Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The REAL Rainham Rob!

Oh - I cant say how embarressed I am - no really, I just cant!  I have a big slice of humble pie to eat! ...... mmmmmm, actually, slurp, that wasnt so bad!          When I visited Rainham a couple of weeks ago I met Trish and Dave and they kept talking about Rob.  Then I met a little doggie who kept licking my fingers - so, I kinda.....assumed....that the dog.....was Rob!  Ok, so no one actually told me that the dog was Rob - but from what they told me about Rob I just kinda assumed.  It wasnt!  This is Rob!  I dont think he was very happy about the mistake.  He said that he did not go around licking fingers (Josh's Mum and Nicky kept laughing about this!)....however, I heard that he DOES throw peanuts around!  Ok - now Josh's Mum is really laughing!  I think it might be one of those "in" jokes!
Rob turned out to be a real sweetie....and a bit of a poser!  He really loved the camera!  Have you noticed that he seems to pose right under the green arrows!  Hey, look at me, they seem to say!  Still, the tree was very pretty - quite stylish I think!  This is the tree at the portacabin at South Hornchurch Library - its where Schools Library Service, Housebound Service, Reader Development and other important people are based.  I thought it would be freezing in there, but its actually quite toasty warm. 

I think that Rob thought it would be cold as he brought his monkey hat with him!  He actually looked quite cool in it - I did want to borrow it but thought it might be just too confusing for everyone.
Rob does pull funny faces - and between you and me.....he does lick fingers!
Monkey Monkey!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Isnt this fabulous???  These are the Christmas decorations over at Harold Wood Library!  Lots of the libraries have been decorating for Christmas and they look absolutely great - the people coming in really seem to appreciate it when the libraries look festive.   Viv is holding me up so that I can get a peek at the pressies that are in Santa's sleigh - I am sure there is one with my name on it, just cant see what it is!

Now - this is a great new book display that was in the children's area - I thought it looked so bright and colourful, I just couldnt resist grabbing a book from it. 
I know you have seen these leaflets before - you should have done as they are all over the place in our libraries - but I just wanted you to see them one more time as they are nearly out of date - I am so excited because that means our next one will be due out soon.  Ooooo I heard about some of the things that will be going on at some of the libraries today - there is a huge healthy living roadshow coming in January - its visiting some of the libraries and you will be able to cycle a bike to make a smoothie, get a head massage and find out about all the healthy exercise stuff going on in the borough.  I will definitely be going along to that one - you might see me there!

Hmmmmm - this is me thinking about that head massage and how healthy I will be after all the exercise I do - I might take up a dance class.....mmmmmm.....what???

Oh, Josh's Mum told me that to get any benefit out of it I actually have to go to the class - and do the exercise!  Oh well, back to the dreaming - I will let you know how I get on after the roadshow!

Monkey Monkeyx

Friday, 18 December 2009

What a bad blogger I am!!!

I am so sorry - I have been so busy Christmas shopping that I havent been able to update my blog lately! I am sure you forgive me....please?  I went over to Harold Wood Library the other day - I was on the hunt for new books!  Everybody wants new books on the shelves and I know for a fact that Havering put huge numbers out every week - but I was kind of curious as to how they got there.....so I thought I would try and track some down - here is me looking for them!
And this is the large trolley of brand new books I found.  I was chatting to Kim about how the books arrived and the whole processes around them getting on the shelves - and she told me that the ones here are special ones!  Most of the books that come into our libraries are ordered from one or two companies who send all the books straight through to the library that they will spend their time at - they used to come into one library and then be processed and sent around to all the libraries.  Now this is all done automatically and the libraries receive their books direct from the suppliers.  However, some books don't arrive like that - some are special!  These books might be special requests by library users or sometimes special requests by staff for projects or somesuch.  Not many books are ordered like this (it works out more expensive) so these books really are special!

This one here was very interesting - all about Christmas Cookies and their Pets - most fascinating....who knew there was a book on this!  It didnt have many pictures in it - but I think I look kind of intellectual reading a book without any pictures!

Kim has lots of parts of a large job to do and she has to handle lots of paperwork - so I thought I would help her doing her filing.  Her files are much neater than Josh's Mum's files I can tell you!

But Josh's Mum's files have never tried to eat me!  Who knew working in a library could be this dangerous - I thought that all library people did was sit and read new books all day!

Monkey Monkey x

Friday, 11 December 2009

Fame and Rainham Library!

Beverly Hills and Florida - and Australia!  Hows that for fame!  Sorry, I am not making myself clear - in the last week I have had people from the UK and these places reading my blog!  Whoever knew a monkey in a library would be that interesting!

Josh's Mum was doing PDPAs again today - actually she did one PDPA with Frances and then the two of them spent some time reorganising the Reader Development room in the portacabin.  She came home very tired - and a bit grubby if I am honest!  She then did another PDPA with Jo - not sure how Jo managed with her being so grubby!  I wasnt allowed to be around for the PDPAs so I thought I would toddle off back to Rainham - the portacabin is just down the road, so before Frances' PDPA I hitched a lift with Josh's Mum and then got a bus the rest of the way.  When I arrived, Trish was having a banana for breakfast - she very kindly said that I could have her other one as long as I sat quietly while she sorted out the newspapers and got the counter set up for the day.  I certainly didnt mind that and got down to some work.
When I had done what I needed to do on the computer I took a look at their Christmas decorations and found Rob - at least I think this is Rob....the people who work at the library keep talking about Rob, I havent met him yet so I assume this is him.  I have to say he did like licking the banana off my fingers!  We had a great chat about what he was hoping to get for Christmas (a bone) and how he was feeling that day (RUFF!).  He then told me that Trish often hides bananas around the library in case she gets hungry when she is shelving......

I looked and looked and couldnt find any anywhere! I did find all these pressies under the tree though.  They are apparently for Lisa and Evie who belong to Dave, the branch manager - he is hiding them at work so that his "girls" dont find them at home.  I think they will be really pleased - one of them seemed to jingle jangle most pleasantly.......but they werent bananas!  I think Rob may have been teasing me a little!

I was feeling a bit sad about Rob teasing me to be honest - I think you can see that from my slumped shoulders in this next picture...and, in case you were wondering, I did not tell this green creature my name because he wouldnt say please!  I do like good manners!

Night night

Monkey Monkey x

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Rainham Library and a quick update

Josh's Mum had to continue on her trip around the libraries to do her monitoring visits - so we popped into Rainham Library.  Dave and Trish were there and made me very welcome.  I thought the library was really nice - bright and open.  And the staff were very smiley!  Dave is in court today -  not too sure what he did wrong cos he didnt look like he was naughty.  Oh well, you can never judge a book by its cover as they say!  Whoops - Josh's Mum has just given me a good telling off - she said Dave is doing jury service and hasnt done anything wrong at all!  Sorry Dave - see, I said you didnt look naughty!

Whilst Josh's Mum was talking to Dave about risk assessments and key registers (!!!!) I had a wander around the library.  I got a little sidetracked and spent a bit of time with this strange contraption - it was in the children's area so I assumed it was a toy....oh how wrong can a monkey be????
It was a monkey trap!!!  I mean for heavens sake, how was I meant to know?  It leapt at me and soon had me in its clutches - I twisted and turned, wriggled and jiggled and I just couldnt get myself free.  I tried to call for help but Josh's Mum was laughing about something and didnt seem to hear me (although I was almost certain she was looking my way!).  I thought it was going to eat me alive!

Until Trish came round the corner with an armful of shelving...she helped to free me....eventually.  She seemed to be having some sort of fit to start with because her shoulders were jiggling up and down and she was making a funny noise!  Still, I was so grateful to her - I felt really quite shook up.  So I thought I would steer clear of the children's area and its monkey traps - I wandered into the adult side of the library and to my horror found these......
Well, I wasnt expecting to see that sort of thing in a library!  When I had calmed down (again), Josh's Mum explained that libraries are used for all sorts of things and that these were part of an art display by a local man and his daughter.  There were some fabulous paintings on a huge screen - I like the one with the two pretty girls on it best.  I found the figures a little disconcerting but after I had got over the shock I got closer to have a really good look at them.  They were made out of some form of drippy plastic - most odd.  Then I went round the other side of the screens and found this lady sitting in the armchair reading her paper.  I have to say, she was very friendly and didnt seem to mind me reading over her shoulder at all.  I do wonder what I will find next in our libraries!
Monkey Monkeyx

Monday, 7 December 2009

Meeting children and their minders!

Today I got to join in with a really fun session at Hornchurch.  Josh's Mum and her team were working with the childminder's lady from the council called Carol.  They invited lots of childminders to come and have a training session with Josh's Mum's team and the children all had a mucky play session in the hall.  In this picture you can see us all having our snack!  Except for me - I didnt have one!
And you will notice in this next picture that they all have drinks in funny cups - this is so that they dont spill their drinks all over our carpets!  And again...you will notice that I didnt have one!  The children made some really fun things - snowmen on sticks with googly eyes seemed to be the big thing!   I did notice that the childminders got very involved in the craft activity - in some cases they seemed to be doing more crafting than the children! One child even tried to put me onto a stick!  I made it very clear that this was not something that would be happening!

This is me with two of the childminders!  They were very smily and thats why I wanted my picture taken with them!  It looks like there was only the three of us in the classroom - but there were more of us I can promise you.  In the classroom the team worked to show the childminders could help the children to make up stories.  Some of the characters that they made up were really funny.  I liked "Chardoney" best - she was a young girl from Basildon whose special power was reading people's  minds.  When that group got given a windscreen squeegee as a prop they used it to wipe people's memories with......now what was I going to type????  MMMMMM ...nope cant remember!
Night Night Monkey Monkey  x

Friday, 4 December 2009

I have been interviewed!

This is a picture of me being interviewed for Link FM, our local radio station.  I cant remember what these people were called - I was feeling a little tongue-tied and didnt really listen properly when they told me their names!  I bet you want to know why I was interviewed....well this afternoon we went along to read Christmas Stories at St George's Church in Harold Hill.  There were all sorts of things going on in there - lots of children and their parents were making lanterns - it was amazing!  The lanterns were going to be used as part of a parade leading to the lighting of the Christmas lights.  Josh's Mum read some really cool books - my favourite one was about Baby Christmas and when he went for a sleigh ride of his own with the baby Rudolph!
Earlier in the day, Josh's Mum had to go and "monitor" Rainham Library - wow, I have so many great photos from that visit - but you need to wait for that - I hear a hot chocolate calling me from the kitchen - not a "pretend" hot chocolate but a real one made with cocoa, milk and sugar....yummmmmmmm

Monkey Monkey x

Thursday, 3 December 2009


I went to Warhammer at Hornchurch Library this evening.  Its funny, Josh's Mum kept talking about going and I really didnt get what she was talking about (which I have to say is not that unusual!).  It turns out that the club meets once a week and they "battle" little figures - I mean REALLY LITTLE FIGURES!  Will showed me how to paint the figures - they were really tiny!
Here is a picture of me painting one of the Orks - Will explained that Orks are very different to Orcs!  They all seemed very tiny and green to me!  I then decided to move onto actually playing!  There was a big table set out with lots of scenary and some of the other boys were fighting with their armies. 

I thought that I would sneak up on the armies and be able to attack them without them noticing me.  I think Josh may have spotted me!  He was certainly giving me an odd look!  I tried to hard to hide behind the trees as well!
Kian was very inistent that I look at his tank!  He has painted Taxi on the top of it - not exactly sure why as I couldnt possibly squeeze into it!  I was a little concerned because he kept threatening to shoot me with it....he chatted an awful lot and told me soooooo much about the game, his army, and just about everything else as well!
I decided to try a different view and climbed up to the other side of the table - only to be greeted by these little guns pointed at me - I got down pretty quickly I can tell you.  Josh's Mum said that I shouldnt have been climbing up the table anyway!

The table was really quite big and there were alot of figures on it - there was also a surprising number of dice!  The other boys told me to sit still and they would explain all about it to me - they talked about the three phases of battle - moving, shooting and assault.  Just after that explanation I fell off the table!  Guess I should have listened to Josh's Mum!

I decided that there was a much more effective way of winning - if you just swing a rather heavy monkey paw straight down onto those darn little things they look like they might just break really easily!

My idea didnt go down very well with the other boys at the club!

Josh rescued me a little while after this picture was taken - actually, it was quite a long while after this picture was taken!

Hmmmm Monkey Monkey x

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Fun meeting, kidnapped and Bookstart!

Yesterday we had a really fun and buzzy meeting.  It was the meeting for all the events people in libraries.  Josh's mum was hosting the meeting and supplied some yummy cake - and then it was Kay's birthday and she brought cake too!  I like those meetings!  It was a really lively meeting to chat about what events would go on each month and make sure everyone knew what they were doing.  In the picture with me and the cake are Erin from Gidea Park Library (so sweet!) and Linda from South Hornchurch Library - they smiled a lot....Josh's mum kept saying that Linda looks like her Auntie Gill!

This picture here is at the end of the meeting - you can just see Kim (in the rather fetching red coat) and Ella sitting down - think it might be Kathy's hair, just not too sure whose arm it is!  Can you see where Erin is looking?  Look closer.....yes, the dreaded Sam tried to kidnap (monkeynap?) me....I couldnt believe it....he just grabbed me and stuck me up his jumper...oh the indignity of it all!  I think he would like to have a baby - I think his mum needs to have THAT talk with him really soon! 

I did not want to be anyone's baby!  So, I wriggled myself up his chest - may have kicked him in the ribs a few times....now I dont approve of violence but just sometimes.....
Can you see his face?  He did seem a little surprised when I poked my head out under his chin!  I felt quite victorious - I think you can see that just by looking at my face!

Erin helped me out of Sam's jumper (it was a bit stuffy in there) and I had to have a large slice of cake to recover.

Luckily, I was feeling better today.  I went with Josh's mum to the Bookstart Regional Meeting in Canary Wharf.  I must say, they were a little lacking in the cake department, but the coffee was nice (according to Josh's Mum - I am not allowed any!).  In the picture are Natasha and Kay - they are ....now let me get this right.....more initials....BDM's!  Now I am sure someone clever could come up with something funny for those initials, but not me, I will just tell you they stand for Bookstart Development Managers - I think! 

I am not going to do a long post on Bookstart now - I was a little confused...it seems like they give books away to all the children in the country....sure it cant be true!  I am going to check out their website later tonight and will let you know soon - if you want to know before I post then their site is www.bookstart.org.uk

Enough for tonight - travelling on those Dockland Trains has taken it out of me - they have no drivers!  I had to sit at the front to make sure we didnt crash!

Monkey Monkey!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


This is going to be a quick post today!  OK - what is it with letters and people who work in the council?  LMT, PDPA????  Let me explain.  Every month all the library managers get together and have a meeting - they look at their targets and see how they are doing, they talk about new things coming up and then they feedback about fun things (and not so fun things) that have happened.  So LMT - stands for Library Managers Team....or somesuch variation of that!  I met a few new people yesterday and had the chance to spend some time with them.  In this picture are yours truely, Dave from Rainham Library and Anne from Schools Library Service

And in this picture are Ella from Collier Row Library and Colin from Romford Library - arent they just a happy smiley bunch of people?  In the afternoon, Josh's Mum had her PDPA (more letters!) with Ann.  I wasnt allowed in for that one - think they may have only had two cakes!  PDPA?  Oh yes that one was Personal Development Performance Appraisal.  Its a posh, more indepth one to one!  Ok - gotta run now - have to go and do the school run and then we have a meeting over at Elm Park to sort out the events for this coming year for you lucky folk! 

Monkey Monkey x

Friday, 27 November 2009

Nice and scary people at Harold Hill Library

Wow - isnt it strange how one library can have so many nice people in it?  This is a picture of me with Jo - she is the Reader Development Librarian whose area includes Harold Hill.  Her job is to get young people and children to use libraries and love books.  I think she does a very good job.  When I met her she was recovering from a really busy visit from some children who had come to listen to people talk about the local area and what it was like when they were younger.  She is showing me a picture of her little boy on the Baby Bounce poster.  She told me that she has another baby in her tummy - I cant ever imagine being THAT hungry!

Then I met Janice who also works at Harold Hill - she has been reading my blog and remembered that she had a tea-towel with a monkey on!  Guess what?  She gave it to me!  How generous was that?  I thought it was so kind of her....she did make me laugh, she thought it was me on the tea towel.  I tried to explain that it was nothing like me - it was the famous monkey on the teabag adverts!  He is a bit full of himself if you ask me!

Ok - see how smiley and happy this man is?  Well dont let that fool you!  He was trying to tape me to a box and send me on the courier van!  If someone wants a book that isnt in their library they can request it and the library will try and borrow a copy for them.  Sometimes we lend books to really far away places - Josh's Mum said that the service has lent a book on Southend Pier to Poland! - I wonder why they wanted to read that?  Anywho....all those books need to be packed into boxes so that they can be sent to the library they are needed - Adrian told me that they send a lot of books around to different libraries and they all need to be accounted for and packed up safely.  He suggested I take a closer look.....and the rest, is history!  Luckily, Alison (one of the other ladies working there) spotted him and told him off!  Phew!  ANOTHER lucky escape!

Do you remember my first day, when I had my interview with Sam?  Well he was over at Harold Hill working when I was over there.  I remembered him as a really friendly person - he even tried to rescue me when the girls wanted to dress me in pink!  Well, he didnt seem so friendly today! - Look at this picture of him - he looks like he made a mess down his top....it looked like ketchup but I am wondering if it was something far more sinister.  And the look on his face suggests that I could be right!

Mind you, the people in the background seemed to be having good fun!  Oh thats Viv and the My Story crew!

Well, you will be pleased to know that Alison came over and took me out for a teabreak after this picture was taken so Sam didnt get his teeth into me!

Monkey Monkey!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A trip to Harold Hill and a very important lady!

Do I look like I am gazing at this lady in awe????  Well she is the big boss lady of Havering Libraries and she wanted to have her picture taken with ME!  Ann (she told me to call her that and not ma'am!) has heard all about my blog and wanted to meet ME!  We had a lovely chat together - she has a new grandson so I think she was very comfortable holding me so close - she kept saying how lovely my hoodie was (think she had designs on it for her little sweetie!). 

I was so proud to meet her and we chatted about libraries and all the things that go on in them - I had no idea that libraries were involved in so many different things - they really are "Community Living Rooms!". For instance - at Harold Hill they have Baby Bounce (for the little ones)Read and Rhyme, lots of class visits, a Teen Zone, Reading Buddies, Homework Helpers, Teen Zone, lots of fun things going on in the holidays, a reading group, Young at Heart Group (need to be polite when I describe this - actually, think I wont try and then I wont get in trouble!) - they also have people from the council to help with benefits advice and things - oh and Learn Direct and CAB - phew - thats only the things I remembered from my chat to Ann - I am sure there were more though!   I did have a lovely little chat with Ann - there are such nice people in libraries.....

And here is one of them.....this is Karen showing off one of the special bags that have been made to celebrate the 50th birthday of Harold Hill Library.  Gosh 50 years is such a long time - Josh's Mum said she used to work at the library as a library assistant - she seemed very miffed when I asked if she used to look out and see the dinosaurs walking past in the mornings!  I still dont know why she went so huffy!

I bet you cant guess what is making that bulky shape in the bag - oh you can?  Oh - well yes you are right.....its me!

Karen said that it would be a great photo to have me in the bag!  Hmmmmm - I dont THINK it was anything to do with me keep chattering when Josh's Mum and her were trying to get on with some work!  The reason we were at Harold Hill was so that Josh's Mum could come and look around the library and make sure it was all tidy - it really was!  But then we went into Karen's office and it was so full up of boxes - dont know how she can possibly squeeze herself into it and do the fabulous work she does!  Karen is an absolute sweetie who really cares about the people who live in Harold Hill and who visit her library.  Although, I am not so sure she likes chattering monkies quite as much!

Mind you, she couldnt have disliked me too much as she gave me a special mug - she said it was plastic so it would be ok if I dropped it.  Did I tell you that I am sometimes a little, teensy bit clumsy?  Well, I prefer to say that things develop a life of their own around me - they just always seem to be jumping up and trying to escape! 

Hmmm - not sure what Josh's Mum was thinking of when she took this picture - really wasnt one of her best!  I did tell her that she should be careful not to let the bright light coming in the window mess with her camera but did she listen?....well view for yourselves!   I still wanted to put this picture up though (despite the quality) because it shows the wonderful Wall of Happiness!  All of those little coloured splodges are actually post-it notes (or something of the like!) and lots and lots of people have written what makes them happy on it.
A surprising number of people wrote chocolate and their families.  I think I would have written a good back scratch!  And maybe a nice banana.  And, of course, my mate Josh.  And his mum (have to write that as she reads the blog before I post!).  And....my new job in libraries!  YAY!  This other picture is not to show the computers (although they are free to use and are connected to the internet and you can get lots of online stuff like encyclopaedias) but it was to show the size of the Wall of Happiness - the people coming into the library certainly seem to have a lot of happiness in their lives!
 Phew, my hands are quite tired now - going to have a mug of hot chocolate in my new Harold Hill Library mug!  Night Night

Monkey Monkey x