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Showing posts from October, 2004


My new job will involve an hour of commuting each way. Got an email earlier in the week with just the best suggestion...
I quote:

"Personally, I would recommend the adoption of a commuting theme song to mitigate the horror. The thinking behind that is to have a silly, but rather glamorous theme song playing in your head, as you're walking over London Bridge etc, as it makes you imagine you were in one of those 80's films set in New York, rather than just in some hideous rat race-esque rugby scrum with some brokers from Penge."

Any suggestions? Best one gets a beer (if I know you.. if you're in Singapore or Dallas, unlikely!)

And so it is...

... just like we said it would be..

Was just pontificating in the pub about what little fear inducing trick would be played to swing the good old US of A firmly into the arms of George W Bush. And then as if by magic I get home to find that Osama (family friend of Mr. Bush.. slightly tongue in cheek but hey), has doen a little welcome to a second term speech for George. How sweet.

My question is, what is Al Jazeera doing by releasing it now.. Wednesday would have been fine... Moreover if we assume that its not the CIA feeding this through then we are left assuming that Bin Laden wants Bush in power...

Anyway its late- I should stop theorising and get some sleep..

A final thought.. maybe watch for news from Libya. Wide ball hunch?!

More Bin Laden Thoughts

Just watched some of the speech.. Not sure what I think now. Its very anti Bush, maybe pro Kerry, who knows. But the fact remains that many many Americans will vote Bush because they believe he is tronger in the war on terror. Will this attack consolidate that.. I think so...

Or maybe Bin Laden is just reminding the US that they are not infallible. Who knows..

Now I really am going to bed.

Halloween Madness (but not as you might think)

I went shopping today with my family (dad, mum and niece). As is traditional in the family Smith, first stop was for a quick coffee before hitting the stores. Was just about to wander to a comfy seat with my latte when a suitably rotund witch acosted me and my niece to ask if we wanted to do the Halloween Ghost hunt. Now as you can imagine I don't really go for halloween, and was slightly offended that John Lewis (surely a bastion of demure Englishness) had bought into the loveless Americafest of Halloween. However my niece was intrigued by the lure of the lucky dip if she were to find the twelve ghosts hidden in twelve 'never knowingly undersold' departments.

So after coffee the quest began.. the first one in childrenswear was easily found, but thats where the error was. We should have just stopped at that point. But no! It got into our little heads (well me mum and dad's) that we should now get all twelve. How hard could it be? So, we split up (tactics folks…


Think that just about sums up where I am at at the moment. Panic not- its in a good way.

Without going into all the detail I'm about to embark on a mahusive adventure with God. I start a new job doing some cool prayer stuff in the City (why do people keep asking me which city?) in January. Its fantastic and God has totally shown himself in the whole process (which will be blogged in due course), but its just a bit scary.

This thing has God so all over it that as far as I can work out I can ONLY get it wrong. I can only cock it up.. Its really revealing my humanity to me: I feel utterly inadequate.

On the one hand I know that it puts in good company, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Esther, David, Gideon, Peter, Paul, Mary (te he)... (and thats just the canonical ones)

On the other hand, well it makes me want to run away.

Today I've become aware that it puts me in a place of immense trust, yeah of God, but also of my new friends, co-workers, bosses, fellow pilgrims (sorry to steal M…

Yasser Arafat

Very quick post. Feel quite aware that those of you who pray might want to pray into the situation regarding Yasser Arafat. The BBC is saying that he is very sick (Flu and gall stones), Aljazeera is saying he will be fine. I just think this could be a critical moment in the Middle East.

The differing news coverage is also interesting.. wonder what Fox is saying?.. oooh sorry I said news coverage..

Why Thank You

You may have noticed that my blog is looking un peu different, and has a few crazy things on it.. (don't think I ever read Topsy and Tim as a kid.. but I can learn). Thanks must go to my lovely friend Rach who has circumnavigated my technical rubbishness by doing it all for me..

You are great...

Thanks also to a certain reputable theological establishment who shall go unnamed.

Cultural differences

Sorry to do another little West Wing thing but it is interesting that the States create the West Wing to look at their political systems, and we create.. Yes Minister! Hmmm..

Is this a cunning insight into our national psyches...

The times they are a changing

Is it me or are teenagers a different species now?

I just set a drawing task for some year eight students (week before half term no-one has much brain space). You would think I had asked them to barbecue their gran!!!

When I was at school (ooh, I'm really getting old), a drawing lesson was the hugest bonus.. I loved it. A chance to be creative, a chance to not write..

But now.. no.. they would rather copy words from a book. Madness..

Maybe I should ask them to barbecue their gran!

Making Time..

Went to the hospital yesterday. Not in and of itself that exciting, but it was one of those times that could have been great or grumpy. Basically you always have to wait, but if you go anywhere they call you (the well known Sod's law phenomena).

So you have a choice- get all angsty and frustrated: or redeem the time. When I went in the summer I tried option a. This time I went for option b. I bought a latte and the Guardian and settled down. In the hour that I could have been getting vexed I instead:

did about half the quick crossword- looked at the cryptic one and lots of Americans getting vexed at the Guardian's ever so slightly patronising 'write to a swing state person' campaign. They generally seem to think we have rubbish teeth.Read a little editorial by Maxi Jazz about conflict diamonds.Was disturbed to discover that the Eccles cake is on the wane.Got vexed at the Israeli government's continued rubbish treatment of the PalestiniansWas …

Goodbye tonsils

I know its a bit weird to be excited about this but they are GOING!!!!!
My slightly manky tonsils are being removed maybe even before Christmas. Yay yay and double yay!!
How much fun will it be to be able to sing at full pelt again (not for the neighbours but hey), and to be able to talk in a loud place... and to have energy..

People I missed

Sorry, but the gratitude goes on:

To Glenn and Jacki- for keeping me revolutionary!

To Gav- for loving Luton, and that enormous tea pot!!!!

To Christine- for reminding me that I am actually quite rubbish at updating my blog!

To Jeff- for living a big floral house- bless you man

More will no doubt follow. In fact at the end of the week I will blog the story of the last couple of weeks...

Watch this space

My oscar speech

It just occurred to me that my friends are amazing. So i thought I would give some webspace to big them up with just some highlights. It all sounds a bit like an oscar speech... so out with the hankies as I say thank you to:

Flan- for turning up excitedly on a bike and borrowing allen keys (which makes me feel very grown up, why do I have a full set?)

Tim H- for making my house smell of nice unidentified food (really like the waft of the banana thing.. though after three days was wondering why it didn't go away)

Rach- for making me laugh out loud several times in inappropriate places (all hail MSN!!)

Tim M- for always making tea

Kate- for the hilarious drama schoool exercises, for letting me whinge and for the smelliest dog in the world!

Ali- for crying at films in all the right places..

Jess- for reminding us that they are just films.. wait till your wedding- we'll be in floods

Flan- for so nearly falling in the Cam, for those crazy late night directions to Kidderminster.. fo…

Once you pop....


I now have lots to say.. About things like teaching history. This morning I am going to teach on: the long term causes of the Civil War and on 18th century farming techniques.

I may be lacking creativity but i'm struggling to see how that is possibly going to engage a bunch of urban twenty first century kids... I can engage them on a not rioting in class level.. by telling stories and tap dancing (you'd be surprised!!)

But where is the life education? How do we get to a point where they can grasp that people cared enough about religion to fight over it.. where the position of a table in a room mattered enough to stick a pointy stick in your brother or father. Its worlds away..

Kind of resounds to how far removed from church our young people are. Even stuff like understanding Protestant and Catholic is not there. Its that whole missiological thing of engaging with a culture...

Hang on... as I'm rereading this a thought is blooming... watch this space.. I'm o…


A friend commented yesterday that I hadn't blogged for a bit. I said I had nothing to say (unlikely).

Yeah. Give me a few days and I will be shouting from the rooftops. There's so much bubbling round in my head that if I were to write it down it would be messy.

So for now, be assured that I am still very much alive..

More soon


Just spent a few days in Barcelona. One of the things that we all went and did was go and look at the Gaudi cathedral.

Its interesting. The whole of the central nave of that building is full of scaffolding. Its orange and weaves it way up a couple of hundred feet looking like a cheesy wotsit infused spiders’ web.

It entirely speaks of being unfinished. And yet it is in that unfinished state that the whole cathedral avoids religion. There can be no religion stuff because all the space that the religious stuff would fill is full of the scaffolding (and piles of things to be added into the big structure). A few of us stood in worship of an awesome Creator God in that place and were moved by the ongoing work that was being put into glorifying His name.

Wouldn’t it be great of we could see that in the church per se. That we are plodding away with our unfinishedness, but in our brokenness we stop religion and allow worship.

There is a beauty on our brokenness that I think we need t…