Knickers Everywhere

We’re starting to gear up for the Jubilee celebrations in the libraries, and I’ve just overheard two of my staff on the phone to each other assuring each other that they’re not copying each other and are doing quite different children’s events and crafts based around the book The Queen’s Knickers.

Independent invention is a wonderful thing, and in this case I know it’s been prompted by hardback deliveries this week of the same books to each library in the area.

At the library I’m currently basing myself from, the focus is on inviting people to decorate a template looking like a set of underwear with whatever colours, patterns, or cut out shapes and pictures they like. The resulting pieces are then being hung up on “washing lines” within the children’s library.

It’s all good fun, and I’ve only had to veto a couple of design choices suggested out of devilment by the staff as they make up some samples to start it all off. I look forward to seeing the collection grow…

And yes, I have contributed a design. Doesn’t seem to be up yet.

Back To Work

As is usually the case my first day back at work was largely spent filtering and triaging the hundreds of emails that had come in while I was away. The wonderful thing was that my steadfast crew of merry pirates had basically got on with being awesome and dealt with most things without any need to do more than just let me know the outcomes.

After filtering those out it left maybe a dozen or so things I needed to take a look at, and of those none required me to hit anyone with a rolled up newspaper. I may have raised an eyebrow at one or two people and asked for clarification, but that’s hardly unusual.

We’ve even managed to sort out some music licences for some planned events, so that’s a big win.

And yet people still look surprised when I tell them I love my job.

Ah Payday

I would say that I’m not sure why the last week has been a bit of a struggle with money but I can very firmly point to the two parking tickets I managed to earn this month as contributing to the pain. Never mind, lessons learned and all that.

It’s been a quiet couple of days, but I did go to Kingston yesterday to have a payday spend, looking at things for the flat. By far the best decision I made was to walk in to Not My Beautiful House, which is a pop up art gallery set up and run by students at Kingston University. They are focused on selling art by local people and I found a fair few things that caught my eye. In particular there were abstracts created by an ADHD support group, and I couldn’t resist

For £20 I had a new canvas piece for the hall, and I’ll definitely keep an eye on the place from now on.

Other than that it’s been quiet. Both the introverts have tucked themselves away so I may go out to the gym later – or spoil myself with a nice rioja – I haven’t decided yet.

Gym Thoughts

After a more hectic than expected beginning of the week, Lady M and I have taken a leisurely wander to the gym to work out some of the aches and pains with a mixture of exercise and spa pampering.

I usually start with a half hour brisk walk on a treadmill as it gives me time to let my mind wander and eases my sometimes creaking joints into acknowledging that there’s work to be done. I’m finding it gets me into a positive mindset, but also that it lets me switch off a bit.

Today’s thoughts came in general as my gaze occasionally passed over the other people using the space. There’s nothing earthshattering in the thoughts, but I felt it worth acknowledging and recording that:

A) everyone, even the most chiselled and glowing among us, had to start somewhere.

B) most people using the gym are in their own headspaces and couldn’t care less about what I look like

C) it’s easy to see how people can get obsessed with measuring themselves against other people and the weights they use or the machine settings they are on.

D) The only person I’m measuring against is myself and the difference from where I started

Bank Holiday Weekend

It’s been a good weekend so far – we hit the gym, I remembered my counselling session, and last night’s D&D game was sweet and roleplay orientated and set things up for the next story arc

Today we have the cub staying over while boy s is back at work, and we’re planning to go see The Wessex Pistols and catch up with friends at The Plough later this afternoon. Should be fun, but I do wonder how the cub will react to it all. We shall see.

In the meantime, we have sunshine, birdsong, and washing drying on the balcony. Not a bad start.

Split Attention

I’ve worked up a good mixed routine of cardio and resistance training via the KickStart coach at the gym which I’m looking forward to getting to grips with. I made a start on it today but by necessity I couldn’t entirely focus on it as I also had the cub with me.

He lives splashing around in the pool. After complaining about the days heat in the flat today it made for a good reward for doing his homework to bring him along. Lady M is mired in paperwork so stayed behind, while boy s is working today. That meant it was our first visit just the two of us, rather than the whole triad trading off watching duties.

If I’m making this sound more momentous than it was, it’s not deliberate. The cub is familiar enough with the pool, and gym, to not be phased if I’m momentarily out off his line of view. That said, I did make sure that the treadmill I used was in plain view overlooking the pool so we could gesture or smile as needed to reassure.

So I’m now sat in the cafe area, waiting for him to emerge from showering and changing, then we’ll go pick his dad up from work

Time For A Break

It’s nearly a weekend, I think. To be fair it’s been another slightly hectic week between boy s falling ill and a variety of surveyors and engineers needing access at strange times to various buildings – all while covid continued to rampage through my staff.

So tomorrow/today is Good Friday, which at least as far as myself and Lady M are concerned is a Bank Holiday. If the gym is open, we shall take the cub with us so he can swim and frolic – and we will unwind on a variety of exercise machines and possibly dip into the spa. Rude not to use all the facilities available.

On the games front, I’m still mostly playing Destiny2 with boy s and Lady B a few evenings a week. I have also managed to recover my old GOG account so I have most of the old Bioware D&D games to rediscover on my laptop. I even dipped into playing Alpha Centauri for nostalgia this evening. I do have a soft spot for turn based games.

Oh, and an added bonus: Lady M has twisted my arm into taking some leave next week, so that’s going to do wonders for my blood pressure.

So This Week…

I had a call yesterday to come pick boy s up from work. A little matter of his not being able to breathe. So off we went to the hospital where I was able to park near enough to the A&E to not kill him with the walk to the doors, and he was duly whisked away.

Due to Covid I couldn’t accompany him, so I went back to work to focus best I could, and as the evening approached with no news began to ring to try and find out if there was any news – if only so I could update everyone and reassure the cub.

As it turned out, it appears to be late onset asthma, so they were able to stabilise him and after checking everything else they could, he was released back into the wild with an inhaler and instructions to talk to his GP

The cub responded by being as publicly bolshy and snarky as he could be, even while admitting privately to Lady M how worried he was – so that’s all normal.

Now we try to get back to some semblance of normality. Honest.

Weekend Gathering

I’m currently stretched out in bed after a rollercoaster of emotions but all in good company. Lady M and boy s both had trainer appointments at the gym so it was a good excuse to make a day of it. I’ve been using gym visits this week to help get through muscular and joint pain I’ve had since having covid last week, so I also had a plan of attack. The cub wanted to swim.

With all the stress of this week, my mental reserves have been slender today, especially with the residual pains. It’s days like this where my partners rally round in support. Hugs and simple gestures, quiet moments and silliness all helped as we came and went from the table we were using as a base.

The space and quiet have been needed. This has not been a good week. This evening feels a bit brighter.

People Saying Thanks

It’s very easy to fixate on troublesome or demanding customers, but one positive thing from being on the desks this week has been hearing people say thank you.

Libraries are not just about books. A very large part of what we do is signpost people to other services or sources of information when they’re looking for help. We’re currently involved in a pilot scheme to give staff more tools to answer local authority information questions and it has helped their confidence so much. Here are three interactions I’ve witnessed or been part of this week:

From a lady who had just been helped with a bus pass renewal for herself and her husband and then a follow-on query about Covid 4th Booster rules and advice: “The young lady here has been very helpful and saved us a lot of time trying to ring round to find all this out, she’s been very good.”

From a gentleman who had enquiries about bins and recycling rotas in his area: “Oh thank you, I just can’t make sense of any of it, just get confused – you’ve explained that so well.”

From a gentleman who was in with his family, asking about local schools admissions: “Thank you, we wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for all this. You’ve saved us so much time.”

I think it’s important to acknowledge the good along with the challenging.