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A Librarian and a Penguin

These past couple of days have been very poignant for me. I heard of the passing of Mike Sutton, who worked at Harrogate Library and showed me the ropes as a bright eyed and bushy tailed fifteen year old on work experience. That week's work experience introduced me to the Young Volunteer scheme which I was part of for about five years; I met so many great people through it, had some laughs and grew as a person. Not to mention that over the years Harrogate Library has been a big staple in my life: providing me with books, friends and a place where I did most of my revision back in my A Level years.

Mike and I spoke now and then, in person and every now and then online. No matter how he was feeling, he always greeted me with a smile when I came into the library and asked how I was. I also am so very aware how much he meant to his colleagues, who will miss him incredibly.

The past couple of days I've also been reading a beautiful and sweet little book called The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell. Michell typifies in his true story, how animals (in particular a Penguin) and indeed people, can touch your life. As I get older and people come in and out of my life, and thinking back to my pets I had growing up as well, I can't help but smile at how things have turned out. When I did the radio show yesterday for Siren FM (yep, that's something I do now!), we heard a quote that was along the sentiments of 'when one door closes, another opens' (put much more eloquently, I can assure you.)

There are times in our lives things don't go our way, people leave - whether by choice or not - and sometimes all I can do is smile at the good things. The moments that make you smile, and even the moments that make you cry. Because ultimately, I'm still here. All these people, animals, experience have shaped the present Claire and I'm still standing, alive and kicking and for that I am truly grateful.

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