Monthly Archives: June 2007

Still Conferencing

Tomorrow is the last day. However we are enthused with thoughts of our future. More on that after we return as FW will want to do that bit.

This morning we finally got to tour the farm. The weather had been a bit iffy, what with reports of floods across parts of the county. Tomorrow we also get time to spend on the projects that they do here. I’ve selected the Agriculture and Hens options.

As we were touring the farm my mobile went off. For some reason everyone turned and looked. I couldn’t understand why. Doesn’t everyone have Back in Black by AC/DC as their ring tone?

Then the founder’s son, who is a little younger than I am, came over and asked what the tune was. I explained and we then had a chat about our mutual respect of AC/DC and lots of other such bands. We’re both looking forward to the day when they return to tour the UK. Unfortunately its an increasingly rare event.

Some “Christians” may have raged at me because of my music choice. After all everyone knows that AC/DC, and other such Heavy Metal bands, are satanists and promote a very unChristian philosophy.

Ok, so they have songs like Highway to Hell and Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, yet people miss the humour and tongue in cheek nature of the songs. AC/DC were, and are, a slightly comic band. Why else would the lead guitarist dress as a schoolboy with a cap with devil horns? Is irony lost on the modern world now?

The next thing you know Christians will be trying to stop me drinking, smoking Cuban cigars and messing around with sheep…. BAAAAA!!!

Conference Update

For those who weren’t aware, FW and I are currently in Leeds attending a Caring For Life conference. CFL are a Christian charity that works with those unfortunate people who would be considered outcasts due to mental problems, victims of abuse, drugs etc. To learn more see the link on the left.

FW already works in the field but has always wanted to see how a Christian organisation dedicated to this work manages. They are, of course, discriminated against by official funding bodies because they are Christian charity that does not compromise on this element to their work. It doesn’t mean that they try to convert everyone who comes through their door but they deal with people by using Christ’s own example in their dealings with people. If you read Matt. 25 you’ll see what they stand for.

What they are doing is living out Christ’s call for us to reach out to those who are shunned by society, those who are ignored or overlooked. They don’t spend time arguing over doctrinal differences or theological interpretations but actually go out, get their hands dirty and do something. I’m sure that you understand my feelings that this is not only “practical” Christianity but “essential” Christianity.

There are so many people who drop through the gaps of society. They are neglected because they are not “productive” members of society. Its not that they choose not to work but many are actually are incapable of work. CFL does not seek to place every person into full time employment but to offer the care and support that they need to survive daily life. Many of them would find it hard enough to do the shopping, let alone hold down a job. CFL will never turn their backs on anyone. They may ask them to leave a project but even then will try to find other ways to help them.

They really do Care For Life.

The people I have met, who are cared for, are really lovely people. I’m not renowned for emotional responses but I can’t help looking at them with tears in my eyes. These are not tears of pity but tears of joy and pride at what they’ve achieved and the joy that they bring just by talking to you. In a past period in my life I would have avoided them. This would not be out of hatred or fear but out of my lack of knowledge and understanding. I would feel nothing but pity for them.

While this maybe an accepted feeling it is not what they deserve. They deserve my time, my attention and my Christian love.

Most are not there because they have done anything wrong. They are there because they do not have the required tools to eal with modern life. There is something in their make-up that has always been missing or, worse than that, taken from them by the actions of a family member or authority figure. The damage is not irretrieveable but requires much work, love and care.

I’ll have to go now but I’ll write somemore when I get the chance.

Nothing of importance has happened today

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Who am I kidding???

My drive was good but disappointingly shortlived. No, I didn’t crash, run over the wife or get pulled over for speeding. You only get 4 laps in the car. 4 LAPS!!!! It was over too quick – where have I heard that before……

What a 4 an experience though. I WANT MORE!!! MORE, I TELLS YA!!!!!

Even FW has said that she liked to try something similar. They do a Mini Experience that includes driving a bus – that’s the one she wants to try.

The best part though was discovering that FW had taken a picture of me as I went round. The trouble was that I was in a V12 DB9 and she snapped the V8 Vantage. Well they do look very, very similar.

There was also a yellow Supercharged Hummvee going around the track as well. That was a sight to behold. It just looks so wrong going through the chicane, like its going to topple over.

Many thanks to FW for a great Birthday/Christmas prezzie.

Now where did she put her credit card? I feel like the £795 Porsche, Lambo, Jag, Ferrari, DB9 experience…..

Holiday Minus 1

Today has been another busy day with work. Thankfully I’ve also done most of tomorrow’s as well. In addition I’ve also arranged most of next week’s work as well. That’ll save anyone having to do much while I’m off. Of course, that’s only my main customer who are quiet. I haven’t spoken to my Irish customer who have been very busy for the last 2 weeks.

Did I say that I’m driving an Aston Martin DB9 on Saturday?

Thankfully we managed to catch up with Mater & Pater prior to our jaunt. With them having been on a cruise for 2 weeks, and me working away, it was the first chance we had to see them. Of course, I forgot that Thursday is Troublesome Truck day. When we arrived they were playing a game of bagatelle, an old family favourite.

Shouty Boy was showing us the wound he’d picked up during army training last Sunday. He had been crawling on his belly under barbed wire and had injured his forehead. It was a nice red colour from where he’d picked and scratched the wound.*

We were also told the story of his lovelife. Two new girls, twins, have arrived in his life. They are his new girlfriends, as well as Molly his existing one. He tried to get the three of them to wrestle, no mention of jelly or mud though, to fight for his affection. Unfortunately they wouldn’t go for this idea. Typical women…..

Did I say that I’m driving an Aston Martin DB9 on Saturday??

* Injury was sustained as he was crawling on his belly across my parent’s dining room floor with his head pressed against the floor. When he told the story in school it was either this version or that Sad Sister had dragged him head first across the carpet.

For a 6 year old he has a very vivid imagination. I hope the social workers realise this when they’re called.

Air France Are Scum (Maybe!!)

Today has been another exciting day in the world of moving heavy lumps around our globe.

When I left last night I had an engine booked to move with Air France to Dallas to arrive on Friday. The arrangements were made to collect the engine from the repair shop and into Air France’s warehouse in London by 14:00hrs. Everything runs smoothly and the truck is at our London warehouose waiting for me to print off the paperwork.

Then Air France call and say that they will no longer move the engine for us. It seems that Air France Cargo in London had confirmed the booking yesterday but AF in Paris said no this morning. these things are not the easiest pieces of kit to move around as they can only move on the largest freighter aircraft – 747’s and some MD11’s. Therefore its not a simple matter of finding another flight that minute.

After 2 hours of searching we found an option with another carrier but could not get the engine into Dallas until Sunday morning. This still causes problems for our customer as the engine is for a major new US customer and they wanted it on Friday.

I don’t think that I’ve ever encountered an airline doing this in quite this way before. Holding engines off flights after delivery? yes but never turning an engine away when its just about to be delivered. I suppose I should be thankful as certain airlines (such as the World’s Favourite or one that has a connection with Mary) would have just taken delivery and then told us 2 days later that it had been off-loaded from the flight.

Who Said Cricket Isn’t Exciting?

Well they evidently haven’t been listening today. Everyone thought that the current test would fade out to a draw but it looks like England are going to win. As I speak England are 51-2 needing 110 to win. Thankfully everyone in my part of the office has gone home so I can listen to the radio commentary online.

Today has been busy. My new boss came to visit my customer and myself today. I got a free lunch out of it but not much else. At least he’s actually doing something about the abysmal mess that his 2 offices are in and has reorganised everything. He’s also tackling a problem staff member head-on; something the previous managers didn’t bother with doing.

I’ve also had to organise an aircraft engine move to Malaysia. Just as I pressed the button to finish that off my customer asked me to organise another for tomorrow to the US. At least the work is keeping me busy.

Summer Is For Resting?

I can’t believe how busy we’re are going to be over the next few months. Being away from home for 4 days a week means that I really look forward to doing as little as possible on the weekends or at least catching up with what needs doing.

On Friday we go away for a week. FW wants to go to a conference in Leeds and we thought we’d treat it as a holiday. Then we saw the schedule. Most days start at 7:30 with optional(?) breakfast and then lectures until 19:00hrs, then there are optional(?) evening meetings/prayer time until 21:00hrs. So much for a rest.

At least I’ll get my Aston Martin drive on Saturday and the following Saturday we’re going to York to look round the National Rail Museum and sightsee. The real downside of the week is that we’re having to take FW’s car as the other person staying in the house we’re accomodated in doesn’t drive. No outing for Magda then.

We’ve already lost 2 weekends in July and need to find somewhere in August to fit in a visit to FW’s folks with the Troublesome Trucks. They are looking forward to seeing the steam trains at the bottom of the garden and getting to camp out as well.

In addition we also have Greenbelt to, partially, attend as well. Then Scotland in early September.

I’m Mad, I am!!!

Today has been a very easy day.

Last night we had Best Man over for another visit. The highlight of the evening was a screening of the first 3 episodes of Michael Bentine’s Potty Time. For those who remember Potty Time I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that its available on a double DVD. For those who have not experienced the delights I’ll try to explain.

Michael Bentine was, for a short time, a member of The Goons, that great forerunner of modern comedy that launched Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and, of course, Spike Milligan. Potty Time could be best described as The Goons for children.

Watching it you could see the influence of The Goons running through every episode, including some of the voices – Eccles and Blue Bottle were definitly in there. These were episodes from the Thames TV incarnation from 1973 & 1974. The programme actually started life on BBC 1 and ran until 1980.

Last night we watched Potty Treasure Island, King Arthur and North West Frontier. They all had one thing in common – a “mad” character. We knew they were mad because they:

a) Said so repeatedly
b) Their heads turned through 360 degrees
c) They had hair like FW and Dave Walker

How can you not laugh at a dragon that has its fire put out by Merlin casting a rain spell. Then saying that you needn’t worry as they could relight his fire later.

Or the brave soldiers at the Khyber Pass fighting the Mad Mullah. They ran out of ammunition so were forced to shout BANG! BANG!. Then, when their throats became dry the mighty RAF dropped essential supplies – cough drops. The reason why they had to fight? If they didn’t then they’d be forced to retire and go back to Civvy Street. Then came bad news – the Indian government had developed a solution – they’d build a Khyber By-pass.

My early/mid childhood came back to me. I’m glad that in my late childhood I can still enjoy it and that it hasn’t diminished with age.

If you’d like to read more then visit www.thechestnut.com/potty.htm

Prayer & Help Required

Today started with my laughter but I’ll leave FW to write about that; after all it’s her that was responsible. Today also sees the return of my parents following their cruise around the Western Med. As I write we are not at war with Spain, France, Italy or Gibralter. I take it from this that dad behaved himself 😉

Then I started reading my latest Open Doors update e-mail. In it was good news regarding the freeing of three Sunday School Teachers in Indonesia. They had been jailed for the heinous crime of “trying to convert muslim children”.

Following this was the story of Pastor Laxmi Narayan Gowda, a preacher from the sububs of Bangalore. On Friday 8th he was attacked by a mob of vicious Hindu ultra-nationalists. They tried to set him on fire and paraded him, naked, through the streets.

Around 7:00 p.m. about 50 people braged into his house and threatened him with violence unless he moved out of the area. The group then left.

Shortly after they returned with about 10 other people and cornered him in his house. They then began assaulting him in front of his wife and two young children. One of his assailants threw kerosene on him and others started burning bibles. Someone threw a burning bible on the pastor but somehow it failed to set him alight.

They then stripped him and hung a board around his neck. It said, “I am the one who was converting people”. Then they paraded him through the streets. Pastor Gowda had been ministering in the area for 12 years. He is now in hospital recovering from his injuries.

What really annoys me about this is that we in the West are constantly told that we have to be more tolerant of those from other races and religions. We enshrine the freedom of religion in our laws and there is no organised persecution of people for the faith they follow. It is right that we do this and allow them the freedom to follow their chosen religion.

Why is it that their co-religionists are so afraid of the word of Jesus? What is it about His message that scares them so much? Is it just a cry against their imperialist past?

Muslim, buddhist and hindu countries enact laws to prevent their people’s from being coverted to Christianity. They welcome the aid and relief that Christian charities provide but try to stop us from supporting churches. Some even prevent their people from discovering who the aid comes from. This sounds very much like some Stalinist ploy from 70 years ago.

I suppose we should be glad that this sort of thing does not happen where we live. Such stories appear to be few and far between to us but they are a daily reality in the lives of many Christian people throughout the world.

Lets pray that they will be comforted and protected by our God for their witness. Yet less us give Him some assistance as well. Write to your politicians, pray for them, give help to organisations that try to begin their pliht to the attention of the world.

If this happened here then it would be on the news. If it was Christians perpetrating these acts then our media would be jumping over themselves to cover the story. Yet it seems that Christians are less important than others in this world.

Day 4 – Still no chocolate

I’m surprising myself. 4 days without a single choccie bar or square crossing my lips. Many thanks to Yay for her words of comfort yesterday. You can always rely on a medical “professional” to build your hopes up.

Today has been quiet on the work front so I’ve had chance to just take things easy. The tummy’s a little unsettled today so I haven’t been firing on all cylinders.

Talking of which, we’re off to Scotland in September. Our MX-5 Owners Club are running a drive from South Wales to Edinburgh and the Highlands. I’ve never been to Scotland so am really looking forward to it. Och aye the Noo.