Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be discussing World Mental Health Day, National Coming Out Day, First class on a Train and Chartership. So let’s get started.

It has been a busy old week this week. Work has been busy and I have been learning new skills and trying to make sure everything is ok as I am off this coming week. There is something lovely about the feeling of switching on your out of office email. The aim of my week off is to rest and recharge. The last time I had a week off to relax was in May but I didn’t go away. This week I am going away for a few days and hopefully I can relax and just sort myself out a bit.

This brings me nicely on to World Mental Health Day which was on Monday. In recent years we have tried to talk more about our mental health and it slowly starting to be accepted but there is still a long way to go.It should be easy to talk to someone about how we are feeling but we don’t especially men. Sometimes you don’t even know that you are struggling until afterwards especially if it is the first time it has effected you. Like all illnesses we think it only happens to someone else but we are somebody’s someone else. This year I am not ashamed to admit I have struggled with my mental health. It hasn’t been great and I could have dealt with it better but the main thing is I found ways to cope with it. I know I can’t stop it happening but I have learnt techniques to cope with it better. If you are struggling try to find the time to talk to someone it really helps honest. There is no shame in talking about how you feel or having a cry you are only human not super human. Feeling emotion good and bad is part of what makes us human so embrace it.

The day after World Mental Health Day it was National Coming Out Day. Having come out I can see the connection between mental health and coming out. Studies have shown that if you are LGBT you are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Yes society has come a long way in acceptance but there is still some way to go.I grew up in the 80’s and the way the LGBT community was treated then and attitudes from living a northern town kept me in the closet until I was 30 and I had to come out then because it was having an impact on me keeping it secret. National Coming Out Day is a good way of sharing coming out experiences and reassuring those who are trying to come to terms with sexuality. It doesn’t mean you have to come out on that day. The most important thing is that you come out when you are ready to and feel safe to do so.It that is October 11th brilliant if it is May 11th then that’s good too. Just do it when it is ok for you. Also there is no age limit to coming out. IF you are 18 or 80 it doesn’t matter as long as you are ready to its ok.

This week I had bad experience on my train commute. I got my usual train and sat in Coach G which is standard class and then was relaxing before getting to work. As I got on I noticed one 4 seater table had some serviette on them. A bit odd but thought no more.Then half way through the journey a member of staff came in to check tickets as I was reaching for mine she then announced that this carriage was a first class carriage for today due to Coach M being missing and that any standard ticket holders had to leave immediately or be fined/charged extra. There was no signage up to say this just the usual standard class signage. So I raised this with her. She then said it was First Class now and that there were serviettes on the tables which indicated this. What! Serviettes are the defining characteristics for a carriage being First Class seriously Virgin East Coast. Well I was sat in a two-seater which had no serviettes on the tables so maybe my seat wasn’t first class. She then said she had made an announcement at York about this. Well she probably did but as I got on at Darlington and don’t have the hearing of Superman or have the ability to read minds I didn’t know this. However she still thought it was acceptable to treat myself and other regulars and passengers who had paid as criminals. There was only 5 minutes before we arrived in Durham where a majority of us were getting off surely it was ok to sit there until then. No it wasn’t  apparently and we were made to leave and stand in the vestibule area (we didn’t sit on the floor as one know it is rude to sit on the floor on train). The carriage was almost empty with just 2 First Class passengers remaining and the important serviettes on tables indicating the   status of the carriage as First Class.

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I was and still am very angry about this. There were 2 other First Class carriages on board. If Coach G was to become First Class surely they could have printed off some signage to say this before the train left London (I’m guessing London Kings Cross does have printer). Also they could have seated any First Class passengers in this coach and still offered the catering service to them but any spare seats could have been free for standard ticket holders. Everyone would have benefited then. Obviously jobsworth woman didn’t think so and thought being rude was acceptable well it isn’t and next time I’m not moving as the National Rail Conditions of Carriage do not say this is allowed instead First Class Passengers should be offered a refund/the difference in ticket price.  Virgin East Coast admit it you messed up and I hope to get an apology soon.

I mentioned last month that I had signed up to do Chartership. It had been on my mind for a long time but I have never found the time to do it. Last month though I went ahead enrolled and this week I had my first meeting with my mentor. I was quite nervous about it but also excited. It was a great meeting and good to learn about a different type of library and the challenges they face. now I know where I have to start. It will be a long process and a lot of time but I hope I can make a success of it and finally feel as if I have achieved something.

Well that is it for this week. As well as going away for the week I hope to find sometime to get this months book blog done. Until then it is bye for now.

Top Programme of the Week – Cold Feet

Top Song of the Week – Katy B – Crying for no Reason

Books I Am Currently Reading – Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

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