What boring Library folk get up to at the weekend

MMU Library blog
May 16, 2019 · 5 min read

Blog by Jon, who works at All Saints Library

‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’, as the old adage goes. What may be a passionate, white-knuckle ride of fun to one person may be a yawn-inducing hell for someone else. Who’s to judge?

As a profession consistently (and very unfairly) tarnished with being a little bit boring librarians can get prickly on the subject. We thought we could offer a successful defence against being a bunch of boring, fuddy-duddy old book fiddlers by taking a snapshot of what we get up to at the weekend.

So here’s a selection of stuff we’ve been up to recently in our time off (for good behaviour), for your perusal. Plaudits or yawns — the choice is yours…

Riff-Raff & Magenta Spring cleaning the Library staff offices

Whenever The Rocky Horror Show hits town Huw and Fiona assume their alter egos of Riff-Raff and Magenta. Donning full costume they’ve seen a host of star performers in the show, including Anthony Head, Jason Donovan and Tim McInnerny.

With their passion for the comedy horror musical they’ve attended well over 30 shows and 3 conventions in 25 years.

Asked why, Huw quotes the main character, Frank N Furter: “Don’t dream it. Be it!”

Keep your fingers crossed that one day Huw does his Library Roving duties in full Riff-Raff costume ;

Chilly, chilly…Emily takes the plunge

Emily swaps bits for dips at the weekend. During the week she’s the Library Services Manager looking after the digital Library but come Saturday and she slips into a wetsuit and takes to one of the reservoirs that dot the Peak District countryside.

The first day of the open water swimming season saw temperatures languishing at a very chilly 10 degrees Celsius: “ It took a bit of acclimatisation, accompanied by much shrieking but when you are in it’s beautiful.”

The Library’s very own Geraint Thomas

The Tour de Yorkshire offered a professional race and a sportive for hardy, hill-climb loving amateurs over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Our very own maillot jaune, Cain, showed the professional peloton how it should be done.

The route for the sportive took the riders on an 80km tour around West Yorkshire arriving back in Leeds, with a finish on The Headrow, where the professionals would finish a few hours later.

Despite the blood, sweat, tears and merciless headwinds Cain’s eager for more: “ I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already signed up for the UCI World Road Cycling Championship Sportive in September.”

The glittering cast of ‘Drag Becomes Her’

RuPaul superfan, Nathalie, indulged her passion for impossible hairdos and tottering heels at a performance of ‘Drag Becomes Her’ at Home, last weekend. The pun-filled spoof of a 90s cult film offered non-stop laughter:

“ I love that there are so many shows that come to Manchester, Adore Delano is my absolute favourite queen and I get to see her 6 times this year!!”

Such is Nathalie’s enthusiasm for the spangled art form she’ll be attending the DragWorld convention in London this August: “ What, obsessed, me? Only slightly…”

Julie in performance (photo courtesy of Ania Pankiewicz)

Experienced amateur actress, Julie, has been decked out in floral pinny this week playing Dorcas, the housekeeper in a production of ‘Ladies in Lavender’ at the Bolton Little Theatre.

The run ends this Saturday, May 18th so check out the website, below, for tickets.

“ I’ve had the chance to be in some fabulous plays, work with wonderfully talented people and made new friends of all ages and backgrounds.”

And what about the horror of stage fright?

“ …half an hour before curtain up I’m usually convinced I’ve forgotten all my lines, that I’m going to give a terrible performance and wonder why on earth I put myself through it all, but I honestly can’t think of many better ways to spend my time.”

“How far? You must be crazy. There’s no way I’m walking that.”

As for myself, along with old college friend Ben, I finally completed the Thames Path over the May Bank Holiday. We’ve been chipping away at it since 2012. Like Eric Morecambe’s piano playing, we’ve now done all the miles but not necessarily in the right order. The final stretch saw us schlep from Oxford to the source in deepest, darkest Gloucestershire.

The contrast with walking the Thames through London couldn’t have been greater — empty meadows, as pancake flat as Holland, pollarded willows, swans, wild deer, egrets and herds of over-friendly cows determined to block our progress. It’s now a case of deciding what our next weekend challenge will be.

And last, but definitely not least, is Rachel who gave the 5km Race for Life a go with her two daughters, this weekend in Stockport.

Held at the Woodbank Memorial Park, the runners were cheered on by spectators and a Rock Choir helped to spur them on.

“ I loved that it wasn’t competitive and it was very much about coming together to have fun and raise money for an amazing charity.”

Rachel’s intrepid daughters are now planning to get all mucky in the Pretty Muddy Kids challenge, an offshoot of Race for Life.

And if you’ve been up to anything recently you feel passionate about then do let us know…

If you enjoyed this blog you might enjoy our Twitter account @mmulibrary. Or carry on your reading with one of our other blogs, A boring guide to Manchester by a bunch of boring people is as good a starting point as any.

MMU Library blog

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Stories from your library. The main library website is https://www.library.mmu.ac.uk/ and you can contact us at library@mmu.ac.uk

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