Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Artist

The Artist (2011) - IMDb

If you haven't seen this movie yet, I would wait a little longer and get it on DVD. It is a piece of genius - but only because it is different from all the 3D out there at the moment. It is not new, it is nostalgic. It is clever, but at the same time there are little niggles. Little niggles like not having enough time to read some of the dialogue and spotting mistakes, because sometimes there is little else to do.

I might just be annoyed because the seat was £8.95, the screen was badly proportioned and the room was so warm, I feel asleep. It takes away from the experience a little. The cinema should be enjoyable.

Anyway, see it, but on DVD, enjoy it for the storyline, the dream sequence, every moment the leads meet and the mild camp-ness that is silent cinema. All that was missing, was the orchestra!

When extreme goes too far

Have a read of this article for a moment and tell me what you think...

Damage To Dummies Prompts Ride Rethink

I am all for extreme rides, I am yet to get to America to try some of the really extreme rides, but this is crazy. Having to re-think a ride because the dummies limbs have been damaged? Surely, in the first place, that is a design failure?

When I first went on Nemesis I though we were going to get smashed into the ground, I still think that we will every time I go on that ride, and that is enough for me. Really.

From the outset rides should be about thrill, closely followed by the safety of riders... if those two aren't at the top of the list, you end up with a boring ride or a death trap!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A reflection

I'm having a moment of reflection, quiet contemplation whilst the world falls apart, financially, in front of me. Debt is the headline and no doubt the world will struggle for a while yet, but as for me, I have looked at a previous blog post and been reminded of the Christmas period, that rushed past me, without much of a comment.

In Blooming Christianity I said that I had never felt what it was like to be in an over-flowing church. Chinese church (Happy New Year, by the way) is experiencing a boom in numbers, which is brilliant news for the people who live there, quite frightening, I imagine, for church leaders. It made me think of Christmas Eve at Christ Church, when we hold our Christingle services.

As a church many hours go into preparing one service, that happens three times. The first one this year, everyone had a seat, everyone, who wanted one, got an orange and it was a pleasant service. The second one was over-flowing. I stood in the corner, by the band, and looked at perhaps 350 people, lots of children sitting on parents laps, and one huge opportunity to tell the message of Jesus' birth. The third one was quieter and everyone had a seat again.

Only now, looking back, I realise that a church that is over-flowing is a beautiful thing. I was happy to be stood up for the whole service, to hear the band play Once In Royal David's City, all the way through, twice, and to see that so many people are coming to church.

It is exhausting, exhilarating and by the end of it, I am often pleased it only happens once a year.

In 2012 we are looking at how Christmas works, with the schools ending so late, we already need to start thinking about it. Forward planning though, means we can have the right conversations with the right people to make the week up to Christmas smooth and as stress free as possible!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time to Talk

If you live or work in the Diocese of Chelmsford (and that is a pretty large area) you need to have a look at this website

Transforming Presence | Strategic Priorities for the Diocese of Chelmsford

And I mean have a serious look at it. This is what Bishop Stephen is all about at the moment, the discernment process has already started for what the Diocese might be doing by 2027.

Bishop Stephen has written this paper to inspire and begin to instruct the people in his diocese about how we begin to grow, rather than "managing our decline as gracefully as possible".

On Saturday, nearly 1000 people got together from across the diocese to answer a few questions about our experiences of church, past, present and future, and how we can change the face of the church.

The logistics of the day were the first impressive thing - what a way to start, I found my table and a seat straight away! Very impressed with the way the day was run, we started and finished on time, a few disappointing things though - there was no wifi to tell the outside world, I didn't have a hot drink as a tea and coffee abstainer and we always could've done with more time. However, I made new friends, I connected people so that they could be helped, and I got to reconnect with some I hadn't seen for a while.

The next step is wondering how this will filter down to church levels. Yes, we have a website, we have a diocese newspaper, we have vicars and youth workers, church wardens and readers, but all of these people and all of the congregation are busy with the things that we already do. What questions will the PCC's and DCC's have to ask to re-imagine church? What does it mean for the churches that didn't have a vicar or a representative at the meeting last weekend? And how do we recognize the works that are already changing the church?

The questions could keep on going - there are hundreds, to do with young people, schools, ecumenical views, at deanery level, and communities. There are definitely more questions than answers at the moment, but I hope you'll pray with me as the Bishop begins to meet with those who are boiling down what was said on Saturday, that the main themes will come through and the plan will come easily to everyone involved.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back against the wall

So I have seen an osteopath for my back. I have never seen anyone about my back problems, but after thinking about it and talking about it with the osteopath, it turns out that my history is longer than I ever thought and probably started with a car accident and therefore is definitely over 10 years old.

That worries me slightly. That something has been wrong with me for that long and I have not done anything about it in all of the time I have been walking around, in pain occasionally, and it could have been fixed with a couple of trips to see a professional.

I facebooked about my neck problem and lovely Georgina, who has been a young person and turned into a friend, through Guides and other family connections, said that I ought to book with her and she could see what she could do for me.

The long and the short of it was that she spent an hour and a half with me - diagnosed my problem - stemming from my breathing and in the end I felt a lot better for being treated as a whole person. A doctor would've given me painkillers and told me to rest, Georgina gave me exercises and offered a follow up appointment in two weeks. And yesterday for the first time in a long time I had pain where I was supposed to have pain! It wasn't displaced, and it made all the difference for it being where it was supposed to be. I felt happier!

I have decided that I need to keep up with this and that private health care, for my toes and back at least, is the way to go about making life easier. I am not looking forward to seeing the podiatrist again, though he was funny and knew exactly was he was doing, it doesn't make injections any easier! I love the NHS, but I don't really want to have to wait - my Nan had her hip replaced last summer and she's only just seeing the osteopath, and only for 6 appointments. I can see Georgina at The Moir Health Clinic for as long as I want and she doesn't currently have a waiting list, though I think she soon will.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's in an AOK?

With all things twitter - I have come across some lovely articles and some not so helpful - see previous posts!

Some times I have ranted, some times I have shouted 'look at this' and other times I have just smiled as I have shared.

This post is definitely the last two - read 12 Things Happy People Do Differently and you will be uplifted. I need to start doing more of this, particularly acts of kindness and practicing religion! I am grateful for an awful lot at the moment, the new year, the team that I work with and the parents who are supporting me during a transition that will change my life completely!

After worrying about what 2012 might bring, I am now certain that it is a year for moving on to greater things, to a more substantial foot on the ladder of so many things. It is exciting, all terrifying, but mostly a step in the right direction, and I am sure that there are doors that will shut, many that will open and lots of new friends to meet! Looking forward to it!

If you're in your 20's or 30's and want to meet new people and discuss the Bible, tonight, we will be meeting for the first time at St Mary's in Billericay, at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome!

(In other news though, I have a really bad back, so moving and breathing has been a bit tough. Going to see someone about it tomorrow morning who can perhaps diagnose the problem and begin to help me get well again.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another week!

It's Friday! Today was supposed to be the day I moved into my new flat, instead, I got all of the legal documents for it. I am happy where I am for now. I am quite pleased that the timing seems to have changed, so that I can focus on what is happening tomorrow instead of running around like a headless chicken trying to get things sorted. This weekend is a surprisingly big weekend, it includes two birthday parties, one diocese meeting, leading worship and a trip to lakeside for the first Nandos of the year! I am going to be tired - and some how will have to catch up with all of the tv programmes I will miss!

Being back at work as been a giggle, seeing the work in Southend that is growing and what just a few people have planned for 2012 has been an eye opening experience. We filled a whole sheet of paper with things that are one-offs but also regular things that are happening. If I wrote a list from that particular piece of paper it would be as long as my arm.

Pleased to say that it is nice to be in school again, catching up with the students that we have known for a very long time. All in all a very good start to term!

Monday, January 02, 2012


For the last couple of days I have been watching twitter and facebook talk about how 2012 is going to be better than 2011 and how exactly a lot of people feel about it. I have also watched the news. This year has not started well for several people, including governments across Europe (who want to skip 2012 already) and families of those who have lost their lives.

As for me, I don't have many feelings about it, I know I have to work my socks off this year, I have to lose a little bit of weight and get fitter for more dancing and dressing up during the year. I will be moving out in January, so I will be living on my own very shortly - and probably blogging more to relieve the boredom to some extent.

I shall probably get frustrated with early morning and mid-evening journeys to and from home. But that's just an opportunity to rant. I shall probably try my hardest to resist takeaway, and fail, but that's just a chance to feel sorry for myself.

I am facing the year as a single woman and as much as I don't want that to be the case, I am trusting that God knows what He's doing.

There's not a lot else to say. I hope twitter and facebook will be as encouraging as they have been in 2011.

There are a lot of things going on this year. I hope I get the most from it.