Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Utter Utter Somethings

Just Guybo and myself in the office today, which is a recipe for two things; entertainment and disaster (generally in some kind of combination) First half of the day went well if not, perhaps, productive. Then we left for Youth Cafe and the fun began.

First; we missed the bus.
Second; sitting at the bus stop I managed to lean on my glasses and pop one of the lenses out.
Third; I found the screw and pulled out my little knife/tool thingo to put it back in but just as I went to insert the tiniest screw on earth I slipped and lost it in the dirt on the side of the road. Several minutes of Guy and I scratching about like chickens, me with the lens squinched in my eye like a monocle, produced nothing even when we enlisted the aid of a girl at the bus stop (who picked my accent as aussie, well happy with that as I've been told I'm losing it)
Fourth; realise about two minutes after getting on the bus that we left the cushion covers for the couch at the office.
Fifth; get a call from Guy whilst sitting in the Optometrist waiting to have my glasses fixed informing me that he thinks he has left the key to the cafe in the office in Haddenham.
Sixth; Optometrist informs me that my glasses are buggered as the screw was not loose but rather there is a crack in the frame. He managed to fix it so that it will stay for a bit but if it goes again its stuffed.
Seventh; get to cafe and find Guy standing outside talking to Charlie. Briefly consider taking her and Guy down the pub and sitting out in the beer garden for the rest of the afternoon, rehearse my explanation to Wendy and Mal when they ask why Charlies irate parents are calling them about the youth workers who took their daughter to the pub and dismiss this course of action despite the temptation to do it for the sheer comedy value.
Eighth; boost Guy over the fence when we realise that we don't need a key once we're past the spiked gate, just the security code to the door. Once inside realise that in order to set anything up we need the key to the cupboard which we don't have and that the cushion covers for the sofa are also in the office in Haddenham. Decide to sit up top drinking tea, playing Hackey and chatting.
Ninth; Guy decides to teach us to sing. Charlie, it turns out, can sing like a nightingale. I, on the other hand, can't. The singing lessons get better and better as we go and end up replacing all the words to This Little Light of Mine with "moo". Guy informs us both that we both can sing very well despite our protests to the contrary.
Tenth; Charlie leaves and Guy looks at me with and says "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" Same thing he asked me when he called me in the optometrist. Bad news first. He pulls out the cafe keys and informs me he found them in his pocket about halfway through our singing lesson but didn't have the heart to tell me, and besides our singing lesson was going so well.

We had an entertaining chat, that involved a v comic discussion of the "take Charlie to the pub idea" (which incidently had crossed his mind as well) and the ensuing explanation, in his version Charlie had had twelve triple vodkas and was in hospital having her stomach pumped whilst we explained who we were, where we were from, and who precisely was responsible for our actions to Charlies parents. Before we parted for the day and headed for home thanking God that he works through our weakness and not through our organisational skills.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Answer

High Thanks to Andy Riley for the "five sided square" which is one of the many bits of genius I have extracted from his book. I hope you appreciate the comedy as much as I do.
Haven't been able to sleep the last few nites. Last nite I gave up trying and stayed up til three in the morning before finally finding that I was tired enough to collapse. Unfortunately the inability to sleep disappears the instant I lose consciousness and is replaced with an inability to awaken. My first thought upon waking was "Crap, I owe Dan a pie!!" (we have an ongoing bet about who will get to staff meeting first/on time) Ahhhh well...
Seeing 300 tonite!! Can't wait, gonna be so good!!
Just back from seeing 300 and thought I'd update this. The cinematography and graphics were fantastic. Very violent, as expected but the violence was done in a computer game style that was not real enough to make it hit home but incredible to watch. Fantastic battle scenes. The story was great, absolutely butchered the legend of Thermopylae but that was more or less what I expected anyway and it was done very very well, could have stretched it out over another half hour but it was still satisfying. The style of the movie was surreal. Based on a graphic novel (really big comic) it carried with it some of the typical elements of fantasy that are found in graphic novels aimed at older teenage, lets face it, boys, so there were a couple of nudie bits and plenty of drama. One thing that I noticed that I was a little bit perturbed about was that Xerxes (the Persian king) was referred to as King of Kings, Lord of Hosts and a couple of other titles reserved for God. I understand that the kings and emperors of the ancient world often fashioned themselves as "gods" but I've not seen quite so many biblical titles bestowed upon a character in a film who clearly does not represent God. (the last I remember noting was a song in Tarzan that called him the son of man) This is not something that causes me particular concern, it was just interesting to note. I did thoroughly enjoy 300 but I feel obliged to offer this warning (if it is not obvious already): it is not a girls film, and it is definitely not a film my parents should see. (Jordan will enjoy it a lot tho)
Oh! Almost forgot; it has David Wenham in it who is a legendary Aussie actor (played Faramir in Lord of the Rings) from the series Sea Change, which I would not hesitate to put forward as one of, if not the best australian television series ever.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Square

This square has a secret fifth side that you can only see if you stare at it for a very very long time.
Leave a comment if you've got it

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Andy McKee

I've seen Phil Keaggy play live and he does the impossible. Andy McKee I've only seen on YouTube but he's pretty amazing. He also has a wikid beard and looks a bit like Al who I had a good chat to today (broached the topics of Calvinism and Purgatory, bloody catholics)

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Is 18 today!! Happy birthday sister!! Scophie is the best sister I have and could want and I miss her loads. (miss the boys too but its not their birthday(s) When we were little Soph and I used to play for hours and make up games and all sorts that was great fun, we have some sweet (and v embarrassing) home video of us playing in our band, consisting of a drum made out of an upside down washing basket and a wooden spoon. I remember Soph always used to be the one who would opt to miss out on stuff, like seconds of desert or some kind of treat, if there weren't enough to go around. She has a really beautiful selfless spirit. Stuff wasn't always great between Soph and I. There were a few years in the teenage bracket that were quite nasty in fact. This is a source of disappointment and regret for me, that I didn't have the maturity and love to see my sister outside of how she impacted on my world, and that I failed to care for her and be a good big brother in the years it probly would have counted most. As we both started to grow up a bit, and especially after I moved out of home, our relationship got heaps better and now we are quite close. Whenever I go home or get hold of her on the fone we have great chats about things and it's like it was when we were little, just enjoying each others company. Particularly of late I have noticed that Scoph is growing in Wisdom and Spiritual Maturity. She has twice now (at least) given me very solid advice that I have found massively helpful. I love you Soph and hope you have an amazing day and a wonderful year full of joy and opportunity.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Every time you think England is about to return to it's beautiful sunny state of summerness; it crushes your hopes with an ice cold fist. Snow. Thats right. And not even the nice stuff. The horrible sleety, flipping cold nasty stuff. I was well enough to head in to work today, after a slow start, which meant I ran into Dave whose come back to fix the ceiling and the bathroom. (He was fixing the bathroom upstairs a couple of weeks back when we heard something crack, someone swear, and then water started to come (read: pour) through the kitchen ceiling) Dave's a great bloke and so I stopped for a chat with him and Barbara over breakfast, the highlight of said chat was when Barbara said "Dave'll be fixing the bathroom upstairs from tomorow morning, so you better be in and out of the shower nice and early" brain still waking up at half ten struggled to compute exactly what she meant (still working on present tense I was like: I already had a shower, what're you talking about) Barbara turns to Dave "What time do you start?" (Daves MILES ahead of me on this one) "Oh, about quater to six" brain suddenly catches up, head jerks back in surprise "You What?!?" Barbara and Dave collapse in laughter, brain makes up the final few inches and realises I've been had.
Caught the train to Risboro and spent half the day shifting another mountain of junk out of the other half of the shop this time, the other half the day I spent making an invite for the Youth Forum we're hosting on Monday nite. I whipped up a brilliant one in about five minutes and shewed it to Geoff and Tim. Tim turned around and said he liked it but shouldn't we use the A2 logo rather than the CCF one? Conceding the point I got him to email it to me and replaced the CCF logo. And then the problem hit. Whilst the church logo is a quite nice picture of a red kite in a colour that perfectly matched the colour scheme I'd picked off of Publisher, the A2 logo did not. In fact the A2 logo is a garish royal blue on white. After fiddling unhappily with Publishers colour schemes I eventually gave in and went with the duotone of the A2 logo and produced an exceedingly dull invitation that a three year old could have put together. I have decided two things. One: I cannot wait to get my new mac laptop and have access to some brilliant graphic design technology all in a compact, stylishly simple, light weight package that is the MacBook (or the iBook, depending on how much money I end up deciding to fork out for this thing). Two: if I ever start a church I am going to maintain enough of a level of authority over things to ban anyone from ever using royal blue and white and any other stupid, tasteless, uncool design concepts that will utterly destroy our credibility and any hope of maintaining coolness with present youth trends. Now, youth trends in general seem to be a bit extreme (and some of them are just plain stupid) and so attempting to match them does not make you cool; it makes you a try hard. However, maintaining some sort of standard of style and taste will raise your estimation with young people. Even if they wouldn't wear or choose anything the same, they will still see the coolness present in being integral to your own identity without caving to tack or imitation.
The final moment from today that I feel is noteworthy enough to keep me awake any longer came after dinner tonite. In the kitchen (seems to be the place for comedy at the moment) we were clearing the dishes and chatting generally. I turned to Andy, whose just come home from uni for easter and turns 21 on Sunday, and asked him a question about Monday nite (I'd got an email from him about a nite out in Aylesbury with a bunch of his uni mates -not as rowdy as it sounds, they're from Cambridge- that said he was going out with whoever could make it, about 30 people on the list, and anyone who wanted could crash at his [parents] after) As we discussed this it caught his parents interest "What's this then?" and it dawned on me that they didn't know anything about it, and I sat there cracking up as it dawned on them exactly what we must be talking about. Andy didn't say anything but he was trying hard to a. not laugh and b. avoid eye contact with his parents. Classic!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I've been sick since Sunday arvo. Some sort of cold thing that has totally sapped my energy and given me a nasty sore throat. Scored some time off work tho!! I often get strange dreams when I'm sick and this time has been no exception. Sunday nite I dreamed I was playing rugby with a bunch of people, my team was doing well but losing because for some reason all my players kept disappearing until there were just three of us in the scrum against about twelve on the other team. For some reason on of my two team mates was a girl in a skirt. Somehow this dream morphed into me fighting alongside Gandalf against two baddies, then Gandalf disappeared and it was just me using his staff and then that turned into a spear and I was was fighting a sorceress who I killed. And then I woke up. Strange stuff. Loving that I fought alongside Gandalf tho.
Am engaged in a fierce contest for top score on Solataire at the moment. Emma is presently beating me with 11168 points in 66 seconds. Nigh on impossible. I'm a whole 5 seconds behind her. Male pride at stake. Have ceased play for the day coz I am feeling like crap and no longer have access to a computer with a mouse (touchpad is useless for soataire) but will resume my efforts tomorow.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I managed to get on Timbo's insurance for a week, starting yesterday, as he has chicken pox and is house bound. Naturally I made some plans to maximise the freedom and headed up to Loughborough yesterday to watch Ian play rugby and see Megan. The plan was to come home late, (like after 12 at least), so that Ian would be home for Mothers day (happy mothers day mum!! I know its not the Aussie one but I don't actually know when that is and will almost certainly miss it so I am capitalising on the opportunity) and so I could run sunday morning youth at church. That was the plan anyway. Halfway out of Oxford I noticed the heat guage was very high. A quick call to Tim put my mind at ease, apparently it stays hot till you get out on the motorway and then she cools down. So I headed up the motorway and got most of the way to the M1, just under halfway to Loughborough, when the engine light came on. I pulled into a service station and checked the water (had checked this AND the oil before I left and they had both been fine) both were still ok but I topped up the water and let it cool down for twenty mins before deciding to give it another go. The car seemed fine again, except that the heat climbed very quickly, and it was driving fine, not doing anything that it should not have been. About 5mins later however the car started losing power, the engine light came back on and I started hearing worrying noises, I just managed to get it to the next BP station where it promptly died and refused to come back to life. Steam from under the bonnet suggested a blown head gasket. Not good. I called Tim and he said it sounded like a head gasket, told me he'd make some calls and then see about getting me home.
3 hours later. I had finished my book, beaten my own high score at solataire three times (now stands at 119 seconds, 6573 points. Heck Yeah!!) listened to my cd five times, paid an exorbitant amount for a sandwich and muffin, and written half of a letter. Stu and Tim rocked up with the dirtiest, most pathetic piece of rope I've ever seen (about as tick as my finger) to tow me home with. We quadruple layered it to stop it snapping and being to big a gap between the cars and twisted it into a half decent rope which I double locked off in both directions and then some, basically I made it up as I went along but it worked. We worked out a series of army style hand signals to communicate what Stu was about to do in the car in front, and after a couple of missunderstandings and close calls worked it out so that we could drive almost as one. Cruising down the motorway at 50(miles) we were a sight to behold, so impressed were the other drivers they drove past with mouths agape, clearly speechless at our genius and daring. The Police however would not have been speechless on the topic and so we kept a sharp eye out and made it all the way to Oxford before not one but two police cars pulled out directly in front of us. We quickly pulled off the side of the road and I called Tim to say "Shizzer!! The bullen commen!!" (Something we picked up off the Germans last week that seemed appropriate to the situation) We made it home without further incident and had only snapped one strand of the make shift rope, we'd done well. Even better, there's a pub directly across from Tims house and I walked in just in time to see England score a spectacular first try against Wales (who, in fairness, beat them in style by the end of the match). France won the six nations, should have been Ireland... gutted.
So that the day was not a complete mess, Heth came to get me and we headed to Emma's to chill. Halfway there I realised that Heths lights weren't on. Spent the other half of the journey giving her stick about it. Watched the last half of Bridget Jones Diary, a thoroughly girly movie, before discovering Fight Club was on another channel, a thoroughly un-girly movie.
There were two up points to the weekend. Friday nite, the boys from last week showed up, I took them aside for a quick word and they were absolutely fine, they came in and played volleyball with us and there was not a hint of the anger and so on from last week. Grace and Mercy seemed to have a powerful effect. The whole nite was fantastic, a great four a side football thing got going and there was laughter and good natured banter in the other room all nite. Amazing stuff. The other thing was that I got given a bunch of clothes the pators son was throwing out, he's pretty much my size exactly and he has stupidly good taste in clothes as he is a designer. I quite literally doubled my wardrobe over nite.
Now feeling very much like I need to sleep so I think I'll go have a kip before church tonite. Im open to this becoming a kip instead of church tonite, but James is doing his first talk so I want to go support him.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Key

A few weeks back we moved the church office a hudred meters or so up the high street. At some point during the day we moved two massive lockable filing cabinets, I took the key out of one of these stupidly heavy cabinets so that we wouldn't break it and put it in my pocket so I wouldn't lose it. Several weeks later, I find said key in my pocket and after a couple of forgettings I remember to take it back to the office. By some stroke of luck I chose to hand it to Geoff and some instinct warned me not to go into too much detail (loving my instincts at this point) and Geoff goes "Shirley'll kill you!!" Turns out Shirley spent two days rummaging through boxes looking for this key, someone called Geoff in Nigeria to see if he had it, and then there's been an ongoing saga where Shirley's been accosting different people and possibilities to try and find this key with the blame largely falling on Geoff!! So Geoff laughs and gives me the wink, our little secret, and goes to give Shirley the key back. Far from being glad to have it back Shirley launched an inquest that lasted half the afternoon trying to work out where it was. Geoff did an admirable job of keeping the secret, although Shirley has cottoned on to my knowing the truth too as Geoff and I were sharing too many winks and in jokes too get away with it scott free. It provided some ongoing entertainment anyway, probly will for a while yet, at least till Shirley figures it out and defenestrates me out the upstairs window!!
Was a good day, all in all. I had a meeting with Geoff and one of the teachers from the local high school which went very well indeed. In a massive reversal of trends in schools, the teacher asked me how I'd feel about coming in for a whole day and doing various bits of youth work for them throughout, some mentoring and some lunch time stuff and some other stuff too probly. I was stoked, such a good response!! Geoff also gave me a bag of clothes his son has just thrown out, turns out he is pretty much my size exactly, and he has awesome taste. Loving it!!
Had Mart and Jen's farewell tonite, they're moving to Germany to start a centre for the work over there. Which means that the role of Fearless Leader has passed to Atari man (Danbo) who was welcomed as UK Director tonite (I'm gonna get many months worth of teasing him out of that!!) Was an ok nite except for the small talk, small talk drives me crazy, felt uncomfortable, ended up nicking off with some friends who had to pick someone up from the bus station to get away from it for a bit. Is strange, Mart's favourite pass time is chatting with loads of people so it was exactly his kind of party, (and has been the kind of party at every work function ever), but I really can't deal with those kinds of party's and inevitably end up going off to get some space. May possibly be working for the wrong organisation in that sense, they're very much into the whole networking/small talk gig, tho I recognise a valuable difference between the two, there is a definite link.
Anyhow. I must get to bed as tonite has turned into another late one despite my best intentions!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Things that should be THOUGHT and NOT SAID

Had a few funny moments in the last few days, largely involving things that should be thought but not voiced aloud. I have quite a history of voicing these things at the worst possible moment [like the time I asked "what do you call a black man flying a plane?" with a black lady standing behind me. the answer happens to be "a pilot, you racist" and so is not in fact a racist joke, however it was not good timing] but have come through the last few days unscathed by the backlash of offended fun sherrifs and full of mirth at my own one liners.
Some of the best ones are just lines that come out really really badly or make you sound really really dumb. For instance:
(Playing a game with a friend who has become distracted for some time now) "I feel like I'm playing with myself"
(During a discussion about a floating house and places we should visit) "We can go to Croatia!! I have some friends with a flat we can stay in there"
(At a cell group) "So do you think God would have been scared in that situation?"

And then there's the harsh thoughts that pop into your head and hopefully dont make it to your tongue. We'll leave those untyped as well as unsaid, altho some of them were pure gold. Have had a couple of funny skype chats with people who were in the same room as me trading secret banter about what else was going on in the meeting or discussion!! Some good comedy this week in the posse house!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Braai

I should be sleeping as I am in a serious amount of pain from being awake but this video must be shown to the world!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

I'm not angry I'm just disappointed

Tough nite at drop in. Some drunk kids started on one of the young people from church, he did amazingly well and just kept walking away. The situation kept escalating despite me throwing kids out and it came to a head when a bunch tried to come through a window and then a crowd of about 30 all stormed the place and there was me and Heth standing between them and the young guy and we were backed into a corner. The bastards got in a punch over my shoulder before running off like cowards, leaving Jamie with a bloody nose and me with a room full of scared kids. It was so frustrating not being able to fight back, 1- because we're not allowed to, and 2- because if I threw a punch a brawl would have erupted and a brawl that consists of me, Heth and Jamie versus 30 odd drunk kids ends with us very very beaten. I came away from it feeling disappointed that Jamie got hurt and that people were left frightened and frustrated that I hadnt been able to prevent it or at least punch someone!!
Lots of lessons learned on the crisis management front. Strangely in the debrief I found myself setting the course of action I knew we would have to take in spite of my desire to sock a few of these kids in the eye. Next week they will be welcomed back, provided they have not been drinking, and treated with grace and love. Boundaries will be set with the group as a whole about what kind of behaviour is acceptable in order for drop in to function. And I... will be praying for those kids who punched Jamie, and praying that God will soften my heart towards them in spite of what they've done.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum!!!

Very nearly called mum again today before I realised that its the 7th and Mums birthday is the 8th... that would have been twice in one year... unbelievable!! Anyway, thought I'd get the happy birthday post out of the way (let me rephrase that as, on reflection, it doesnt sound so great) what I mean is let me wish Mother a Happy Birthday via the internet now so that I dont forget to do so later and I shall call her tomorow.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The weekend was quite good in the end, taught a unit and ran some games (old people are boring I have concluded and want to go back to doing youth foundations, how can you not like games?!?!) and then the lads went exploring with a couple of female admirers in tow. Originally we had intended to nip down the pub but in light of the female presence we were inspired to show off and so climbed all over and then under a bridge (have some cool photos from this Ill post as soon as I nick them off Dan) and then climbed some trees and Mim and Stu did some flips (or tried to anyway, the stacks were far more impressive than the successful ones!!)
Train home was fine until I reached Bicester, which is only 15mins from home, and the train sat at the station for half and hour and then took an hour, I kid you not, to go from Bicester to Haddenham!! (point of interest: Bicester is prounounced bis-ter as opposed to bi-cest-er) Because of the delay I missed my lift out to the 70s nite and spent a bored nite at home. (had also managed to miss-read my ticket and so was under the impression my train got in at 7:40, sitting in Birmingham at 7:15 it occurred to me that there was about a snowballs chance in hell of me getting to Haddenham in 25mins and looked at my ticket to find it actually said 8:40)
Two more days til the weekend, which looks about as restful as the last!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Weekend Away

Well, kind of. I have drop in tomorow nite until ten and then I drive up to Telford (or close by, not sure really, 2 or 3 hours anyway) once there I will probably prepare the unit I have to teach on saturday as I doubt I'll get time to do it tomorow, then I get a few hours sleep before doing foundations all day and catching a train back to haddenham. Get in at 7:40 and head straight for the 70's nite where I said I'd help out before I realised how busy this weekend was gonna be. Church Sunday, teching Sunday School, was supposed to call Mark and work out what we're teaching them like three days ago... whoops.
So a restful weekend in store *cough* "sleep is for the dead"