Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Been travelling to Cliff College every day over the bank holiday weekend for their annual conference with Andrew. My friend Chris came over too, he's just finished at uni and it was good to catch up with him too. Overall it was a nice weekend, the weather was good, and it's nice to relax and soak up a friendly atmosphere. Some of the services and seminars were really good, others were less inspiring. Sunday was good, church was great and really busy, lots of people were around to share in the service and communion. It was really informal, sat around drinking tea and coffee and doing a kind of bible study after a bit of singing - it was nice. Went for lunch at Grindleford station cafe which is great if you want loads of good food to fill you up for the rest of the day. Siobhan, Matt and Emma came along too. After lunch we parked up at Cliff and walked up to Curbar Edge where we spent the afternoon admiring the view and eating ice creams. The service in the evening was nice, the worship singing was interesting, lots of songs I didn't know, but the band would do these jams for ages which I found really helpful. People were invited to pray for a person at the end of the service and it was quite sad listening to all the hurt and passions that people brought, situations that had obviously been the cause of many hours of prayer and petition. Friends and family members to know Christ, people with hurts and illnesses.

It's always a shame to leave Cliff, as it's just so tranquil and it's easy to spend time with God and to try and get to know him better and how to serve him better. But it's always time to return to work.

Today I have a new job data inputting in Sheffield. It's all very vague, I'm supposed to file things away that have no obvious reference point and I don't know where to put them because of this. When I ask for advise on how to know where to file them, I'm merely told, you just learn where stuff goes.


I mean - how vague is this!


might go and watch england vs columbia, hardly worth it though, friendly matches never have the thrill of a match where things are at stake.

Listening to the Arcade Fire - they are great.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Review on teletext

Had a bit of work at construction site today, but before I left for work I checked teletext to see if my review had made it. It had!!!! I'd written a short review of the Magic Numbers at Sheffield Fuzz club and here it is:

This is my thrid review I've had published, here's the others:

Liverpool are European champions!

Well applied for a couple of jobs today and managed to get some beer bottled too. Fairly constructive day, went into town and got some sterilising stuff for the beer bottling. Also bought the new Magic Numbers single, which is fantastic and the b-side isn't bad either. Had lunch in the blue moon cafe with helen and mentioned I'd be watching the Liverpool match in the evening, she asked if I was a Liverpool fan, and looked quite puzzled when I said I wasn't. So I tried to explain that it was a really important match and it's great to have an English team in the final.

So I settle down to watch the match, and it couldn't be a worse start for Liverpool, conceding a goal in 50 seconds due to some terrible defending at set pieces. In fact the defence is shocking throughout the first half and AC Milan carve open opportunities with ease and at 3-0 down Liverpool look completely out of the competition. I muse that Chelsea would have faired much better, but then comes the second half and Steven Gerrard is an inspiration. He lives and breathes Liverpool FC and when he scored a goal to make it 3-1, he didn't celebrate like a player scoring a consolation goal but rather implored the crowd to get behind the team and fired up the team to start an onslaught on the Milan goal. Unbelievably 5 minutes later and the score is equal, AC Milan looked shell shocked and from that point the match became a little more edgy as both teams didn't want to concede a goal to loose the match. So it went to penalties and the Liverpool guys kept their nerve, whilst Dudek gave a Grobelaar-esque performance. An amazing way to win the championship and from a team I have never fancied to win the competition throughout it's entirity! I thought of my friend John, who is a big reds fan, and sent him a text. I received a reply from Turkey - he was at the match! What an experience -he'll never forget that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Retrospective posts

So I've discovered that keeping a good blog requires time, and time that I only seem to have when I'm out of work - hence a new blog today. Thing is I can't be bothered to think about all the things that I've done since the last post and write about it all. Maybe later.

I did see Revenge of the Sith, which finalised an odyssey that is as old as me, in an incredible, visually stunning way. Weaving the final chapter of a great story. Think I'll go and see it again....

Friday, May 20, 2005

Magic Numbers

Last night was quite busy, in fact there was hardly any time to relax. Had to prepare some documents for a church meeting, cook, eat and open the venue. A big rush, thought i'd got a few mins to relax and my uncle rang, which resulted in me leaving the house later then I'd anticipated. It was an exciting meeting though, plans for a new church had been drawn up for us to look at. Really ingenious use of space to create a worship centre that befits an odd congregation like ourselves. Where community and relationships are of more importance to tradition. No pews, but coffee bars and meditation rooms.

As soon as the meeting finished then me and andrew were off to see the Magic Numbers play live at Sheffield Fuzz club. Met up with Janet inside and caught up with her job situation and stuff, nice to see her again. Anne Cecile was also there with Claudia, I'd mentioned that in an email that they might enjoy the music.

The magic numbers came on stage about 11pm and were fantastic, as god as the previous occasion I'd seen them live, back in Leeds Cockpit early in the year. They are just such natural musicians the songs just arrive effortlessly, despite the fact that they contain many harmonies and melodies woven together in an intricate manner. Wonderful. They really seemed to enjoy the gig and engaged with the audience making them feel more like your friends then rock stars. Looking forward to buying their single next week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ordinands and agendas

The job was ok today, the school was realy nice and all the staff there were helpful and pleasent. The job itself is easy and not really a great deal to do, but I'm getting paid at least. Most of the teachers seem to be around my age, so that makes it easy for conversing.

Got home and could barely open the door as a parcel was getting in the way. Got quite excited as I'd recently purchased a dvd on ebay. Unfortunately it turned out to be a copy of the Methodist Conference agenda. A huge book, that will take some ploughing through. Apparently they want to make a move towards making bishops in the methodist church of great britain. Who knows why? I'll have to read the report then post my comments. My initial thoughts are that it goes against the wonderful doctrine of methodism that we recognise one great high priest in Christ and that all are equal below him. We even have female chairs of district (our bishop-like equivalent)

This evening I attended a testimony service for all the ordinands from the distict. i went along with Peter and Brian from church whom I gave a lift to. It really was a moving service, hearing the testimonies of their calling to ministry was really powerful. You could see the work of God in their lives and I was actually getting quite excited about their move into ordained ministry and all the myriad gifts that they had to offer. I mainly went to support Sue, a probationer minister from my circuit, but the other stories were equally uplifting. A real sense of the Spirit in the place. It was also a good time to catch up with faces from around the area that I knew over coffee. Including Joy, whom i went to India with, and also Ian White, who asked if I fancied going on mission with his group to Jordan. I do actually, but with the unrest of being out of work i think I'll probably give it a miss this year and apply next year, when hopefully things are more stable on the job front. However, I'll give it some thought and prayer. There's also £750 to raise too.

Got home and watched the the monastery which is one of the best things on tv at the moment. Again the wisdom of the monks really shone through as they helped the guys adapt to monastery life and the problems and fears that arose during that time. It's great to see that time spent in ritualistic and patterned devotion, with silence and listening to God, really is making an impact to these guys lives. Check out the monastery web site at worth abbey.

Monday, May 16, 2005


And what a grey monday it was too, a really miserable morning. Took me ages to get out of bed, that's what happens when you've got little motivation to get up. Read for a bit as I eased myself from the comfort of my bed into the shower. Applied for a couple of jobs, which is a good thing, there's a few more I want to apply to at the moment as well. Got a phone call around 1530 from Hays and they have a school which would like me to do some lab tech stuff for them till the end of the week. Well, better than nothing, and I could do with the money, so I accepted. The thing is, I know realise all the odd jobs I'd planned to do this week I hadn't bothered attempting today - don't want to be left with nothing to do for the rest of the week! And now looks like they'll be post poned again.

Visited my friend Claire in hospital, she was well enough to be let out and we went and found a nearby pub. It was a proper 'local' pub with people inside who I guess spent most of their time there. It was good to chat with her and hopefully releive the boredom she faces.

Just got back from Andrew's where we've been choosing songs for a worship service on Sunday, trying to check my email, but it's playing up. Hoping to organise a trip to the cinema on saturday to watch the new star wars film, and want to see if anyone else wants to come along too, but can't access the replies!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

fresh expresions

The weekend, and what do I do, go to a conference on fresh expressions of church. To be honest, I was really dissapointed. This was organised for the whole sheffield district, which is vast in geographical terms, yet there were so few ppl in attendance - and I was the youngest! The whole concept of doing church differently really appeals to me, but mot of today didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know. What was intresting was listening to peoples stories from around the district of different styles of church that they had adopted.

Afterwards i went for a wander around the winter gardens, which I enjoy doing, but don't really do very often. It's interesting at the moment, many of the plants are in bloom and there are some really interesting flowers. In fact a few of them are crazy looking, never seen anything like them before, most unusual. I also like looking at some of the plants that I encountered whilst on my travels around the world, like bamboo and tree ferns and NZ flax.

Bit of work today

I've been doing this temping work for a contruction company, and every now and again I pop in and help get their admin stuff up to speed. The company is called bluestone and they have the tender to build these new office blocks near rother valley country park. It's quite interesting to see how such things take place, the procurement of subcontractors etc. But my work gets a bit dull if there's not enough things for me to do.

Yesterday I took a walk up to my friends house to give him back a bottle capper that I'd borrowed. On the way up the hill I was passed by a fox! Quite strange to see one walking around the streets in broad daylight.

This evening I'll have to get on and get some stuff sorted for church, there's this 24 hour prayer event that I'm supposed to be organising for the circuit. It should be an interesting venture - I hope it is well supported and not just the same old ppl.

The other thing I might start doing tonight is putting some of my travel photos together into an album. I finally got round to ordering prints on Wednesday - and how about this for service: I'd uploaded about 380 pictures to photobox.co.uk and I ordered the prints at about 1545, the very next day (yesterday in fact) they all arrived by post, and only 10p a print.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

well that seems in order...

So to post number two...

Did anyone see the programme called the The Monastery on bbc2 tuesday night? It was a really great piece of religious television. Five blokes living in a Benedictine Monastery for 40 days and nights. Leaving behind a secular world to concentrate on the spiritual. A life of silence, contemplation and prayer. What really struck me was the wisdom of the monks as they explained their own personal devotion and faith, and the way they answered the questions they recieved. In fact sometimes asking a question in return that perhaps exposed the underlying precepts of the questioner. It reminded me of the way Jesus taught. Looking forward to the next two episodes now.

Not done much job searching yet so far, the jobs paper should be out soon. Been side tracked with setting up this, and also faffing with my atempt at brewing beer. Unfortunately it seemed to have gone horribly wrong, there was no pressure in my cask at all. Yesterday I discovered the reason, the cap had a great crack in it! However, I syphoned off a little of the beer from the top and it looked fine, and tasted ok, if little flat. So today I've filled a few bottles with the brew with a spot of sugar too, see if it can be rescued.

Bible study tonight, which I enjoy, I don't put enough time aside to study the word. Even though I find it compelling and fascinating. I think the key is to read a passage, then re-read slowly and see what questions it arises in your mind. And for me, there are usually loads. But doing this helps me break down the barrier of the text and the problems that that leads too, and instead helps me see truths that are being conveyed.

Better do something more useful..

First post

Well this is my first post. Wonder how long I'll keep this up for? It's just that I'm fairly bored and thought that this might be quite a good idea. Best see if this works.....