Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be discussing the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, ‘me’ time, and the Booker Prize long list. So with all this to get through I had better get started.

This week was the start of the Commonwealth Games which are being held in Glasgow (with swimming and diving in Edinburgh) . It is great to watch a whole range of sports that I would not usually watch (so far I have watched swimming, lawn green bowls, rugby sevens, marathon, boxing and judo). I had tried to get tickets a year ago when they first went on sale but just like the Olympics I missed out. Maybe the next time it is held in Great Britain I will be luckier (it is one of the things on my bucket list)  Still I have enjoyed watching on TV and will continue to watch this week. I quite enjoyed the Opening Ceremony even if it wasn’t on the scale of London 2012 which is fair enough. If I am honest the Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games was the type of thing I expected to see at London 2012. I don’t mean that in a bad way it’s just London 2012 was bigger and slicker than I expected it would be. What I loved about the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony was that it was true to Scotland and it told the history of Scotland but with humour. OK Her Majesty The Queen did not jump out of a helicopter this time but where else would you get life-size dancing Tunnock Teacakes, this is pretty hard to beat. There was also ‘that kiss’ which I had hoped would not cause complaints but I knew it would. Two men kissing should not be a problem in this day age but obviously it is. I do believe they would have had less complaints if John Barrowman had flashed his bum instead of kissing another guy. Many of the complaints came from the UK which is sad to hear but I also understand the outrage it would have caused in other Commonwealth countries. This is because in 42 countries of the Commonwealth it is illegal to be gay with offences ranging from prison sentences to the death penalty so to decide to put that kiss in was going to be controversial. Was right to do this then? Surely each Commonwealth country should respect each others laws and customs. Yes that is true to an extent but one of the big aims of the Commonwealth is to promote equality and that is why that kiss was important. It shows how far we have come in terms of LGBT equality but also shows we have a lot  more to do. One day I hope that this kiss would not be controversial but it is a long way off yet. Anyway the main focus should be on the sport which is why I have been watching sand I have been cheering on all the home nations. I think the athlete that has stood out for me so far is Ross Murdoch, his reaction to winning was brilliant. I hope he goes onto further success.

The Commonwealth Games are really showing Glasgow in a great light and it is clear there is a buzz about the city. I have only ever been to Glasgow once. This was before I was a librarian and worked for a supermarket and I had to attend a training event. The hotel we were at is in the same area of Glasgow where the Games are happening. You can often see it on the TV near the armadillo building. On this visit (2004 I think it was) I was mainly in the hotel taking part in team building and confidence exercises (smashing wood with one hand – I still have the wood) so I didn’t see much of the city. I remember we had a little bit of spare time before the train home and saw Georges Square etc but not much else. I remember at the time thinking it was an ok place but there were some not so nice areas as well. Obviously a lot has changed in the years since and maybe I will visit again sometime but for leisure purposes this time.

For the last few weeks I have ben very busy with work and stuff and  am finding I am not having much time for ‘me’. I am very conscious of this and it is something I need to address. It is probably because I have no holiday planned this year but I need to save for moving out so I can’t do both at the moment. I have been trying to find some time to stop and think and switch off. A few times this week I walked along the riverside to work as it was such a lovely morning and very relaxing. I am still going out though even if it is on own and doing things but not as much as I should be doing. I need to just stop a bit and focus on ‘me’ for a bit. I’ve just forgotten to do this for a while and not sure where to start. Maybe I do need some sort of holiday. Whatever it is that I need I’m sure it will come to me.

As well as the Commonwealth Games the long list for the Booker Prize was announced. I always like to know who has been nominated and try to pick a winner even if I haven’t read the book. This year it is a bit different as the competition is now open to any author as long as the book is written in English and not just authors from the Commonwealth. Many of the books listed haven’t even been published yet but I am sure they are more than worthy of winning. Titles that have caught my eye on the list are ‘Us’ by David Nicholls, he is a great writer and such a nice guy so pleased he has been recognised, ‘J’ by Howard Jacobson, ‘The Bone Clocks’ by David Mitchell, and finally ‘The Wake’ by Paul Kingsnorth, this is a self published book and it is great to see a self published book getting recognition.  Whether they win I don’t know but they rate certainly books I am going to make an effort to read at some point. On the subject of book prizes it is still an ambition of mine to be on a judging panel for a book prize so if any one is looking for a judge for a future book prize then get in touch.

Well that is it for this week. Thanks again for reading and I will be back again the same time next week.

Top Programme of the Week – The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

Top Song of the Week – Trumpets – Jason Derulo

Book I Am Currently Reading – How We Met by Katy Regan