Monday, 28 April 2014

New ideas for Spring/summer

I started a creative writing course today. It is from Future Learn from the Open University Which should run for 8 weeks and be 3 hours commitment a week, which I doubt I will only spend that short a time. The first exercise was an odd challenge which we had to write a 50 - 100 word piece on ourselves with one fact and three fictions and then a piece with three facts and one fiction. strangely the first one was harder for me, my first attempt was nearly 300 words long and I had used lovely flowing language to describe the whole thing, but I needed to cut it down!

I would highly recommend them as some of the titles have me planning new things for my CPD, with 'managing people; engaging your workforce' listed as new courses to do. And the best yet if you miss one it is rerun again later in the year with a round a nine month gap between repeats allowing you to pick up a missed one or plan if you have the time then! I have already booked my self a space on the app development course in the autumn.

We have a youth event running today where our pupils get to vote in a mock election for the referendum, as today is our last day for the senior pupils and a few have not even come in I am not sure how we will do. One of the tables for the younger years was needing a person for a while earlier so I cover it and had to find names and cross them off and to hand out voting slips and make sure they came back to the right box. To my amusement a child asked after posting their vote 'What do I win Miss?' I explained about elections and how they are a chance to have you say and to affect the world etc but I am not sure they went away convinced. I thought it was amusing but thinking later I am not so sure, we are creating a whole group of youth who feel they only do things for something tangible, an Ipad, or tickets. They have no concept of the bigger picture, they do not seem to realize that if they don't vote they have no say or reason for complaint in how their world is arranged.

My age were part of the student poll tax protests, one of my fellow students ended up arrested and lost her college place due to how much she threw herself into the protests. My childhood education was punctuated by Strikes, miners, teachers, binmen! We saw how some methods of protest had little effect while others worked. I doubt many my age vote, but I always felt if I don't vote I am giving away something essential. I am one voice but if lots of us one voice folk vote the same way we have an effect.

Meanwhile in the real world we are at the end of the month again and I have the end of month paper work sat to do. The task is not onerous but it does sit like a breeze block on my day, a pile of paper going 'do me now, or you'll regret it' I wont take long to do but I need to get out forms and make notes and generally get things sorted. I suppose I am procrastinating. One of my cats has gone missing again and I have no idea where to start looking for her.

Living in Scotland has made us very aware of the idea of referendum, and the vote that is due this September, what I being missed is that a referendum is asking the population what they think, not what shall happen. Either side would need to win a very big majority to actually get any movement on the issues being raised, but folk keep getting caught up in it. This is the 10th referendum in the UK in the last 40 years, not new, not the be all and end all, not life threatening, (big sigh) we shall just have to wait and see.

I have become very serious in my blog so I shall lighten it. I had this shared with me today about Shakespeare and the original pronunciation (OP) when they introduced it to the Globe in London. With some wonderful lines and the jokes made more fun. The father and son pairing makes it more accessible, I would recommend a listen to it and an enjoy. And I shall just finish with a quick picture of missing cat in hope she is home when I get there!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Back up to speed

The Easter break was too short and over far too quick, the term we finished was one of the hardest I have ever seen, and that after more than 14 years in post! I do not feel we have had two weeks with no kids.

We did have study school and of course I did loads of things I can't do when school is in. Officially I had some days off but I had meetings and non work things in some of those days and also as normal when I get a few days off I fell ill. Sadly I found out a number of years ago I an intolerant to wheat, which means every so often I have to cut wheat out of my diet all together and detox, or suffer. I shouldn't eat any but I have found the odd item I can get away with and the odd weekend as long as I know I will suffer later can be done, but I missed the signs and ended up in a lot of pain. Slept for most of my days off which wasn't much fun, so in time honored tradition I meed a holiday to get over my holiday.

I do have a new fun thing to look into, The Sioban Dowd Trust are offering £6k to school libraries. The web site only asks for 50 to 250 words on what you do that's special. I am currently trying to get the wonderful things and plans I want to do into 250 words! thankfully I have been offered help and the more I look the more I find to add... If you a none fee paying school with a library feel free to go and have a go, as one of our senior staff here has said, you have to be in it to win it! If you don't enter you will never win anything, so give it a go.

The painting didn't get done but the garden did, the lawn is lawn again and the dead grass reseeded, (which means on dry days I am out watering) the hedges are now thinner and back a bit, the roses which I keep taking out and back are gone again! the potatoes planted are doing well, and the newer fruit tress thriving as well as the established ones, I must take a picture of the cherry blossom which started out last night! My potatoes are just some standard seed ones but my husband found these and had to get some, so his are blue potatoes and he is very proud of them! They came from  the group selling at the Easter fayre, mine have been chittled and brought on and carefully planted! His have been been dropped into a knocked together box at the foot of my garden! we shall see...

I plan on going to the CILIPS Conference this year at Dundee, I enjoyed myself a lot last year and I discovered that the fun I had at Umbrella in 2011 and 2013 is because they are library conferences and well run and not because they were the umbrella, I plan on going to more as I get time and enjoying myself more. I still subscribe to the idea that you have no ground to complain unless you get up and try and change it. I love the changes being brought from the main body in London and while every idea is not always right, that is fine we can try things and change, things that do not change or adapt, die! right off my soap box again :-).

With the summer coming I have found a new program to love, The Allotment, it is a cross between Kirsty's home made house idea and garden fete thing she did, and the Great British Bake off, with plants. The contestants have to grow 83 different plants and each week they get called to produce things, first a best in show for basic grown fruit, first weeks radishes was fascinating to watch, having grown radishes badly I thought that was it, but no, lots of different factors and I may try again! The next episode was runner beans and again much fun was had, they then had a flower challenge, now all the folk I know who grow either do veg or flowers, to see both was strange and so far the ones who get one haven't been the ones to get the other prize, not only do you produce a specimen flower you also have to make a flower arrangement, and two big guys made some fab ones, the judge reckoned he could make them florists! which is fun and funny. The final part is a cooking challenge, the first week was a jam and a Curd (do not ask why I like but do not make curd, ever) and this week was a sauce and a relish, which was fun. I find I like these program's, bake off was good and got better, sewing bee was good and got better and this is good, and I think has the potential to get better, unlike sewing and baking though you need time to get plants up and running and to hold the program! I would love to see next years in a snap shot, I know they are running already, as they started march 2013, I would love a 10 minutes slot of what they looked like this week, which would make a nice intro for the next show and lots of stock footage to back them up :-). I shall dream on.

I hope to get back to my Monday posts next week and normality, and hopefully study leave too.
Just a quick picture of the kitten who wanted to play while we painted. most of the paint is now off but she has the odd bitty still on her ear tips! Thankfully I bought safe paint.