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Showing posts from November, 2004

Stalling for time..

.. I confess I am trying to avoid work. Not real go out the house work, but the choice between:
- a 1200 word piece on the Estelle album (currently at 275 words!)
- a 3000 word book sample (currently at a side of A4 in purple pen)
- a reconciliation of my finnaces since September
- an expense claim, ooh and another
- a financial statement for a project from last year accounting for £120,000

so I'm writing this.

Well, what to say. I was interested to read in the Guardian today some stuff about the opinions of young Muslims in the UK. Haven't actually finished reading it yet but one thing has already sprung out. A significant number fo muslims want the working day changed in order to accommodate prayer. Bring it on. What a fantastic thought! Not that we all indulge in Muslim prayer but what a profound challenge to our all too busy world. If we had the legal right to stop and pray as part of our work.. wow! I have to question whether we would take it; what would we as Ch…

Velvet unrevolution

Just scanning the news and noticed that the incumbents in Romania are claiming an election win which is being contested by the opposition. Could be bandwagon? Could be true? Just finding it an interesting sign- we're what nearly fifteen years into freedom in some of these places. Is this a pattern we shoud expect? Not sure I have any profound thoughts, just think it could be an interesting winter.


OK, so this healing thing hurts more than I dared to imagine. The first few days of wallowing in post operative whatever have worn off, I can see my throat healing, but man it hurts.

And so early on Sunday morning as I wait for the drugs to kick in it has gotten me to thinking. Someone earlier on the week (possibly one of the vomiting ladies from hospital) said that pain has a reason, and I’m inclined to agree; probably in both a physical and emotional sense.

Some observations.

Without pain we get an exaggerated sense of our own ability. I was pretty drugged up on Friday- in much less pain. In my head that meant that I was ready to take on chicken in black bean sauce (with chilli- does it always come with chilli?) I went a bridge too far.

Pain increases when healing starts. I don’t understand this physiologically, wish it didn’t happen just now, but it does. Same is true when we begin to work out our stuff, I guess the rawness of places causes an increase of pain. The tempt…

OK.. bored now

I feel better. I am therefore a bit bored.

Have just had a very fun evening semi watching TV, laughing about pilates, the badly positioned fish in Dirty Dancing and Christian Slater's pants... but now I should go to sleep and I don't want to. I think I'm just being defiantly independent... or bored.



Well having finally gotten rid of the slightly oversized bits of lymphatic stuff in my throat, I'm home.. with a big hole in the back of my mouth. Which conveniently my body has filled with goo..

I'm ok... apparently I have this very amusing rhythm to my life which is entirely dictated by when I last had pain relief! At the moment I'm half way through- but have taken less codeine so am a bit groggy.

What else to say- hospital was interesting. All was going very well till they turned the lights out whereupon my fellow patients turned into vomit, wee and any other smelly substance producers. Have a new found respect for nurses who must have changed about six beds, ten commodes and many more kidney bowls. I reduced myself to iPod heaven!!!

Suffice to say it is lovely being home. Lucy and Kate are doing a fantastic nursing job (including laughing each time I suggest I can do something, usually in a drug induced high that lasts about five minutes). As I tap away roast di…

The homecoming

Must've been good behaviour or something... they let her out! She'll be home by now.

Thanks for praying for us (the tonsils) and Jude during our separation. It's been tough but we'll get over it. Don't stop now - the holes in Jude's throat need to heal and she needs to learn how to live without us.

Don't worry about us. We'll get over the rejection. *sniff sniff*


Hey, it's us again, the renegade tonsils.

We've been hanging around the hospital to see what's going on. Jude's done lots of sleeping and a bit of texting. We didn't think that was allowed in hospitals but we figure a communication addict needs a fix every now and again?

Anyway the deal is this, if she eats her breakfast this morning she gets to go home. Having been in her throat, we know how much of th swallowing stuff we used to help with so we figure its gonna be pretty hard for a while, trying to do it without us and added to that there's a couple of holes where we used to sit so that's gotta hurt right?

We'll let you know if we hear anything new.....

A new adventure!

Hey. We just thought you might like to know what we're up to so whilst Jude is under general anaesthetic we've hijacked her blog. Ha!

We've been quite attached to Jude for the past *cough* thirty *cough* years. It's been fun and we're a cheeky pair so we've caused a fair bit of trouble, especially in the past few years. That's only cos we like sitting on the sofa eating ice cream and watching West Wing though and we don't get to do that unless Jude does.

Anyway, today is an exciting day for us - it's our first day of freedom! As you read this, Jude has just come out of theatre and left us sitting there in a little glass dish, preparing to move to our new home, a laboratory! We're gonna be scientists! We'll be back later with more news but for now, we're off to terrorise some other body parts in this freezer....

Bye Bye Boys!

Err, no not a vow to celibacy!

This time tomorrow I will have no tonsils! They will winging their way to the catchily titled National Anonymous Tonsil Archive (a secret scam to see how many of us have varient CJD). I will lying in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, hopefully drugged up to the eyeballs.

Despite knowing that it will be good in the end, despite knowing that two weeks of watching DVDs awaits, I still can't quite muster up a sense of willing about this. I'm just a bit scared.

SO, if praying is your thing, then pray, if your gift is bringing ice cream, bring it abundantly, to those who flumph pillows do so with great joy, and to those who enjoy talking, well.. give me just a couple of days.

We'll let you know how it goes.


Had the privilege of preaching at church last night. Moreover the privilege of preaching in Eternal Sunshine.. one of my favourite films of the moment. The whole thing went reasonably well (a tiny @%** slipped in but hey!). I got my points across. God challenged a bunch of people. There was a sense that what was said really resounded.

Inreasingly I find that preaching is a lonely old business. It might be that you are literally ten or so feet from the nearest person while you are talking. I always find it hard to talk with people after, for fear that they feel obliged to comment (or something) Maybe its just my introversion that can't cope with being watched.

Or maybe its that whenever we stand up in front of people we are setting ourselves apart from the rest if the congregation. That subliminally there is a sense that we have it sorted. I'm painfully aware that I don't.

What I know is that I left the gathering last night, feeling a bit cut off from my commun…


Well. Its four days till my enforced week or so of just watching DVD's, reading and sleeping! Such a sacrifice. So I thought I would get busy and think through some of the things I want to watch (I should note that thsi is also to distract myself from the HUGE number of things I need to do before Tuesday!).

I have a couple of books to read (something called Taming the Tiger, Leave a Light on For Jesus, the end of The Shaping of Things to Come). I have a couple of things to write. I have 120 channels of TV. I just need something GOOD to watch. In theory should be easy. In reality- I'm a bit stumped.

So I'm after ten films to keep me busy! Recommendations?


Told my students (well some of them), that I'm leaving today. Was a bit harder than I thought. I will really miss them (and thats after their Wednesday not so on the ball lesson that we just had). Its just occurring to me that maybe for the first time in eight years I won't be working directly with young people (under 18's that is).

Not sure what I think about that....

Christmas Lists

Got a message from my mum yesterday saying: "your sister wants to know what you want for Christmas, can you draw up a list?"

Fair enough message but has raised a number of questions in my mind:

1) Why did she get all the planning skills when it comes to these things. I have been to five weddings this year, have remembered zero cards (oh no, one card), zero presents (sorry!), and have only replied cos they let you do it on email. I have an average of 20% active birthday remembrance and have generally been a bit shambolic!
2) Should I feel guilty about buying my presents for people on Christmas eve? I figure it means I have thought about what to buy for longer!!!
3) Why not surprise people with presents that they hadn't asked for?

I must drive my family mad- when I dropped in on my parents the other day the smell of cooking Christmas cake was wafting out of the door.. My sister has phoned already to collude about what Santa might bring my niece.. They know where we are hav…


I just spent the weekend at Youthwork - the Conference in Southport. There's a whole blog in talking about theplace and all that but I'm not going to go there. I wanted to note the people. It was such a privilege to be able to go and serve there (I was running a prayer room and doing a couple of seminar bits).

Things that leave me humbled:
there were 1400 people there, mainly extra time church volunteers. These are amazing people who give up their time, their homes, their money to serve young people. I felt humbled (and a bit fradudulent) that they were listening to me and my friends.
it occurred to me that there was a huge amount of experience, wisdom and God in that gathering. There was also a huge commitment to learn and to grow. To watch as people engaged in gathered worship, to be part of that was huge.
my interns- well not mine but I took a couple of my trainees with me: they were great. They got chucked in at the deep end and were amazing. Thank you lovelies!
that God, …

Calm before the storm

Its been a very crazy week. In three and a bit hours I'm off to Youthwork the Conference to run a prayer room and do a few other bits and pieces. Preparing and stuff has been hectic, but into the middle of yesterday I got a little insight into what it means to be led beside still waters; to have my soul restored.

For a start my main email went down yesterday morning (if you need to get intouch sorry- use my 247 address). In some ways frustrating but actually has allowed some space where I don't have to answer anything. Did some training with the local interns as usual, and hung out for an hour or so over lunch (during which time God sorted out my team for this weekend, after I had decided I should stop trying!)

Then I was scheduled to go see Bridget Jones 2. We pottered along, but alas, the techie people had mucked up and so it would be an hour later! We ended up going bowling and (for me at least) switching off. By the time i got to the film I was relaxed and ready to …

Meet Baby Flannagan

I got a very excited call from my friend Andy today: The fruit of a lot of hard work in the early summer arrived in the post.

There it is. Its really strange seeing something that you last saw on screen late late late one night in June with a cover and things. I wonder if this is what it feels like to get the baby after all you have seen is the scan.. Probably nothing like it at all!!


I had a bit of weirdly fun evening last night. On Saturday I spent twenty quid on teenage magazines (there is a reason!). It was a truly surreal experience.

First all the stuff you get with it: a book of cheats, a notebook, a nail kit, make up brushes, a scarf, a lip gloss/ mascara, a very large picture of McFly, and my personal favourite, a "nothing scares us, except bunnies" t-shirt transfer!!!

It got more weird as we (somehow a bunch of people popped in for various reasons) started to read aforementioned magazines. Suddenly we felt very old as it took us all a couple of minutes to register 'moby' as mobile phone (I think we were all in the small DJ type musician place!). We freaked out a bit at some of the articles but generally were just perplexed by the sheer volune of STUFF you can collect from magazines... don't think there's anything profound to say about it, twas just weird..

Anyway, must away- I have a free poncho to send off for, ooh and a coup…


Its Monday morning, I've just done my regular skim of the news online. I have a whole bunch of questions: not all about Iraq but a fair few arising from the last few days of activity there.

Fairly obviously an attack on Falluja was held off till after the US elections. I wonder if that was militarily wise. The US, it seems, will adopt a 'targeted' bombing campaign into Falluja before it sends its troops in. The thing about 'targeted' bombing campaigns is that the US military is not so good at them, they tend to kill a lot of innocent people (but does save a bunch of US marines).

It comes down to the age old thing of why is an American life worth more than one from Iraq? (yes WW series 4 has been viewed this weekend). There is an internal question too: why is a college kids lifestyle and car worth more than a poor kids life (whose only way to college was through the army).

This isn't an anti- American thing (well maybe just a little): its my big questio…

What's Next?

Those of you who are avid West Wing watchers will get the reference. The Josiah Bartlett approach to leadership: make the call, do the thing, what's next?

My life feels a little like that just now. Take the last couple of days: Stay up most of Tuesday night, cook breakfast Wednesday morning, go to school, teach three lessons, mark some essays, prep another lesson, start to sort out cover, leave school, what's next? go to work team meeting, leave team meeting, catch up on other work, make calls, keep an eye on the news, what's next? read people's blogs, go to cinema, watch great film (Before Sunset- for another post), what's next? Pick up CD, go to pub, talk politics, drop friend off, what's next, sleep. Get up, read emails, think about Lollards, have bath, prep teaching, drive to town, what's next? buy food, prep teaching, meet interns, do teaching, what's next, drive to Thurrock, whats next, do meeting, what's next? have lunch catch ups, what…

Election night.. well morning

As I type, still no verdict. Interesting that Fox have prematurely called Ohio. Too tired to work out what, why, how etc. I do, however need to go teach about the first and only "president" of the UK, a tyrant who oppressed a bunch of people who had different religious views... wonder if George Bush will cancel Christmas too?

Very tired, making no sense, more later...

Calling the Election

Got an email this afternoon challenging me to call the election. Once I worked through the mental image of calling an election in a ceilidh (take New Hampshire by the hand, swing her round to Maryland, do-si-do the seaboard states, hand it on by the great lakes.. ), I gave it some thought.

I think it might be like last time. I think the forces that want George Bush in (I don't count God as one of them) are powerful enough to put him in. I think there will be more contested votes, more disenfranchised minority groups (maybe look at New Mexico for this) but ultimately more Bush.

I'm not sure its right but it feels inevitable. I just can't stir up a gut response that Kerry will win..

No logic to any of my 'thinking' so argue away...

What do you reckon?