Thursday, August 30, 2007


If I had a 365 any more this would be mine for today (along with the Bruce Springsteen news, and the phone call with an old friend, and the surprising news, and the news that my seminar might not be so bad after all, and the drumming...) But. My old housemate wrote this in an e-mail: "I'm feeling much better now but how I should love to shit in the sofa sharing a cup of tea with you and catch up... but that'll wait."
Spelling mistakes have never been so funny...


I have been grinning all day long. What, you may ask (or you may have fainted with shock at another happy post on this fair blog), is the cause of my joy? Well. It is the one thing that causes me great joy and very few others any joy at all. This morning I became the proud owner of some Bruce Springsteen tickets. One of you is very excited right now, the rest have fallen comatose, lost interest, are still fainting on the floor or wondering just how long and turgid this sentence can get. Ahem.

Anyway, back to the point, I am, you see, an unashamed fan of The Boss. See I can even write sentences like that without blushing. I've wanted to see him live for about 15 years now and at last my dream is realised. Now all I need to do is to see U2 and Queen live and I'll have fulfilled my teenage ambitions (but unless someone builds a time machine I may remain frustrated for the rest of my life. Ah well). I have failed to make anyone appreciate the genius of Bruce, most people can't see beyond the Born in the USA days. Most people fail to be moved by his deeply emotive voice which can bring shivers to the spine. Most people are, well, wrong. I refuse to try any more. I'm just looking forward to seeing a tiny speck running around stage drawing me into the magic of the stories he tells, stirring my soul to hope, making me long for redemption and a car to drive across the badlands of America in.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I was beginning to doubt it's existence. But no more, I am very happy to see this symbol for the next few days. Contented sighs all round, and the promise that maybe we'll have a week of summer after all, and a reason to put on some chilled out summer tunes. Mm.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In other news.

Dear Diary. Today we have a new arrival in Fallowfield Crescent, (no we haven't caved, the cat has not moved in). Bodil arrived tonight and continues the fine tradition of Danish people training to be Midwives living with us. We like this and are happy to have a complete house again. Talking of which I'm enjoying being back in Hove Actually for at least 2 weeks in a row and liking the rather strange autumn cosy feeling tonight's wind and rain are providing. We are breaking Bodil into British culture with a diet of bad Saturday evening TV. Maybe that isn't such a great idea, she may leave soon.

EDIT: At church this morning a nice lady met Bodil and upon realising that she lived with us said, "So you're joining the madness, did anyone warn you about them?". I'm hurt. Well actually I'm a little pleased in my indignation. Our reputation is spreading...

Blind Light.

I went to see the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Hayward Gallery this week. I'd encourage you all to go but it ends tomorrow. I have the urge to write overlong pompous sentences about his genius, but I'll try not to. I think the reason I love his work so much is that it's so interactive, you enter into the works, you experience them and through that see the world in different ways. He does amazing things with space, or the absence of presence. Blind light is a genius piece, a cloud in a box. Wandering through a space where light does not illuminate is fascinating. Light is all around and yet you can't see more than a foot in front of you. I felt like I was outside, possibly on top of a mountain, or anywhere but a perspex box in London. Which apparently was one of the points of it.

Mr Gormley himself says:
'Architecture is supposed to be the location of security and
certainty about where you are. It is supposed to protect you
from the weather, from darkness, from uncertainty. Blind Light
undermines all of that. You enter his interior space that is the
equivalent of being on top of a mountain or at the bottom of
the sea. It is very important for me that inside it you find the
outside. Also you become the immersed figure in an endless
ground, literally the subject of the work.’

I love being shown more of what it is to be human, more of our creativity, more of attempts to add to our understanding of the space we live in. And being in a cloud for five minutes was kind of cool too.

Rambles around the British Isles.

Bill Bryson put Durham on the map a few years ago by urging us all to visit and to borrow his car to get there. I fully agree with him and am offering mine for all such journeys. Last week I headed up for a full on nostalgia tour with my old room mate from the first year. Miss Towers was as ever delightful company and we had much fun revisiting our old college, eating all our favourite food in our favourite places and wandering around gazing at all the pretty views once more.

We went to Grey College during our time in the fair city. Grey made the somewhat grandiose claim to boast that one of the views from the college grounds was "arguably the finest in Europe". Thinking about it, that's a pretty bold claim, to beat the Alps, the Pyrenees, Vienna, Venice, Prague and countless other pretty places is some statement. Especially when this is the view.

Arguably it's the finest view in Durham, although the views from the top of the Cathedral might have something to say about that... So I think the revised blurb should boast; "arguably the finest view from Grey College, or Durham or maybe Europe if you have a particularly fine lawyer." Ok, so it's less snappy but slightly more accurate.

I loved my time in Durham, I loved going back and feeling that sense of belonging when a place creeps into your soul. Going back to these places in life always leaves you feeling more of a complete person, almost as if you leave a part of yourself when you go. I felt complete and at peace there, and if that's a little cheesy then I don't care. See how happy being back makes me. This is me outside Holgate house, home to me for 2 years.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Life moves along.

Which is another way of saying that I'm sitting in front of my computer, home alone this week again as my housemate completes the fourth camp of the summer (really I should give her an award when she gets home) wanting to burble stuff onto a screen. The last couple of days have been full of preparation for the wedding of the century. I now have bridesmaid shoes, Roz has lovely hair worked out for the day and today we found three small girls some pretty dresses for their trip up the aisle as flower girls. All in all a successful couple of days. Good to do family things, good to help out and very wonderful to see the extension of our family. However weird change gets at times, the overwhelming thought at the moment is that such change is a Good Thing.

Life is just happening at the moment, and I'm attempting to go with it, attempting to ride the waves and find the constant melody playing through the ups, downs, roundabouts and junctions. U2 wrote this down better than I. The days change, they are good, bad, indifferent, ecstatic, joyful, mundane, beautiful, hazy, tired and more. This I live with. These things happen. Some days are better than others, and the lesson of the summer is: that is OK. Some days I wake up and believe, some days I find it the hardest thing in the world. None of these days are the things to look to for reassurance or fear. Something deeper holds me, and in that hold life can rumble along, the bad days and the good days come and go. They aren't my barometer of reality. That only comes in the shape of a wooden cross.

"Some days are dry, some days are leaky
Some days come clean, other days are sneaky
Some days take less, but most days take more
Some slip through your fingers and onto the floor
Some days you're quick, but most days you're speedy
Some days you use more force than is necessary
Some days just drop in on us
Some days are better than others

Some days it all adds up
And what you got is not enough
Some days are better than others

Some days are slippy, other days sloppy
Some days you can't stand the sight of a puppy
Your skin is white but you think you're a brother
Some days are better than others

Some days you wake up with her complaining
Some sunny days you wish it was raining
Some days are sulky, some days have a grin
And some days have bouncers and won't let you in

Some days you hear a voice
Taking you to another place
Some days are better than others

Some days are honest, some days are not
Some days you're thankful for what you've got
Some days you wake up in the army
And some days it's the enemy

Some days are work, most days you're lazy
Some days you feel like a bit of a baby
Lookin' for Jesus and His mother
Some days are better than others

Some days you feel ahead
You're making sense of what she said
Some days are better than others

Some days you hear a voice
Taking you to another place
Some days are better than others"

Saturday, August 04, 2007


The thing I love most in this world are good conversations, conversations that sweep into the depths of what it means to be human, that glory in the wonder of this life, that analyse and draw interesting conclusions. These always leave me buzzing, wanting more, knowing that the world is really a lot bigger than we think. These are the conversations that explore the amazing world between question and answer, that search for new possiblities. Within these interactions other answers are tested out, tentative theories are offered and, although the end product may well be the same answer, you come away much more aware of how little you know, how big this world is and how incredibly we have been made as humans.

Laura and Alasdair are two of my favourite people to have such conversations with, because they don't come to the same conclusions as me, their answer to the questions is different, and so we can talk within that, explore the world between the question and answer and gain insight from each others perspective. We still all come away with that humbled awe at the limits to our knowledge, the wonder of being human and the constant questioning of what it means to be alive.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A small announcement.

I think the time has come to share this news with the 2 people and cat who read this blog. Yes, there is news of epic proportions in the air. For a while now I have been battling with the thorny issue of whether to continue having sugar in my tea. I've always had one sugar with my tea based on the belief that it makes for a better, more rounded cup of tea (or because I have an insanely sweet tooth). But in recent months I have come to see that no sugar in tea might be better all round. The change came at L'abri when I drank copious amounts of tea, fairly milky which needed no sugar, in fact the sugar made them taste worse. I had never experienced such feelings before. Since then I've really really tried to put sugar back in my tea but to no avail. The drink I had known and loved for so many years was unfamiliar to me.

The transition has been hard, for a few weeks I have wavered in my love of tea, with sugar it tasted bad, without sugar it also tasted strange. I was unnerved. Could it be that I was loosing my love for tea? Was I loosing my mind? Thankfully today I had a breakthrough. I had a cup of tea without sugar that I enjoyed, yes even loved. Was this a freak occurrence? No, I am currently partaking in my second cup of tea without sugar for the day, and enjoying it. These are strange times. I don't think I shall be rigid in my sugar ban, for instance on a rainy cold afternoon I may enhance my tea with some comforting sugar, but until those times the real change remains. No more sugar in my tea. This is a significant day. I am glad to share it with you.