Book review

July 27th, 2015

Through LinkedIn I was approached to do a children’s book review for an American library.  As I have one of those small children things I thought it would be fun to do with him and Pete who had approached me agreed.

I must admit it wasn’t as easy a project as I had envisioned, a 5 year old’s mind is a strange beast, but it has now been published.  If you would like to read it the review Owen and I did of The Gruffalo is here.

Working on his first book review



Several years ago when we used to go hunting Gruffalo on Perwinnes Moss:

Hunting Gruffalo

2014 wrap up

December 24th, 2014

Ok so no I haven’t blogged much this year and I’m sorry, and yes my new year resolution is to try harder next year, obviously!  Anyway here’s a round up of 2014 for you so if you’ve not been following my Flickr page for the year in pictures this should cover the main bits!  Happy Reading!

Choosing photos to put on this post was very hard, could have had hundreds, it would seem that we have been living life to the fullest this year with lots of wonderful memories to carry forward, so that has to be good!

In January we had a once in a lifetime trip to Old Trafford.  For those of you who don’t know, this is the home of football, or more specifically Manchester United.  Bryan’s lovely firm Adept4 gave us tickets for a match, which also gave us access to the VIP Corporate Suite, so the game itself was quite an experience.  We took his Dad, Reg with us and it was quite something to see the 3 generations enjoying themselves.  It seemed a long way to go just for a match so we had a few days down there and did the stadium tour, ate in the Red Café and managed to get to Imperial War Museum and finally Legoland Discovery for me.  Amazing time!

Man U tour - Robertsons at Old Trafford

We had another holiday in May, this time stayed with 2 of my English cousins and their families.  David lives near a train station that could take us straight to London so we left him our car for a couple of days and went down.  Was lovely to catch up with David and Tony and to get to know all their boys – and Owen had the time of his life on a constant “play date”!  We enjoyed Hollow Tree Farm, Hamleys, changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, Natural History Museum, Tower of London and Dryburgh Abbey (broke the journey down in the Borders!).  It was great to get away and have some quality family time and all the places we went were fabulous.  Luckily my boys enjoyed London as much as I’d hoped so fingers crossed for many return visits!

The night before we left was great excitement too, in January Owen had joined a boy’s Street Dance class and every year the dance school does a show at the Beach Ballroom.  Owen and, his chum from nursery, Lakshman were amazing – even though they were on in the second half which was way past their bedtime!  The cute thing was that Owen’s girlfriend was in the first half with her ballet class so there are a couple of photos of the young love back stage!  Unfortunately after that girls were allowed to join the street dance class and the boys lost interest – so Owen has moved onto swimming lessons and Gaelic youth club as his after school activities.

The lad and his gal backstage as their dance school's show

School, oh yes, this year our baby turned 5 and started at the Gaelic school, he’s loving learning a new language – and trying to teach us it.  I’m quite looking forward to P3 when they introduce English into their daily lessons and I might be a bit less lost with the homework!  Our house is covered in flashcards with the Gaelic, a phonetic version and then the English translation so we can try and work the language into our day.  I must say Bryan is much better at it than I am but I do try!  Owen has settled into school well and made friends easily, quite a few of whom are in P3/4 so that’s good for him I think (although he does now know the word Boobs…).  He was Star 11 in the school nativity and learnt his lines well.

School boy!!

Of course these were not the first lines he’s ever learnt as in March he got auditioned to be in the Terence Davies movie of Sunset Song!  He made it to the short list so his audition video would have been shown to the Director.  I’ll be interested to see who Young Euan was when the movie comes out – not that I can let Owen watch the whole thing until he’s older as its quite a dark story!

Bryan and I are fine too, he’s recently changed role at his work and now has to travel quite regularly.  This is taking some getting used to as my schedule used to depend on him being there to look after Owen but we’re getting there.  I did make him take lots of photos during his trip to Amsterdam, but usually he’s just down to headquarters in Manchester.  My work is ever busier, this year we’ve provided the venue for 4 weddings, several parties, dinners, networking events and meetings.  Of course I need to do this on top of my usual Society work.  I’ve been networking with BNI, Aberdeen PA and we joined local Chamber of Commerce to try and raise our profile.  I also became Chair of the BIALL Website Committee – which is a bit more time consuming than I had allowed for!  Still – never a dull moment!!

Creagan is still on the market unfortunately but this year they have closed for the whole of the winter and they even travelled, to America.  My parents are on “babysitting” for 22-24th December as that’s part of the school holidays but I’m at work, then they are going to stay for Christmas Day and we’re hoping Reg and Sasina will join us so Owen will get all his grandparents to himself.  Boxing Day we’re off to the pantomime with Ray, Nicole and their kids and then on the Saturday we’re getting to see Lee and our 4 nieces and nephews as he has custody of them this year.  So it should be a fabulous family orientated festive season, just as it should be!

I’ve not been to as many concerts this year, but I did review The Answer, X Factor Live Tour and Fatherson with Model Airplanes.  I paid for a ticket (!) for the Levellers and also went down to Glasgow for McBusted with 3 chums and we had a fabulous time.  I was so excited at seeing the boys I was nearly sick – although that could have been the height of Glasgow Hydro, luckily turning yellow and shaky gets you a lower seat!  Most exciting was our friend Dan’s first ever gig, he plays guitar and his instructor arranged an afternoon in a pub for his students to show off their talents.  Dan played and his Granddad sang, it was great.  Bryan took some photos and then later we did a photo shoot with him and his guitar, some of which Dan’s parents emailed to the guitar company as they came out rather well!  Owen joined in too with Dan’s banjo…!

Music Man!

Owen actually took the next photo, of us all, using the remote at his birthday party, which we had in my library.  Even Iron Man turned up to join in the festivities!  It was a great day with lots of his friends and a face painter and various activities.  My library was NOT quiet for a moment that day!

Owen 5th birthday

I’m still loving our house by the sea, and Owen’s collection of sea shells is still growing steadily!  Unfortunately our hot tub spent a lot of this year on its side but the leaks do seem to be getting smaller so hopefully soon it will be sorted…maybe…

Gosh nearly signed off without mentioning #wilddolphins that would not be right!  This summer Aberdeen played host to 50 big dolphins decorated by different artists, there were also about 18 done by schools that were in public libraries.  We spent many an hour travelling round getting a photo of them each, such as top right.  It was a wonderful project, took us to new places, had us walking for miles from one to the next, encouraged an interest in different art techniques, and got us talking to all sorts of other people out dolphin hunting.  Plus it was all for charity and each big dolphin was auctioned at the end and raised a lot of money.  Some lovely people even put the dolphin they bought in a public place so we can still enjoy one – SpiderDolphin is at the children’s hospital for example.  Missed them when they left though, quite strange how attached you got to them!

Our first dolphie!  #wilddolphins

And that’s about 2014 as it was for the Newtonhill Robertsons, have to say it’s been rather good to us.  Hope it’s been a good year for you too – and that 2015 is even better for everyone!

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?!

February 12th, 2014

So it’s my 7 year anniversary at work, the longest I’ve ever stayed in a job by far. I am the Executive Secretary and Librarian for the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen.


When I took the job it was an opportunity to reach my personal goal of moving back to Aberdeen.  I was frustrated to start with, as I wasn’t using my Librarianship degree.  In fact I even applied for some other jobs and had a couple of interviews.  As time has gone on though I’ve developed the role and recently I’ve found myself faltering when I’ve gone to say my usual “I left my dream job in Edinburgh”.  I did absolutely love being Reader Services Librarian at the Advocates Library and it fulfilled the librarian side of me, but now I love my job at the Society and it fulfils me as a person.

SoA Library

I have a lovely law library to cherish, plus I get to organise and run events. I’ve always been the one to arrange nights out, help on social committees etc so this suits me well. Plus growing up in a Restaurant with Accommodation I’m used to laying tables, discussing menus, greeting guests.  Now we are also encouraging external hire of the library and we’ve had our first wedding (ceremony and reception) and concert in the library. I was involved in organising both and was present start to finish and can honestly say both dates are up there in my top 10 amazing days of my life.  Hard work but so enjoyable and satisfying!

I have often joked that I don’t have a pension or health insurance but I get enough free meals and left overs that it equals out.  In truth I doubt there are many jobs that an employee is as well treated as I am, I’m well paid and given frequent thanks and praise for what I do, plus they are flexible when I have requests like attending my son’s nativity.  Owen and Bryan are both accepted as part of the Society’s family and are welcomed at events from time to time. Owen loves coming to the library and sometimes helps me clear up after a Library Lunch, his favourite job is blowing out the candles.. although he’s always keen to clear up left over tablet too…

It’s not all perfect obviously but there’s certainly more days that I think “right, off to work” rather than “urgh can’t I stay under the duvet”.  I’ve always said that I had to do a job that makes me happy, we spend too large a proportion of our lives working not to, so I consider myself very lucky to have this position.  I wouldn’t cope well in a boring repetitive job and thrive on the constant chain of new challenges, it’s rare that you get 2 days the same!

It’s an unusual job in many ways: I work in an office by myself, with occasional visits from the other employee, the caretaker; I attend and participate in most of the events I arrange, getting to play hostess and getting paid to do fun things like go to the theatre or have lunch with our lovely members; I’m paid a full time salary for almost part time hours (library hours 9.30-1, 2-4 but then cover all events too); and, my boss changes every year.  I’m governed by a Management Committee and every November there’s a new Junior Vice President who’s selected, then becomes Senior VP, and then President. At least I know 2 years in advance who my boss will be and can start breaking them i….I mean getting an idea of how to work best with them. One incumbent made me promise to stay for at least 4 years to cover their time before accepting the role, which I still take as a huge compliment – and hopefully they didn’t regret it!

The people are lovely (mostly!).  Obviously the Society’s members are all solicitors, or retired solicitors.  I also try to look after our annuitants – widows of deceased members who joined the annuity fund.  Then there’s the people who hire the library, speakers who agree to come and give seminars, and our permanent tenants – the Scottish Courts.  It’s interesting working with a variety of people, but reassuring to have the known faces of members.  They’ve all accepted me with open arms and they are appreciative of my efforts, which is satisfying. Recently I sent out an email about a new room hire information sheet I’d worked on with a lovely photographer and I got an email back acknowledging my efforts.  Not that “thank you” or “good job” emails are unusual in my inbox but this one really meant a lot as he referred to Dorothea Bruce who used to have my job and left large boots to fill when she retired.  Many people have told me stories about her and she will never be forgotten at the Society so to be told she’d probably approve of developments since I joined seems high praise indeed.

So what have I achieved in 7 years?  That’s a hard question to answer properly as I work with the Management Committee so many of the achievements are team efforts.  However I have spearheaded and been most instrumental in some things, such as the planning, creation and maintenance of a website.  This gives a set place for members to find details of all our events, for prospective members to find out about membership and for members of the public to find out a bit more about us, our members, or our venue for hire.

When I started there was a spreadsheet with some details of the items in our extensive law library.  I’m working through adding locations so you can actually find things if wanted and we now have a searchable online catalogue (of the key texts and one day it will be everything).  I’ve also rearranged the textbooks so they are all together and in proper alphabetical order, and I currently have a work experience library student creating a See Also reference document to accompany the collection.

There is now a job manual with instructions for the key tasks – and one day I will get more regular duties covered!  I’ve developed and trained a team of cover staff so the library is still open in my absence (holidays, professional leave and sickness).

When I started all payments in and out were made by cash or cheque.  We now use BACS, DD and Standing Orders which streamlines procedures and ensures bills are paid promptly, it also saves postage, waiting for a counter signatory to come by, and trips to the bank.  I think this is especially great when it comes to our annuitants as some of them are less mobile so now the money goes straight into their bank account and they don’t need to get someone to pay the cheque in for them.

Similarly most of our communications are done electronically so members are kept up to date by email. We have separate mailing lists for different interests, eg social events, seminars, court practitioners, new professionals.  AGM paperwork used to get posted out at great cost in postage, time and trees, now only 30 of them get posted, the other 300 are sent electronically.  A few clicks rather than hours of photocopying and envelope stuffing!

We have a self serve coffee shop that members can use and this covers the cost, and gets more use out of, the Press and Journal – which I need to check each day for deaths of members or their partners.  Cheery!

One thing I’m very proud of – as it’s been complimented by members and a similar organisation to ours set up a mirror service in their city – is my Will Search service.  Basically if someone dies in Scotland their family needs to know where their will is (drawer in house or solicitor).  If it’s not known they then need to make reasonable efforts to find it before dealing with the estate of their loved one.  I believe in England there’s a central database which makes a lot of sense and I urge Scottish people to ensure their family knows where their will is, just in case.  Anyway after a few enquiries it dawned on me that the Society was a central organisation that could assist with this in Aberdeen.  After discussion with the Management Committee I emailed round our members and asked for a contact from each firm that could check for any wills I was asked for, I then set up a mailing list of these contacts and put a list on our website and any requests get emailed round, saving a lot of time and effort and covering all the main firms in Aberdeen.

I have also presented a seminar on transferable skills (text available here and slides here) to the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians and been part of their Web Committee.  Both scary steps to take but great things to add to a Professional Achievements list.

All that and I now have an awesome 4 year old son and my forever house with sea views. Thanks Aberdeen, so glad we came back!

Festive Fun

February 12th, 2014

We had a lovely Christmas and managed to fit quite a bit into the 2 weeks holiday we had (including some work – no rest for the wicked!).  Owen made us very proud by being picked to play Joseph in the Christmas show at his nursery.  We kept it a secret from everyone but I practised his lines with him so was in on it – although I wasn’t allowed to hear any of the songs before the big day!  I went up to get a photo of him and Mary at the end and he swiftly replaced her with one of the dancers, cheeky monkey.  Her name is Sophia and he has declared several times he wants to marry her – and assured me the other day he asked her and she nodded, so I guess that’s quite official.  Anyway, this is a picture of Joseph with his proud Dad at the end of the show.

Christmas Eve Bryan and I both needed to work the morning so my friend Gill and her son Dan took Owen to the cinema to see Frozen.  In the evening we had heard the International Space Station would be passing overhead so we went out and Owen was excited to see Santa’s sleigh fly across the horizon – obviously on his way to kiddies down south with earlier bed times whilst he waited for Owen to fall asleep, which happened as soon as the reindeer food, Santa dust, and usual plate of goodies by the tree were all in place!

Christmas Day was just the 3 of us and heaps of presents to play with.  Owen’s favourite present is a “Golden Lion” which Santa got traditionally made by an African lady.  This tied in nicely with our visit to Lion King in November and the fact that Grandda was offshore in Angola for Christmas.  So much for all the amazing battery powered things etc that kids get these days!  In the evening we started watching a bit of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, I wasn’t sure Owen would take to ballet, but he totally loved it and ended up staying up late so he could see the end!  I hadn’t realised quite how “grown up” some of it would be but he was quite oblivious so it was fine.  So nice snuggled up on the sofa with him watching such amazing dancers.

Boxing Day we met up with Ray, Nicole and their kids and went to the pantomime in Aberdeen with Elaine C Smith.  It was Cinderella and was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

On the Friday we met up with the Young family from Edinburgh and had cakes and a catch up with them before heading to my parents place for a couple of nights.  The Saturday was our “Creagan Christmas” with pressies and a lovely roast dinner and then we headed home on the Sunday.

Hogmanay we had brother Lee and his partner Leanne over for dinner and “a sleepover” as Owen insists it is whenever anyone stays the night!  Bryan cooked us all yummy stovies then Owen went to bed and us grown ups attacked my bubbles supply.  It was a lovely evening just chatting and drinking – and Leanne shared my tradition of having a wee sparkler at midnight!

January 1st we met up with Ray and Nicole and their kids and another family and went for a lovely walk through the forest at Crathes Castle.  I would have liked to have been snuggled under a duvet watching a DVD but it was great to get some fresh air and start the year energetically!

Bryan had to work the Thursday-Friday so Owen and I took the chance of a second trip to Creagan.  My folks then took us a trip to see the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies which were amazing.  It also gave me some time to move out some more of my “stuff” ready for when they finally manage to sell up and retire, it’s amazing how much stuff I still have there when I haven’t lived there for over a decade!

Anyway back to work and nursery now – Owen’s primary school application has been made ready for August.  We’re hoping to get him into the local Gaelic unit, a big choice to make for the wee man but hopefully one made for the best.  P1 and P2 are complete submersion, I think gym class is the only time English is spoken so it will be interesting to have a son who speaks a language we don’t!

2013 – an overview!

December 31st, 2013

This year has been a busy and fantastic one for us.  We moved house in April to my rainbow’s end little pot of gold as you can see up above!  We are now well settled in, and enjoyed making the most of the gorgeous weather this summer.  We moved to the seaside at just the right time – I can assure you working in a heat wave is more bearable knowing you can go for a paddle when you get home!  Many trips to the beach 2 minutes away have been made, and many picnics there and on the deck area at the front door overlooking the sea!

We had a lovely 10th Wedding Anniversary celebration back in the honeymoon suite at Balbirnie Hotel (where we were married) and during our stay did some key conveyancing transactions with the solicitors!  I wasn’t bothered about my birthday this year, just wanted to get into the house and start living “happily ever after”!  In line with this I somehow totally lost my list of pressies and confused myself so much I never got round to doing thank you letters, so I do apologise for that.  If you missed the whole story of the house I did blog about it and I’ve posted photos on my Flickr.

The house is all I dreamed of and more, never realised how content having sea views would make me – and we lost count of how many times Owen squealed happily “I can see the sea” in the first month!  Even the cats love it as they can now go outside as we’re away from any busy roads, we just cross our fingers they won’t jump off the cliffs!  The house has lots of features that I love: an awesome utility room with proper old Belfast sink and a really useful hose type tap; a lovely bathroom with funky lighting; a great ensuite with a double shower; Owen’s room has tons of storage and fantastic views of the coast; a useful hose under the front decking so you can wash the car; a spare room that we can keep just as a spare room (yes that is your invite!); and 2 decent sized lounges including a perfect space for Firefly, my rocking horse.  I could go on but I don’t want to be a bore/show off!  Unfortunately when we moved in we had 3 quite major problems so we’re working through fixing those things (and paying the associated bills!) but generally speaking we’re all quite happy there.  Bryan doesn’t see it as his “forever house” in the same way I do but I’ve told him if he wants to move he can organise it all next time – if he finds a house we like even more than this one!

Our other news is that Bryan’s firm got bought over at the start of the year by Adept4.  Bryan then got promoted in April and the associated pay rise was perfect timing for our increased mortgage, and has meant finances aren’t as tight as we’d predicted.  Plus for the first time in our relationship he is the Main Breadwinner, so that’s taking some getting used to!  Owen and his Grandda got him an “I’m The Boss” badge for Father’s Day so that reminds me.  Adept4 seem to be a great company, and I’m not just saying that as I’m wearing the gorgeous earrings I got from their Christmas party one Saturday night a couple of weeks ago…which was an awesome Bond themed dinner, in Shropshire!  Was nice to get a night away and I got to drive an MPV for the first time as there were 6 of us travelling down from Aberdeen, nice bit of bonding time for the 3 colleagues/IT geeks.

Owen is growing as only little people do, can’t believe our wee baby is 4 now.  This was him as Joseph in the nursery Christmas Show – he was very diligent in learning his lines (and keeping his star role a secret from his Daddy until the big day!).  He’s very excited about going to GaelicSchool next August and has been learning a few words, we even went to a day course to learn some to speak with him.  We also got invited to a picnic of other families involved with the school so he met a boy who will be in his year and some others from above and below his year.  He is great fun, totally into drawing and Lego at the moment – and collecting shells and other beach “treasure”..  This year he’s had his first trip to England (Bryan had a work BBQ for us to attend), he’s been to Mickey Mouse Rockin’ Road Show, the Turriff Show, Leuchar’s air show, Lion King stage show (with Hillside flatshare reunion lunch, first time since kids born, pic below!) and exhibition, had football coaching at nursery, honed his climbing skills (rocks at the beach as well as in play parks) and been to his first music festival.  The last of these was Strathyre’s first attempt and my parent’s hotel was one of the venues.  Creagan is still on the market unfortunately but the good news is Dad finally applied, and was accepted, to The Master Chefs of Great Britain.

My work is going great, in June I gave my first ever seminar to my peers at the British and Irish Association of Law Librarian’s conference (I go most years).  A lot of work, and nerves, went into it but it seemed to go well, I even repeated it for one of the local law firms.  It was called Working Outside The Box and is about transferable skills.  I’ve also been promoted to Vice Chair of the BIALL Website Committee so that means I’m guaranteed a few more trips to London etc for their meetings!  I’ve been encouraging external hires of our library and in September we had our first wedding, in November our first concert – both of which were great fun.

I’m still writing concert reviews so I get to see gigs for free – in fact one birthday treat was finally getting to see Simple Minds in action, great night!  I’ve also seen Olly Murs, Emile Sande, Midge Ure, Toyah (even got my photo taken with her!), Emma’s Imagination (pic with her too!). Young Kato, Pigeon Detectives (ooh another pic!), Joe Bonamassa, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and local band Little Kicks.  Not forgetting of course CS Buchan’s album launch in the wonderful venue of…my library!  If you’re interested my reviews are online here.  I won 4 tickets to see Strictly Confidential, the dance show about Lisa Riley’s life so had a girly outing and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  Ooh and talking of prizes, I also won an iPad Mini so that’s been very handy for supporting my internet addiction!

Our Christmas Day was just the 3 of us in our new house, then Boxing Day we went to the pantomime with Ray, Nicole, Lucas and Maya.  Having moved to the south of Aberdeen we’ve managed to see more of them this year and our sons seem to be growing up as close as their Dads did, which is nice.  On 27th we were supposed to head down to Fife for my wee cousin’s wedding party as she’s finally home from the States where she got married but unfortunately a couple of members of the family were ill, so I still have that prospect to look forward to.  Instead we went straight to Creagan to have a “Christmas Day” with my parents last Saturday.

Unfortunately Bryan’s Dad is offshore this month but we do see him quite a lot when he’s onshore now which is ace, and at the end of January the 4 of us are going to Old Trafford to see Man U play (thanks Adept4!) so we’re all really excited about that, will be quite an experience I’m sure!

So really 2013 has been a great year for us, hope it suited you too?!

4th BIALL since Owen!

June 12th, 2013

It’s the time of year again when I have to tear myself away from my family and head off to my librarians conference!  I can’t believe its the 4th time I’ve left Owen for the annual event, time really does fly!

Every year I’ve got Bryan to take a photo of Owen and I outside nursery so here is the set so far…

Traditional pre Biall conference pic

Third year I've left Owen at nursery to leave for BIALL conference

1 year on

Leaving Owen at nursery before I go to Brighton!

Yes I do seem to always wear the same jackets *sigh* and you can tell the year’s I flew as I had my Mr T t-shirt on for those, just off to Glasgow this year though so just a train trip!  The big scary thing this year is that I am actually speaking at the conference rather than just attending, not sure why I thought it was a good idea but there we are, Friday morning at 11.30 please pray for me!  At least I’m well prepared, I think… and hubby and boss have both approved the content..just hope the 58 people booked for the session don’t fall asleep!  You can follow the conference on Twitter under #biall2013 if you so wish to!

Birthday fun

April 4th, 2013

Getting old isn’t fun but life is what you make it so I used it, and moving, as an excuse to have a night out with the girls.  It turned into one of those AWESOME nights that you know you will all remember for ages – and as we bumped into a photographer we even have a memory of it!
Me and the pretty girls

Photo by

We had a nice meal out, then a drink in Orchid and then off to our beloved Club Tropicana for some 80s dancing.  Bad planning being out the night the clocks spring forward but never mind hey?!

On Monday I then got another birthday treat as I finally got to see Simple Minds in concert.  I’ve wanted to see them ever since they lived round the glen from me and we used to pass in the car and I’d try and peek in the windows of the recording studio they had overlooking Loch Earn.  Jim Kerr, the lead singer, even ate at my parent’s restaurant a couple of times but I always had to be somewhere else.  Anyway that was an ace night, as I have reviewed at:

My birthday wasn’t that special a day, I was working and then had the usual routine of getting Owen home, fed and bedded.  It was special in that I had so many lovely texts, Facebook messages, Tweets and emails from my super friends and family.  I am a very lucky girl.  Two lovely ladies even came and kept me company at lunchtime which was good, I do like a good natter!  Then in the evening Bryan went off and met our friend Steve, who managed to find us 2 unwanted sofas for our new house.  So they have been moved into Steve’s garage ready for when we get the keys.  Bryan brought home a photo of them and they look ace so that’s an awesome birthday present to get!!

I really wasn’t bothered about celebrating my birthday this year, the excitment will come later this month when we move house, but I still felt special – especially when Bryan presented me with a yummy Bournville Brioche and Butter Pudding after dinner – YUMMY!!!

BIALL conference

March 25th, 2013

Most years I go to the BIALL conference – British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.  Two years ago I even joined one of their committees and now help with their Website.

This year I have taken another big step in the world of professional Librarians and I am actually going to be a speaker at the conference!  It’s a plenary session so hopefully the other 2 sessions will be far more interesting and I won’t have to stand up in front of too many people!!  I have presented seminars before, in my last job I did the Devil training.  Sounds fun huh?  Devils are trainee advocates and I taught them about using the library, and the electronic resources available through the library.  In my current job I presented a seminar on Social Networking, the papers for which are on our website, there’s the talk itself and the slides that accompanied it.

Anyway if you fancy a nosy at what I’m doing in June the details are on the conference pages of the website: My session at BIALL


Some links and news

March 21st, 2013

My review of Olly Murs at the AECC is now online –

Hubby’s firm has been taken over and he gets described as “talented and motivated” –

My Dad has finally applied to, and been accepted by, The Master Chefs of Great Britain, my Mum and I are very proud –

My parent’s hotel is going to be a venue for their local music festival –

Happy days!  Meanwhile I’m busy planning for our move next month, and 5 days of homelessness.  It’s all go!

#projectomg – the full story!

March 15th, 2013

Since August I have been using the hashtag on Twitter of #projectomg and made cryptic comments about what was going on with our whole house move thing.  Well the time has come to tell the whole tale – although it must be said its one of the worst kept secrets I’ve ever had, I was just too excited!

So what was I going on about?  Well if I can take you back a couple of years…July 2011 I believe…some of my friends were in the process of moving houses and were sending me links to ESPC and possible purchases.  One Friday lunchtime I was bored and started surfing our local property site – ASPC.  Now don’t ask me how but I found a house – very unlike what I normally look at, in a place I didn’t really know where it was and had certainly never been, and way out of our budget.  Then I fell in love.

That night I sheepishly mentioned it to hubby.  “Can we afford it?” he asked so I got looking at mortgage calculators and the next morning I phoned some banks.  Eventually…actually I think it was the Monday which was a local holiday so I was off work but the banks were open…I came back with the answer of yes although we’d be skint.  A yes answer provoked himself into looking at the schedule…and ooohing a bit…  I was given permission to arrange a viewing.  I phoned the mobile number on the schedule and it wasn’t recognised, so I had to wait until the Tuesday to phone the selling agent and ask them to arrange a viewing for me.  A couple of phone calls back and forth and finally on the Friday I got a response “they have taken it off the market”.  Well gut response I squealed “noooo, they can’t do that” to which I was assured they could.

By that time I had been poring over the schedule for a week, reading each tiny detail time and again, memorising all the photos.  I was gutted as I was convinced this was the “forever house” for my family.  I am not one to give up easily when there’s something I really want – anyone who was around when I was trying to get tickets for the MTV awards in Edinburgh will vouch for that, and what an awesome night I finally had when I ended up as a seat filler for the VIPs.  But I digress…

I love the concept “if you don’t ask you don’t get”, and also the Law Of Attraction, and have used them many times over the years.  The more I thought about it the more I thought this could be one of those occassions.  I sat down, picked up a pen, and wrote to the address of this dream house.  I explained I was the viewer they turned down and that I was in love with the house after a week of examining the schedule and so I would appreciate it if they would keep my contact details in case they ever changed their mind.  A mad thing to do perhaps, and certainly no response arrived…

Until 1 year later!  One Friday night after work – 3 August 2012 – I had just settled myself into a seat on the Megabus to Edinburgh for the wedding of my lovely friends David and Becki.  My phone buzzed and I looked down to a text that said we are thinking of putting the house back on the market, are you still interested?  It’s horrid being alone in a public place when you get a possibly life changing text and you can’t tell anyone about it, but oh so exciting!  One text conversation later I had arranged to go and view the house, at last!  At some point I told hubby, can’t really remember that bit.  Luckily after all that time of lusting after the place, all 3 of us liked it when we did get the tour and we expressed an interest but explained our house wasn’t on the market, or ready to be so.  Luckily we had a week’s annual leave with no major plans so off we went and got DIY-tastic and had the necessary surveyor and solicitor visits and got the place on the market.  Obviously I’ve blogged about selling the house, that bit wasn’t a secret for long but we had to try and keep quiet about the house in Newtonhill that we were doing it for in case it wouldn’t work out.

It was a tense few months, trying to sell our house and not knowing if we were taking too long for the Newtonhill house to wait for us.  Every now and then I would text them updates of what was happening and it was fabulous when I could finally text them that we’d sold and they confirmed we could still buy theirs!