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About me.

Although I am drawing my retirement pension, I still work full- time. For many reasons I am disinclined to actually ‘retire’ for a few more years yet,-for example I would like to finance my daughter’s continuing education and my own hobbies, holidays and education. While my youngest daughter is doing a Masters in Brazil, I work as a library assistant to the Rare Book cataloguer in a University Library where the Special Collections are of international acclaim and my work is interesting and varied.
The reading of Greek and Latin is a prerequisite for my present job and Sanskrit and Tibetan are required for my voluntary work. I spend much of my annual leave as a librarian in an Institute of Asian and Tibetan Studies in southern Spain, where students from all over the world come to study, while it is only small library of 4,000 books it is growing and of vital importance to those studying Buddhism and translating Buddhist texts. I am learning Sanskrit and Tibetan at evening classes.

I have two other children from a previous marriage: a daughter who is married with three boys, and a son who is married with a boy and girl. All of whom bring me joy and delight and make – ‘being’- a Grandma special. I have an aging mother and mother –in –law both can be difficult at times but mostly they are independent and undemanding and supportive especially regarding ‘M.’ Although, they all live in different parts of southern England the pleasure of the visits has increased as I have recently passed my Advanced Driving Test!


I remarried 29 years ago; my long suffering husband is a dear, constant and useful companion always on hand for support and to ‘mop up’ my unfinished tasks. He is the ideal house-husband without complaint, demands or criticism as I blunder though life happily ‘doing.’
I love my home, garden, food, tea and music. I practice yoga, meditation and am interested in aromatherapy.


Life has not always been like this, in fact in the main it was pretty ghastly; I could look back and examine the journey to this rather privileged position with regret or with self-congratulation … this would benefit no one. Instead I will take this new tool of communication watch and play with it and see what happens.

42 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Elvidge permalink
    April 14, 2012 8:32 am

    You’ve come such a long way!

  2. May 15, 2012 8:30 am

    Hi there! We have a lot in common – working beyond retirement grandchildren and ageing parents. Mum is in a nursing home around the corner from me and dad lives abroad. I was divorced nearly 20 years ago but never remarried ex husband sadly died just before Christmas it was like losing him all over again. I am looking forward to following your blog.

  3. May 15, 2012 9:06 am

    I forgot to say that both my daughters were born in the Royal Berks 1977 and 1979 when we lived in Caversham.

  4. August 30, 2012 9:08 am

    What a great introduction. I read Latin, New Testament Greek and Hebrew (as I did a theology degree at one point!!). Languages are great aren’t they? I even enjoy their forms and calligraphy. Life continues to twist and turn and I’m glad you’re out there on the internet, moving and growing and seeing where this takes you. :-)

    • helen1950 permalink*
      October 9, 2012 11:02 am

      Thank you for the likes and smiles, I am new to this and not sure how to respond to I Love Ceciles Writers So I followed them XX

  5. April 30, 2013 1:03 pm

    You sound like you have had (and are still having) an interesting and culturally rich life. You mentioned you live in Reading – that’s in the UK? you don’t sound like you live in Reading, Pennsylvania.

    • April 30, 2013 1:13 pm

      Thanks for dropping by to Reading UK and your kind comments _/\_ xx

  6. June 10, 2013 5:59 pm

    What a good out look to have on life. Learning Sanskrit sounds very difficult but also very interesting! How are you doing with it?

  7. July 23, 2013 4:18 pm

    I found your blog through the WPC tag. Learning Hebrew and Greek are on my bucket list, I guess its not an accident I wandered into your part of the blogosphere. I’ve also often wondered if working in a library would have been the work I was cut out to do in this life, given my love for books (reading and sorting them out). I am happy being inside a library. When my children are grown, I would probably find work in a library or connected with a library.
    I admire your story and look forward to reading more of your blog.
    Regards, Mary

    • July 23, 2013 4:25 pm

      I dreamed about working in a library when I was a child … I didn’t fulfill it until I was 45 and my children were all grown up!! I love it! and recommend you perhaps volunteer at a local Special Collections … or Rare Books Library you will be welcomed with open arms! and you will get a feel for it … thanks for dropping by it cheered me while sitting her in the Reading Room

      • July 23, 2013 4:41 pm

        Glad to spread the cheer :-)
        I was planning to volunteer at our local children’s library during the school break but it didn’t happen. I hope I can do it this year, our public libraries need a lot of people-help and love. I’ll probably just end up helping by visiting the library more often. I think I can do more when the children are older. I wish I can do more but time’s the constraint, for now :-)

  8. August 9, 2013 7:48 pm

    You’re learning Tibetan?! I assume that means there’s a Tibetan community in Southern Spain. Just came back from Tibet, where they show the palace the dali lama hasn’t lived in since 1959 when the Chinese invaded and took over the country, which is still under military occupation.

    • August 9, 2013 7:52 pm

      I was learning in Spain but now I muddle through at home in UK my preference is Sanskrit … I would like to go to Tibet one day ….

  9. Gede Prama permalink
    March 5, 2014 4:31 am

    Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama :)

  10. April 17, 2014 6:26 pm

    congrats for not becoming lethargic in retirement!

  11. The Invisible Sage permalink
    July 7, 2014 2:43 pm

    Simply… Bravo! ;)

  12. November 30, 2014 11:24 am

    Hey, just a quick note to say I enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award:

  13. December 13, 2014 12:29 pm

    Still really enjoying your blog even though I don’t comment often. Unlike the previous commenter, I haven’t nominated you for an award.

    • December 13, 2014 7:29 pm

      Dear Bookaddictuk, Thank you for your kind comments; My blog is a hobby and my joy i love to share the knowledge that i find. I am not deserved of an award. Also the award system is complex and involves self congratulation is not unattractive. I do not seek awards, so I will not taking the nomination further. Thanks again and keep watching xxx

  14. January 12, 2015 7:58 am


    Here’s a little New Years message from Türkiye to say “thank you”. I appreciate your recent ‘follow’, knowing how many interesting and entertaining blogs there are out there.

    Blogging since June 2013, my little corner of the world tries to offer an eclectic smattering of posts, from basic amateur photography, to sharing my travel adventures over the decades, as well as day-to-day happenings here on our fruit farm in southern Turkey. I also throw in a few of my observations on life and lighter-hearted stuff for good measure.

    You are more than welcome to have a look around, stay a while and have a trawl through my collection. There are plenty of categories within the drop-down menus to help in said digging process. Of course, if you have any comments, suggestions or concerns, feel free to let me know – I’m not easily offended :)

    Hope you have a great day and even better 2015…


    • January 12, 2015 10:13 am

      Dear Uncle Spike
      Thanks for your kind good wishes I return many to you. I will return to your blog for a browse in a while.. With love hx

  15. January 28, 2015 7:27 pm

    Dear nelabligh,

    I came upon you by googling Robert Gibbings and was delighted to learn of a collection around him “here at the library”. What library?

    Chris Starr

  16. zenschoolforcreatives permalink
    February 3, 2015 11:33 pm

    Hi Helen,
    I follow your blog yet have not seen a post from you before, until today! I love your introduction and appreciate your respect for languages. I have recently done an Indigenous Protocols in Contemporary Practice subject for my BFA at university in Australia and have been surprised at the the number of dialects that were here before colonisation. Now only 20 remain and many are endangered (only 5 or less speakers.) My daughter is a linguist who teaches 3 languages hence my interest. Your blog is wonderful thank you, we have much in common.

    • February 4, 2015 6:51 am

      My daughter to is a modern language ‘expert’ living in Brazil! Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. I too only recently drawn to your blog; and will follow closely with good wishes to you and your daughter …. Helenxx

  17. May 2, 2015 4:41 am

    Hello Helen! I’ve decided to read and follow 10 interesting and new blogs a day every day of May 2015, and yours is today’s #10! Feel free to come visit me when you can at, and follow if you like what you read. Happy new year and happy blogging!

    • May 2, 2015 8:15 am

      I love your Blog !! I know what you mean about ‘our’ so called home towns that don’t quite reach the desired norm of ‘other’ people. We become very protective of our ugly (dangerous) ducklings. I share your views with love! My home town in a very undesirable blot on the landscape but I love it!

  18. May 28, 2015 5:04 pm

    Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox. I hope you are finding lots to entertain you and maybe making some discoveries. If you haven’t visited for a while check it out again. Please feel free to add comments. Good luck with your blog. Regards Thom.

  19. Marilyn Jackson permalink
    February 2, 2016 11:18 pm

    What an interesting blog you have. I am relatively new to relief printing and have just started exploring reduction prints.

  20. John permalink
    February 3, 2016 5:17 pm

    Hallo Helen, sorry to learn your mother passed. I remember her nearly always with a camera, Did anyone keep all those pic’s?

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