Monthly Archives: February 2007

A Phone Call

I just had to tell you all about this call I received this afternoon. FW had gone out to attend a Lenten Bible Study about 5 minutes before and I was trying to organise some shipments for tomorrow.

T&E: Hello!

FW : Help, I’m stuck at the shops. My glasses have blown off and onto the road and I can’t find them.

So I started running down our hill, yes I was actually running, and almost fell over as I realised I couldn’t stop properly. It was raining and really blowing, forecasted winds of 60 mph. The rain got harder and I couldn’t see FW. Then I saw this shape sheltering in the open-sided bus stop.

No it started to hail and the wind got stronger. FW was letting out little yelps as the hail hit her. My ears were getting cold, my shoes and jeans were absolutely soaked through and I couldn’t see the glasses.

This isn’t a quiet road either. I’m standing in the middle concentrating on finding them and then turning to find the odd car stopped and waiting for me to move out of the way. Then I could see a dark lense in the road by the bus stop on the other side of the road.

Thankfully her photochromatic glasses were in one piece near to the kerb.

FW didn’t get to the bible study. We both got absolutely soaked and had to change but at least it gave us a laugh.

Movie Stars

Last night we attended Mike’s memorial service in Swansea. One thing you could not say, after hearing everything that was said, was that his was a wasted life. Could a 23 year old really have packed that much in? The only thing that made me sorrowful throughout it all was the fact that I never knew him.

Yes, his life was taken to soon but there is a time for everyone, we just never know when it will be. I am not a believer in pre-ordination, the idea that everything in our lives is mapped out and nothing is left to chance. It does not ring with God’s gift of freewill.

What I do believe in is the need to pack as much into our lives as possible. We should never take it for granted that we have 3 score years and 10 as a guarantee. We should never put off important things for long, you may never get to do them or enjoy them.

One of the things that was said, asked what we would do to honour Mike’s memory. Giving money is not a solution. Getting involved and making a difference would be. That doesn’t mean ditching everything and running off to some far off place, not everyone is cut out for that. What it does mean is standing up for your beliefs, making your voice heard in anyway you can and working to improve life for all.

There is a line in the “poetry” of Jim Morrison, from An American Prayer, where he asks “Did you have a good life/Enough to base a movie on?”

When we get judged do we want to shown a short film of our life and accomplishments or do we want to see a 3 hour epic?

I know which Mike will have.

A Question Of Being Wronged?

Why is it that people always seem to twist what you say?

I have been accused of interfering in the lives of 2 fellow wibloggers. Me? Why would I do that to 2 people I’ve never, knowingly, met?

Is it really my fault that the male wiblogger, let’s call him Bimbly to keep him anonymous, is going to North America to visit friends. I suggested, in the innocence of wiblog harmony, that he also visit a female wiblogger, lets call her showers. Is it my fault that he’s decided to take a 1900 mile detour out of his way to do so?

I mean he was the one who, in a drunken post, mentioned that a friend of his wanted him to get married in North America so that she’d have an excuse to go there. All I suggested was that showers lived there. There was no implied intent here. Well, maybe a little bit. A very small, tiny, whiny, weeny bit.

I see it as my job as a Christian to foster peaceful international relations between peoples. Yet I am castigated for doing my Christian duty.

Please note that this post may contain hints of sarcasm and tongue being inserted in cheek.

Of Future Present Past

Today has been spent entertaining the Troublesome Trucks. Thankfully most of this has been done by FW. They helped her to weed the flower trough outside the patio doors. They then took credit for all the additional work that FW did after they’d come in complaining of boredom.

We also took them to feed a horse that lives in a field not far from our house. We have a choice of several fields with horses near us and chose the one in the quietest area. It’s always fun watching kids feeding carrots to horses. You tell them to hold the carrot on the flat of their hand but they still feel the need to hold it lengthways.

Then we went to the chip shop to get their lunch. For some reason all they ever want to eat when they visit is fish & chips or fishcake & chips. As they’re going to football training tonight it wqas thought that a main meal at lunchtime would be better for them.

Even though I’m officially on holiday for the week I still had a few things to do for my 2 customers, so I’ve spent part of the day working to get as much done as possible.

Tomorrow we’re off to Swansea for Mike’s memorial service. We have to stop at my company’s Cardiff office as I’m having Microsoft Project installed on my laptop, I’ve only been waiting 18 months for it to be done.

I only met Mike once, not long after FW and I met, but from what others have told me I think we’d have got on well together. The amazing thing of all is that he managed to pack so much into his life. Would anyone bother having a memorial service for me? Probably not as, even with a 19 year headstart, I’ve done nowhere near as much.

I’m not going to remember someone I knew well. I’m not just going to remember someone that touched the lives of people I know. I’m going to celebrate the fact that he did what many of us have never been brave enough to do – he did God’s work in a very practical sense. He did what many people only talk about doing. Now we have an opportunity to thank him and to ensure that his work does not end here.

He was one of those few righteous men who didn’t allow evil to triumph.

The Beginning of the End

Well today was the day.

I formally announced that I am resigning as a deacon with effect from the end of March. After what would have been 30 years in July, I’m leaving my little chapel and setting off to find another. When I lived in London for 9 years I couldn’t find one I liked enough to transfer my membership or to attend regularly.

Now the time just feels right. There are a few things that are annoying me and I feel detached during the services. Like today, I read further on in 2 Chronicles while Rev Chug-a-Bug did her sermon. I read the text that she was preaching on and it immediately became clear what she’d say and how it would be said. So I read onwards instead.

The worse part for me was telling the kids in Youth that we’d be leaving after Easter. We now only have 2 more Youth meetings to go. I was really struck by how much they wanted us to stay. They were curious as to who’d take over.

However they did make me promise that we’d come down when they have their sleep over; FW would do the biscuit iceing with them again (but after we’d left, as I hate the mess); and that we’d try to do a day out in the Easter holidays.

The things I’ll miss most are the closeness of the fellowship and the kids.

The thing I’ll miss the least is the lack of action of the deaconate and the lack of planning that seems to take place. The church survey and plan for the future that I led 18 months ago has gone nowhere. We had ideas to follow through but nothing has happened. The house groups that we were going to launch in Lent have not materialised.

Yet the final straw for me was the way in which the Baptist Union are forcing additional expenditure on the chapel that they can’t afford. The church membership have discussed what is wanted but, with an elderly and low income congregation, can’t afford.

Bad Sport Day

Yesterday we had visitors. Not an unusual thing I know but it was also “Super” Saturday in the rugby. I’d already decided to skip the Italy/Scotland match as the result was really a foregone conclusion. Oh how wrong I was! Italy mullered our Celtic brethren.

Wife and I did get to see the England/Ireland match together. If there is one thing that all Celts love it is to see England get routed. World Champions? Not for long now.

The less said about Wales/France the better. There must be a way of winning rugby matches without any possession. If not, then we need to find one quickly. We can’t go without a win right through the season surely.

In what was a bad sporting day for me, West Ham also managed to ensure that we are very unlikely to play Premiership football next season.

As for the visitors, well FW can tell you about them. I’m off to watch the first 15 minutes of the Coca Cola Cup Final before I have to leave for Youth.

Aaaaaahhhhh!

Today has been another of those working from home days. I love Friday as its not usually too rushed or busy. Having said that I have been tied to the computer for most of the day and only got to have lunch at 3:50. I’m officially on leave next week but have offered to keep an eye on my two customers and ensure that they’re dealt with.

Thankfully the pain of work is quelled by the enjoyment of Wibreading. Thanks to Deelea and Bimble for brightening my day up no end. Good to see Ian, of Exploring Orthodoxy, back in the fold again. Being a Wiblogger has helped me deal with working away from home 4 days a week. This way I get to keep up with people without actually seeing anyone physically.

I’m hoping that we get to see Hot Fuzz this weekend and want to see The Good Shepherd next week. I’ve not been to the cinema since Casino Royale and need a fix.

Celebrity Recycling

2007 looks like being the year more celebrity recycling to help save the planet. They lead the way in finding new ways to recycle. Examples for 2007 are as follows:

The Police – reformed and a possible tour

2/3rds of The Jam; Boyzone, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, Steps, S Club, Gareth Gates and Rick Astley are all looking at recycling their careers this year.

This is nothing new really. The only good thing is that these things usually die a quick death, hopefully painfully in some cases. Yet they never seem to be discouraged in doing this.

The Rolling Stones and The Who have been doing this for years. Living off Greatest Hit releases, DVDs and tours, while producing very little, or sometimes very poor, new music. You still get the 80’s/90’s nostalgia tours every so often as well.

Some artists are still producing new music that’s good but seldom heard as they can’t gain access to the radio or TB shows to plug their music. Midge Ure is one of these unforunates.

Others have gone “solo” by using the internet to release new material. Marillion and Simply Red are, despite what you may think of them, making money and fans from this.

Whatever happened to the “I hope I die before I get old” or punk attitudes that some of us grew up with? Even the Sex Pistols, supposedly the angry voice of youth, sold out by reforming. Then again they aren’t a good example as they were manufactured anyway.

So prepare for many old “new” faces in 2007. They have a great opportunity as the Global Cool gigs that were announced will provide plenty of opportunities for bill “fillers”.

Work

Yesterday I had a meeting with my temporary boss. She was supposed to do my annual appraisal, which should decide whether or not we get a pay rise. We both agreed that she couldn’t do this as she knew nothing about what I do. We’re therefore puting things off until she’s come down to see what I actually do.

We did agree that I am currently doing more than I should be in my role. She’s therefore going to try to get me upgraded by 2 levels to recognise the amount that I contribute to the company. This is especially gratifying as it turns out that my 2 accounts are first and third largest in my branch.

We’ll just wait and see what happens. I’ve been here before and seen the promises receed before my eyes.

Celebs & Gossip

I read on Google News today that Kelly Osbourne, of the Ozzie & Sharon variety, has caused problems for her family. While compering at an Aids event in London she revealed that a “family” member had tested positive for HIV. Now papers are speculating on who the family member is. One has even listed the names of her 6 “immediate” family members.

Meanwhile the US comedienne/chat show host Rosie o’Donnell has said that Britney and other troubled female stars should “come and live with us”. I take it that she is offering them an opportunity to learn how to live a public life to avoid damaging themselves, or their images, further.

I know that Rosie is an outspoken celeb and a Christian. Maybe they would be able to learn how to cope with the pressure that they’re under. You’re are hounded by the tabloids and news crews, far more in the US than the UK, and everything you do, including shaving your head or almost dropping your baby, becomes a major news story.

Celebrities do have to take some of the blame here. Their PR people are only to willing to tip off the media that so&so will be shopping here or having a restyle there; so its not always as intrusive as people make out. After all their careers need media exposure to generate publicity for their new film, single, album or leaked sex film.

Yet we, as consumers, are just as much to blame. We hoover up the stories that are aired or written. Maybe it makes our own lives seem more worthwhile, or their’s more glamourous. Would the world end if we stopped buying the media hype that surrounds the? Are we really intererested in everything they do?

What business is it of ours to gloat over the news that someone has been diagnosed with Aids? Surely some things, even for a celeb, should remain private!!

Whichever member of the Osbourne family, whether immediate or extended, I wish you good luck. Don’t feel that you need to tell us who you are. Cope with it in whatever way you feel happiest.