Crofton Reader Group provide a peep inside a typical meeting..
The October meeting of the Reader Group, in Crofton Working Men’s Club, was attended by 15 women; I don’t know why men don’t come along – but we manage perfectly well without them.
Once we had settled down with our drinks we were ready to start, though it was a while before the book we had been reading got a mention. Our first topic was the plight of three black and white kittens, only a few weeks old that had been found dumped in a cardboard box and were now on Facebook, looking for new homes. Then attention turned to fashion, old-fashion – new-fashion, when Ann commented that the buttons down the back of her new jumper made it necessary for her to sit up straight! Several of us remembered the early 60s when we wore our cardigans back-to-front to be ‘different’.
Somehow we moved on to LGBTQAI+ and what it all means, as well as using the pronoun ‘they’ as singular, for someone who prefers not to have a gender label.
Eventually we talked about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which had been enjoyed by the majority. Some members admitted that they hadn’t actually re-read it but remembered having enjoyed it first time around, even though that might have been many years ago. A couple of ladies found it tedious and boring; everything took so long, waiting for official invitations and introductions, waiting for a suitable husband. But we agreed that life for the idle-fairly-rich would have been like that, the book was of its time. And although fiction, the story provided a serious look at and comment on the life of the moneyed-class, with little or no thought for what happened below stairs. In that respect we were reading more ‘real’ history than anything from the modern-day imagining of what it might have been like, particularly for fairly well-off young ladies around the turn of the 19th century.
Not surprisingly, reference was made to the BBC’s dramatisation of the story back in 1995; we also touched on the more recent ITV historical drama series, Victoria.
Throughout the evening as we talked we inevitably found things to laugh about, so much so that my cheeks ached, and Trish admitted that she hadn’t laughed so much in ages. We laughed even more when Lynne showed us her bag bearing the words “I was delighted to discover that ‘book’ club is a euphemism for ‘wine’ club”!
I am already looking forward to future meetings and you are most welcome to join us.
Managing Dyslexia: guest blog by Vanessa Goddard
Looking around the group again this morning I am reminded what a good idea this was – to set up a community group for adults with dyslexia and associated mental health difficulties.
This morning we have looked at proofreading and spellings, just two of the many difficulties faced by those with dyslexia.
‘Needs to concentrate more in class’, ‘he’ll never amount to much with that attitude’, ‘too careless’, ‘doesn’t listen to what he’s being asked to do’, ‘refuses to read aloud in class.’
These are just a few of the things they were constantly being told at school and, in the true words of a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ they all truly believed that they were unable to learn and education wasn’t for them.
We have proved them all wrong… It’s true their concentration isn’t brilliant – so we have short bursts of focusing and then take a break. It’s true they don’t remember spellings or facts from one week to the next – so we go over and over and over, as many times as we need to. It’s true that their self-confidence was at rock bottom when I met them but now they are being asked for their opinion, they are being taught the way they learn best and they are no longer ashamed of their disability or too frightened to speak up.
We started the group on 6th September 2016 with the help of library services, who lend us a space in Sandal library free of charge. They also lend us the dyslexia friendly reading books we need so that they can develop reading skills and confidence in their own ability. To make text ‘dyslexia friendly’ all that is needed is a cursive font (like this one – comic sans), preferably a little bigger than the standard 12, evenly spaced with not too much crowding of words or pictures, making it ‘too busy’ for their eyes to focus. Black ink on a white background isn’t good for anyone with dyslexia, and for some it is impossible to manage, so if everything was printed on cream, or even just ‘off-white’ then the difference would be amazing!
There is the misconception that those with dyslexia can’t read and can’t spell….. NOT true!! The written words just needs to be presented in a dyslexia friendly way and the learning of anything needs to be repetitive to accommodate their very poor short term memories.
Developing English skills is certainly not all we do….. There is a lot of focus on coping strategies. Dyslexia is not an easy thing for anyone to manage and it impacts on everyday life. This is a place where they all feel safe – they can talk openly about the difficulties faced – they can help each other – and they can have a good laugh.
I would find it difficult to call this ‘work!’ I’m sure the staff at Sandal library will agree – we are a jovial bunch (though I can assure you this wasn’t the case when I first started working with them)… they are all a joy to teach and I have learnt so much from them…
The funding I have just secured from the Big Lottery will enable me to start another group early in the New Year. I want it to follow straight on from the Tuesday morning group so that there is an opportunity for them all to meet up for a coffee and a chat between classes. There is a real community feel to Sandal library and to the Managing Dyslexia groups….. and this is a big part of what makes it work!
Long may it continue and develop and hopefully our presence in the library will break down barriers and help more people with dyslexia make use of their local library and access the dyslexia friendly books waiting for them inside!
I’ll sign off for now but will hopefully update you of our progress and successes in the near future. Vanessa Goddard
Members of the Nom Nom Nom Cookery book Reader group, who meet at Wakefield Library on the first Saturday of the month at 2pm recently held their festive meeting. The meeting was filled with tasty treats and good cheer as we all look forward to cooking for ourselves and our families over the festive season.
First on the agenda was a discussion of our November book club title, which was Linda Collister’s Great British Bakeoff: Everyday, one of the first books in the long running franchise from 2013, which took us back to the very beginning of the Bake off phenomenon. It includes recipes from Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, bake-off contestants and was compiled by Linda Collister, who has collaborated with Mary Berry on a number of titles.
Members agreed that there were a great deal of excellent recipes in this book, particularly highlighted were some of the savoury recipes, which balance out the sweet treats and breads, making this book a great all-round title for the avid baker, and equally great for beginners too.
Book group members then shared their favourite festive recipes which they will be making for their loved ones this Christmas, including Lemon Buns, Marzipan filled Chelsea Buns, cheese and mustard savoury biscuits, homemade cream crackers with cumin seeds and parmesan and sesame lollipops. Members then chose a mystery festive cookery title to take away and try this coming month.
Particularly admired was book group member Pam’s square Tunis Cake, an alternative to fruit cakes at Christmas, the recipe for which Pam has written up to share with Wakefield Libraries Blog readers download here. Pam has adapted a Mary Berry recipe and added a rich chocolate icing to make this family friendly treat for the festive table.
The group meets again on the 6th January, 2pm at Wakefield Library, all are welcome.
Drop in to your library during Libraries Week 9 – 14 October and find out what’s on offer. Enjoy fascinating author events and fun storytimes, research your family history or find out health information, enjoy a talk or take part in an activity, have a look at our great online offer: discover something new in your library!
Monday 9 October
10am Wakefield Library. Are you strong lass? : A teacher’s life in the 1970s. Author event with Kath Padgett Booking required, phone 01924305376
2 – 3pm Normanton Library Adult Christmas Craft Drop In. Booking not required.
2.30 – 3.15 Ossett Library. Researching Your Coal Mining Ancestors Booking not required.
2pm South Elmsall Library Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Find out about their work. Booking not required.
Tuesday 10 October
2.30 – 3.15 Horbury Library. Researching Your Coal Mining Ancestors Booking not required.
2 – 3pm. Normanton Library. World Mental Health Day ‘Tea & Talk’ and quiz 2-3pm. Booking not required
2pm. South Elmsall Library. World Mental Health Day ‘Tea & Talk’
2.30pm Ossett Library. Dementia awareness: learn more about living with Dementia. Booking not required.
Thursday 12 October
2.30pm Horbury Library. Dementia awareness: learn more about living with Dementia. Booking not required.
10.15am. Normanton Library Little Tiger story time and activity for the under fives. Booking not required.
Friday 13 October
10.15am. Normanton Library Little Tiger story time and activity for the under fives. Booking not required.
10.30-11am Ossett Library. Bookstart Story and Rhyme time. Meet the Bookstart Bear! Booking not required.
Saturday 14 October
9.30 – 1. Normanton Library. Family Board Games drop in. Booking not required
10.30 – 3 South Elmsall Library. Wildlife Photography workshop: Morning session South Elmsall Library, afternoon in Frickley Country Park. £5 per person. Booking essential, please phone 01977 514741. Bring your own camera, suitable clothing and a packed lunch.
2pm. Wakefield Library. Red Ribbon: Dress historian Lucy Adlington invites you into the wonderful world of fashion, fabrics, hats and home-sewing in the 1940s, to celebrate the publication of her new novel The Red Ribbon – an amazing story inspired by the dressmakers of Auschwitz Booking required, phone 01924305376
A new Reading Well booklist is available in Wakefield Libraries. The Reading Well for long term conditions booklist covers general advice and information about living with a long term condition, common symptoms and titles focused on specific conditions such as arthritis, bowel conditions, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Leaflets and books are available in all Wakefield Council libraries and if you can’t find the book you want on the shelf, it can be ordered in the library or online.
Reading Well for long term conditions joins our existing booklists on Adult mental health, Dementia and Shelf Help (mental health for teenagers) in providing books chosen and recommended by health professionals help you manage your health.