Monday, September 27, 2010


P.S. I've just heard back from Cadbury and they have taken ywo years to get to the point where their pure diary milk products are fairly traded... they didn't really answer my question.

Does an Advent Calendar not count as pure dairy milk?

I'm disappointed by the answer I've been given. Booo. Not good enough Cadbury! On with the fight!

We also found out from the Kenyan's about their involvement in fair trade... it seems to be helping!

Time for a breather!

This is my wonderful boyfriend, doing something that he really loves. I am really happy that this is a picture in the public domain... it puts a smile on my face every time I see it, every time I remember being at Silverstone for the very first time, knowing that he was wandering around with a media pass. This weekend he was doing the same thing at Brands Hatch... his work for The Checkered Flag has taken over his spare time. He works his socks off with his paid job and then works twice over at the weekend. The life of a sports journalist isn't all flowery shirts and iPads (take note Eddie Jordan)!

This is my lunch today. I am sick again. Not 100% and grateful that I spent all of yesterday afternoon sat down, doing some cutting out. I hope I haven't given what I've got to anyone else. I feel really rubbish, but I have a lot to do still, so onwards and hopefully upwards.

Yesterday we had the ladies from Ciamanda in Kenya at church. It was good to sit and chat with them, and find out about their youth groups and how thing are the same and different in the part of the world that they have come from. I wonder what it is really like. The last time I went to Africa, they were only advertising mobile phones, but in the 8 years since then, everyone seems to have them!

My parents are on their way home from a weekend away to celebrate their 27th Wedding Anniversary. With a wedding on the way... it's their last chance for a holiday. It's nice to have the house to myself for a bit, but it's always nice to have them back!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Not a word....

I finished Her Fearful Symmetry over a week ago and I was a little bit confounded by the ending. I think confounded is the right word. It finished abruptly and it is rather strange, though the whole book leans to strange. Anyway, back I go to the Phillipa Gregory books that I brought a year or so ago and haven't picked up after being a little bit disappointed by one of a trilogy she had written.

I don't really like being disappointed by books. I find it sad that I can leave a book half way through reading it, but some subject matters just don't capture my imagination, and I guess that you can't please everyone so I am going to be disappointed.

This week has been a week to get back into a routine, although every September since I have been a youth worker (volunteer or paid) has been slightly different from the one before. There are days when I suddenly realise that every week is different from the one before, that I can't possibly think of my life ever being the same again. I am a fan of order and knowing what's coming next. I like to have things planned, even though to some it seems that it's chaotic!

I tell you something that is not chaotic at all, and that's the supermarkets already having their christmas stuff on the shelves. It's very organised of them to be thinking about it lng before the rest of us!

I was out last night, after my first night of my second year at CCS when I came across a whole isle dedicated to all things christmassy. Here's the evidence -

Shocking. I know we say that Christmas gets earlier every year, but this is seriously early... there isn't even any hallowe'en stuff in the shops and they have the Christmas stuff out! Sadly, once again, nothing fairly traded (not even the cadbury calendars) so I am on the hunt to find out how I can petition cadbury (and find a fair trade chololate calendar).

Here's hoping that Christmas won't come to soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I have a pocket bible that my mum gave to me as I started my first year out, and because it is brown in origin, it has taken many different disguises, partly to disguise that it's a bible, but also to give me something to talk about when I meet people for the first time. I normally carry my bible with me, so it gets a lot of wear and tear.

Here's a picture of another makeover that it's just gone through

Twist your head and you'll find that at t the bottom of the picture is the old skin, and above that is the new skin that was used for the refurbishment.

I love my Bible, it's accessible to me and others, it's got notes of talks I've listened to, important reminders of where passages are that are important to me, how I've put Bible verses into context or they've been broken down for me. I have not read all of it, I hold my hands up to that, it is difficult some times to read it. i try to though and when I need it the most, it's more reliable than anything else!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The view from above

Have a look at this - I couldn't even watch it all the way through without feeling incredibly wobbly!

There are people in the world who appear to be a lot braver than myself. I guess the only way to get to the top would be to climb up - using a helicoptor would possibly be too dangerous.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

I am reading a book I can't put down. I think it's because it's a book about twins and there's a cemetery as well, and it's set in England, and most reference points I can get along with. I am only about 250 pages in, so not finished yet. But I am enjoying it. Not as much as TTW, but I want to find out what is going to happen to the twins and their neighbours, plus other residents.

We are trying to get back in to the swing of things. Dealing with Christmas and Harvest, New Year, All Saints Sunday, tea and coffee, schools clubs, carol concerts, Christingles, Boxing Day being a Sunday this year, the town's fun day, the new members of staff. So much to think on, thankfully I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's tiny and there is a long way to go!

I am happy that I get to be in a different place for half term this year. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Recently, facebook has told me that there is at least one birthday a day of the people I have added (or have added me). For some of them it's difficult to remember what we did to celebrate those birthdays, but mostly I have some recollection of what birthdays in early September felt like. Being amongst the youngest in the year during my school days meant that there were people in my year who were over 10 months older than me, the way school works in the UK is very strange.

I digress, I'm talking about birthdays because last Sunday, when I was blogging about books, my family were converging on the house to share with Mike as he turned 21. We share stories, about younger days when we were silly and things that have happened more recently. My cousin was unfortunate enough to burn the back of his hand (and some of his kitchen) in a deep fat fryer incident. We were all told about Karen's wedding and talked about dogs, now that we can share stories to help understand how best to look after our dog.

We will always do this I think, pick on each other, call everyone old, find reasons to laugh and joke about the past. Of course we're creating new things to talk about, but the old ones are the best!

Sunday, September 05, 2010


In the last 50 mins before the family descend on the house for my brother's 21st birthday, I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about me and my relationships with books.

I can imagine that I am much like the rest of my generation when it comes to reading... otherwise I may start to sound weird, you can let me know what you think. Close family and friends already know I am weird.

I have read a number of books in my time, some were really good, others were awful, there have been easy reads and some have been full of difficult words that I have used a dictionary so that I could get through them.

One book took my imagination and I have written about it and the movie many times. The Time Travellers Wife is one of those books I will read for the rest of my life. I hope.

I do own a lot of books, not nearly as many as some people I know, but I have brought a book case to specifically keep my books in. I own a wide range of books and find that when I'm reading, I sleep better and my imagination gets a work out, when normally I over think things, if I'm thinking about a book, I'm not thinking about other things that might be more harmful to me.

I started with Stephen King and progressed to things about theology and sociology for my degree. I have a number of cookery books and a number of bibles, two very good types of books to live well. My most prized books are the few that are signed, mainly by Jamie Oliver, as my Aunt worked with him for a few years during the beginning of his Sainsbury's campaign. I have a few books that have been brought for me, and I find that buying a book for someone is a highly personally thing to do. One book reminds me of a life that was never meant to be, but once it has been written in, I find it hard to give up. The book I carry around with me the most is my brown NIV, the bible that was given to me by my mum at the start of my first year out. It has pages of notes and little bits of knowledge that I keep going back to. I have lots of books that are waiting to be read.

I recently spent time in Yorkshire with Chris and he took me to a second had book store that had all sorts odd things. I came across a big fat bible, that would have been amazing to own, but I have no where to keep it and it was an odd translation, so I would have little use for it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

You think you're busy!

So the first of September is here, just about.

Today has been a London day with the male youth workers in the town, something that has been in the diary for a long time. I'm glad I've spent the time with them, glad I've got something out of it too. I always find myself having honest conversations with the people that do the same job with me. Something that I think is harder to do with people who don't understand or don't know. Of course it also depends on how long and how much time you spend with someone too. But I digress!

We were in London for a teaching session about CRB and ISA forms. ISA has been put on hold by the most recent government as they think they can streamline it more so it's less complicated for people to understand. Good for them, as it all came a bit out of the blue for me and I still don't really understand why a second regulatory body is necessary, but then, I don't much like the way CRB's have worked any way. So new forms and a promise that it can be done online (making it easier and quicker) in the future. Though one question is popping into my head as I write - surely a signature is a good thing?

Lots of fun to be had and a chance for a rare moment of youth work...talking about life instead of work!

But now we are back and I feel that we will race towards Christmas, very quickly. There is a holiday on the horizon though.

This term is exciting, I'm building relationships with a lot of people and gathering information that I simply wouldn't have come across two years ago when I first started. There's a first, a third and a fifth Sunday to sort in October, and once we get there, we'll be thinking about Advent and Christmas Eve. A youth work conference, a Christmas party, so much more and meetings too! I am glad for flexible days, time off and friends who see the need for relaxation in my life!