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Friday, October 21, 2005

Ye Olde Roads

So, the other day I decided to walk to Thornbury (about 5 miles) instead of taking the bus (Lindsay had the car). I have driven down that road so many times, yet there are so many things I've never noticed before. Big, old houses set back from the road (a bit like ours), and roads with very odd names. The two I liked best were somewhat strangely called 'Washingpool Hill Road', and 'Silverhill Brake'. (Yes, I have spelt the second one correctly.) I'll take photos when I can, but just to prove I'm not making all this up, have a look on google maps.

You can imagine the history of the first one, can't you? Obviously back in the 'olden days', women would carry the day's dirty laundry down the hill to the pool at the bottom, where everyone communally washed their clothes. Or something slightly more imaginative perhaps. Well anyway, I didn't have a clue what 'Silverhill Brake' was supposed to mean. So I typed it into google... And it didn't tell me what it meant, but it did tell me this:

Apparently there used to be a school there, called (shockingly) 'Silverhill School'. I was also informed that
The application for a mobile snack bar in the A38 lay by near Silverhill Brake has been withdrawn.

Many of the residents (at least 5 in that road) want to build extensions to their houses, and apparently there is a 'Silverhill' in Alabama.

The internet is indeed a strange and interesting place...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lindsay wants an iPod [anger managment]

Why does Lindsay want an iPod, you may ask? Well, the clue is in the title... Lindsay currently has a cheap little personal CD player, which skips every time she even raises an eyebrow (slight exaggeration on my part). Now, as she listens to audiobooks while she does her cleaning each week (for 2 hours), you can imagine that the cd player skips an awful lot. And boy does this make Lindsay mad (as you can see from the photo). I just asked Lindsay if she hurt herself in her Rage Against The Machine, to which she replied, 'no, but I hurt the Holy Spirit'.

So, why an iPod? Well, they don't skip, and so would help Lindsay to stop endangering her salvation. Your prayers are requested!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Resident Aliens

Well, since Lindsay has got back into this blogging thing, I thought I'd do the same...

I've been reading a great and quite provocative book recently called 'Resident Aliens'. It was written in the late 80s, and is very poignant today. Much of my university education (in Youth & Community Work and Applied Theology, in case you didn't know) was about 'meeting people where they're at', about making the gospel relevant to them etc. These are great things, and require serious thought - so often we confuse people with our jargon and irrelevance. And anyone who says these kind of things (relevancy etc.) are bad, isn't really thinking straight. For example, if we were to change nothing about the words Jesus spoke, we would all be speaking in Aramaic.

But, and this is a big but, I think much of my education (and thinking) along these lines has gone too far. 'Resident Aliens' talks about how we are called to live as a 'Christian colony' - not in a ghetto, but as though our home is 'not of this world'. Our calling as a church is, first and foremost, to worship Christ. I guess it's kind of obvious, but reading the book has made me think a lot about how we present the gospel, and how I live as a Christian. I've run youth events before, where I chose not to do certain things we might normally do as church (e.g. really getting into worship) because there were people there who weren't Christians, and I didn't want to freak them out.

Although I think there is something to be said for this, applying this method to the way we live effectively means that we aren't really different from people who are not Christians. In trying to make things friendly to people, we don't present the huge contrast that Jesus' message creates with the world around us - instead we pick out the things that will most appeal to people, in order to draw them in. Yet it seems to have the effect of dumbing down the gospel - Christians become just 'nice people', no-one really knows what Christians stand for. We start making 'converts' who don't even know they're supposed to follow Jesus.

So, if you get a chance - read the book! It's by Stanley Hauerwas, and William Willimon (a slightly unfortunate name in my opinion).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

seized by immigration

i'm at uni...bored. so bored this morning. sat through 3 hours of immigration laws/rights of people who are not citizens. couldn't help feeling slightly conspicuous everytime the word 'immigrant' was used. could feel people staring at me thinking, 'wonder if lindsay is legal?!' 'should i turn her in?' 'wonder if her "marriage" is legit?'

ohhh, my life. it's hard being 'foreign' and oppressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

back to how boring it was...have to actually Go BACK for more tortureous, HOT roomed, lecturing...2 more HOURS!!! oh, save me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

also, have one of those lecturers who makes a BIG point of creating these 'rules of conduct' on the first day, you know, respecting eachother, turn your phone off, confidentiality, and all that crap. she made a big point of saying 'the only stupid questions are the ones not asked!' BUT everytime someone asks something, she practically throws you out of the class! not really, but, she does blatently NOT answer any questions, it's almost funny...just because it annoys her i may have to start asking INTENTIONALLY stupid questions. that would at least keep me awake!

oh the joys of learning.

sat there today, after having been shot down for asking a question that was 'not on today's topic', thinking, 'am i wasting my time?' 'maybe i will never be fit to be a social worker' 'maybe i'm not even fit for any career!!!!! i'm unemployable!'

did come up with a cunning plan to hide from these truths: continue being a student, forever. seriously though, as stressful as uni sometimes seems, it's so easy to go through years of your life without REALLY thinking about what abilities you have...it's very easy to APPEAR successful academically and therefore give yourself that nightly pat on the back of 'i'm brilliant, because i can bull***t my way through countless essays, i could do AnyThing!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

am realizing this is probably not true.

can't believe that in three years i'll be expected to be competant!! and responsible for making decisions!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hate it.

yes, blogging during the day...love it.

this is soooo theraputic!


had an unfortunate incident at TESCO (the evil giant supermarket which i have sold my soul/purchasing power to)...

went out saturday morning with the intent of getting milk and cheese puffs (i know they're disgusting, but i find them so comforting!) but before i made it out the door i spotted our tesco 'extra points vouchers' (you know the kind? where they entice you to buy products you don't need by telling you that they will give you 100 BILLION points for buying diapers and so you buy them). so, i picked up the vouchers (which i noticed were about to expire) and decided to use them.

went to tesco, spent 30 minutes longer than neccessary just finding these voucher items and picking out appropriate items (just for your reading pleasure, i will illustrate below:)

voucher type:

-"laudry powder (any kind)" ... i bought my favourite enviro friendly 'ecover' laundry powder.

-"bread (includes in-store bakery)" ...i bought a large baguette and a bag of white chocolate cookies from the 'in-store bakery'.

-"salad" ...i bought romaine lettuce and a bag of baby spinach

THEN, i thought, oh, now that i've gotten a baguette, why don't i get some yummy hummous to go with.

got the hummous and about 3 other items i had to pass in order to get it (those items obviously just jumped in my hand basket).

get up to the checkout wondering how i managed to fill a basket to overflowing when all i really NEEDED was MILK...but felt slightly better as managed to fit all my groceries in one bag (surely the number of bags you walk out with should be in proportion to the amount you spent?) and had that satisfying smug feeling of handing over my Vouchers at the end.

handed over vouchers...laundry voucher went through...bread/in-store bakery voucher DENIED! asked her why?

store clerk: you only bought a baguette, that's 50p less than what you have to spend for the voucher.

me: but, what about the cookies from the IN-STORE (in my head, "frickin") BAkERY???

store clerk: no, it's only for bread

then salad voucher goes through...DENIED!

store clerk (sooo helpful in her observations): you didn't spend enough on salad to use the voucher.

me: what about the spinach?

store clerk (i promise i'm not making this up!): well, lettuce is salad, but spinach is, you know, more like a vegetable.

seriously, i wanted to scream. AND, since this is my chance to rant, let me just say that only ignorant people who think that a 'salad' is something made entirely of Iceburg lettuce, cheese and bacon bits would be so ridiculous as to think that spinach doesn't belong in one!!!!!!!


anyway, long and short is that i was standing there stunned into silence and compliance, with a LINE of people behind me...so i felt like i HAD to obediantly pay for my (mostly unneccessary) food and leave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh the injustice!!!!!!!!!!!