Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Life's Ups and Downs :-) :-(

New to this? Check out the First Post

Before the start - me, Sharon, Jan and Tracy

Well, it has been quite a roller-coaster week. I will try and concentrate on the positive here!

First of all I want to say "Get well soon" to my sister-in-law, Jan, up in York. She's had a major op today - we are wishing her a speedy recovery!

The good part of the week was that we completed our Race for Life this year. I can't say in record time - but there were so many ladies taking part it was hard to go any faster (that's our excuse anyway!)

The BOOK GROUP team comprised Janet, Tracy and myself - with the addition of my sis-in-law Sharon.
I have to say that newbie Sharon turned out to be the fittest of us all! As we were complaining towards the end that our feet, ankles, calves hurt - Sharon was raring to go round the lake again!

She had done more training than us though - she walks two miles a day - to and from work. It was great to have her on the team and we all enjoyed catching up on each others news (otherwise known as gossip) and the way round.

Sharon on the radio :-)

As we came through the finish line Sharon was grabbed by a reporter from Signal Radio who asked her who she was with and why she was doing Race for Life. It was great to hear "The BOOK GROUP" mentioned over the loudspeakers :-)

So, it looks like we might exceed our target once all the money is in. Don't forget - there's still time to donate to Cancer Research for a few more weeks. Check out our Just Giving page if you can spare a pound or two. We saw some very poignant messages on other participants backs - one just in front of us all the way said "Running for my mum, my daughter and me" - three generations in the same family with cancer. This disease has no mercy - research is vital!!

We did it!!

Thanks to Nathan and Laura and my brother Dom for being there to support us and cheer us on - and take photos! Also to Al, who only made it at the end due to work - but wished us luck via Radio Stoke. Also thanks to everyone who has sponsored us.

We'll be back next year!

L has a go - watched by John
Nathan - The Archer!
Today we cashed in Laura's Christmas present! N had bought her an "Archery Experience" and we've been waiting for some nice weather and a free day to go and have a try at it. We booked with Ashcroft Park near Uttoxeter - so turned up there just before 10am this morning. We parked in the middle of a field and looked around for signs of life. We saw a grouse walking down a path - so we followed it and a few seconds later we heard a 4x4 approaching. It was John - our instructor for the morning - who told us to hop in and he would take us to the Archery area. The place is huge and they have so many activities there including paintball, quad biking, go-carts, laser shooting and much more!

We bounced over the fields in his muddy vehicle - which was kind of fun to start with. Then we got to the archery range. John got out a range of bows - as L wanted to try it left-handed. We are all left-handed - but I thought I'd try it with my right hand first. He got a bigger one for N, some wooden ones and a metal one. He showed us the best way to hold a bow, how to load it up with an arrow and how to stand with relation to the target.

N had done it before - once, but l and I had never tried it!

We all had a first shot - L was really good - and got near the bullseye on her first go! I took a little longer to get the hang of it - but N was really good right from the start.

I was delighted to get a bullseye eventually though! At one point John put a balloon for each of us on the targets and told us to see who could pop theirs first. N did it first arrow - followed closely by L. I took a while - but it felt really good when I aimed and burst it right on the centre! Then I got a few more bullseyes.

It was such good fun. Just before we finished we had to have a competition. John gave us each five arrows and wrote down how each of us scored. It was out of a possible 50 and L and I both got 28 - but N won with 32. John said that meant he had to buy lunch :-)

We all really enjoyed the morning although we could feel our arm and shoulder muscles starting to hurt. N got an impressive blister on his finger too! L and I were given finger guards half-way through when our fingers were hurting - which saved us from a similar fate I think :-)

I think we all might have sore muscles tomorrow - but we'd love to do it again. Or maybe some shotgun shooting - they had a lot of tin cans set up nearby - I'm sure that would be good fun too. John said we should try the Blindfold Driving - but that might be taking things a little TOO far!!

So, to the not great part of the week. It's no secret that Staffs County Council are, like most authorities, are looking at how libraries are used and funded. There is a proposal going to cabinet next week - have a read here:

Help to Shape Your Library Service

I was told on Tuesday that Silverdale has been put in the Library Local category - which basically means that it will no longer be managed or staffed by the council:

Library Local
24 locations where we’ll explore a range of options including opportunities for community organisations to lead, manage and deliver the library offer, giving them the opportunity to maintain or introduce services to meet local need. SCC will support communities to take on this role but won’t be directly involved in the management or staffing. It will be highly focused on the community.
It could look like this:
  • Book stock
  • Access to books and stock from across the library network
  • Other services as lead by the needs of the community
So, it looks like my days at Silverdale are numbered. I have put my heart into the library and know all my customers by name. I just hope that we get some good volunteers to keep it open for the community. I'd hate to think that Mr C would have nowhere to go to pick out his horses and have a chat each day, or the Poets of Keele have nowhere to hold their classes and display their work, or Silverdale no longer has cool events like the time Simon Armitage came (Click to read the blog post about that) or when 60 excited kids saw Julia Donaldson and performed Room on the Broom for her. Or wonderful performances like the recent TOWN by Joy Winkler.

I am heartbroken that I'll not be there to hear the news from the village everyday or the laughter and music of the French class on Tuesdays or the birdsong coming out from the meeting room when the Bird Watchers of the WEA are there on Thursdays or the knit and nattering that goes on during Friday afternoons. I have no idea what will happen to me - I've just realised I'm going to have to change the tagline of this blog - and probably even my name.

Will I still even be a Poker Librarian?

1 comment:

  1. You'll always be a poker librarian to me, Berni, and I know something wonderful is around the corner for you... don't despair! Life has a way of becoming better and better...