Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching Up!

A bit of a catch up post for everyone tonight... so much has been going on that I've not had time to blog or breathe. So here goes a rundown of the last five days, with a couple of pictures!

So last week was a major time in the calendar for the year 7's and Religious studies department at Mayflower - they spend a day out of the classroom (two for staff members) at Canterbury Cathedral, learning about the differences between a cathedral and a church for their church project. The last time I was in Canterbury, I was visiting someone, and I’ve never been there specifically to see the Cathedral , so last Thursday it was great to spend time with the staff and students, learning something about where the Archbishop lives! I won’t bore you with the facts but I promise that you won’t be bored if you head to Canterbury and take a tour. The funniest thing I remember from the day was making the connection between sermons and stained glassed windows – they used them as sermon prompts! Made me laugh... what didn’t make me laugh was the coach breaking down and it taking four hours to get home!

The place where Thomas Beckett was killed

Friday was spent recovering in part, but spending time with the Baptist Mission Society people, who have started a four week tour. I love hearing about Africa, so it was good to talk to them about their time in Uganda. Then in the evening we said goodbye to one of our members of staff at Shaken Up! She’s worked with the young people for at least 5 years, so we are sad to see her go, but very grateful for all her help.

Saturday was extremely busy, I went to Chelmsford to sort out my eye situation – I’ve been wearing glasses for nearly 10 years, so I thought that I would try contact lenses... thankfully I took to them really well and now I’m on the lookout for a pair of sunglasses. Then I raced back to Billericay to get in my sisters car and head to The Hoop in Stock for their beer festival, for dad’s birthday, we were joined by everyone in our family who lives in Essex which was wonderful! I loved the food and the beer. After four hours there, we rushed home, for me to get ready to go out again. Jen and I headed towards the 02 Arena in North Greenwich to see Girls Aloud in concert. It was a really good though not the best concert I’ve been to. We eventually got home, just past 1am and quickly fell asleep. (National Express are going to get an email once I’ve taken some time to think about what I want to say)

A bad picture of Girls Aloud flying over the audience

Sunday was spent getting ready for and travelling to Cambridge for punting fun...a little exam time fun, I’ve seen how hard these young people work and I know that they need time out, so seven of us got on the river and shared some food, and the tour guide did a good job of not getting us hurt, and telling us about the different colleges. We got an ice cream afterwards and headed home. After that we headed as a family to stock Brook to celebrate Ryan’s 21st birthday party... he’s my brother’s friend and it was a great chance to see everyone and have a bit of a dance.

Monday was mainly spent sleeping – as I tend to do on my day off. I managed to stay awake enough to see Star Trek at the cinema – after seeing Wolverine last week (which was really good, though a tad of a pointless movie, still nice to see Hugh Jackman back in the role!) – it was great, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like crying right at the start of the movie and the humour was spot on, as well as the casting. And I wasn’t disappointed by Sylar from Heroes – he plays a good Spock, though I really would still like to see him when he’s not being serious!
Today I have given blood, been on the radio and been Go Karting. I do enjoy giving blood, it makes me happy that I can, and that there are regular donating opportunities in Billericay. Being on the radio is wonderful too, it’s nice to be taken seriously by people, and for the voice of my generation to be heard. I’ve been on BBC World service before, talking about R.E. in the curriculum and today I was asked to comment on Scientology, the little I know about it helped me to make some very good points, including talking about taking money from people. It makes me really nervous, because I know so many people are listening, and I don’t want to mess up. Dad has put the link for the podcast on his facebook, I’ll post it here tomorrow for you to listen to!

Go karting was so much fun, I love driving and I love watching F1, so getting to do some racing was really quite a lot of fun! I came third in both the races that I drove in, and was the second fastest leader. We were with the St John’s youth group so I’ve got stories to tell about them and an experience that we will be talking about for a really long time! (Mainly because all the boys thought that the leaders were cheating – we’re never going to get rid of some peoples pride!)
So it’s now Tuesday evening and I’ve just watched the funniest episode of CSI in a long time... bless Hodges! (Mum’s just made a comment about CSI Miami – she’s watched it too much!)
Tomorrow I’ve got a planning day booked (SOLID, Summer party etc!) and then Kay arrives in time for us to see Boyzon in concert! Fun weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2009

All the small things....

I've just don't a blog check and am quietly surprised that I've never used the above phrase before!

Any way... I'm blogging because small things make me happy at the moment... like it taking me a tiny amount of time to do my expenses claim and getting a list of some of my young peoples exams so that I can pray for them and know what they are going through when they tell me they've had a horrible day... but mainly I'm happy because I've rekindled a skill that I love

Click on it, if you can't see what it is.

OK, had a good look? If you're from Christ Church and you recognise at least some of the objects on the page, have a go at naming them... if not here are the names of the objects in alphabetical order, and you can play the matching game

Altar, Community Cross, Font, Lectern, Pulpit, Organ

Exciting, isn't it!

I haven't done any proper drawing since I left 6th form (after scraping an E at AS level) so I did one rough sketch and took a few photos so I could sit in the relatively comfortable office and draw the final product. I'm pretty proud of myself, I got my brain cells going.

Why I hear you scream? Well the Beavers are coming into church in a few weeks and I wanted something really easy for them to do before the tougher second side of the worksheet (there's nothing like having to have evidence that you've visited somewhere). I just have to make sure that they get given all of the answers before I hand them the sheet so it's not too hard!

Now, I am homeward bound, after watching Josh and the Big Wall at St John's and wanting Taco's after Larry's Silly Song about Cebu!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recreational Pursuits!

So CSI wasn't all it's cracked up to be...it was more conversational and character interaction based than ever before, and for me that just doesn't work. I hope next week it gets back to normal and we're given a story that follows the facts and the evidence. I think after 200 episodes they may be running out of ideas for unusual deaths... we've had zombies, talking corpses and series crossovers, to name only a small handful of story lines, there is only so much, as a fan that I can take of montages and character development that doesn't actually give you anything extra (i.e. in Vegas, we haven't seen Catherine's daughter Lindsey for a while and Greg and Nick don't seem to do anything outside of work, plus we don't know a lot about Riley Adams, other than she's female and Warrick's replacement).

On the other hand I am totally captured by Patrick Jane, who is the lead character in The Mentalist, which is currently airing on Five and one of my favourite TV shows. He's an awesomely well written character who's actions are explained by the people he's trying to get an answer out of. If you haven't caught an episode yet, it's free on Demand Five, go and have a look now!

I have learnt today that I'm useless at Wii tennis and boxing, but that I'm getting better at SingSTAR!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In and Out

My time with the youth workers/schools workers, both full-time and volunteer and Bishop David was amazing. I'm slowly getting to know all the people in the area. We now are very fortunate to have 3 full time area workers, all of whom are brilliant at what they do and are very encouraging as a team.

We're also blessed with having a Bishop who is passionate about young people and their leaders, asking us what he can do to support us, to grow our ministries and make them sustainable.

From these kind of meetings, the youth strategy was created and there are various other things that have come from time together in a forum, particularly a strong feeling that what we are doing is growing church in so many different ways. We're pulled together to help each other, to share ideas, and to be empowered to go out and develop those ideas. Rachel (DYO Colchester) was saying that sometimes we can feel like we're in a dead end, but coming to others in a similar work situation (this is a C of E setting and we're all youth workers) helps us to figure out a solution and opportunity for growing church.

Opportunities not problems.
Once I've digested it a bit more, I'll write out the day in full!

I decided that as we were in Chelmsford I'd take the opportunity to jump on a bus and see what the journey is like, now I've spent almost a year away from that sort of commute. It hasn't changed, other than I clearly got on one of the newer buses on the way home, there still wasn't much space for me to sit comfortably, despite my rather short legs. Still the journey, not having to wonder about where I was heading until after I got off the bus, gave me time to start re-reading my favourite novel

If you've never read this book and you're a fan of a complex endearing love story, I'd suggest that you either click on the photo (and hope it takes you to Amazon) or pop to W H Smiths - or any decent bookstore and buy it soon. The two main characters are well written and draw you in immediately. The author has a way with words that has left me wanting more, she's releasing another novel in October, so I may buy that. IMDb.com tells me the movie is to be released in August, so we'll see how well that does, I had no expectations when I first picked up the book, but I've read it so many times that I can't help but wonder what the movie will focus on, how they will deal with the time traveling and what the characters will be like.

Still haven't seen Star Trek or Wolverine... I may spend my day off in the cinema if the weather is awful!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An update

As today is a day off...it's an ideal time to blog.

I've been very keen on the progress of the building for the 2012 Olympics... you can see it happening in front of your eyes when ever your travel into London from Essex.

I find many things fascinating and when you can see progress, there's that added 'ooo, that's what they're doing' factor - considering I spent the whole of 2007 and 2008 saying it wouldn't happen and we'd have the same problems as Athens and the price of the whole thing just keeps getting higher, I'm really impressed with a lot of the design and the rate that it's going up.

So from February to now this is how things have changed

I sometimes wish I could get closer, have a look at how big it really is, but for now, every time I go into London for the next three years, you'll get an unofficial updates on the building progress.

why was I in London? Well I have a very good friend who works as a nanny in Clapham and we decided to all meet up at the science museum and have lunch/some fun together! I really enjoy the going to 'hands on places' (who doesn't) and it's free, so all the better, we saw some really cool things - they have two F1 McLarens and this

It's a tiny bit of dry ice on water... they scoot around an create a really cool cloud effect! I got a little bit excited by it all!

We said goodbye to my friend and the little girl she looks after (the cutest one year old on the planet) and headed to Westfield - I've been there before and I do love shopping very much, it's the largest covered shopping area in Europe, and a very well kept secret by Londoners! I've got some summer clothes to wear and still can't find a tunic from H and M that I'm looking for!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Chelmsford to spend some time with youth workers and the bishop!

Time to watch football and find something to drink!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Solution

It seems that every time I go to blog, I get as far as signing in and then the internet connection dies... so here's my fourth attempt in two days... I implore you never to buy a dell laptop.

So the solution to my bank holiday pain and John's stair related issues, is to exercise, to use the limbs, that seized up so dramatically, regularly and at a faster pace than normal.
So yesterday I walked to work, it took me 28 mins, and although I didn't time the journey back, it was probably very similar. My brother then decided that we were going for a quick walk. He’s about 6 foot and has really long legs, so a longer stride, he also plays football three times a week plus training, so a walk down the hill and back up again is nothing for him, but a huge effort for me. It took 11 mins and is something that I should be doing every other day for the next couple of weeks and then ‘stepping it up’ to every day, moving on to a further distance and eventually running. You do have to start somewhere and I think this is probably the best place for me.
The good news is that I didn’t over strain myself, I didn’t get a stitch and I was only in a small amount of pain this morning.
The bad news is that my right hip joint was where most of the pain was, which makes driving painful (and I think it’s definitely an injury that I’ve gotten since I started driving).
So the plan for the sunny months, at least, is to work up to running and getting fit, then maybe the winter will bring a gym membership and a chance to run indoors and start doing something a little more complicated.

This is my 600th post, which nicely coincides with the 200th episode of CSI Vegas tonight, which after the departure of Gil Grisson and Sarah Sidle, I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got. We had a hostage situation last week, so we’ll see where we go. I’m also sad that Heroes finished last night, but as always with this particular set of writers, there’s a twist in the last five minutes (and I fully believe that it’s written to be boring for the first 35 mins), so we shall see how the next chapter plays out, if it gets any crazier though, I’m dropping it!

P.S. I wrote this in word, because the moment I finished writing my first sentence, the internet died! And I've figured out how to stop the html problem I've got too!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Reading and Walking

Yesterday saw the second 'The Gathering' event - this one was a 'takeway' - which is kind of a facilitator for young people, a practical teaching and we were focusing on personal worship. It's always a good idea to listen to how others do things and develop them for yourself.

So to read a verse slowly three times and then pause to see what God says about it was a first time and very interesting experience for me. I sat in St Mary's with a kneeler under my bum to stop me from getting too cold, away from everyone else, with a pencil and a piece of paper and a bible open at psalm 139. I got something from it, I will go back to it and test it.

Try it, perhaps with your favourite passage or scripture that you've never read or haven't read in a long time, see what you get.

Bank Holiday was eclipsed by a huge amount of pain after walking from Luton to St Albans - which in total was 15 miles. I completely seized up, because I don't do any exercise at all. So I have to start doing something that will work my heart and then figure out which exercises are best to keep me in shape so I reach 50 at least without any major problems. At 24 I shouldn't be crying with pain from just walking.

Friday, May 01, 2009

At St John's

For a little over a year and a half I've been spending my Thursday evenings at St John's Church in the Outwood common area of Billericay. And I'm sure I said this last summer, but didn't take a photo, but look at this

The stained glass windows in the Church are illuminated for a couple of minutes at this time of year when the sun is right. The are like a beacon in the dark church, it's amazing!

This is the other picture I've been meaning to share, its the cross we used for our lessons on Jesus, in our secondary school jaunt! it's quite a powerful image for a lot of people, and the amount of 'what's that?' we got whilst we were carrying it around school was really cool.

St John's is something that is at the centre of my working life, it's something that I think and care about a lot and it would be a shame to see it fold... we're really struggling for leaders at the moment, but we're fully aware that the young people love being in the church and it would be really hard for us to let go. We have a really good relationship with a lot of the young people, not without issues sometimes, but we want to show them that they are loved and cared for, we can't do that without leaders to show by example!

The Highway Code says so....


"You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs."

No I don't know what the penalty is, but if you need proof that it's wrong to do so, here it is!

I still haven't seen a traffic warden!