Three Emergency Services in One Day

Anyone who has worked in a library will know that one of the most frustrating things is telling people what you do for a living, and hearing the response “I bet you sit around reading books all day.” Uh, no. Chris and I spent some time the other day making ourselves giggle by coming up with alternatives – “Oh, you work in a bar, do you just get drunk all day?” I mean, sure, we’d love to sit around reading all day but we’re far too busy being counsellors, advisors, IT troubleshooters, storytellers, homework helpers, problem solvers, researchers and just general all round helpful people providing information, advice and guidance. There’s always something going on; knit & natter groups, storytime, computers classes, health drop-ins, social groups, reading groups. Not to mention all the people who come just because it’s a free and safe place to sit.

So here’s what my week has been like so far.

Monday we held a Wellbeing in Later Life drop-in, for elderly people to find out about organisations in the local area that can help them to be independent for longer in later life. Now I’m not an events planner, but I took up the task of making this happen – I invited all the organisations and planned the day, and my colleague sorted the publicity and helped me to man our library stall. We had a good number of organisations there including Age UK, local volunteering schemes and the council Wellbeing team. The Fire Service were also in attendance, signing people up for free smoke detector fittings and checks (cue lots of excitement as they rushed out on a call halfway through.) Then later on, while covering the late evening, we had an incident with a very drunk and distressed customer, cue the other two emergency services. I’ll admit it was the first time I’ve called an ambulance at work but it definitely wasn’t the first time I’ve needed to call the police. Nor will it be the last I’m sure.

Tuesday was scary. I had to stand in front of a lecture theatre and train some of my colleagues in the Public Library Universal Information Offer – totally out of my comfort zone. Actually it wasn’t that bad, and my hands had even stopped shaking after the first ten minutes. I did the first session of the day, so was able to relax a little bit after that.

Wednesday I met with our Facilities boss to do the annual Fire Risk Assessment for all three buildings, and for her to check all my Health & Safety paperwork was in order.

Thursday I interviewed a potential volunteer and then covered the Summer Reading Game for a couple of hours (so cute).

And finally, Friday I had a whole day to catch up in my office, no interruptions, to wade through the week’s worth of emails. So I was able to swan off for a weekend away after a solid day of ticking things off my to do list. Hooray!

On a different note, I’ve ticked off another two tasks on my 101 list this week – organising an event for work and completing my month long snooze ban successfully. So I’m of to congratulate myself with a weekend of family, beer festival, Sunday roast and friends.

C x


Running scared

Judgement day is nearly here – in just over two weeks I will be donning my trainers and running in my first ever 5k event. I’m in the penultimate week of the NHS couch to 5k podcast series and to be honest, still feeling pretty conflicted about the whole thing.

8 weeks ago I was imagining writing this post, I knew exactly what I was going to say – that I’d given it a shot but I’m just not a runner. I was highly sceptical that I’d ever change my opinion of running, that I’d fall for it in the major way that people talk about. Exercise and I have never seen eye to eye, after all. I think I probably set a record for the most PE lessons skipped at school, the most forged notes (sorry mum!) and lame excuses. I hated all team sports, because I was awful at them. Why any normal person would want to go outside in the rain and wind, and sometimes even hail, just to run around with a hockey stick was completely beyond me. Cross-country runs were just an excuse for a nice leisurely gossipy walk, before taking a short cut that conveniently came out right by the finish line. The only sport I’ve ever been vaguely competent at is swimming – and even then I suspect that the reason for this is that it was slightly easier to disguise my lack of grace and co-ordination underwater.

And yet,┬ánow I’ve reached week 8 I think…I think I’m beginning to Get It. I’m not saying that I feel like a runner yet, but I’m starting to realise the appeal of pushing my body to get better and to achieve goals. Having gone from being out of breath and struggling to run for 2 minutes, I can now run for 28 minutes without stopping. The buzz after finishing a run feels great and I’m really proud of the progress that I’ve made, although I am still a fair way off my goal off completing 5k as I’m pretty slow (I get overtaken by every other jogger in Brighton it feels like some days!) I might not be able to get to the goal of running 5k in 30 minutes in time for the race, but as long as I can complete the whole run without stopping I think I’ll be able to hold my head up high!

I’m running the Brighton Colour Run II on 20th September, and if anyone feels like sponsoring me I am raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres. You can find my Just Giving page here:

C x