Thursday, June 30, 2011

What a rip off

Premier League - Parents to complain over kids' kit prices - Yahoo! Eurosport

Have a read of the article above and ask yourself the same question the survey asked.

Are replica football kits too much money? Are they a rip off?

In my opinion, yes the are. I brought my brother an Arsenal shirt last year and that was expensive (and simply because I'd gone to Lakeside before looking online).

We live in a world where things are expensive, cost of living etc, and a football shirt is a luxury - but it shouldn't be the sort of thing you have to dig into your savings (or take out a mortgage) for!

Well Done mumsnet for taking this to the top and asking the question about the massive mark up... if a shirt didn't cost so much, the team wouldn't have so much and the players wouldn't be paid a stupid amount for 90 mins on a pitch.

Rant finished... I have become a reactionary blogger :(

YouTube - ‪theshures's Channel‬‏

YouTube - ‪theshures's Channel

Late night giggle! I won't be at work until lunch time tomorrow!

This made me laugh. I love good covers - and The Shures are amazing! I would love to be this good! and obviously there's Nick Pitera - if you can get over his cheesy 'I'm on my own but I'm pretending I'm not' face! Best to just listen to him, rather than watch him!‬‏

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

24 Hours in A&E - 4oD - Channel 4

24 Hours in A&E - 4oD - Channel 4

If you can watch a couple of these (but only if you are over 16, please) I would really recommend it. It might restore your faith in the NHS and in hospitals or it might not, but the least you can say is that it will open your eyes up to the world of an E.D. no end.

This weeks episode is a bit of both... watching humanity ruin itself and also watching the older generation benefit from health care (private and free).

The couple who talk about having a spliff in a hospital and the little old lady who just wants a man like her husband.

Today has been a really quiet day and watching 24 hours in A and E finished it off nicely for me.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It is dangerous for me to be outside today, so I am hiding from the sun...knowing that if I go and sit outside, I will shortly become very pink and very ill.

So I thought, amongst emails and preparations for camp, I would tell you about a amazing Thursday that I had last week. Often my creativity flows from writing something unrelated to what I am thinking about.

It was an early, panicked start for me, but Margaret and I got on the train with seconds to spare and headed towards Denham station, stopping at Paul's Patisserie for 'breakfast' and once we got there we were greeted by our transport to the venue. If you have never been to Denham Grove, can I encourage you to go. It's a little bit lush!

At 10am we started with worship, led by Nicki Rogers,and we quickly moved into hearing from Mary Pytches who was just amazing. She told a bit of her story and used the time really well to teach us about the work of the Holy Spirit.

After coffee, we had time with Julie Sheldon, who was a Dystonia sufferer and again, had an amazing insight into the work of the Holy Spirit and how to evangelise to a group at a specific event. if you don't know Julie Sheldon, her story is amazing - she was bedridden for a while with Dystonia and was completely healed in one morning. I couldn't believe it and I can't wait to read her story.

After an awesome lunch (Prawn curry and Tiramis-oooo!) we heard some more from communicators who are trained professionally and use unusual forms of communication to tell the story of the Gospel. Then J.John spoke on some really practical pointers for preaching in general.

I really enjoyed the day and came away from it knowing that I have some really practical points to make writing talks easier and getting the evangelistic point across. I will probably use the points in my next talk as it is probably the most evangelical talk I will have done.

Yesterday we spent the late morning in the park, joining with all of the other churches, to praise in the sun and see some of the work that the churches are doing throughout the town. It was a good morning. Not a lot of people around, but the heat was getting too much for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011


YouTube - SENNA International Trailer

If you are a motor sports fan, you will know the name Ayrton Senna - if you're not, then just read a little bit of what I have to say abou the movie chris and I went to see.

Chris had mentioned the Senna movie a number of times and I'd seen it on Twitter - because I follow a lot of motorsports people. We'd been to Le Mans and quickly booked the tickets of the only showing we could make, which was a wise move, because when we got to the cinema, they were already queuing. Full of high spirits, not entirely sure what to expect, we were chatting to chris' friend Alex on the way in.

As we sat down, for me, the anticipation grew and I really began to wonder whether I was going to make it through the movie without crying. People had said it was quite a rollercoaster ride and they weren't wrong.

I am a tad nostalgic about the early 90's, so hearing Murray Walker's voice set me off. There were a number of moments where the whole audience shook in shock and laughed at some of the small things. If you know these characters, you know their little things and spot them. Seeing Damon Hill as well was quite funny.

Towards the end of the movie, when 1994 came up, Chris took my hand and didn't let me go. (For that I am hugely grateful)

Ayrton Senna's death will always be a shock to me and knowing what he went through makes it harder too. He died doing what he loved, what he felt he was made for.

I cried solidly and I'm told I wasn't alone. Death, in any way it happens is never easy, this programme doesn't make it any easier.

I can't say much more, but I know it's had an impact on me. Hopefully I won't forget it any time soon.

I am pretty certain that the advances made in safety started at that point, the world was shocked into doing something so effective that 18 years on, the world can watch a car desinegrate upon impact and then not 5 mins later, the driver is talking and walking about and at the very worst knocked unconcious. We will continue to see crashes in motorsport for all the years there is racing, but, and we have to know we aren't invincible, we hope no more death.

In other news, and possibly related, I feel like I've been crying in my sleep. Strange! And I've got my tax disc for the next year!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear Photograph

Dear Photograph

This website looks like an awesome idea. Makes me want to dig out the photo of my 13th (or 12th) birthday and do the same. There are so many photos I could chose from!

Tomorrow is another day though and there are a lot of new things to do. Lots of memories to make.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Le Mans

You may or may not have caught the news over the weekend that there was a bit of a major race on in France.

Chris and I were there, our first experience of camping together but not of travelling a couple of 100 miles to get to our destination. I wasn't worried about travelling, Chris' driving is good and his awareness of what is going on, even in a foreign country, is impressive. we both found it a bit weird being on the 'wrong' side of the road, but you get used to that when you decide to travel through every town from Calais to Le Mans! We skipped the toll roads, thinking that it would be cheaper but it definitely wasn't quicker - as we found out when we travelled back on the toll roads.

After doing our shopping in Carrefour in Calais - which was a good idea - we made our way to the circuit. Along the way we saw some amazing buildings and towns. The countryside is really flat for the most part, there are some lovely scenes (French people have a thing about putting things in very straight lines - trees and wind turbines in particular)  but mostly we were so focused on following the sat nav that we may have missed some things. Still here are a few pictures.

Lovely buildings that caught my eye. I don't know the name of the town they were in but I would go back and shop there in a flash!

We got to Le Mans and then spent an hours sitting in traffic to get to La Sarthe, to the campsite. We were shown to our pitch and quickly realised we had quite a lot of space, because the people either side of us hadn't arrived yet. We set up camp, which is fairly easy when you have a pop up tent, blow up bed and a pop up gazebo. If there were more people involved I would show you some pictures of set up! Chris and I work really well as a team, we both know what needs to be done. One annoyance was that the gas cooker had become a little stiff, so we botched a solution for the first night and had a very good bolognese! We then headed to the circuit for night practice and a chance to look at the shops on the outside of the circuit.

It's a big site, but we happened to be quite close to the main entry point and so was our stand. It's better than I expected! Plenty of people, places to get food, and excellent radio service to tell you what is going on. we watched the end of night practice and walked back.

On Friday, we spent the whole day in Le Mans, waiting for the drivers parade - here's a picture of my favourite driver

Giancarlo Fisichella - on the left. We waited for the whole day! Travelling on the tram was fun, nice and smooth, easy to get around. We spent time eating good french food and drinking with Chris' friends. We walked back through the village, looking at all the car stalls and different sponsors.

Saturday was race day and a chance to see the start of the race. We hung around for a bit and saw the Alan McNish crash. I surprised myself by sitting for 4 hours watching what was going on. There were 20 hours left but dinner was calling. We went back to the track at about 9.30pm to see what was going on, only to witness another crash, from the same team. 2 Audi cars down, one to go, 18 hours to go.

The good news is, that when we woke up the following morning, the Audi was still running, and eventually, we watched it cross the finish line, only 13 seconds ahead of the Peugeot. Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in his class. It was an astonishing race, lots of drama and plenty of stories, that will hopefully turn into a classic! (We also saw Stirling Moss retire at the age of 81, though we didn't know it at the time!)

An amazing weekend, rounded off by a trip to the museum and a second BBQ!

We travelled home so quickly and watched the Canadian Grand Prix, so all in all it's been a pretty amazing weekend for the high end motor sport world!

Onwards and upwards...back to work today to mentoring and meeting with youth workers. Getting ready for a trip to Ely... going to have some Brie and pack my bag.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Shocking headlines

Teenager Kills Girl To Feed Video Game Habit - Yahoo! News

I have read this article several times, one because I cannot get my head around how a young adult can do this and two because it is badly written.

Sorry for blogging it, but i will try to focus on the story, rather than the way the story is written.

There are few things that I am addicted too... at 2,852 tweets (at time of publication) since December, I am not shy of sharing my thoughts in less than 140 characters - in fact I shall probably tweet that I have written this! I am mildly addicted to shopping, shoes and my hair straightners. Things that give me little comfort, but some none the less, whilst I go about my day to day life. I was addicted to blogging for a while, but even that I have kept in check and understood when enough is enough.

Where do you draw the line for the things you really like doing? Do you have a voice, a feeling that tells you to stop?

I have little understanding of addiction on the scale of the boy in the article, so I only really have a lot of questions in my head and most of them point fingers at the obvious missing pieces in his life... We will see if the answers come in the days to follow. I guess the good news to come from this is that there is a group for Gaming Addicts - and I applaud anyone who works with addicts, it is often thankless work and quite hard too, from what I know.

There's not a lot else of me to say. I started to write in shock, but I realised that it's probably not best to rant.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The sheer power of it

I know I have a really odd relationship with God - especially for those who are looking from the outside in. Sometimes I really can not believe that God loves me and wants me to hear and then share what He's telling me. I tend to get extremely emotional and find it really difficult when I tell God's truth to other people, even thinking about it now, I'm getting a little upset!

This has happened a lot recently - I'm having dreams about what to say to people and the pictures and visions are becoming clearer. God is definitely moving towards something big, He doesn't just drop me in it, I can feel that he's surrounding me with something, getting me ready.

Before I went to pray at lunch time for a local school I felt a bit battered and bruised, I'd been worrying about a number of things and people recently... so on the walk to school, I took a deep breath and said 'here, you have it, I don't want it any more' to God and what followed was a time of connection that I haven't had for some time. I had two visions of trees after the lady I was praying with said she felt like she was in a forest of bad stuff.

God has a thing about trees - I can think of several times when I have used them in illustrations, where God uses them to teach. I can see how important they are for the landscape, for the wildlife and for us. I prayed once that the students would be like the trees that surround the school, with deep roots and tall branches and that imagery has continued and developed, this afternoon it came to a crescendo with the vision of the tree being full of good fruit and bad fruit - and guess what? It has deep roots and tall branches, and the classroom it grows through is in the school's RE department.

There is a constant battle that we must not forget we are fighting... we must have the fruits of the Spirit and the Armour of God to help us!

See... weird... but helpful for me, none the less, and it makes me ready for every day that I have to face, knowing that God is right beside me, continuing the battle over this world.