Categories
Miscellaneous

Catching up. Life, radio, teaching, and the Man-Booker shortlist. Ah, and a lovely #wedding (@CFFBooks)

Hi all:

As you know I’ve been wondering in which direction my blogging is going and focused mostly on posting reviews and some posts promoting works by some of the authors I know and love. I thought it was time to catch up on some of the things I’ve been doing, in case you’re wondering what’s going on.

Inside The Hepworth Wakefield. If you are anywhere nearby, don’t miss this fabulous gallery. http://www.hepworthwakefield.org/

I’m still dividing up my time between Spain (Barcelona) and the UK (Penistone). If you’ve been following my blog (perhaps even my older blog) for a while, you’ll remember that my father died a couple of years ago and my mother, who’d never had any serious health problems, had a heart attack last year and although she’s much recovered, she’s not as well as she was. As I’m an only child and have no other family (I’m pretty much a free agent and these days most of my work is online), there does not seem to be any point in trying to keep up with two places and the stress of always worrying about not being where one should be. If my circumstances don’t change dramatically in the next few months, in Spring next year I’ll put my house up for sale and go support my mother (well, it’s mutual support, really) back in Barcelona. So, if you know of anybody interested in a semi in Penistone, let me know.

Even the gardens at the Hepworth Wakefield are fantastic!

You’ll remember I’ve been volunteering at a local radio station, Penistone FM. To tell you the truth, that was one of the reasons that kept me coming back. I had a weekly programme on Thursdays from 1 to 3 pm and it was a great way to hear about local news, meet new people (both at the radio station and through calls and messages), and I must say I learned a great deal about time management (oh, you have to finish on time for the news, no matter what!). I had been thinking for a while that it was not fair to have such long gaps when I wasn’t there and contributing to everybody’s efforts (as the station is solely run by volunteers). It was recently decided that all volunteers will need to contribute more features regularly, something I wouldn’t be able to do as I spend long periods away. As there are also costs involved that will require paying a fee, and, as I’ve said above, I’m looking at leaving the UK in the next few months, I’ve resigned from the station. I love the radio (both as a listener and as a presenter) and I’ll try and become involved in Barcelona if I can (I know there is a radio station in Sants, the neighbourhood where I grew up, so you never know…).

You might remember this sculpture:

Carmela de Jaume Plensa
Sculpture by Jaume Plensa in front of the Palau de la Música Catalana.
Represents a girl from Barcelona, and it’s called Carmela.

Guess what I found at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park!

Jaume Plensa. Wilsis (check here. Their picture is better than mine)
As you can see, she feels very at home in Yorkshire.

A few months ago I told you about another project I’d joined. In the summer (June, to be precise), I became an instructor at the University of the People. You can check my original post here. You’ll be pleased to know that all involved (I and my students) survived the first course (English Composition 0101) and I’m teaching the same course again, with more students under my wing this time. What was the experience like? Fantastic. I had students from all over: from Japan to Egypt, Italy to Afghanistan, and there were quite a few occasions when conversations and exchanges got ‘lost in translation’. Yes, there was plagiarism, panic when the exam arrived, but most of the students did well and I hope they’ll do even better in their future studies. If you know of anybody who might be interested, as a student or as a teacher, please, spread the word!

If you follow my reviews, you’ll know I’ve been trying to catch up and read some of the books that had made it into the ManBooker Prize Longlist. Well, the shortlist is out.

This is it:

The 2017 shortlist of six novels is:

Title Author (nationality) (imprint)

4321 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (UK-Pakistan) (Hamish Hamilton)

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)

Of those, the only one I had read and loved was Exit West (in case you missed my review, you can check it here) but I have somehow acquired Paul Auster’s 4321 since and I’ll do my best to read it before the actual Prize is announced. If you’ve read any of the others, let me know.

And, before I go, I’m house and pet sitting at the moment for a talented and generous author I think many of you must know, Christoph Fischer (I’ve just beta read one of his novels, and although I know it will be a while yet, if you love cozy mysteries and Eurovision, get ready for it!)

Christoph and his partner Ryan were very kind and invited me to their gorgeous wedding. It was in Carmarthen Registry Office, light, fun, and full of people happy to join these two men who always make everybody who meets them feel welcome.

I could not help but share a few pictures of the happy couple…

Ryan and Christoph and Carmarthen’s registry office. Don’t they look gorgeous!
Sunny in Wales! They are two lucky boys!

And, this video dedicated to them. I’m sure nobody who attended their wedding will ever listen to this song in the same way again:

Thanks very much to Ryan and Christoph for inviting me to their wedding, to Greta, Wilma, and Dora (their three dogs) for putting up with me, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, and click! And don’t worry, I’ll keep the reviews coming!

Categories
book promo

#Bookfair at Llandeilo. Bad photos and some (non-serious) tips. Oh, and I’m on the #radio!

Hi all:

I know I’ve been talking about my first book fair in LLandeilo for a while. As usual, on checking my pictures of the day I’ve discovered they’re rubbish, but hey, I’ll share a few so you can see (or guess) how it was.

The good news is that the fair will carry on. There is one booked for Christmas time and there will be another one next April. Check Christoph Fischer’s post about it for more information, here. Oh!, and check his other posts about it as you’re there. We’ve even made the papers!

I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!
I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!

My own reflections about the fair (not sure this is advice or tips, but…)

  1. You might want to take reinforcements with you. It’s always handy to have somebody man (or woman, of course) the fort for you (there are so many people to talk to and books to check! And at LLandeilo there were interesting workshops and talks but I couldn’t go to any of them). Fellow writers kept an eye on the stall, but it’s not the same…
  2. Take supplies of drinks and whatever else you might need. There was catering on site, but I’m not a tea, herbal tea or coffee drinker, and there was no cola to be had there… No caffeine for me! (Of course, if you’ve followed the advice on number one, you can either go and leave the troops covering the stall or send them out for victuals).
  3. I took sweets that seemed to attract people, especially children. Yes, I’d recommend it. I wouldn’t say it helped with the sales, but it got some smiles. Ah, and at the end I shared them with the writers (and the staff working at the hall) when we were putting things away, and after a long day they were very welcome.
  4. Take comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing up most of the time. (The author next to me who was pregnant worried me no end, although she was very enthusiastic).
  5. Pace yourself. I worried that I might have lost my voice before the end of the day (yes, I talk too much). It was a close call (sorry, no luck!)
  6. Put your glasses on when you’re taking pictures!
  7. It’s difficult to find time to network with everything else going on, but it was great to meet the rest of the writers there, Hugh Roberts whom I knew from  blogging and hopefully will meet again at the Blogger’s Bash. I did collect information from everybody (I hope!) as I’m planning on featuring writers and books in my radio show.
  8. Of course have change and chat to people. In my case, as I publish in different genres, I never knew well what to open with (pitching 5 different books is not easy). But I tried.
  9. I took some extra stuff to give away (cupcakes book, notebooks…) I didn’t have much chance to give anything away, but of course, the Cupcake recipe book that I had bought for £1 got much more attention than my own books. (When I tried the local market once, the Christmas decorations I got for the table had more success than me. Perhaps I should sell something else).

A few more photos:

The cake
The cake

IMG_1107

I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
Christoph Fischer en el escenario anunciando los ganadores del concurso de historias para niños
Christoph Fischer announcing the winners of the children’s story writing competitions

IMG_1103I loved this bannerIMG_1099IMG_1098

 

 

Oh, and I’ve mentioned my Radio programme! Yes, I’ll tell you more about it, but now I have a regular (sort of) programme at Penistone FM, on Thursdays from 1 to 3 pm (UK time). I hope to talk about books and with a bit of luck bring in quotes and information about indie writers (although I don’t have much time to talk). Here is the link to listening online.

I'm on the radio!
I’m on the radio!

Thanks to all for reading, visit Christoph and Hugh’s blogs and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

 

Categories
Audiobooks Giveaway Miscellaneous

PenistoneFM (@penistonefm) Evolve project wins ITV’s The People’s projects. Would you like to listen to and review two of my #audiobooks? And a fantastic romantic #giveaway

Hi all:

Today’s post has a bit of everything.

First, big news! If you’ve been following my blog you’ll remember that a couple of weeks ago I shared the news that the local radio station I’ve been volunteering at, Penistone FM, and their Evolve proposal had been chosen as one of the projects going forward for ITV People’s Project. And, the results are in, and we’ve won!

I leave  you a couple of links where you can read more about their project and see a video from ITV showing when they visited Penistone FM (don’t worry, I wasn’t there, although I think all my colleagues did a great job) to tell them they’d won. So, if you’re curious to see what the place looks like, this is your chance!

https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/projects/view/evolve-penistone-fm-community-radio-opportunities-for-all

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2016-03-16/meeting-the-winners-of-the-peoples-projects/

Second. The good news about Penistone FM got me thinking about listening to things. Recently I finally got free codes for my two newest audios (three more of my novels are being turned into audios at the moment, fingers crossed), both for Audible.com and audible.co.uk.  So if any of you would like to listen to them, do let me know.  I don’t think I’ll run out of codes, but just in case, let me know as soon as you can.  I’ll need your e-mail addresses as I need to send you the codes and the instructions, but if you prefer not to leave them here, you can contact me directly at mmxrynz@hotmail.com (I leave you a reminder at the end of the post). I leave you some samples and information so you can make your mind up.
A thriller, about obsession, strange relationships and voyeurism:

Family, Lust and Cameras Audiobook narrated by LaDawn Black
Family, Lust and Cameras Audiobook narrated by LaDawn Black

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by LaDawn Black

Do you enjoy spying on others? Do you think it’s harmless?

Pat thought she’d left her past behind and started a new life. But one doesn’t get rid of voyeurism, obsessions and family quite that easily. Sometimes one has to adopt drastic measures to survive the harassment of a man, particularly a man like Herman. And this time Pat is determined to win, whatever the price.

In this world where technology dominates our lives, we’re never alone and privacy doesn’t exist, this novella more than a work of fiction is a warning about the dangers that haunt us in our own homes. How far would you be prepared to go to get revenge from somebody intent on controlling your life?

Author and psychiatrist Olga Núñez Miret brings us another story where the character’s motives and the inner-workings of their brains will keep you guessing. Brief, tense and with no flourishes, the story will keep you reading non-stop till the end.

If you’re fans of ‘Psycho’, ‘Peeping Tom’ and ‘Single White Female’ and are fascinated and repelled in equal degree by ‘Big Brother’ this adult story will get you hooked.

What would happen if your life became The rear window? How far would you be prepared to go to get revenge from somebody intent on controlling your life?

The audiobook version, narrated by LaDawn Black brings the action and its disturbing effects, even closer home.

Audible.com Audible. co.uk Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Apple (i-Tunes)

If you want to listen to a sample in Sound Cloud:

And if you prefer a You-Tube video:

And a sweet romance:

I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook
I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook narrated by Gwyn Olson

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Gwyn Olson

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the TV studio of the program “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

Glyn Olson and Red Rose Studio have done a fantastic job bringing my novel to life. You’ll be able to smell the cakes, laugh with their adventures, and fall in love…

Audible.com Audible.co.uk Amazon Apple i-Tunes

If you’ve never tried Audible before, this is a great promotion.

You can listen to a sample directly in Sound Cloud:

If you prefer to watch the You Tube video:

I don’t think I’ve shared this review, but just in case you want to read an opinion:

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

What a fun book this was! Starting with a colorful, tantalizing cover, Ms. Núñez Miret’s story immediately drew me in. In it, Dulce and Adelfa are best friends and, coincidentally, half sisters (It’s complicated!). Dulce has dabbled in one profession after another; Adelfa has had trouble with men. Together they finally get their acts together by starting a cupcake and cake business, proving the age-old adage, “when things are meant to be” they just happen lickety-split.

Using an old, 1878 abandoned firehouse, they develop a community-based, fun-filled bakery, where books are offered to the public as well as good cheer. All is going swimmingly when they are invited to participate in a televised Hollywood bake off. The reader is then treated to the inner workings of shows such as this––some of it wonderful, some of it not so good. As the contestants get to know one another, romance blossoms for our heroines, bringing happiness full circle for all. If you want to read a highly entertaining, feel-good book, I definitely recommend this one!

Third.

Romance Giveaway Promo

And for the giveaway. Fabulous and generous author Marie Lavender who’s been a guest in this blog and its predecessor often and who’s always trying to enhance readers’ experience by bringing together and promoting the work of as many authors as possible, is organising a giveaway of romantic novels, all genres, for the 29th of March. She’s organised an event in Facebook. Check here . She’s still looking for authors, so if you’ve written a romantic story and would be happy to gift or send some copies out and get closer to readers, head over to her website (or I can give you her e-mail address). And readers, do join in for a chance to get an incredible variety of romantic novels, your choice! I can say that I’ve connected with great readers and met many authors through Marie’s giveaways, so don’t miss this chance.

Here a few more places where you can connect with her:

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Marie Lavender truly knows how to organise a giveaway
Marie Lavender truly knows how to organise a giveaway

Thanks very much for reading (and listening), for your votes for Penistone FM, and if you’ve enjoyed this post, like, share, comment, CLICK, and if you want a free code for the audiobooks, just leave a reply or send me an e-mail at: mmxrynz@hotmail.com (I’ll need your e-mail address to send you the code and the instructions). If you listen to them, a review would be welcome! And don’t forget to participate in the giveaway!

Categories
Radio

@PenistoneFM participa en #PeoplesProject de ITV. Si estáis en Inglaterra, dadle vuestro apoyo

Sí. He estado a cargo de esto. Foto cortesía de Unsplash
Sí. He estado a cargo de esto. Foto cortesía de Unsplash

Hola a todos:

Si lleváis un tiempo siguiendo mi blog recordaréis que hace unos meses escribí un post sobre hacer de voluntaria y os expliqué que había empezado a trabajar en una emisora de radio local (Penistone FM). Por si acaso, y como el post estaba en mi blog de antes, lo he añadido al final de este para que podáis leerlo si os apetece recordarlo o queréis saber cómo me sentía en aquel momento.

Aunque algunas cosas interfirieron con mi formación, Andy Riley, mi mentor, ha sido fabuloso mostrándome cómo funciona todo. También fui varias veces al programa de Jo Ruston los domingos por la noche (‘Country Routes’ de 8 a 10 de la noche, lo recomiendo a todos los fans de la música country), y desde principios de este año empecé algunas sesiones con Steve Dobson, que me ha enseñado en más detalle la parte técnica y también hemos hablado de entrevistas. Es bueno ver los diferentes estilos de los presentadores para intentar crear uno propio en el futuro.

Bajo la supervisión de Andy y con el apoyo del resto del equipo, la última semana de enero y en febrero estuve a cargo del programa de tres horas (los martes de 5 a 8 de la tarde) sola (al menos en las ondas, aunque con mucho soporte técnico). El 16 de febrero fue mi último programa oficial con Andy, ya que le toca empezar a formar a otros voluntarios y hemos quedado en que cuando vuelva a Inglaterra y después de alguna sesión para recordarme cómo funciona todo con Steve Dobson, me pondrán a cargo de mi propio programa. Os pondré al corriente tan pronto como esté todo confirmado, ya que espero que me deis una mano con ideas sobre contenidos, y si entendéis inglés, que me escuchéis también (aunque sea a través de internet).

¿Qué he aprendido? Lo que se disfruta al probar algo nuevo. La cantidad de eventos que tienen lugar en la localidad y que se me habían pasado por alto. El entusiasmo de la comunidad local. La importancia de estar al tanto del tiempo, de ser flexible y siempre tener algo en reserva, y de asegurarse que se llegará a tiempo a las noticias (pase lo que pase). La necesidad de pensar antes de hablar (y/o tener una muy buena excusa preparada). Y la dedicación de todos los que participan. Tengo que agradecerles a todos los miembros del equipo de Penistone FM el que me hayan hecho sentir tan bienvenida.

Como menciono en el post que sigue a este, la emisora la llevan voluntarios, y aunque eso quiere decir que no nos pagan, sigue habiendo gastos por los proyectos que se llevan a cabo y el día a día de mantener la emisora funcionando, que tienen que salir de algún sitio. Los anunciantes son una de las rutas, pero siempre se están explorando opciones para conseguir fondos. Y este año, Penistone FM participa en the People’s Project (El proyecto de la gente) de la cadena televisiva ITV. Aunque solo podréis votar si tenéis dirección en el Reino Unido, decidí compartirlo con vosotros porque es una gran iniciativa y si leéis inglés podéis ver la gran variedad de proyectos que participan.

Este es la introducción oficial de Penistone FM (como yo estoy en España ahora mismo no puedo ver el video, pero si vosotros sí, ya me contaréis. ¡Y no os preocupéis, que yo no salgo!)

Penistone FM y nuestro proyecto “Evolve” es uno de solo cinco grupos en South Yorkshire que han sido seleccionados para competir por el voto público y el dinero de la lotería en el concurso The Peoples Project de ITV. El proyecto Evolve de formación de Penistone FM aspira a hacer la radio comunitaria más accesible a la gente de la localidad y aportar nuevas técnicas de comunicación e intereses a pueblos rurales aislados. Queremos ser capaces de ofrecer las mismas oportunidades a la gente local de adquirir nuevos conocimientos, disfrutar una actividad social divertida y hacer nuevos amigos. Por favor visitad http://www.penistonefm.co.uk haced clic en el enlace y votad por nosotros.

También podéis ver el video ahí (creo que solo si estáis en el UK)

Y si queréis visitar el sitio web de Peoples’ Project, aquí está (Evolve es uno de los proyectos de South Yorkshire)

https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/

Y aquí os dejo el primer artículo por si os lo perdisteis.
Habéis pensado en hacer de #voluntarios? Salgo en la radio! @PenistoneFM

Hola a todos:

Como ya sabéis, la vida da muchas vueltas de camino adónde sea que nos lleve. Yo no sé vosotros, pero yo me he encontrado a veces como flotando entre varios proyectos. Las cosas van desarrollándose pero no están aún del todo listas para el siguiente paso o uno necesita un poco de tiempo para pensar y hacer nuevos planes.

Y en ese punto estaba (estoy) yo. Como supongo que os debe pasar a muchos de vosotros, yo recibo notificaciones de muchos sitios. LinkedIn me envía correos periódicamente con sugerencias de trabajos en las cercanías de donde vivo. Como no he pasado mucho tiempo en casa en los últimos meses no les había hecho mucho caso, pero justo antes de irme de vacaciones me dí cuent de que había ofertas de trabajos de voluntariado en la zona donde vivo. Siempre había pensado en hacer de voluntaria alguna vez ‘cuanto tuviera más tiempo’ pero recientemente decidí no dejar las cosas pendientes porque nunca tendremos suficiente tiempo a menos que lo saquemos de algún sitio. Visité Do It organisation y encontré varias cosas que me interesaban, algunas muy locales. Como hasta hace poco siempre había trabajado lejos de Penistone (South Yorkshire, UK), donde vivo, pensé que ésta era una excelente oportunidad para contribuir más localmente.

The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio

El logo of Penistone FM in situ, dentro del estudio

Envié una solicitud para hacer de voluntaria en Penistone FM, fui a visitar a Martin Sugden que accedió a dejarme probar, y ahora voy una vez por semana, los martes de 5 a 8 de la tarde, me siento al micrófono, bajo la mirada atenta de Andy Riley, a quien se le da muy bien enseñar y sabe como hacer que la gente se sienta relajada y como en casa.

This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter... Éste es Andy, que tiene que estar al tanto del tiempo, el tráfico, Facebook, Twitter, los teléfonos

Penistone FM (si leéis en inglés también podéis encontrarla en Wikipedia) fue creada en 2005 como una emisora de radio no comercial para transmitir en Penistone y sus alrededores en el 95.7 FM. La obtención de la licencia y organizarlo todo llevó algo de tiempo, y la emisora finalmente empezó a retransmitir, en directo, el 6 de Junio de 2006. Todos los que trabajan en la emisora son voluntarios, y aunque sospecho que muchos de vosotros no estaréis en la zona, si habláis inglés simper podéis escucharla en el internet, aquí e incluso hay un App que podéis descargar gratuitamente.

Si queréis que os diga qué me ha parecido hasta ahora (llevo muy poco tiempo allí)… La gente es fantástica, me gusta todo (los anuncios de eventos locales, y por fin sé qué pasa en los alrededores, la selección de noticias raras y el Quiz maldito de Andy), estoy impresionada por lo bien que hay que organizar el tiempo para dar cabida a todo y llegar a las noticias en el momento oportuno, y espero que la gente disfrute escuchando el programa (a pesar de mi acento).

 

It's like NASA but smaller! ¡Es como la NASA, pero en pequeño!

Andy me dice que voy bien, y con un poco de suerte iré haciendo más y más cosas con el tiempo (incluso empecé a apretar teclas la semana pasada), así que, ¡quién sabe!

Aún estoy conociendo a gente, pero de momento, me encanta.

It's me on the radio! ¡Soy yo en la radio!

No os olvidéis de seguir a la emisora en Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/penfm

Y Twitter:

@PenistoneFM

Os mantendré informados. Vamos, animaos a echar un vistazo. Y, ¿por qué no os planteáis hacer de voluntarios?Estoy segura de que hay muchas buenas causas a las que podríais contribuir, incluso si solo tenéis un poco de tiempo cada semana. Y puede que aprendáis algo, os divirtáis, y lo que es más importante, ayudéis.

Muchas gracias a Penistone FM, y en particular a Andy Riley por su paciencia, gracias a todos vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis qué hacer, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC! ¡Y pensad en hacer de VOLUNTARIOS!

 

Categories
Radio

@PenistoneFM is participating in the ITV’s the #Peoples’Project. Come and support!

Yes, I've been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash
Yes, I’ve been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash

Hi all:

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember that a few months back I wrote a post about volunteering and how I’d started working at the local radio station (Penistone FM). Just in case, and as the post was in the previous blog, I’ve added it to the end of this one so you can read it if you fancy a reminder or want to know how I felt at the time.

Although some things have got in the way of my training there at times, Andy Riley, my mentor, has been a star showing me the ropes. I’ve also joined Jo Ruston on Sunday nights for her ‘Country Routes’ programme (from 8 to 10 pm, a must for all country music lovers), and more recently I started having some training sessions with Steve Dobson, who’s been going through some technical information and we’ve been talking about interviews. It’s good to see the diverse styles of the presenters as this will help create my own in the future.

Under Andy’s and the rest of the team’s guidance, the last week of January and in February I was facilitating the three hour programme (Tuesday 5 to 8 pm) on my own (at least live on air, although with plenty of technical support). The 16th of February was my last official day under Andy’s supervision, as he is off to train more volunteers and we’ve agreed that once I’m back in the UK and after some reminder sessions with Steve Dobson, I might be taking over my own programme. I’ll update you on that as soon as it is confirmed, as I hope you’ll give me a hand with content for the programmes and you’ll listen (even if it has to be on-line).

What have I learned? The joy of trying something new. How many things are going on locally that had gone unnoticed under my radar before. The enthusiasm of the local community. The importance of keeping an eye on the clock, thinking quick on your feet and making sure that you’re there in time for the news (no matter what). The need to think before you talk (and/or have a good excuse). And how dedicated people are  to the project. Thanks to the whole Penistone FM team for making me feel so welcome.

As I mentioned in the article I attach, the radio station is run by volunteers, and although that means we don’t get paid, the expenses for any projects and for the everyday running of the place have to come from somewhere. Advertising is a route but they’re always exploring funding options. And this year, Penistone FM is participating in ITV’s the Peoples’ Project. Although you’ll only be able to vote if you have an address in the UK, I thought I’d share as it is a great initiative and you can check the variety of projects there are.

This is the official write-up for Penistone FM (unfortunately I can’t watch the video here in Spain but if you do, tell me what it’s like. And don’t worry, I’m not in it!)

Penistone FM and our project “Evolve” is one of only five groups in South Yorkshire that have been shortlisted to compete for the public vote and the Big Lottery cash in ITV’s The Peoples Projects TV competition. Evolve training project at Penistone FM aims to make community radio more accessible to local people and give new communication skills and interests to rural isolated villages. We want to be able to offer local people the same chances to learn new skills, enjoy a fun social activity and make new friends. Please visit http://www.penistonefm.co.uk

 – click on the link and vote for us.

And you can watch the film there too.

And if you want to visit the site for Peoples’ Project, here it is (Evolve is one of South Yorkshire projects)

https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/

And here, the original post:
Have you thought about #volunteering? I’m on the radio! @PenistoneFM
Hi all:

As you all know, life can take some funny detours on the way to wherever it is taking us. I don’t know you, but I have found myself at times at an impasse, in between things. Things are moving but not quite ready yet for the next step or one needs to regroup and rework ones plans.

And there I was. As I suppose many of you, I receive notifications from quite a few places. LinkedIn regularly sends me e-mails suggesting jobs nearby. As I haven’t been at home very much in the last few months I hadn’t paid them that much attention, but just before I went on my holiday I realised they were suggesting volunteering jobs in the area where I live. I’d always thought I’d volunteer at some point ‘when I had more time’ but recently I’ve decided not to put off things because there’s never enough time unless we make the time. I checked Do It organisation and there were quite a few things I was interested in, some very local. As so far I’d always worked away from Penistone (South Yorkshire, UK), where I live, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to get more involved.

The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio
The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio

I applied for a job in Penistone FM, went to visit and meet Martin Sugden who agreed to let me try, and now I’m going once a week, on Tuesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, and sit at a desk under the watchful eye of Andy Riley, who is a fantastic trainer and knows well how to make people feel at ease.

This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter...
This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter…

Penistone FM (you can check also in Wikipedia) was formed in 2005 as a non-for-profit community radio station to broadcast around the Penistone and surrounding area on 95.7 FM. The process of obtaining the licence and setting up took some time, and the station finally went on air, live, on the 6th of June 2009. It is entirely run by volunteers, and although I imagine many of you won’t be in the area, you can always check online, here, and there’s even an App you can download.

If you want to know how I’ve found it so far (it’s very early days)…People are great, I love everything (the community ads [I’m now finally up to date with what is happening], the selection of weird news and the Quiz of Doom by Andy), I’m in awe of the time management skills necessary to fit everything in, of the technology, and I hope people enjoy listening to the programme (despite my accent).

It's like NASA but smaller!
It’s like NASA but smaller!

Andy tells me I’m doing OK, and hopefully I’ll be doing more and more things as I go along (I started pressing buttons and things last week), so who knows!

I’m still getting to know the people working there, but so far, loving it.

It's me on the radio!
It’s me on the radio!

Don’t forget to follow in Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/penfm

And Twitter:

@PenistoneFM

I’ll keep you posted. Go on, check us out! And, why don’t you have a go at volunteering? I’m sure there are many good causes you might be able to contribute to, even if you only have a bit of time every week. And you might learn something, have fun, and what’s more important, help.

Thanks so much to Penistone FM, and Andy Riley in particular for his patience, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, comment, share and CLICK! And consider VOLUNTEERING!

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