Wednesday, September 28, 2005

It's that rain that gets you wet...

Arranged to meet dave p after work to deliver some of those cool crookes valley flyers in the local area.

It was raining

a lot!

I got really wet, soaked to the skin in fact. We were out for ages, yet my bag of flyers seemed to be like the feeding of the five thousand. I'm sure I had more flyers left then what I started with!

Found a good looking job, so applied to that this eve as the closing date is tomorrow. Luckily I saw it advertised today on a site I browse every two weeks or so.

What else, oh yes the side of my head hurts a bit cos I walked into a door on monday night after church council meeting. A feat I presumed both propostorous and impossible when used in soaps as a cover up story for being involved in a violent clash. "How did you get that bruise?" "Walked into a door" "Yeah right..."

well it is possible, what you have to do is be in a rush to lock up the community centre. Turn the lights off, pull the door open ajar to rush through. Forget that the door is only one of a pair of double doors and turn full pelt into the remaining closed door. It makes a loud bang and smarts (hey that's a funny word - smarts)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It was my cousins wedding on saturday and it was a great occasion. The weather was just fine, beautiful blue skies. My sis came by my house to give me a lift to Kendal - she was late of course! It was good to catch up with my sis on the way there though. It's not often we get together as a family these days, so it was a good opportunity to catch up with some of my cousins too. We used to spend quite a bit of time together when we were little as we lived fairly close together. In fact I have fond memories spending days together creating huge dynamic pictures, with all manner of strips of paper to pull that would move some character on the drawing.

The day was great, seeing my cousin, Ben, incredibly happy and his new wife equally so too. I also got chance to see Dan and Kim's daughter, Amelie, for the first time. As baby's go she is incredibly cute, i'm not normally a baby fan, but I took quite a few pics of Amelie!

Ben and myself were also very happy to hear that Chesterfield had won again, after the ceremony I checked the results on my mobile and was able to inform Ben during the wedding breakfast!

Kim and Amelie

Ben and Lyndsey dancing

My mum and dad dancing (to razorlite believe it or not!)

Ben, Dan and Scott

Air guitar to 'the final countdown'

me and dan at the end of the night

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On being a tv star...

Yesterday I headed into town to see Michael Vaughn make a public address at the town hall. It was being filmed live for the local news on both itv and bbc. Because Michael Vaughn was expected at 6:15pm, there were hardly any people around at 6pm when we first went live on itv's callender show. I was stood near the front and was stood behind someone being interviewed. my mum and dad saw me clearly, so i think that makes me a tv star. Unfortunately I recorded the bbc's look north instead, where I appear as a non descript blur, but a me shaped blur nonetheless!

OK are already planning to do a feature on me

Harry Gration tries to get the crowd to sing Jeruselem - what awful words this hymn has!

Michael chatting to the bloke from Callender

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No sex please.....confessions

So it was the final episode of No sex please, we're teenagers last night, and I think on reflection it has been a good programme. I have grown to like some of the characters, and it has been great hearing teenagers talk honestly and openly about sex and relations.

What really struck me about last night's episode was the occassion with all the participants gathered around and the leaders asked the group if any of them had failed in remaining abstinant for the 5 month period. Not to show them up, but giving them a chance to admit their failure to the group and to the leaders, so that when it came to graduating they would feel good about taking part in the ceremony rather than feeling guilty because they hadn't shared their failings. Well as you can imagine there was a time of silence, but the was broken by Janine, who was first to admit that she had failed by having sex early on in the process. But she shared her feelings about her failure and the group showed her support, as did the leaders. She wasn't made to feel that she had done something terrible, but was comended for her honesty. The leaders mentioned that they wanted to show unconditional love for the group despite their failings. Once Janine had shared with the group then others followed, and all those who shared with the group said independently to the camera how it had made them feel so much better in getting it out in the open.

It made me think about confession and forgiveness. Apparently the early methodist class groups would meet and share openly and honestly together the sins that they'd done that week and together they would ask for forgiveness. The roman catholic church continue the tradition of confessing sins openly, whereas today there is a silent time for confessing sins during a prayer. A time that lasts about 10s, just enough time for you to try and think about something before the opportunity has gone. Should we confess more openly in groups? Is it helpful in our receiving forgiveness from God. Probably not, but the support from peers can help us feel forgiven, especially if we feel we've let them down. Though I don't think confession in front of any group is helpful, must remember this group of teenagers had become very close during their four months together. But perhaps there is some kind of precedence for confession to more than God......?

John Peel Tribute CD

There's a tribute cd coming out on the anniversary of this great man's death. It looks like a cracking collection and great to see that the delgados are included. The press barely gave them a mention when they listed John Peel's favourite bands, but this was a group that John personally invited to his house to play a gig for his wife's 50th birthday. There can be fewer greater accolades than that!

Lonnie Donegan – 'Lost John'

Tyrannosaurus Rex – 'Deborah'

Pink Floyd – 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – 'Spanish Castle Magic'

Van Morrison – 'Sweet Thing'

David Bowie – 'Life On Mars?'

The Doors – 'Five To One'

Tim Buckley – 'Song To The Siren'

The Faces – 'Stay With Me'

The Misunderstood –'I Can Take You To The Sun'

Country Joe & The Fish – 'Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine'

Fairport Convention – 'Meet On The Ledge'

Captain Beefheart – 'Big Eyed Beans From Venus'

Loudon Wainwright III – 'Be Careful There Is A Baby In The House'

Roy Buchanan – 'I Am a Lonesome Fugitive'

The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – 'Mr Apollo'

The Ramones – 'I Don't Want To Walk Around With You'

The Clash – 'Complete Control'

Joy Division – 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'

New Order – 'Ceremony'


The Undertones – 'Teenage Kicks'

Altered Images – 'Happy Birthday'

The Smiths – 'How Soon Is Now?'

The Cocteau Twins – 'Pearly-Dewdrops Drops'

The Jesus & Mary Chain – 'Sidewalking'

Blur – 'Song 2'

Culture – 'Lion Rock'

Billy Bragg – 'A New England'

Robert Wyatt – 'Shipbuilding'

The Wedding Present – 'Brassneck'

PJ Harvey – 'Sheela-Na-Gig'

Pulp – 'Common People'

The Fall – 'Theme From Sparta F.C.'

Super Furry Animals – 'Something For The Weekend'

Nina Nastasia – 'Bird Of Cuzco'

The Delgados – 'Pull The Wires From The Wall'

Belle & Sebastian – 'Lazy Line Painter Jane'

Laura Cantrell – 'Two Seconds'

Orbital – 'Chime'

Elmore James – 'Dust My Blues'

Monday, September 19, 2005


Went to see Siobhan yesterday, and right now she will be heading down to Gatwick as she catches her flight to Kenya. She'll be there for about 11 months on an experience Exchange Project with USPG doing some work in a christian orphanage near Meru. It's going to be such an exciting experience, I wish I was going too. Spending so long in such a different culture is going to have a profound effect on her. It was great chatting with her and remembering about my time there last year visiting friends.

Is that a technician...

Can you believe it. Was working today in the prep room and a teacher came in with a guest who was hoping to speak to another teacher who was in the middle of teaching her class. This guest woman turned to the teacher with her and looking towards me said "Is that a technician"

I realy wish I'd hit her with a torrent of verbal abuse, I was just so shocked at her manner I didn't retaliate in time. That is a person, there are proper pronouns for addressing people, they are he and she. And no I'm an ice cream man, that's why I wear a white coat, not because I'm a technician.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My God, it's full of stars

Was chatting to helen c about films, and she was commenting on the fact the she often found the soundtracks to films clouded her interpretation on what was happening on the screen. It reminded me that there is very little use of soundtrack in 2001:Space Odyssey, because it mostly takes place in space where sound can't travel. So here Stanley Kubrick uses just classical music and the sounds of the characters breathing etc.

Well, talking about the film made me want to watch it again, so decided that I would tonight. On getting back from work I went and posted my time sheet and as I was walking back home I passed the library and finally decided it was time to venture inside. Partly because helen c had said that sheffield library had a very good selection of films on dvd. They didn't have 2001 in, but I decided on getting a book, cos otherwise my joining the library might've appeared a waste of time to the librarian. Not sure I'll get round to reading it as I'm quite enjoying that bill bryson book.

So back to 2001, I dug out an old video, as I'd videoed it off channel 4 about ten years ago. On long play, so the picture quailty was pretty awful. Actually, keeping a programe so long on video is actually breaking the law. The film is stunning, and I just wonder what the original audience made of it all. I remember the first time I saw it being quite perplexed. Blokes dressed as apes milling around for about 20 minutes, strange monoliths, incredible ideas of space travel, computers going wrong and then the weirdest psychedelic sequence I've ever seen. Later grasping the story better and reading Arthur C Clarkes works I've grown to really appreciate this film. The ideas of something instigating great changes in the evolution of community, here the invention of tools and later in the series the growth of a second sun. Then questions of artificial intelligence, how a computer would deal with two conflicting assignments. Then the quite moving scene of the 'death' of artificial intelligence. I was also sure that the last words spoken by Dave Bowman on entering the monolith was "My God, it's full of stars", but it wasn't. They're the last words in the novel, and are used in the sequal 2010. In conclusion, this film is a peice of visionary masterwork, as you'd expect from Stanley Kubrik. The input from Arthur C Clarke gives a certain 'believability' to the space scenes, this is a man who predicted the use of geostationary satalites, velcro to walk in zero gravity conditions and spinning space stations that generate a pseudogravity through centrifugal force. It's well worth watching if you haven't seen it before.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Where was I.....

oh yes, no sex please, we're teenagers. Much better episode this time. It was good to hear the reservations that the leaders had over the silver ring thing, and it was refreshing to hear the girl criticising the event for being all one sided. At least it shows that she is really thinking and engaging with the content.

The support that each indiviual gained from being a member of the romance academy group was really interesting. How many of them would've taken the abstinance vow without being part of a group, likewise how many teenagers would go to church fellowship without their friends? When do you reach that stage when you feel confident enough in your 'faith' to venture somewhere alone? Would I still go to the church I worship at if my close friends left, or would I find another church with likemined people?

What I continually find amazing about this programme is the frank honesty of the teenagers taking part, and their way of articulating the impact the romance acadamy has had on the way they now view friendships and relationships. It was sad to hear that girls sister tell the story of meeting some bloke at a night club who she later had sex with cos it felt right at the time, and the reason it felt right is because for those moments she felt comfortable with herself and appearance and confident because someone appeared to be finding her attractive. Whereas her twin sister had gathered that she didn't need to have sex to be comfortable with herself, and the confidence she gained from this knowledge was lasting and not fleeting like that of her sisters.

Then why is abstinance such a joke, it seemed really difficult for the teenagers to encourage their own peers to join the project. The response they received was luke warm at best. What is the culture that makes it seem that not having sex is the weirdest thing anyone can do. Surely this just fuels the insecurities of being a teenager. If you're not having sex then it seems that current culture dictates that you must be lacking in something, and that is obviously attractiveness to other people. So if you don't feel attractive that just fuels the insecurities and so it appears that having sex is thought to be the answer to this problem. However the undergraduates of the Romance Academy are learning that this is not the case at all.

One moving part of the programme was the girl who split up from her boyfriend, she realised that she had matured in her thinking and was now in a place that was alien to her boyfriend. She now found it difficult to connect with him. It was sad to hear her retell the difficulty she had in trying to explain this to her boyfriend in order to end the relationship.

it seems that there is now a Romance Academy web site.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Just got in

Had a none stop day, can't believe it's 9:45pm and I've only just got home. Left house at 7:10am this morning for work, got stuck in traffic, cos of road works and only just got to work in time. From work I went straight to meet the new minister, James, to help fill him in with the details of the proposed purchase and redevelopment scheme at Crookes Valley. No easy task as there is so much history and characters to fill in. It was a very good meeting though, and James seems like he'll be a great minister for CV, bringing a good sense of accountability to our project. Left the manse and came home to meet dave P, so i guess I have been back home already, but that was only to do the world's longest wee (i was bursting) and pick up a pizza from the freezer. David gave me a lift up to matt and emma's and they kindly cooked my pizza as we discussed the upcoming AWE service. Useful discussion, but I think I was a bit too 'meetinged' out to give any decent input. Was dismayed to hear about a meeting the night before, local preachers meeting or something, where the layout of the new plan had been discussed for over 45 minutes. Unbelievable, well not really, but it annoys me that meetings are filled with such trivial nonsense - surely someone can just sort these things out without the need of getting approval from a meeting.

Last night I really enjoyed the next episode of No Sex Please We're Teenagers. I should give some more thoughts at a later stage, but to remind myself: community of the group, concept of relationships and why is abstinance such a joke. If i remember I'll expound on that.....

On a lighter side, I got my free comic from Dave Walker of cartoon church fame today. They were left over from his contribution to the greenbelt communion service. Very nice

Monday, September 12, 2005

Regaining the Ashes


What an acheivement, the England team deserve to be proud. Though it was a bit of a damp squid ending. Waiting around for ages for them to actually lift the urn, and there was quite a farce with Michael Vaughn having to accept a replica glass trophy and some other trophy and hand them back. Just get on and lift that urn, that's all that really matters - give the fancy dan trophies later!

Was just about to have some tea and think about handing in my application form when I thought it'd be great to celebrate the victory with a pint. It was then that I got a phone call from Tom, who I used to share a bench with in the lab. We hadn't seen each other for nearly a year and so it was great to meet up this evening. Arranged to meet him after delivering my application by hand. Hope I get some success with this application, it really is becoming increasingly frustrating. But thanks must be sent to Jonathan for suggesting looking at Sheffield PCT for jobs. At least this seems like something I can engage with and also be stimulating too.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Emerging church

I must recommend these musings, if you have bit of spare time:

richard passmore is running a series of posts over at sundaypapers. parts 1 | 2| 3 are up so far.

CVM Flyer

Here is the flyer that me and andrew were discussing at Greenbelt. I think Andrew has done a really good job.

The Big Blind

Finished this book a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it. I must admit I did find it difficult to imagine the lead female character without thinking of Louise Wener as it is written in the first person. I'm sure there are lots of traits that the lead character has which are Louise's own, so you see some of the author coming thru in the book. I must admit the subject matter of poker and gambling doesn't need the glossiness that this book gives it. though it does touch on the destructive nature gambling can have, everything works out in the end for the characters here. This is probably my only critisism, and it is something I would use for Louise's first book about a guy trying to crack the music scene - of course in the end his band finally make it.

Don't have anything left to read now, Helen suggests i join the library (which is only about 20 metre away from my house, but I've yet to enter it). However, in the mean time my housemate has leant me

it seems really interesting, and I just know i'd have loved this book when I was about 14.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Not blogged for a bit, though I've quite a few thoughts i want to get down. I'll perhaps get round to it tomorrow. I've been trying to apply for a job and get this presentation for synod sorted and so didn't want to be distracted with writing here.

Synod today, so no lie in, which I think I needed after a week of commuting to school. It was, as expected, fairly boring. My presentation of the Pilgrimage of Faith went ok, though it seemed to have been quite a bit of effort for 3 minutes. I was also fasciliting a workshop on 'technology and worship' where I had to introduce the speaker. It was alright, but not something I would've chosen thru choice as I didn't learn anything new.

Began to feel really tired after that, and the key note speach from some bishop or other was particularly dull, and was relieved when he finally finished. No idea what he was on about, his voice was so dull I'd drifted away after about 2 mins. Wish I had a sudoku to do at that point - if just to keep me awake!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Football disappointment

Congratulations to Northern Ireland, they played a tireless game that kept England out of contention. I don't think England had a chance on target apart from Michael Owen's overhead kick. Whereas NI had a number of chances, taking their best with aplomb. I know the excitement of watching the underdog side etch out the impossible result. It is amazing what a good organised, passionate team with self belief can acheive despite having inferior talent. Just ask any Chesterfield fan about the FA cup semi final in 1997!

Let's hope England can get it together soon. Erikson was very crafty in getting a multi milion pound contract signed just before the start of euro 2004, all other high profile countries sacked their managers after that competition. I wonder where England would be if we'd had a new manager for this world cup quailfying campaign.

No sex please, we're teenagers

I was really inspired by the bbc programme the Monastry, earlier this year. In fact, it was searching for comments on this programme that lead me to Jonny Baker's blog, inspiring me to start my own.

Well last night was another bit of religious programming, that sounded like it might prove to be interesting:

No Sex Please We're Teenagers
Tue 6 Sep, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins

With a shocking increase in STIs and teen pregnancies in the last decade, two Christian Youth Workers, Rachel Gardner and Dan Burke, are challenging youth culture they're turning everything on its head, and teaching kids how not to have sex.

They've chosen 12 teenagers aged 15 to 17, with more than 50 sexual conquests between them, to launch the Romance Academy. For the five-month project, these teens have taken a pledge saying no to any form of sexual activity.

The project takes them on an emotional journey 5000 miles from home, to America - the home of teenage abstinence. Here they're asked to make the ultimate sacrifice - to give up sex until marriage.

But before that, they go away for the weekend and spend the night together for the first time ever, - but can 12 lively teenagers stick to the no sex rule while they're all under the same roof? Contains strong language. [S]

So what did I make of it? I really liked the challenge to the young people of thinking about what relationships were all about, and it was good to hear positive response coming from those undertaking the abstinence pledge into seeing the sometimes shallow nature having sex. All teenagers have image problems of some sort or another, and quite often the having someone attracted to you helps your 'ego' and this is fuelled by sex, but as these kids were relating, still leaves a lot to be desired. Is this where a deep loving relationship with God can help??

Anyway, was beginning to like the programme, and then they sent them to the US for some ultra conservative teaching on chastity - why????

It was clear that the 'modern, conservative' thinking youth pastor was having problems having the authority of his teaching questioned by the young people, and rightly so in my opinion. Interesting to see one of the US youth group getting a bit upset by this, probably a fear that these questions being posed were giving her questions about the pastors teaching (which can lead to a fear of questioning other aspects of faith, which can be daunting for someone spoon fed the gospel without properly challenging and engaging with it)

There were these US kids giving high fives, saying yeah we don't have sex before marriage cos that's what it says in the bible. Does it? Cos I've never seen it, I've seen passages where men can give back their brides if they aren't happy with them and the girls parents can't prove their virginity before the marriage. I've seen encouragement for loving monogamous relationships...I could go on.

Then this youth pastor was saying you shouldn't even consider starting a relationship with some one if you didn't want to marry them. some of these kids were 14 and 15 for goodness sake. Of course they're not thinking of marriage - i'd be worried if they were. Sometimes I worry that christians rush to get married just to have sex.

And what about divorce and remarriage.

These are real issues and i hope get addressed in this programme and that the kids can learn stuff about relationships. The church should be at the heart of this, the bible uses the analogy of a relationship of lovers as that of God's love for the world.

I'm not saying that chastity before marriage is wrong either, it's just a more complicated thing then seemed to be portrayed from the US hosts.

But I think this programme is worth watching, and hopefully in churches accross the country people will be engaging in these kind of conversations.

there's another good blog on this topic here


Monday, September 05, 2005

Synod, forgetful and a new job

It suddenly occured to me last night that on saturday it is district synod, and as I was a rep to conference in june i had been asked to give a short 2 min presentation on one of the reports. For some reason I opted for proably the most dificult and sensitive reports of conference, the Pilgramage of Faith report on human sexuality. The report can be read on the link if you have a spare hour! Was just mulling over the report tonight when I suddenly thought I hadn't got anyone to nominate me for conference 2006. Dug out my synod mailing that I'd filed away on receipt a few weeks ago to discover that the deadline for nominations was last saturday. Rang up the secretary and there was no chance of getting put on the list cos it had already been prepared for the printers. What an idiot forgetting about it. I just wanted to see if I could get one more year, especially as it was in Edinburgh and a friend of mine would be getting ordained too. Typical.

Had my first day of a new temping job today. Back to being a supply lab technician for a school. Was worried that I wouldn't be able to remember any science - but it all came flooding back. Arrived too early, cos I feared being late. Bit boring today, as it was teacher training - no kids. Was shown where the test tubes were kept etc. and asked how much about chemicals and stuff I knew - felt a bit uncomfortable and said I knew a fair bit, got a-levels and stuff whilst thinking that I'm probably more qualified at science then most of the teachers.

Hope a proper job will come up soon..................

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Have been enjoying reading peoples blogs about Greenbelt using this technorati link thing, you add it to your blog with a tag and it becomes available to anyone who searches for a greenbelt2005 tag using technorati

It's great to hear other views from the event, and in some strange way feel part of a community of bloggers. Which I've never felt before, only really started this cos i was bored of looking for jobs, and it gave me something to do. Now I find there are links to my blogs from other blogs and it feels quite exciting. As you can see I've kind of done likewise, adding a few blogs that are worth checking out under links.

Quite looking forward to Greenbelt next year when i can perhaps meet these bloggers!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Deception Point

Just finished reading this Dan Brown novel:

what a pile of cack.

It was the reading equivelent of watching a no-brainer thriller on tv, that's just entertaining enough for you to want to know the cliched ending.

Are all Dan Brown's novels like this, his name emblazened bigger than the title, claims that everything he relates is true, a terrible sexual chemistry underplot between the main characters....

similes included - she was tossed around like a sock in a washing machine. Now that's either genius comedy or the writing attempts of a 14 year old!

Then what about this, during the raising of the metoerite it went from just a few feet from the surface - to just 9 metres left. Imperial unit using american fool. 9 metres is much further then a few feet - idiot!

However, now I can start that Louise Wener novel i got on ebay

The lead charcter sounds great, I'd love to meet a girl like this, she likes numbers and top trumps!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

september already

I'm having a frenzy of blogging this evening, mainly retrospectively.

Anyway, bible study was good again yesterday. Reading Deuteronomy is really challenging, as emma quipped, it's a shame we don't have any non-christians here, reading these passages would really help them (!)

Truth is, reading some of these laws in deuteronomy are really difficult, they often seem so contrary to my understanding of God. It really raises the question about how divinely inspired these laws are. Or whether they are perhaps the result of humans failings to completely love and obey God, that some fear factor has to be written in. In order for a developing society to live harmoniously together they must all love God, but due to free will that is not the case, and as is perhaps shown in New Orleans, it is easy for the disruptive few to damage the group society (anarchy etc). So perhaps these amplifications of God's rules of living are in order to bring order through fear of punishment to a society that is to be ambassaders for Yahweh in an interesting cultural mix of tribes and gods that is Canaan. I guess in the ideal world there wouldn't be need to deter people from committing crimes by punishment of death, cos such a thought of committig crimes would never have occured. This seems all a bit rambly - do u know what i mean...