Sunday, October 30, 2005

Some thoughts on church

Had some good conversations at bible study again on thurs. It's often interesting to chat about passages in a group as you see more things and think of new ways of looking at them, it's easy to get into tangents and having good conversations from them too. We were looking at some parables, esp those where something lost is found, a coin, a sheep, a son. The discussion point was what does your church do to meet the lost? My question was - who are the lost? From the passage it appears to represent a sinner repenting, therefore surely the lost is everyone. We went on to comment on this idea called time to talk of God which came out of the methodist conference. It's strange to think that in a church/worship setting we rarely talk of God with each other, and if we can't communicate well with those whom we share fellowship, how do we best do it with those who don't? Why is it that all our conversations with new people start around where do you live? what is your job? and it's difficult to have conversation without those starters. It's as if our job defines who we are, and definately I felt that when I was a scientist and answered such a question, with out doubt i'm sure it influenced my perception to the questioner. And now when i answer I'm an admin assistant for construction firm it doesn't feel so good, and i know it gives a different impression (i sometimes want to tag in, i'm a doctor too, but then that might make me appear even more pathetic!) So where am I going with this ramble, not sure yet, there's more of this rambling then i'll sum up.

When communicating with people we have to set ourselves in a heavenly situation and the values of stature there are completely different to western culture where prestige and money is a sign of success. There is no doubt that capitilism teaches us that success comes to those that work hard, and that this success is demonstrated in wealth. It's taught at school, work hard etc and you'll get a good job. The thing is I know from experience that you can work hard and attain academic success, cos it's something i enjoy and am good at, but it doesn't necessarily give you a goal for a career, especially if you think there are things that are more important at measuring success than money and career. So it's within this experience that I feel we should meet and communicate with people as people, not their job, not their musical taste (which i'm afraid is my yardstick!), not the clothes they wear, not the colour of their skin, not their sexuality. It's something else that makes the person, and at the moment I don't think I can articulate what that is, but what I'm sure of, is that it is the 'yardstick' of the kingdom of heaven, where the first are last and the last are first. If we can master this, then we are halfway there at communicating the love of God.

Next is this problem where do we do this, of course we should do it at all time, but for people wanting to explore the kingdom of heaven, where do they go. Where do we invite them too. I'm acutely aware that if i am to have conversations about a heavenly kingdom with non church people then it will be at work, and no one I work with lives anywhere near the church i attend, a problem with how 'communities' work these days. So even should I wish to invite them to collective worship, the commute would seem pointless. However, I really feel that collective worship is important, cos Luke tells us it was Jesus' custom to go regularly to collective worship. Here is another stumbling block, what if the week a guest comes, church is rubbish. No one knows the songs, the message from the preacher is less than bearable and the whole time you feel slightly embarressed at inviting a guest. Why? not because church was a bit crap that morning, because God speaks in many ways in collective worship that sometimes you don't spot. i think the reason we get embarressed is because collective worship on a sunday is perceived to be what knowing God is all about, and you perceive your guest thinks that this last 2 hours has summed up your entire experience and understanding of God. Of course it hasn't, in fact there are aspects of worship that I have grown to like more now then I did as a teenager. We need this collective worship just to be the tip of our expereince of God working in and through our lives.

Because this probably doesn't make a deal of sense I'll try to conclude it:

  • To live and communicate as Christians we need to live out the heavenly kingdom, and thus we need to learn the conversations and actions of the heavenly kingdom of which we are part.
  • We need to encourage others to seek the heavenly kingdom on earth and in their lives, using Christ as an example of the heavenly kingdom lived out.
  • In doing this we need to encourage collective worship of some sort, but need to teach that this experience of worship is part of our understanding and worship to God but not all.
  • We need to make collective worship more accessible to those 'communities' of which we ourselves are part.
  • Saturday, October 29, 2005

    Moving house

    Helped dave p move into his house this weekend. It was great to be able to repay the many times he's helped me with odd jobs around my house. Though I'm no where near as efficient at such skilled manual labour as he is. It's good to have a place of your own.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    John Peel

    So it's exactly one year since the great man died. I had just taken a day trip to Hells gate national park near lake Naivasha by matatu, returning to stay with andy. It was whilst watching tv that he informed me that he'd heard that John had died.

    Now I know there's loads of tributes and stuff going on, but i really think that this guy made a difference to my life, and i guess i'm not the only one to say that. Which is really something, i can't imagine any of the current crop of djs having such an influence - they seem more preoccupied with their own ego, but for John it was all about the music. I'm not saying that i enjoyed every show he did, sometimes there's a limit to how much german industrial techno you can take - but due credit for playing it in the first place. But john introduced me to some fantastic music, some of my favourite in fact, and those he didn't introduce me to, he inevitably played tunes by them.

    I recall being a young teenager, recently into music, listening to the radio one sat evening and john was on playing a fantastic electronic tune, and i made an effort to get out of bed and scribble on a piece of paper "papua new guinea by future sound of london, dumb child of Q remix'. Sometime later, whilst at university i purchased that single!

    Another peel highlight was whilst revising for my winter finals, a cold january evening reading my notes and in the background he played a song that made me stop and quickly place a blank tape into the recorder to capture this tune. It was pull the wires from the wall by the delgados. After playing it he said, i could play that again and again it's so good, but I won't, I don't want to overuse such a special track. It went on to top the Festive 50 that year. Within a fortnight of hearing that track i'd been to derby to hear them live for the first time. Amazing.

    I think the last band he introduced me to were Architecture in Helsinki as he played a white label by them during a programme where the delgados were playing a session.

    So thanks john for helping create my diverse musical collection

  • mogwai
  • delgados
  • malcolm middleton
  • arab strap
  • belleandsebastian
  • boards of canada
  • broadcast
  • architecture in helsinki
  • super furry animals
  • joy division
  • inspiral carpets
  • nirvana
  • nick cave
  • sleeper
  • the smiths
  • godspeed you! black emperor
  • low
  • 65 days of static

    this list could go on and on...

    Stewart Henderson, the bass player with the delgados, gave an account of the times he met the great man in his diary, read his 3 entries here, here and here. btw it's got swearing and stuff in it.

  • Bored at work

    again, i hate having nothing to do, but I received a timely email from siobhan and I have now created a blog for her so that you can read about her adventures in kenya. It's great and I'd certainly recommend that you visit it here.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Backdoor to conference??....

    Despite forgetting to submit my application as a district rep to methodist conference it appears there is still another avenue open to me. A friend of mine, John Cooper (who's blog is worth reading) is a member of methodist council and informed me that they can send a couple of people to conference as 'council nominated' or something. Seems a bit of a farce cos you go, but then don't officially have to report to anyone. He rang me and said he'd like to nominate me, which was very good of him.

    I won't find out till december if i'm chosen, but i won't be disheartened if i'm not, as i see it as merely a bonus now. I'll prob take the week off anyway to go and see my friend get ordained and perhaps do some walking, if I'm not debating!

    Singing in the rain

    well not so much singing as walking, and not so much rain either.

    Had to go and check that a user group could get into the community centre this evening and it was absolutely chucking it down with rain. I decided that I'd give my new, early christmas present, hiking boots a road test in the downpour. Put all my waterproofs on and ventured out to brave the weather and walk up to the centre. I was about half way there when the rain stopped - typical. Still there was quite a lot of surface water to splash through - the boots were great, i'm going to enjoy doing some hiking in these.

    On sunday morning this girl came up to church all in a flap about some children's party she had booked for this friday. She seemed to think that there was a play scheme running at the same time. 'I've not slept all night', 'my son has been looking forward to this for weeks' etc etc. Checked the bookings diary and she was all booked in, no sign of the play scheme. Contacted the play scheme people yesterday and they said they'd only booked the hall mon-wed. So I rang the girl whilst i was at the community centre to explain she'd been flapping about nothing.

    Worked from leeds today - and the traffic was fine, a little slow, but none of that stop-start nonsense. What a difference half term makes.

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    al fresco church

    Couldn't get up this morning, I'd woken up around 7:30 and decided that was far too early to be thinking of getting up and promptly fell asleep, and into quite a deep one at that, as my alarm woke me rudely and I still felt quite groggy. Just laying there thinking i ought to get up, wishing i didn't have to get to church so early. Another hour in bed would've been great. Just calculating how late I could lay there before having to get up and fetch peter when the phone rang and made the decision for me. It was james informing me that the appointed local preacher for this morning was unwell and wouldn't make the service, leaving us to sort out our worship. Hmmm 9:10 i've got 20 min before I have to pick up peter, a quick phone call to andrew, shower and into the car - took my breakfast to church. Explained the situation to peter and asked if he would help lead us studying the lectionary readings between hymns which he agreed to do. We're lucky to have such a wise local preacher in our congregation. I think officially if the preacher doesn't turn up it is methodist protocol to get out the 'emergency' book of sermons by john wesley and read one of them! We were quite quick setting up and were able to cobble together a kind of order of service. It was interesting, a selection of favourite hymns interspersed with prayers and bible study, and went quite well. Speaking to our eldest member, margorie, who's well in her 90s, she told me with a grin: "I've really enjoyed the service today - al fresco!"

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    traid craft and memento

    Went along to a traid craft evening tonight, more out of duty than choice. Felt that someone from cv should make an effort - couldn't remember what time it started, so arrived 1 hour late. Not too much of a problem as i was in time for the food ;)

    There was the expected abundance of rainbow coloured handbags, cardigans and purses, does anybody actually use these? It was interesting to see the range of products on offer in the catalogue, though the highlight for me was the paper bag game. I say game, but in actual fact it was to highlight the working life of many in india who construct similar bags from paper to sell to shop keepers as their living. So for 20min it was quite fun, but 10 hours a day 7 days a week....... makes you think.

    got home and watched memento.

    not as good as i was expecting, perhaps my expectations were set too high from hearing so many glowing reports. Interesting story idea, though not quite sure if the backwards storyline/plot was just gimicky or a tool to try and describe the fact that the lead character doesn't understand the context of any of his actions due to his short term memory loss. Still it was better than a lot of things i've seen.


    Had some things to do in town this morning, including getting some things from ccc. Wanted to get a couple of albums too and decided that as i was expecting to be paid sometime soon i could justify a trip to fopp for the first time in a while. I've not been in for ages, because it has a dangerous effect on my bank balance, and indeed the shop floor lay out had changed since i was last there. However I was able to purchase the new album by arab strap and boards of canada so i'll review them in the near future. Was pretty good and wasn't tempted to buy any other albums, though i did purchase a book, the virgin suicides, only £3 - bargain. I think i'll read this and then get the film from the library, it's a film i've wanted to see for ages and not got around to yet. Directed by sofia coppola, and i did like her other film, lost in translation, so it bodes well.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    DVDs from the library

    Got back home about 5:15, giving me quarter of an hour before the library closed. I quite fancied watching a dvd tonight, so walked round and had a browse in the collection. It costs one whole pound to borrow a dvd for a week, how good is that! Two films caught my eye, big fish and memento.

    So this evening I decided to watch big fish whilst eating my fish and chips. I usually like tim burton films and never got around to seeing this when it came out. As with all tim burton films it had a great look about it, visually stunning distinctively burtonesque. Steve Buscemi is also great, he's such a good actor, portraying so much through the way he controls his facial movements. However the film itself was taking a while to unravel where it was going, i'd not read any synopsis, so had no idea what to expect, but it eventually became clear. What is a story, why do we use stories, what is fact, is there place for the mythical in stories or should they be as factual as possible. Made me think about the way we treat the creation story, sometimes the mythical helps us remember and brings more character than a factual re-telling would. As the movie progressed i didn't realise it was going to bring a tear to my eye :( it's quite an emotional ending.


    Was asked to go and work from the leeds office this week to help put together some operation and maintenance manuals for some completed projects. The commute is quite annoying, especially in the morning, even leaving at just after 7am the motorway is just one long stop start journey until the M62 is passed. Takes about 1hr20, quite frustrating. At least the journey back is quicker. Pleased I don't have to do it everyday, and at least i'm fairly busy when i get there.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005


    Went round to the manse yesterday to have a meal with james, the new minister, and his wife followed by some discussions around the crookes valley project. Or that was the intention. Nicola, his wife, is a minister in another circuit and is part of a team investigating emerging church for the 20-40s and was interested in some of the things we were doing at cv and some of the plans we have. So it was interesting sharing ideas and also being challenged to what is the central vision for cv, which i think is basically somewhere for the current congregation to meet and continue to worship in this dialogue/cafe style manner as we continue to explore God's grace, and to be a witness in whatever location we find ourselves.

    After dinner me and james turned our attention to investigating funding for the cv project. However, we soon became side tracked, talking about my current situation and what i wanted from a job etc. It was a very useful discussion, as it is something that has been concerning me for sometime. The fact that i don't actually have any definitive vision for my life, it's all very wispy if you know what i mean, ethereal. I have no concrete goals, just ideas of things i'd like to do. We of course discussed whether i had considered working for the church at all. Which i have, but fleetingly, and i shared my initial concerns over such an idea, which makes it such a brief consideration for me. Like, just because i could do it, and know that ppl think i could do it, doesn't mean i should. And my lack of patience i would have with ppl who moan and argue about trivial matters. And seeing first hand from friends who work for the church the hassle they get from ppl as they try to do their work. These matters were discussed at length and james shared his own concerns for going into the ministry, it was interesting and really useful. I was recommended to read 'what colour's your parachute' so i'll look it up...

    let's sneak out of this party
    it's getting boring
    there's more to life than this

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    This time last year

    I began walking up Mt Kenya....

    Today I got up and take breakfast about 8am and meet up with Andre and Patrick at 9. We buy loo roll and water purifying tablets and await the arrival of Robert. He's delayed waiting for some chicken. Eventually we set off after 11 and take a van up to the Sirimon gates. Here our chef, John, prepares us some sandwiches, chese, salad and avocado. We then start the trek up to OPld Moses hut. The incline is steady, mainly like walking up to Broomhill from uni. After a water break, we set off at different times, and I go a bit later. As I walk along the path I hear a noise in the bush and looking around I spot two baboons. Which I think is an impressive spot, until I turn the corner and see about 30 on the track ahead! immediately I feel a bit vulnerable and stand still wondering whether to head back to the guide. Eventually I press forward and they leave the path as i approach. Unfortunately I tried to take a photo, but it didn't work. The flora and fauna on this trek is incredible, from a forrest with the baboons, which moves to a more scrub based landscape with heather as the tree line is passed. Many beautiful coloured birds exist up here too. We reach the hut around 4pm and make ourselves at home as the clouds begin to encoach around 5pm.
    We watch the sun go down and then take tea, which is remarkable considering what is available. Afterwards we make a set of cards from paper to play some games with. My nights sleep was odd, I was warm but a little cramped. Didn't appear to fall into a deep sleep, more a kind of limbo, but I was quite relaxed in the morning.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005


    so it didn't go that well. It's for a clinical trails co-ordinator, and the job sounded quite interesting and i thought I had most of the skills required, bar any real knowledge of research and development policy. Though I thought that i wouldn't have any problem learning it quickly. Something I tried to make clear in my application form. Anyway, most of the questions they asked were about R&D policy and I had to say I had no idea at all about it, but had worked within legal policies before etc. Then they tell me that although the job is advertised in the first instance as a two year placement, they hope to secure funding to make it a permenant position and where do i see myself in 5 years time. My head is screaming at me "not here!" so i have to try and pretend that nothing excites me more than entering a job that i will do for the rest of my life, and that I'd love to work my way up the career ladder.

    I'm single and pretty young with no real ties, why on earth would i want to tie myself to a job that I see as a means to an end. Why do I have this lacklustre attitude towards work, i want my life to be more than a 9-5, i want to explore, learn, be challenged, get to know god better, share my stories, make a difference in some way, challenge people, challenge attitudes, write a book, climb a mountain. Maybe these are the dreams of a child and i should grow up....

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005


    Had a really good long weekend away with my old uni friends, and I think it was just what I needed. Leading up to the weekend had been quite draining emotionally with getting this job and other stuff and despite feeling like the last thing I wanted to do was go away, it was a great time.

    On arrival we took a taxi to our apartment, but we were taken to the wrong street, so another taxi was required. Once settled we headed in to the old town for a delicious meal of Latvian fare. A huge meal for less than £3, Jonah and Nick then took us to a bar/club they'd visited earlier in the year and we had a great time. After a few drinks we headed down to the dance floor where we danced the night away in the company of some very beautiful and pleasant Latvian girls.Dancing to a mix of english, russian and latvian tunes was good fun. I even danced to cotton eye joe by Rednex for possibly the first time since 1995, Nick organised a bit of a ho down which went down a treat! We left at 4:30 and dancing was still going strong.

    Woke up to a fabulously sunny day, wonderful blue skies, so spent the afternoon exploring the city including a trip up to a viewing platform in the steeple of St Peter's church. The panorama from this point was amazing, I took quite a few pictures, and it was interesting to see a bit of history about the building with the steeple being rebuilt in the late 60s after the original was destroyed in the war. I think Latvia must have a very interesting history, a country that has often fell into occupation.

    We had intended to watch the england football match in a bar, but we left after the first half. The problem being our fellow country men who had entered the pub and who were chanting in loud and abusive manner whilst being quite disrespectful to the waitresses. It's such an embaressment to know that they are from the same country. What is it about football that makes it become this very tribilistic occasion?

    Saturday evening was extremely quiet in the old town, and we later discovered that the influx of tourists had made all the bars too expensive for the locals, and I fear that it could result in a beautiful city being turned into some kind of stag party haven, which would be horrendous. Cheap flights make it easier to visit these interesting places, but the tourism it brings, although bringing much needed capitol, merely serves to make the place less accessible to those that live there.

    Tried some Absinthe as I was sure that it would inspire me artistically like Toulouse Lautrec. In reality it burnt right down to the stomach and made me feel a bit ill the next day - although that might have had something to do with the tequila as well, and i was trying to be good.

    Boat trip on sunday afternoon was nice and relaxing, before a final latvian meal and heading off to the airport.

    One of the other things that struck me about the place was how it immediatly reminded me of Crime and Punishment that I'd read last year. There's still something about the place that has a very different feel and is something I'd love to explore. Perhaps travel from the baltics up to moscow one day.

    click below for more photos, and on the page that loads click on the link that say Riga under tags on the right of the screen for all the pics.

    One of those days

    Do you know what, sometimes i wish i didn't do anything except work, eat and sleep. No sooner had i got home then i got a phone call i was supposed to be meeting the centre manager at the community centre so i headed on up there. Got home, no food, cos i was too tired to do a proper shop last night, and it had gone past that threshold where you can't be bothered to cook or anything. Decided eventually on a take away despite not really being able to justify the cost - in the end convenience won. Then my mobile went, I'm supposed to be at another meeting now to organise a circuit service, i feel a bit bad that i can't go. It's just too much...

    Anyway, on a better note I got an email from Siobhan in Kenya:

    Well, I've made it to the second email! Yes, I know I lied in the last one. I was viciously attacked by a fit of blond-ness and wrote next week instead of 2 weeks. Please forgive me! Perhaps so called 'African time' is rubbing off on me. I've even noticed some Kenyans talking about American time when they want something to start promptly!

    You'll be pleased to know that I've become used to the food, although I still think cabbage is seriously over-rated. As food is one of my favourite topics I'm going to continue for a while. Last Saturday I learnt how to make chipatis but I didn't learn how to spell it - I hope that's right. I have also tasted sugar cane, which is like rock but you have to spit bits out and you can't get any with your name written through the middle. I almost lost some more teeth eating it, watching some of the kids filled me with awe. They either have good technique or their jaws are made from titanium. Most of the time they lop of a cane from one of the plants around the home but you also see men with overflowing wheelbarrows in town. Another thing you find in wheelbarrows is live chickens. In fact I've just remembered that on my 4th day in Meru I was with Esther and she bought one of these infamous live chickens. Being the young fit and able one I was the one who had to go and fetch it and put it in the boot. I don't think that beats Janet but it was a bit weird.

    It's not just my stomach that's settled in - the rest of me feels more at home as well. I think I've just about got the hang of the routine. I don't feel so much like a torist any more but I've discovered that I myself am I torist attraction! Every time I walk through town I get stared at like I have two heads. The other day I even got a bunch of kids following me back through the slums. However, I do feel a bit out of place sometimes because some of the 'children' are older than me yet I'm counted as staff - where do I fit in?! Woe is me!

    The school system here starts at 7 with 8 years of primary followed by 4 years of secondary (which is usually bording school). Which means that the end of primary school is like GCSE age but quite a few started late or had to repeat years so they end up being older than me. Free primary education only came in a couple of years back when the 3rd President (yes, they've only had 3!) was elected.

    He appears to be making quite a lot of changes (like surfacing roads!! Whoo!) but the main one is the constitution. Everyone here is bananas! No, that is not a prejudiced assessment of their mental capabilities, it is a judgement of the current political climate. Honest. Due to high levels of illiteracy, when they vote on the new constitution it'll be bananas for 'yes' and oranges for 'no'. How cool is that? Most people round here seem to be bananas but we'll have to wait until November to find out.

    I've been spending a couple of days a week at CCM which is a feeding project in Meru town that feeds some of the other street children the Children's Home can't take in. Just so you know 'street children' doesn't mean 'homeless'. Most of them have a parent/guardian but choose to spend most of their time on the street because home isn't very pleasant. Poverty is a big issue, just being able to get food is a problem let alone paying rent and HIV/AIDS only compounds the problem. As well as giving out lunch they're encouraging the guardians of the children to grow their own food. (The school where it's based has given over some land for this, which was very nice of them.) The social services and Food for the Hungry do quite a lot of home visits to guardians - the theory being that anything they do will be a waste of time if it's not backed up by the parents/guardians. I've tagged along on a few of them, hense the pied piper impression through the slums with the kids following me. These visits have been very interesting in a horrible kind of way. I will not attempt to describe the homes of some of the people because it will make me cry.

    In order to continue walking around Meru on home visits when the rains come I've invested in a lovely pair of wellies, they are a stylish black so will always be fashionable. Sometime in the next two weeks all the bright red dust which is currently choking me will turn into bright red mud which will no doubt make me fall over. It's slightly bewildering to see people preparing for some rain. One of the things we've been busy with over the weekend is preparing a field for growing maize. Which means I helped with the lovely job of moving tons of manure, I did attempt to balance the bucket on my head but I think manure isn't the best thing to pratice with.

    I've also had my hair plaited, which felt like a xylophone had landed on my scalp. It took ages! As in, 5 hours! But it looked good, at least everyone here seemed to appreciate me looking like a 'proper' Kenyan girl.

    Church is much better now I can understand what people say. This Sunday was the first sermon I could actually follow! Success! My Swahili lessons have taken a musical form, as the Home has a choir and they've started teaching me the songs as well. It'll be even better when I know what they mean! Kimeru is still beyond me, my tongue is having serious problems, at least I can greet people now.

    And with that I'll say goodbye.


    That's cool, cos it's exactly a year since I set out on my travels, starting with Kenya

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    ,Pretty tired

    Had a good time in Riga, will post later when I'm not so tired. Flight got into Stanstead about 1130 last night, so by the time I set off on my way back to Sheffield it was 0030 this morning. My journey was accompanied by some fantastic radio, why isn't daytime radio like this? First off there's an eclectic mix of top tunes from Gilles Peterson which was followed at 0100 by two hours of John Peel a compilation of stuff from John's travels and exploration of world music. It was great. Didn't get to sleep until about 0330 and then up for work at 0720.

    Though distressing to hear about the tragic loss of life in the asian earthquake on the news.

    Still, discovered I have a job interview on thurs for a job I applied for ages and ages ago. Hopefully I can arrange some time off work.

    Can't believe how warm it has been today considering it is october, the trees are just looking great too. Parts of them are beginning to turn beautiful golden orange shades. And yesterday the moon was a deep orange over Riga, a proper harvest moon, which now always reminds me of red moon rising which is an inspirational read. Right, off to bed.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005


    retrospective blogging

    If I could just
    Compose myself
    I'd radiate just the right amount of cool and heat
    So you'd never know
    How I tremble to touch you

    lyrics from b-line by Lamb

    well that pretty sums up what i was feeling tonight, but looks like it's not to be

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Light equipment

    I don't know how he does it, but David p always seems to be able to find stuff for church or ebay. Today I met him to help pick up some odd lighting equipment that the union had chucked away. It was stacked up outside the octagon, and david had been in touch with his contact who said that it was free to a good home before they got round to skipping it. So spent some time loading up his van with odd bits of lighting equipment, that probably dosn't work, but might do with a bit of tinkering.

    It was good to meet up, and I can't believe it was a week ago that we were delivering flyers in the pouring rain.

    Off to Riga for a long weekend with some of my old uni friends from nottingham days, mainly housemates. It should be good to get together for first time since new years day. So I'll not be posting again 'til some time next week.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, "I don't know."

    Still feeling a little grey, and I think it has something to do with jobs. Today I started a full time placement at Bluestone, but it was a struggle to get up this morning. I should've been pleased, but the only thing that raised a slight smile was the fact that I'd be getting paid regularly and more than at any time this year - though still fairly pitifully. And to do what? Photocopy, answer the phone and file things away, what on earth is happening that I'm reduced to doing this, why can't i get a proper job (well that's cos i want to stay in sheffield cos i feel called to seeing out this church project). Bumped into an old friend in tesco's and her friend was there too - "ooh Chris, last time I saw you you were just finishing your thesis, what exciting things are you doing now?" "Hmmm crap jobs, but i did travel round the world" i add to try and make things look better. Still count it as experience, at least this way I should have work during the christmas period - hoorah(!)

    Janet came round last night to get her Magic Numbers ticket, I'd unfortunately double booked myself. Booked a w/e away in Riga ages ago with my old uni friends, turns out that it's this w/e, just like the Magic Numbers gig. Oh well.

    this was quite a good idea for a harvest service - take it to tesco martin poole's blog

    Monday, October 03, 2005


    Back working for Bluestone today, sat in an office on site. The doors are always open and the office was pretty cold. The last few weeks there have been some beautiful clear skies in the mornings, in fact I've needed to wear my sunglasses driving to school in a morning as the low sun is so bright. Not today, not on the day when it could've been possible to see a bit of an eclipse of the sun. No, it was blanket cloud as far as you could see. The kind of dull grey cloud that has no end, so yet again another astronomical phenomenon passes me by.

    However, Siobhan said that in Kenya it was a beautiful clear day and the kids had been watching the event through foil and three pairs of sunglasses.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005


    Just read that there is a solar eclipse on monday which is very exciting. We only get a bit of the sun covered in the uk, but it will be interesting to see. I did go down to devon in 1999 for the total solar eclipse. It was cloudy, just saw a huge cloud approaching at speed, which engulfed us. It doesn't really go that dark, just like twilight really - I guess because the atmosphere is still lit up by the sun in other areas. The birds seemed to go a bit mental, tweeting and flying around, but they didn't seem to be bothered about it for too long.

    Just sent a text to Siobhan in Kenya to let her know that she will be in an optimum position to see it, and I doubt it will be cloudy either! She's settling in well, but finding church services rather dull. It's pretty amazing that I can contact her in a fairly remote part of Kenya, and hear back from her within a few minutes.

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

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    I've decided to allow any random reader to leave a comment on here now that blogger have introduced a word verication to reduce spam comments. So i'll see how that goes, though if i have to spend ages filtering out spam it'll revert back to blogger members only

    Beer, bagpuss, balby carr and bands

    alliteration, how poetic

    Just putting off writing up the church council minutes from monday, but before I get on with them I thought I'd post something here.

    Went to the sheffield beer festival on thursday evening, meeting up with some of the guys I used to work with at the uni. I was there just before it opened, joining a queue of overweight gentlemen sporting shaggy facial hair. It certainly serves an interesting clientele. There was a huge selection of beers and it's difficult to know what to choose to taste. My favourite was by the Ossett brewery, but a special mention must be given to the Abbeydale brewery who produced a beer called Bagpuss.

    Finished working at Balby carr school on friday, and i was given a parting gift from the other technicians there, which was very nice of them. It's been alright working there, back to bluestone on monday, but i hope i get a bit further with this application i sent in last week. The last few jobs i've applied for I haven't even made an interview.

    Whilst working at the school we've had the radio on, and so I thought I'd comment on a few tunes around at the moment.

    I predict a riot - Kaiser Chiefs

    This song gets the thumbs up for the great lyric: Watching the people get lairy Is not very pretty I tell thee. Walking through town is quite scary.

    If you can use 'I tell thee' in a pop song you must be doing something right!

    King of the mountain - Kate Bush

    Nice tune, typically haunting, but i think would be more interesting with a more drum and bassy percussian

    Suddenly I see - KT Tunstall

    If I have to listen to this song once more...... it's not terrible, but seems to be perpetually on every radio station and it just gets on your nerves.

    Judgement Day - Ms Dynamite

    Heard this on one of those music tv channels, I'm quite a fan of Ms Dynamite, she is often very challenging lyrically and this song continues that vein:

    Now take a look at these project buildings They got us living in It's like we're raised in prison cos of the colour of our skin Now how you gonna wash the blood from your hands? The pharmaceutical industry need to get paid They're sitting on a cure Watching new born babies die of AIDS Tell me how you gonna wash the blood from your hands? How could you keep exploiting 3rd world children Using them as underpaid slaves So you can make your millions How you gonna wash the blood from your hands?

    Hardly the sugary nondescript lyrics that seem to dominate the charts - but then I wonder if ppl even consider what's being sung about when they purchase popular music.

    Ella Guru

    Saw these at Greenbelt, and you can listen to their album online and so have turned to them to escape kt tunstall, it's beautiful music.