Thursday, 30 August 2012

Au Revoir Orchid

Lovely orchid plant from lovely ladies at work. Bit sad to be going now.

A lovely leaving present orchid from my just as lovely colleagues. There was also a card and some scrumdiddlyumptious fudge to go with.

So, today was my last day in my current PT library job. Not through my own choosing, though; I've been working on a temporary contract since December last year, and, after several extensions, it's finally up. The library service here is having a big restructure and shake up to save the council some moolah, and is finally, after what seems like months and months of discussion, faff and compromise, going live this coming Monday.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I can totally see that it's necessary, and I think the new ways of working are going to be a really positive thing, but, on the other, I also think it's not going to be easy going for people who have worked in the service for a long time. We have lost a lot of staff members through voluntary redundancy and retirement, so at least there's not been any need to "get rid" of anybody as such. As someone on a temporary contract, I'm at the bottom of the pile for a place in the new system, even though I've been working on and off for the service for seven years, which is a bit annoying, but, to be honest, exactly how it should be. I have plenty of casual work booked in for the next couple of weeks filling in the gaps in various libraries, hopefully after that something more permanent will turn up. Even though the faff is annoying, I'm very, very lucky that this is not my "proper" job and that my first love is illustration, particularly compared to those who have been in the service for years and years and rely on it alone to pay the bills.

I hope this uncertainty in the PT job department means there's a lot more illustration work coming my way! Watch this space.....

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pyms O'Clock

Looking through my blog, it seems that my recent posts have been nothing but pictures. Nowt much wrong with that, but I do feel I need to up the writing part here, if only for my only sanity/good, as I can see myself just getting lazy and slipping in to permanent picture-only posts!

So...what to put down here. As you probably can tell from my previous post, Middle Sister and I went to the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour this week. It was AMAZING. I cannot put in to eloquent enough words how blown away we both were by the sheer level of detail and effort and love and devotion put in to everything. There was not a single "duff" or sloppily executed item to see anywhere; I highly recommend a visit. Even if you're not a huge Harry fan yourself, if you like film and are at all interested in how a production on a scale as massive as this gets from script to screen, it's deffo worth your time (five hours of it, as it turned out). I have some more photos - like, 150, to sort through, but I expect I'll put a few more up here in the near future.

And, after more work-free weeks than I've cared for, I've got a couple of jobs in. One is an ongoing kind of dip-in-and-out kind of job for a company who makes slideshows and web video promos for other companies, the other is a new book for Ladybird. It's for a younger audience than the one I did for them earlier this year and I'm REALLY enjoying it so far. I mean, I get to draw dragons. My job just rocks.

pyms o clock

I also seem to be reading loads at the moment. I've recently discovered Barbara Pym after randomly coming across Excellent Women while working at the library one day. I finished that one pretty quickly, and I've just started Jane and Prudence and have A Glass of Blessings to follow that up with. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that I like so much about her writing. It's very, very funny, but in a gentle, very English, mid-century kind of way. It reminds me of the work of Jane Austen, Stella Gibbons and Winifred Watson, novels about women in genteel poverty who appear to be limited by social conventions of the time, but like their lot just fine, thank you very much. The editions I have from the library are fairly new reprints, each with an introduction by a modern author. I like to read the novel first, and then see what the intro says about it and whether or not I thought something similar as I was reading it. Go grab some Pym if you can, I say.

And, finally and most annoyingly, I hab a colb and the tail end of a cold sore. GAH. Illness in summer is just plain WRONG. At least I won't be ill on my birthday, fingers crossed, which seems to be approaching with alarming speed. I think, then, I'm justified in reading a chapter or two of Jane and Prudence with a pot of tea before cracking on with my roughs this afternoon, right?