Friday, July 30, 2010

Back from the boat - year 2

Day one of the recovery from Falcon camp, and I'm feeling fab! I had a really good time this year, felt 'at home' and hugely blessed as soon as I stepped into Alice's house, and then on to the boat a couple of hours later. It's strange to think that before last years camp, I was hugely nervous about sleeping on a boat and this time around, it seemed like I had really come home. It is never going to be the most comfortable week's sleep that I have during the year, but I still manage to sleep soundly. This year, I got woken up twice during the night by sick girls, but I really don't mind, if I can calm a whole dorm down and get then back to sleep, I know I'm doing the job that I'm called to by my creator.

Once again at team debrief, I felt as though the first day was 6 years ago, rather than 6 days, we all struggled to remember what it felt like to be a team without 20 children taking our attention and making us laugh so hard. I spent some of my time this year doubled over in laughter and was really blessed by all of the Jelly Bean Girls and every member of the FACT team. A day spent off the boat was the wettest one we'd had all week, but we were inside all day, we really didn't know it was going to rain that heavily, as we got back to te boat, the weather cleared and stayed away long enough for us to got out again! No need for the code red activities, we got to do everything we wanted to. The day sail (setting out at 10 and getting back at four) was really good, last year I learnt to sail, this year, I didn't have to, if I didn't want to. I got a bit of the bug, but didn't follow through, and after giving it a second try, I think that I like being out on the water, but I'm not actually cut out for it. Tacking back and forth is always a little too scary for me!

I have some more great memories of this week, including the difference in some of the returning children, having conversations with those young teenagers has made me realise what a difference a year can make and how their lives are really affected by the people that they see during term time. I'm going to miss everyone who returned this year, as they are too old to come next year.

So now I can spend some time thinking about the young people in Billericay, Soul Survior and the what I have learnt from Falcon that I can use at home.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have completed my 400 miles in 39 days. I'm very grateful for everyone who has sponsored me, my page will be open until October so please, if you're reading this and you'd like to give, please do.

Stop the Traffick work tirelessly to bring people out of slavery and to stop people trafficking across the world. It is really important work and the case studies of people who have been saved only prove how great the charity are.

I would've blogged about this yesterday, but I got a ticket for being parked outside my own house, so that took over. Yesterday was not a good start to being 26!

However, my birthday was really good, Karen and I introduced our friends and family to TopGolf, which I think most people enjoyed and we were joined by extra people for the BBQ afterwards, which seems to have become the annual event!

That's all that is happening at the moment. I'm busy preparing for Falcon camp again. Looking forward to it, the extra day might be the killer though!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nearly There!

A new video for you to have a look at!

I am at the end of my epic journey, ok, so I've not gone very far physically, but spending time cycling has been interesting and a good chance to do some reading and thinking.

Today is no different, for thinking that is. My wonderful boyfriend of a year set me off this morning... it's two years this week since I started my current job, which means it's two years since I had to get on a bus to get to work, it's also two years and two weeks since I passed my driving test. It's two years since my brothers went on holiday with their friends and I was left in the house on my own. Which means it's two years that my Dad has been in his current job too, 18 months since he fell over and broke his arm and had a plate put in it.

My life at the moment feels like it centers around working for ECC, although I'm not there any more, the 11 months that I spent in that office were some of the best moments and hardest moments too. I'd never had a 9-5 job before and so far, I haven't had one since. Although the stresses are completely different I wouldn't change my job for the world.

It also means that it's a year since Chris and I decided to make it official. I didn't blog about it at the time, there was a lot going on, and although it didn't slip my mind, I didn't feel it was right to broadcast my relationship so shortly after it started.

Chris and I had been on a couple of dates before I eventually said yes to his question, and it was my mum's fault that I did - she posed a very awkward question the first time that Chris came over for dinner. I literally could've died, I was so embarrassed and I did tell her off after Chris had left!

But a year on, we've done a lot together and there is still more to do. we've had our experiences, the ups and downs of learning about each other and travelling 32 miles each way to see each other (I hold the record for the longest time taken - 2h 05min).

Today we're heading back to the city where we had our first date, to eat something I've never had before - sushi. I've had sushi that hasn't had any raw fish, but it's time to take the step to eat raw fish and know that it's not going to kill me, because it's been prepared properly.

Our first date was at Pizza Express and I really enjoyed every moment of it! I'm looking forward to this date as much as I was looking forward to the first one. I'm even nervous about it!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's all over

SOLID is over - it had it's highs and lows, it was too hot to do anything for someone as old as me, but I got to spend time with a number of people who I enjoy spending my time with. We are still learning lessons about how best to do SOLID.

Over the weekend I obviously didn't get a chance to cycle, but I am now only 38 miles from my target and that means 90% there! Please, if you haven't done so, sponsor me, it's all of a really good cause and I'm really happy that I've raised some money already, but I'd like to try and get to £100 at least to make it worth while.

I haven't lost any weight like I thought I would, but that really doesn't matter. I might try to keep cycling and I haven't been to Jazzercise as much as I wanted to.

The summer is panning out nicely and we're heading towards Soul Survivor and birthday fun as well as Falcon.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


So July has come around super quick again this year. My second year in charge of the youth festival has brought its challenges already. We're heading away for the weekend to Stubbers, so there's some action packed time ahead for the young people and a chance to meet with God and work through a load of stuff with them, making sure that they are safe and happy for the time we're away. I'm fortunate that they are all sensible for the most part, and I have known most of them for a year already (or in the case of Verity - nearly 18!) so we have a good understanding of each other and hopefully at the end of the weekend it will be better.

Pray for us any way... it's getting bigger for Christ Church and it is super important.

This time last year I was blogging about Take That and a new car, about Solid and about other tiny bits and pieces that were going on. This year I really don't have it clear in my head what is going on... Yes, I've been on holiday, yes I've been cycling and trying to raise money for Stop the Traffik, yes, I'm preparing, slowly and surely for Falcon this year, I have more responsibility with this one. at some point I will be celebrating my 26th birthday.

I will also be celebrating a year with Chris. I won't do too much reflecting on the last year with him, but I have done a lot of things I never thought I would get to do, and I'm looking forward to doing some more things with him in the coming months. He's really wonderful and has made me really happy over the last year.

One of the things that I have mentioned on a number of ocassions is 'The Time Travellers Wife' I have a strange relationship with this book. I can't put it down. This time around is slightly different, since the release of the movie, I've not read the book, but now I have my own copy again I've picked it up to read again, but a lot slower than before. I'm scared of it now. I'll let you know how I get on!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Chris and I spent some time in Swaledale this weekend with his family, in a lovely tiny village called Muker. His parents own a house up there and although we didn't stay in the house, we did stay in a B&B at the back of the village. It was wonderful, firstly to have so much space to ourselves but also to be so close to everyone, you can walk 2 mins an be at the bottom of the village at Chris' parents front door!

The view across the village.

We spent Friday travelling, and only got caught a couple of times in traffic - including seeing a car on it's windshield on the A14, the journey was good though, with Chris pointing out various things along the way and telling us how far we had to go. Saturday was a day out to Hawes, which is in Wensleydale, sitting in the back of a landrover, being bumped around a bit was good until I started to feel sick. I thought that the Wensleydale cheese factory would be in Wensley - but it was on the edge of Hawes. Chris and I love cheese, so it was a bit of a must, despite the climb! (You'd think by now I would be used to exercise, but I'm really not!) The rest of the day was spent in Reeth and then down at the river, which was behind the B&B. Jenny - Chris' younger sister - found tadpoles and fish, while Sophie (Tim fiancee) built an impressive dam. we headed back and got ready for dinner in Thwaite. Sadly no photos, I left my camera behind, but we had a really good night.

Sunday was a quiet day and wet with it. Chris decided to show me the inside of White Scar Caves, which was really interesting - here's a (bad) photo of us outside.

It soon got cold and dark and wet after this, but a lot of fun, trying not to bump our heads and listening to stories from our cave guide. We headed to Tan Hill pub afterwards for a bit of lunch and some live music (although we didn't know that until we arrived). Tan Hill is the highest inn in Britain, so I'm quite pleased that Chris took me there and brought me a half! We spent the afternoon asleep, recovering from Saturday night. The weather cleared and we headed over to West Burton falls before dinner. Chris gave me a beautiful photo for me birthday last year and to stand in that place was really wonderful.

On Monday we went to Settle to get on the train to Carlisle, through the countryside and through Dent, which has the highest train station in Britain. We spent lunch time in the city and headed back on the train for dinner with Chris' family. Yesterday we got up early and went to Masham to the Black Sheep Brewery before getting on the A1 and heading south. We've done quite a lot, including eating, socialising and spending time in the pub. It's easy to get to know people and the event that Michael and Gill put on for their friends will be remembered for a long time.

This is the first proper holiday I've been on it quite some time - I got to Bristol, but that has an association with work still and every other time I've been away, I have been fact I think the last time I went on a proper holiday was Paris 2005.

This weekend I'm going to send my phone to be repaired! Joys of technology slowly dying on me!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Nearly there!

I am actually incredibly excited today - I'm over the 300 mile mark and I'm going on holiday, in about two hours!

I have almost sorted next weekends activities too - a little shops during this week have helped me immensely, it means I won't be rushing around like a headless chicken on the three days I'm at work next week. So far I can only think of one thing that I have forgotten and I don't think that the yong people are going to miss it if I forget entirely... though I probably won't, it's a very important part of SOLID, having hot chocolate on Friday and Saturday after the main celebration is a key part of my ministry (!?!) we all get to sit around a chat through the day and life. I must remember to pack cards too and find out if we've still got the cutlery that I brought last year!

I think this holiday is gonig to be well deserved, but I really don't know how long it will take me to switch off!