Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Weekend is Here

Im heading into the Weekend feeling oddly refreshed. Most of the week Ive been half dead, struggling to stay awake but somehow when I went to the Fair the other nite (Thame Show is in Town) -I went on this awesome ride that took you up so high you could see the whole town and then spun you upside down and it felt like you were falling away from the earth and then you swing all the way back down to the ground before heading back up to the top of the world again!!- and mucked about with some friends before heading down to the Six Bells for a drink and a chat, stayed up far too late and yet Friday saw me refreshed (granted I didn't exactly get up early but I was refreshed when I awoke).
Friday I took on the mammoth task of tidying the office. The whole place looks pretty tidy now, my only concern being that I know the ordred pile of paper and envelopes that I arranged on the corner of Dans desk will be spread around the office once more once the rest of the team return from Oz. Til then it should remain impressively clean.
Friday nite saw a bunch of us at Truemans place for a sit down meal and some fun, it also saw Trueman whip my butt in a wrestling match. I wasn't really expecting to win as he had thrashed the rest of the lads a couple of weeks back but I had been unable to compete because of my knee. That all fixed up it was good to get back into a bit of manly contestation after my injury plauged summer. After some Indian and a good chat I drove a friend out to Long Wick before trekking it back to Wheatley.
I'm in two minds about the house in Wheatley. One is loving the space and freedom and the chance to look after myself for a bit, the other is sick of trekking between friends and home and work. Im sleeping in the office again 2nite (this time I brought a sleeping bag with me!!) because I was out 2nite and didnt want to drive all the way back to Wheatley and then get up early to drive to church 2moro morning.
I guess you just gotta take the bad with the good. I am missing being cooked for tho, my meals have been erratic at best, I set a new record this morning with breakfast at 4pm and that looks like my only meal for today except for the peanuts and a brownie at Bingo 2nite. Mite explain part of my tiredness...
Anyway, so went to Bingo 2nite (yay... hmmm) It was a fund raiser for a friends trip to China with World Challenge and some other friends went so it was a bit of fun. Our table managed to not get a single Bingo despite thrice having three of us with one number to go, incredibly frustrating for two reasons. a) two 8 year old girls somehow managed to total up 6 of the 16 Bingo opportunities between them. and b) nobody called Bingo!!! I couldn't believe it, our whole table was gearing up for a big BINGO cheer from the time one of us got three numbers in the same square but not a single Bingo was to be heard from the rest of the room and as mentioned afore: we didn't manage to win a single round between us.
We did slightly better when it came to the raffle however, although it didn't start well. The first (and best) prizes all seemed to go to the two girls who had already racked up 6 wins in the Bingo including a mammoth box of chocolates we had been eyeing off and had to watch go to the girls who were fast becoming the banes of our nite with great irritation. Megs was desperate to win something after our abismal run and it seemed our luck was in order for a turn around.
It started with Paul winning a Teddy bear, then Megs got a freezer bag for packed lunches (o the excitement) and the grand finale... my ticket won the booby prize... which as Liz so delicately put it in a fog-horn like voice that the entire room heard easily; was a Tit Pillow.
It was a pair of inflatable breasts with suction pads on the back to be used as a bath pillow. I swapped a disturbingly eager Paul for the Teddy bear but then had to dissaude him from blowing them up in the room to spare Megans embarrasment. He later inflated them and tucked them under his shirt (which was partially see through in the first place) and they ended up on the rear windscreen of his car. He's threatened to drive down to church 2moro morning and leave them stuck to the door with a note that they're for me. I'm counting on him not being bothered to get up that early and if that fails for Megs to back me up that they don't actually belong to me.
That'll do me for 2nite. See you on the dark side.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And the car is back!!

I don't know how, I don't know why, but it's working again. I took the battery to a mechanic yesterday and he charged it and tested it when I went back today to reveal that there's nothing wrong with the battery... i'm not sure this is good news... if it's not the battery, it's probably something more serious... Most likely it's loose wiring or it's the starter motor, either way it's not great. I put the battery back in, turned the key... nothing.
OK. Either way a push start should get it going, I will just have to park on hills for the next little while. Round up some boys to push start it and put Andy in the drivers seat as he's torn his calf and won't be heaps of use for pushing the car and then just as we're about to start pushing Andy turns the key and brrrrrr-brrrrrrrrr-BRRRRRRRRMMMMMM!! The engine kicks to life after 2 days of not eliciting so much as a struggling groan, unbelievable. I'm still parking it on hills just in case but it has been starting fine since.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

One of the highlights of my year and I almost missed it, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is today!! I only remembered when I checked Youthblog and Ian had posted about it. I'm not sure why it's celebrated but I don't need much of an excuse to speak like a pirate and usually it becomes Talk Like a Pirate Week rather than day.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back in the Office

Im back in the office. I went to cell and as we were leaving, I was supposed to be giving people lifts home, the car wouldn't start. Has happened before. Got the jump leads out. Nothing. No battery charge at all. Battery is gone. Nothing doing.
So Ian ran people home quickly, fortunately one of the girls also drove and was already taking half the people I was going to so I didn't have to go so far out of the way. And I came to crash at the office. I'll have to try and sort the car battery tomorow.
It's funny, I don't feel guilty but I feel bad that I wasn't able to run people home, it's a job I quite enjoy doing as it gives you a chance to chat. I guess it's just not the best way to end the night. Luckily there are some comfy sofas at the office.

In need of sleep

Im not feeling too tired but ive got that floaty feeling you get when you're so stuffed it's beyond tired. And I just spent 5 mins talking on MSN to jamie who i thought was james and worse when he didnt know what the hell i was talking about i tried arguing with him about it and told him he was hallucinating, it still didnt click but i had a thought that it might be one of james brothers, is this even James?? I asked and then looked at his username again to see it was farmerjim and not gangster_beans... yeah, I need sleep. Not yet tho, cell 2nite!! Also, just got a whole stack of R.E.M songs off Adam, whose name i just momentarily forgot, yeah, I know, to bed!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Beautiful Mind

I'm watching A Beautiful Mind. It happened to be on TV and I started watching, it's fantastic!! Russel Crowe playing a very different role to his standard character type and the story line is great so far. It's not a movie that I would have thought I'd enjoy but it is one I am enjoying greatly none the less. It also has Paul Bettany in it who is one of my favorite actors (he's in A Knights Tale and Wimbeldon)

Monday, September 11, 2006


This trailer is for a book by M.E.Ellis, not my usual genre of reading but the royalties are going to the society for the prevention of cruelty to children so if it's your kind of thing take a look.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Back Into It

Started to really gear back into things today. Have decided that my week starts with Sunday, Saturday is my sabbath day of rest (as I often am involved in leadership at church and sometimes have to visit churches for work) and everything starts again on Sunday. So this morning I dragged myself out of bed and to church for what felt like the first time properly in a long time. Then came home for lunch, we're often treated to a great Sunday "Dinner", which involves a roast and some awesome pudding and this week was no exception, even better, the Childs boys came too and thats a double bonus coz they're fairly entertaining and Ian's one of my best mates.
At some point of the afternoon I took the plunge back into assignments and have just finished one off now (far earlier than I was expecting in fact!!). Went to Mosaic where Ian and I cooked up a plan to welcome the new youth worker from St Mary's Haddenham. He introduced her and then tested out her youth working skills by getting her to run the ice breaker for the nite on no notice whatsoever, she recovered quickly and then played quite a good version of paper scissors rock. I was reasonably impressed. It has made me think that I should pick 2 that I can pull out on short notice if needed, just in case...
Back to the doctors to change the bandage on my knee tommorow, will try and get a photo of it, it was wonderful on Thursday, very pretty sight.
Must sleep now

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Home at Last

I got back on Wednesday but am still arriving a little bit, haven't really woken up yet... Greece was fantastic, a really awesome trip. So many stories, will have to sample just a few. I flew into Athens on Saturday after spending the week at Soul Survivor where we observed a 4 am curfew: you weren't allowed to sleep before 4am. That produced some great times but meant that I arrived in Athens feeling like I needed to sleep for a month... not a bad way to start a 2 week mission trip.

So we spent an evening in Athens and then bussed it up to Ptolemaida, a town of about 10thousand people. 3thousand of whom came to the festivals we ran over 3 nights during the week. I got to know a bunch of young guys there and would have been more than happy to stay in Ptolemaida for the entire 2 weeks but on Thursday morning the team split up into 3 groups, one heading to Korce in Albania, one to Thessalonikki (as in Thessalonica from the bible) and my team headed to Athens.

In Athens we ran some training, 4 festivals and then a Youth Cafe night which went amazingly well and made some great connections between the local youth group and some young people. The Athenian team spent our day off on Aegina, an island an hour from Athens. I found some magical spots to dive from cliffs and even got Marty to have a go!! The water was so clear it was unbelievable, was loving it.

Then we moved on to the last part of the trip. Catching the Sleeper train up to Thessalonikki to meet up with the other teams and we got to spend a bit of time looking around, I found a very kool bag (something I had been looking out for all trip) at a great price. It's got a bit of a hippy style going on which I like and when I wear my hippy pants and peace t-shirt, with the dreadies, I look like a proper hippy. From Saloniki (a shorter version of the towns name, which reminds me of a joke we were told in Athens- what's the best thing a tourist can see in Thessalonikki? the sign that says "to Athens"!!) we drove out to Phillipi and checked out the ruins. I climbed down into the prison where Paul and Silas were when God caused an earthquake to free them, you weren't supposed to go in but someone dropped something and I volunteered myself to go get it back. Was crazy being there. Then we had lunch at Lydia's river (see Acts 16:13-15) before heading to Corinth. The Athens team had had a very cool surprise when a bunch of teenagers from the church in Corinth had rocked up to the training nite and then come back for a festival and were loving it all. So we got the pastor from the church to come and show us around the Ancient city a few days later where he unpacked a bit more of the history of the place for us. Then we went for a wander and saw the place where Paul actually stood before the magistrates to make his defence after a mob tried to have him beaten. It was incredible to look at the surrounding hills, especially the one with the temple atop it, and know that that is what Paul was looking around at 2000 years ago...

Opah!! (greek for whoops) I forgot about Volos and more importantly Makrinitsa village above Volos. The place could be out of Narnia or Lord of the Rings!! Perched in the mountains above the sea there are these old villages with cobbled streets and old houses and stairways and paths leading here and there with huge old trees everywhere making the village feel like you're exploring Rivendell with a petrified old water wheel and a stream running from the fountain at the centre of the village down the hill. I didnt have my camera to get any photo's but I will have to get hold of some.

That's about winding up the adventure. Mim and myself spent a couple of days on a greek island Andros before we headed home and after nailing the back flip and doing some cliff diving I thought I'd crash one of the motorbikes we hired and get myself some stitches before we headed home. It all ended pretty well and on our last nite in Athens a bloke named George took amazing care of us, not charging for our accomodation and taking us to the airport at 4am, legendary guy.

And now I need to sleep coz I have to get up 2moro morning. Check out the photo's link to see some photo's of my recent exploits and a couple more stories.

Yas Sas!!