Monthly Archives: May 2009

Intoducing a man who loves earl grey tea

I need to talk about someone special.

His name is Dan. He kind of stumbled into my life via Twitter one day a few weeks ago, and since then my life has changed completely. I think what scared me a little to start with is how many common interests we share, obviously that has long changed!

I’ve got to know a man who makes me feel good about myself even when I’m so tired that I cry when I’ve spilled coffee on my clean jeans, who sends a text message that makes me smile “just because”, who lets me sleep even though he would really prefer that I stay awake so we can talk on the phone, and doesn’t sulk when I fall asleep while he’s on the phone to me. He is a man of many interests.

He is a self-confessed geek with a love for earl grey tea and Formula 1 racing. He likes music in most of it’s forms. He lives in a village for heaven’s sake, and has no desire to live in a town! He enjoys cooking and garden watching and watching intelligent humour. We also both have long term health conditions.

We aren’t identical twins though, he loves films where I love books, and I can understand simple technology that on occasion defeats him (makes me feel great to teach him about something!)

He has changed me. I have been told repeatedly at work and home that I’m happier and that I function better as a person. He makes me feel complete in a way I haven’t felt complete in longer than I can remember.

I told my family about him last weekend, once we’d been getting to know each other for about a month, and now there are plans for us to arrange a meet up. Mum already likes him and she’s not met him face to face yet!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holiday monday and visiting

Monday.

It’s always an interesting day when it comes to bank holiday weekends that involve a large marquee and huge numbers of people. 95% of those people are really tired from long days at the tent and dealing with crowds they don’t normally face. Friends getting irritable is pretty much par for the course on mondays, but it’s still worth being there if I can.

Big downside to things, I have 2 mobile phones, and both of them ran out of power just after breakfast this morning. Given that I was camping, I’d decided not to bring chargers as I didn’t want to leave the phones where I might lose them.

No doubt about it I was tired. 3 days later, I’m still tired! I got up at 7am having managed to tune out the dawn chorus – I was surpised I managed that so quickly – and packed up the tent before breakfast. No cooked breakfast today, that only arrives on sunday.

Flasks, cakes, rolls and flowers and back up to the tent – but we’ve forgotten to pick up Mavis, so back into Daventry to collect Mavis and arrive just 10 minutes before the start of the session. Thank heavens for the carload of event team people who went an hour ago and saved some seats really!

As is usual for a monday, this particular session pulled together the various threads of all the other sessions and put them into order for us, as well as having time for people to stand and speak of how the weekend had gone. There is also rather less in the way of singing on a monday, to allow time for this.

This weekend has focussed rather a lot on Noel’s passing, but I think that was right, and only to be expected. He led the church for 40 years, and he was loved by a great many people, and was the catalyst for change in many people’s lives.

We’ve sung a lot of songs that he wrote, or particularly liked or that he had requested in his will for his funeral. According to my Dad, he had set out much of the content of the bank holiday not long before his final crisis and surgery. It all felt very special, and was indeed a celebration.

As the end of the main session, as people picked up their things and headed out to their cars for coffee and cake and home, my family picked up the flowers from the garden and went to visit John and Grandma Win’s graves. The burial ground is a place of peace. Some might think it a little morbid, but I find it a place of rest rather than a scary place full of dead bodies. It’s the resting place for the bodies of people who were dearly loved, and on saturday another dearly loved person will rest there and give me greater reason to visit in August.

After visiting the graves we (mum, dad, David, Paul, me) climbed in the car to go to my house for a dinner and a break, but it was hot, and we didn’t have much to drink, so we stopped off at a Tesco that we don’t normally go to for some cold drinks. Then we missed a turn coming out of Tesco and got disorientated. We ended up going part way to Milton Keynes before finding the turn for Bedford. It was also noted by myself that when 5 big people need to go somewhere by car, its a good thing to have a people carrier rather than an astra size car!

We reached my house and promptly cooked dinner having sent Dad off to my room to chill with a Planet Earth DVD. To explain, Dad got really grumpy on the way back, partly because he was tired and partly because Paul acted up to him. Mum settled with a book, David helped me cook and Paul sat ignoring all of us with his laptop.

Once everyone was rested and fed the conversation returned to the normal banter. This is one of my favourite parts of a bank holiday weekend, the chance to chill with my family and chat about anything and everything. On kicking out time, everything was slightly delayed due to dad hoping he could steal my Planet Earth DVDs (he was already borrowing my British Isles Natural History set) and mum hoping she could nick one of my books! The DVDs did stay with me, but the book is on loan for a week…

Anyway, that’s my bank holiday for you. I know the posts have been really long, but I didn’t know how to make them any shorter and still be able to capture the essence of what went on. I do find these bank holidays special times; and this one was particularly special.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Dawn Chorus Sunday

Sunday started really early. I haven’t camped out since August last year and I’m not very used to tuning out loud birdsong at 5am. I did get back to sleep eventually, but when I finally got up at 8am I was still pretty tired and wishing for a bit more sleep!

As is tradition, breakfast was fried eggs, sausages and beans with optional toast and tea on the side. Cooked by the men of the house I might add. We sang to one of the visiting girls as it was her birthday, which was good. Sometimes when it’s a big weekend, birthdays can get buried in all the coming and going, listening and singing, eating and sleeping.

Tent and sleeping bag aired and set tidy, off to the marquee. Once again, it was very warm inside the tent, even with the sides tied up to allow good air flow through.

There was a longer tribute to Noel today. I won’t go into it, but it was very much summing up the man that many people would not have seen behind the shirt and tie and Bible they saw on Sunday, or on Saturday night at the marquee in some park or other. Sam, Ian and Danny managed once again to show us a man who very few people have seen or even realise existed!

It was a changed format to what most people would expect on a Sunday, Mick bought forward the timing of the communion and Huw gave the main sermon. I know Noel was a man of great stamina, but I think that having several leaders take the different sections of the meeting is a good plan. No one leader gets too tired, and it’s visible to the entire church that it’s now being led by a team of men. True, there is one man as Senior Pastor; but the load is being shared now, as I think it might have been good to share it some time ago; although at that time the church might not have been ready for the change.

Lunch came at about 3pm as it usually does on a bank holiday weekend Sunday, and by the time it was eaten and served, the announcment came that the transport back to the tent would come at 4:30… it was 4pm already, and supper had to be prepared and left ready.

Mum and I sarted madly making supper for 60 – 3 kilos of pasta twists, 6 litres of sauce containing garlic, herbs, tuna, sweetcorn, peppers and more. We got it done, but 2 women working to make supper while 4 people are around the double sink washing dishes, and another 2 are in the pan room washing the saucepans and oven trays – stuff of nightmares! I was almost screaming by the time the dishes were done and the kitchen finally emptied of all but me and mum! Don’t get me wrong, there was enough room for everyone to do what they were doing, but the noise we were making with our cooking, all the talking, the noise from the washing up, helpful men coming in with clean pans to be put away, questions on where to find, and “where does this go” and “could I have…” and “would you have time to…” It really was difficult, to understate it just a little.

Sunday evening was incredible. We sang and we listened to Steve and then it was time for people to stand for prayer if they wanted a blessing or to recieve healing or anything else that might come to mind. Mum challenged me to ignore my thoughts and go forward and get prayer for whatever God wanted to give me, so I did. Heidi and a friend started to pray that I would get a blessing, and suddenly it changed to lifting a “mantle of sadness”. It was wonderful, even though it might not sound that way when I tell you I cried in the messiest way possible, but I felt as though a chunk of sadness had been removed and I felt lighter, and able to stand straighter afterward.

We were shown a selection of promotional films about upcoming events that various people might want to attend, and the finale of the night was singing the old hymn “For All The Saints”. We nearly took the roof off the tent! It’s such a lifting, triumphant hymn. My Dad was running one of the video cameras at the time, and he complained about being a bit deafened between the crowd going mad and the speaker just beside him! Still, it was good, because I’ve been wanting to sing that particular hymn since before Noel went home.

Back home soon after that for the pasta bake supper and into bed very shortly after, as Monday morning meant leaving for the marquee at 9:15am and I had a tent to pack ahead of that.

Did I mention that bank holiday weekends are tiring? 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday's adventures

I have a lot to report, so this may become several posts, but we shall see what happens.

Saturday morning was something of a nightmare. I was really tired and didn’t want to get up (the after effects of a late-night phone call) and so the morning got a really slow start.

I did remember to pack everything, thanks to a brainstorming session with a pen, paper and a great friend on skype. I left the house, got into town, dropped off my books at the library (two weeks late, eyewatering fine), did some shopping that I’ve been promising myself I’d do, went to the bus station – and relised that I’d not fed the cats. I’m not going to be home til mid afternoon monday at the earliest. This is not good at all. Found out that Lorraine was away for the weekend, so nothing for it but to go back home, feed them and get the next bus.

Finally reached my destination:- Marquee plus mum and dad and thousands of friends at about 5:30pm, 3 hours later than I wanted to. It annoyed me that I was so late, because this weekend was pretty important to me. Only 3 days ago Noel, a man we all looked up to, respected and admired passed away. I knew people would be feeling sore and lost, and my speciality is being able to see in someone’s face when they need a hug, so it really bothered me that I missed the first session of the bank holiday.

That said, the Saturday evening session was really good. There were very few tears. Individual people had moments of sadness as you would expect; but corporately, as a church, the mood was one of celebration of a mans life. Noel had always been unafraid to follow God’s word and challenge the status quo. He was never afraid to offend someone, if by that offence he pushed them away from something harmful, or a dangerous thought pattern, or laziness.

Throughout the weekend people paid tribute to him in their many and varied ways, telling stories that had the whole tent shouting with laughter or solemn for a moment. For a weekend when I was a little apprehensive of not being able to move for tearful people mourning en masse, it was a beautiful time.

The details of Noel’s funeral were announced, among which featured prominently the request from Noel himself, “no black tie, this is a celebration!” which is just such a Noel comment that I think it’s going to be one of the most colourful funerals in the history of Northampton! It is a standing room only event, which pretty much says how loved he was. The Jesus Centre in Northampton can hold approximately 2000 people in the main auditorium, and the expectation is that the auditoruim and all available overflow rooms will be completely full.

There was a video made by Trevor and Steve of their visit to Sierra Leone to several churches there who are part of the Multiply network. It was vey moving, seeing how these people live and function day to day, and there was great laughter when it was noted that Steve pumped up and gave to some of the children a new football – Steve gained a whole gang of 12 year old best mates!

Later in the evening, still on Saturday, a group of leaders from other Multiply affiliated churches were bought on stage, introduced and invited to speak for a few moments each. Some of these men lead chruches in places where it is illegal to be a christian, and their lives are in danger daily, but if anything, it makes them stronger. These men have no fear of what man can do. They would say that they fear more what God will say at the end.

When we finally got to the end of the evening and got back to Mum and Dads place I had the pleasaure of putting up my tent in the dark, which was an interesting experience, but it did mean a very peaceful night after supper was eaten and I’d gone out to sleep – until 5am when the dawn chorus started!

I think that’s all about Saturday, the rest of the weekend will follow soon!

Categories: General | 1 Comment

Saturday’s adventures

I have a lot to report, so this may become several posts, but we shall see what happens.

Saturday morning was something of a nightmare. I was really tired and didn’t want to get up (the after effects of a late-night phone call) and so the morning got a really slow start.

I did remember to pack everything, thanks to a brainstorming session with a pen, paper and a great friend on skype. I left the house, got into town, dropped off my books at the library (two weeks late, eyewatering fine), did some shopping that I’ve been promising myself I’d do, went to the bus station – and relised that I’d not fed the cats. I’m not going to be home til mid afternoon monday at the earliest. This is not good at all. Found out that Lorraine was away for the weekend, so nothing for it but to go back home, feed them and get the next bus.

Finally reached my destination:- Marquee plus mum and dad and thousands of friends at about 5:30pm, 3 hours later than I wanted to. It annoyed me that I was so late, because this weekend was pretty important to me. Only 3 days ago Noel, a man we all looked up to, respected and admired passed away. I knew people would be feeling sore and lost, and my speciality is being able to see in someone’s face when they need a hug, so it really bothered me that I missed the first session of the bank holiday.

That said, the Saturday evening session was really good. There were very few tears. Individual people had moments of sadness as you would expect; but corporately, as a church, the mood was one of celebration of a mans life. Noel had always been unafraid to follow God’s word and challenge the status quo. He was never afraid to offend someone, if by that offence he pushed them away from something harmful, or a dangerous thought pattern, or laziness.

Throughout the weekend people paid tribute to him in their many and varied ways, telling stories that had the whole tent shouting with laughter or solemn for a moment. For a weekend when I was a little apprehensive of not being able to move for tearful people mourning en masse, it was a beautiful time.

The details of Noel’s funeral were announced, among which featured prominently the request from Noel himself, “no black tie, this is a celebration!” which is just such a Noel comment that I think it’s going to be one of the most colourful funerals in the history of Northampton! It is a standing room only event, which pretty much says how loved he was. The Jesus Centre in Northampton can hold approximately 2000 people in the main auditorium, and the expectation is that the auditoruim and all available overflow rooms will be completely full.

There was a video made by Trevor and Steve of their visit to Sierra Leone to several churches there who are part of the Multiply network. It was vey moving, seeing how these people live and function day to day, and there was great laughter when it was noted that Steve pumped up and gave to some of the children a new football – Steve gained a whole gang of 12 year old best mates!

Later in the evening, still on Saturday, a group of leaders from other Multiply affiliated churches were bought on stage, introduced and invited to speak for a few moments each. Some of these men lead chruches in places where it is illegal to be a christian, and their lives are in danger daily, but if anything, it makes them stronger. These men have no fear of what man can do. They would say that they fear more what God will say at the end.

When we finally got to the end of the evening and got back to Mum and Dads place I had the pleasaure of putting up my tent in the dark, which was an interesting experience, but it did mean a very peaceful night after supper was eaten and I’d gone out to sleep – until 5am when the dawn chorus started!

I think that’s all about Saturday, the rest of the weekend will follow soon!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Promises

I’m home again.

I’ve had a great weekend. I’ve spent time with Mum, camped in her garden and taken some photos of her garden and the marquee where we spent most of every day.

The problem is this. I want to tell you all about what happened; what I did, where I went, all about Karen and Caleb, but I’m so tired I can’t do any of it justice.

I even wanted to tell you all about why I’m so much happier now, but I am so tired I’d leave something out, miss the point and be mad with myself about it.

So. Here is a promise that I’ll tell you all about it just as soon as I’ve had some sleep and lost this headache.

I promise.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Tribute to a Friend

Nothing bad that’s directly related to me; but Noel Stanton passed away during the day yesterday.

Noel was the Senior Pastor of the church my entire family attends – even me, when I can get there. He was 82; and he was known to be ill, so really it wasn’t a surprise. Even so, when you’ve known someone and seen them on a regular basis for 30 years it’s hard to contemplate the idea of them passing on and not seeing them again in this lifetime.

I’m not totally sure how I feel. Some times I don’t think about it at all, some times I think about it and am happy that he is at rest, and then there are the times when I have to dive for a tissue because it’s just hit me that I won’t see the man again in this lifetime.

Noel had a huge amount of love to give, and made everyone he met feel valued and respected. Even the homeless tramp on the corner who most people would pretend not to see would be looked in the eye and recieve a smile and a short chat. It really didn’t matter who you were: God loved you, so Noel loved you too.

One of my favourite stories of him came from Louise, who used to go and stay at his house for weekends sometimes. One sunday she had been asked to get milk from the fridge for cups of tea (back in the day when glass bottles were much more common), and as she opened the fridge door, three bottles fell out of the fridge door and smashed on the floor; leaving her in a huge puddle of milk – just as Noel walked into the kitchen. If I recall right, his words were along the lines of “oh dear, don’t cry!” and he left the kitchen laughing.

I would say that he loved children; because he did, but he loved everyone no matter who they were.

Rest easy, Noel, and I’ll see you again one day.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The flaming weather!

What in the world is going on with the weather?

Rain and wind should be happening in April, not May! I should be able to at least consider going camping, but if it’s not raining, it’s blowing a gale, and if it’s not doing either of those it’s dark, and the moments of sun we do get are usually in the middle of one of the gales!

Probably just as well that I’ve planned to delay my camping trip until September. Still planning/hoping to go to Sennen Cove again, but I’m just a bit lax this year; and I haven’t booked the train or the campsite yet, but then last year I went in August and train seats and camping pitches are at a premium then.

All that whinging aside, I’m going to Mum’s this weekend; having not been to see her since Dad and David’s joint parties. Bless her heart, she’s missing me and complaining a bit that she hasn’t heard from me for ages, but I have been busy in just about all aspects of life and calling people has unconciously slipped off the radar a bit. I need to talk more about what’s been happening, but I’ll keep that for next week I think – it will be worth the wait, I promise!

Anyway, about this weekend. Being a bank holiday, I’m going over to Mum’s to join in with her Church’s bank holiday weekend celebration. I’m going to be so tired – meeting 1800 or so people non-stop for 3 days has that effect; but more importantly, I may well be camping in her garden due to the numbers of other friends arriving to shorten the journey to the same celebration! Camping in Mum’s garden means I get more camping time in, a bit more privacy, and birdsong first thing. I’ll take the camera with me, because Mum’s garden is massive and beautiful and I love it.

I’ve started baking again, and best of all, I have friends to help me eat the results. Good that I have friends to get out and see, and better that they like what I bake in my wee little shoebox of a house! I need to talk more about my friends, they are a very precious commodity, and I am sure they don’t feel sufficiently valued…

Final piece of good news – I’ve found a foolproof method of coping with work and life in general, but you will have to come back next week to hear more about it!

————————————————————————————————-
Edit: Mum has just confirmed that I will be camping in the garden – woo hoo! relative peace and quiet amid the mayhem!

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Of cameras and pictures.

I’m sorry. I have been really quiet lately, but I got a bit low and really had nothing good to say, so I thought quiet was best for now, but I do have news.

I’ve got a blipfoto journal going, and you might like to look at it here.

The idea is to take one photo and upload it to your journal.You can only put one photo per calender day. I find it really makes me think a bit more about the pictures I’m taking “is it blip-worthy?” is now a common question. It is really making me wish for a better camera – and a wireless laptop!

The camera I have isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but I think with a bit more technology I could take a greater range of pictures. This one doesn’t seem to be particularly good at landscapes, and I want to take those as well as close shots of animals and plants.

I have found a garden that it most blipworthy, and I strongly suspect I’ll be posting a lot of pictures from there! DN is a fantastic gardener with huge amounts of imagination and the ability to transfer it to the ground. Planting the way she has means the garden seems to be about 3 times larger than it really is! Doesn’t hurt any that there’s a river right outside the back/side door either…

Work is not really improving, but having plenty to focus on outside of work such as having a twitter ID as well as friends and family is helping a great deal.

I have rediscovered wearing red too. I do have a fair bit of red clothing, but I got out of the way of wearing it, even though it is pretty much the perfect colour for my skin (not sure why, but not questioning it!) It’s a good confidence boost too, knowing that all I have to do is wear a red top and I look great, even if it’s only above dodgy cheap jeans for work!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

asejohannessen49

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Attic24

live my life with me, see the world the way I see it

Skonkworks

Where Are We Going? Who Cares? Let’s Go.

Jesus Army Action

Taking Jesus to the people, anywhere, anytime.

JACK MONROE

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP & MORE

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.