobile posts, which are new and fun!

In that area I may add I am designing an app, but I am stalled so will need the help of an expert, I will catch me a 2nd year next week to help me. The school has won awards for the apps that the children have designed so I am using their skills to make mine better :-). I have a sketch and a page plan but then my skills drop off the scale! I have been recommended appinventor2 which seems okay but now I want to make it snazzy and need help (here little 2nd year come help the librarian) so will be app helper hunting soon. My app I plan is a library skills app where they get a chance to try some skills in a gamification style. More to come.

Monday, 13 January 2014


Somewhere over the last few weeks I read a blog that was part of the one word blog system, the person had picked Hope as their word for 2013 and she was looking back over her year and how she had found the word cropping up in books, on the TV and even in conversations, and how it had made her much more aware of how much hope she had in her life. I liked the idea, but I am good at positive and often need calming or reigning in from my fights of fancy instead of adding to them :-). I spent a good week thinking what I needed most in my life from myself and form the world around me, I am afraid I choose accountability, I need to make sure what I do is relevant, even if its fun! My work is in need of my applying this consistently, getting all aspects to be accountable, to make sure I am and others are accountable. Not a light a fluffy word, but one that I need now.

With this new focus in mind I am keeping track of my own work for my CPD, its  easy to say, yes that's CPD when I want to play at something but if I have to log it and account for it, somethings are just diversions :-), so more accountability and the new e-portfolio from the CILIP, this has helped me keep focused. I have heard various things about the new system, and I did have to work out how to a few times, the webcasts were good but a break down to follow so you can do and follow the info would be good. The basic layout is fine but the move to the portfolio side is clunky and if you forget you can't get back! spent half an hour finding my way back one evening because I had forgotten I had left the CILIP site! (face palm) but all in all I am enjoying it, my big issue now is how do I finish it, but I must work that out myself! the suggest 20 hour minimum is already in the high 60's and I haven't got to the one year on from my first item put in yet!.

I am trying to be more accountable in my own life. I like to blame ills on other things, I am over weight, this has been dropping slowly and steadily and to date I have lost nearly 7 stone (possibly more I do not tend to weight myself often) and the results are a whole new wardrobe, my old one that didn't fit and got put away! I must take some sort of control of this, my Dr has mentioned my lack of control over my own diet isn't good and that I need to address this. So with this in mind I have been looking for easy to cook and easy to make, quick but lower in fat etc foods stuffs, I know I will not find 'The Answer' as it doesn't exist, but anything that catches my eye and looks fun (and is accountable in my lower fat etc diet) gets saved and then tried, this week we had some home made Doner Kebabs which were lovely, all my family gave it the thumbs up  (though did ask for more which I did not make) and the increase in fruit and water instead of lemonade should help move the awareness of what I am eating to the fore.

As always I am on the look out for new and exciting things to play with, and saw a great e-learning platform which allows you to log in and do various units of the intro to computer use, from what is a mouse and how to use a laptop with no mouse attached! on wards, I will add this link later but I am in the wrong place to check the link! Again a lot of my 'play time' has been corralled into what is accountable and what is play! I still play but I do less at work even of work related things, my Time is getting too short anyway and I must be more accountable for that.

In my spare time I have taken to doing things that add value to my day, I aim to write a letter once a week (yes by hand) and spend some time each week balancing my bank account! And go for walks in the local area.
I am back to making to do lists but am no using my new phone, technology is so much fun but I am making sure each app is accountable :-) more when I finally work out what on earth I am doing with my phone...

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year and New Resolutions

Happy New Year

I tend to avoid making resolutions as I am very good at not following through and doing them more than once or twice. I have looked back at last years plans and am pleased to say I managed most of them but as I made few targets just aims that isn't as good as it could be.

  • The first was to tidy more often, this got a boost in the summer when I gained a more regular cover person who I could not leave to work at my messy desk and a quick apology and be netter soon wasn't washing! My excuses wore very thin! so I gutted my desk and the surrounding area, this led to more space and a tidier area, which then got even better organized and then a promotion led to me being honest about what I had sat waiting to be done round my desk! I threw out over a cubic meter of paper and waiting to be dine stuff and things I had kept for over a decade, went! So yes I am more tidy both at home and at work, and this is ongoing so I shall happily keep this one for this year.
  • My Cpd has not been still, and I spent a while before Christmas uploading it to the e portfolio that is now included on the Cilip Website, and I am impressed with myself, the minimum of 20 hours, ignoring online and reading I have attended over 60 hours of events and courses and meetings, I am so pleased and I must get the last bits done to re-validate, and that way I have a line drawn and know how to help my own mentees!This years plan is to re-validate and carry on CPDing.
  • I ran the course with the help of a wonderful woman called Kathleen Irving, she was inspirational and so much fun and so helpful but sadly shortly afterwards she had an accident while walking and was later found on the hills. I plan to run the course again, with the help of the the rest of the North branch committee which came out of the original set up and was Kathleen and I plan to help set up next, I found others interested and we have now done this. The North branch will grow and once its up and running I will step down and just help from the side lines. So more North Branch this year.
  • Being around for my staff has been a challenge, I have done more but now have more to do, the non school side of my job has eaten into so much of my work time. I think this will be another ongoing resolution or plan, I need to make sure they know how I work and that I will not bother them and they need to contact me to get me over and above the normal drop in occasionally. Personnel changes higher up the tree mean my own work patterns now have the light shining on them. I must keep a better track of this and be more efficient.
I have managed to post much more frequently, I have missed the odd weeks and the first time I did I worked myself into a right state and had to change my focus, I am now happy to blog every week and hope to keep doing this, but I wont be losing sleep over the odd miss :-).

I have spent the last two weeks enjoying this lovely tree and am now home again and getting back into the harness after 10 days of peace, sleep and lots of knitting.

I wish you all a happy new year, and I hope to be back to normal for the end of next week.