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Showing posts from January, 2005

History to 16!

So, the tories want us all to learn history to the age of 16.. here commences the rant!
1- manipulative fascists! I hate the fact that it is seen as acceptable politics for these guys to announce this on the 60th anniversary of the discovery of Auschwitz. Interesting that they should do it at the same time as announcing a similar 'no-one comes here' policy as much of the 30's saw!
2- history is not dates!! It may be in the hallowed corridor of some expensive exam factory but in the real world it isn't. Will they please get off the jingoistic trip that says that Britain will still be great if we can remember when the Battle of Waterloo is!

Mellowing now, I actually agree that teaching history to the age of 16 would be great! Its one of those subjects that requires a grasp of the abstract. Teaching the real stuff of history requires a developmental shift that diesn't happen till key stage four!

Ironically I think you can teach all the date stuff before that.…

News Schmoose

I'm civering an English class and coming across the disturbing fact that the young people I teach just do not watch the news. It fits with everything I know about youth culture in this setting but it still disturbs me.. maybe I should record and show the news.. who knows?

Back on track

If you've been watching the book reading thing you might be pleased to know that I have caught up with myself again! Yay.. well done me.. finished Long Walk to Freedom, and The Catcher In The Rye. Have made a paultry start on Les Miserables. That could be a killer, its in 2 volumes and is very long!! Might have to go for something fluffy too.

Do have a friend's draft manuscript to read too.. does that count?


I'm trying to work out whta it means for me to really have Sabbath. I had a crazy weekend, working all day Saturday, then ended up doing loads of mental work on Sunday too. I rued the moment I plugged in the broadband cable as I wrestled through issues in my head. And it got me to thinking that I might be missing something. We talk about having days off, it buzzes round in Christian circles where we are rightly beginning to realise that we do too much. We are getting better at booking days with no meetings. But is that really Sabbath?

I'm trying to take a clear 24 hours (each week) with no work in it. It should mean that I don't plan, write, return work emails, pray with "work" people, pray for "work" people, preach, lead worship, teach, network people, mentor, advise or think about any of the above.

Thats where the challenge comes in. I can avoid doing the things for a day a week. Can I avoid thinking about them? It occurred to me this weekend …

Scotland the brave!

Scotland is a land that I have mostly seen at night this weekend.

Its been a crazy one.. arrived late on Friday night to find Jeff with a new haircut (scuse photos.. forgot camera!)

Drove the hour and a bit to the infamous Crieff pad (big ole farmhouse with an aga and everything). Had tea and toast and retired to bed.. got up and did a funding consultancy (which paid for me to get to and from.. yay). Got back with ten minutes to get ready to go out in Edinburgh.

Which is lovely, as was the very schmoosy restaurant! Nice dinner..

Took a little walk along Princes Street (Sir Walter Scott.. famous for????), back in the van to Crieff.. un peu de sleep: back up and now in Edinburgh airport!! (well I was when I drafted this!!)

Its been light for about half an hour of my traveling. Which means that I know that Scotland has sheep (they glow a little in the early morning light), rain (mainly horizontal), a big sci-fi looking power station, and more stars than England (Ewan, Sean etc).��…

my night in...

This is why I need to have a night in... I just piled up stuff in my office and, well its a bit of a pickle.

I also have a sink to unblock... yay.. how rock'n'roll!!?

too much wind...

I might have mentioned this before BUT, when its windy schools go crazy! The kids (sorry students)find it really hard to settle. Teachers seem to feel a bit more flustered, and its really hard to think clearly.

And now its been windy for about a week! Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh..


Anyone watch Jump Britain last night?

I love this stuff- don't ever let me try it (would blatantly be terrible at it). There is just something so beautiful about this thing that requires no equipment, that is very physical (in terms of strength), and yet very rhythmic at the same time.

I love the thing that these guys were so supportive of each other- there was no putting people down, just encouragement. And its really creative.. like proper creative.


Books and films

Have ade a stteady start into my reading for this year. Have now finished 'The Shaping of Things to Come'. Got better as it went on. I think the authors ran out of long words to use and the whole thing retreated from up its own butt. Probably a good read for anyone considering emerging church.

Am now reading 'the BFG'. Will start on 'Long Walk to Freedom' later. Its a book that I can't quite believe I haven't read yet.

Have also seen two films already: we rewatched 'The Notebook' on Monday. It really is the saddest film. Its out on DVD next month. Watch with tissues. And I watched 'Garden State' yesterday. Think I liked it but not sure. Quite sweet.. Maybe I wasn't in the best mood for it.

Back to books. We're working on developing a site to review all the books. Watch this space.

Challenges for 2005

I don't want these to be resolutions cos that doesn't quite fit. But here are a few things I want to do in 2005.

1- read 100 books, if possible 50 fiction, 50 non. So far I have read one, plundered through the Wizard of Oz this afternoon (much longer than the film!). Next is "The Shaping of Things To Come".

2- I'm going to try for a month to live on the equivalent of Jobseekers Allowance (£55.65 a week). Might take me a while to work out how that will work and what counts and doesn't, but aware that I fritter money like nothing.

3- I'm not going to eat McDonalds for a whole year. Going to try to avoid Burger King and KFC too. (Working up to the chicken shop by the station..) Might help with the Jobseekers Allowance

4- I'm going to improve on my 20% hit rate of getting cards to people for birthdays..

Indian Ocean

I'm still a bit at a loss as to what to say. I've watched hours of TV footage, read the papers, cried a lot, and still I'm a bit stuck. I think in many ways that that is a right response. I should maybe just shut up now, but that would be out of character- so a few thoughts.

Again, we see the different life value that is placed on Western and non Western lives. In Phuket, the local victims have been burned, the Europeans stored. God we're sorry that we think that we are more important because we have more stuff.

This is a huge disaster. But lest we forget that 30,000 plus people die every day from hunger and water related issues. God we're sorry that it takes something so huge to shake our complacenecy.

Observationally- this is a key moment for the future existence of the UN. The US's early reaction was an interesting insight into the future of international relations. God we pray for right solutions, for integrity and honesty as we move forward.

As I …