Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Seven times seven is forty-nine...

Things to do before i die:
1. Have kids
2. Be first to tell someone about Christ
3. Learn to speak Japanese
4. Qualify as a teacher
5. Write a book
6. Learn to drive
7. Learn sign language

Things i cannot do:
1. Wink my right eye
2. See without my glasses/contact lenses
3. Be tall
4. Knit
5. Read Arabic
6. Solve differential equations
7. Sit still

Things i say most often:
1. Sorry.
2. I don't know.
3. It's over there *points in direction of requested object*
4. Ooh, I'd love a coffee...
5. Cool.
6. Well...
7. Hang on...

Seven Books i Love:
1. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
2. Anything by Robin Hobb
3. Hollowtree House - Enid Blyton
4. The Lost Message of Jesus - Steve Chalke
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. Messy Spirituality - Mike Yaconelli
7. The Bartimaeus Trilogy - Jonathan Stroud (his parents & sister go to my church!)

Seven movies i can watch over and over:
1. The Truman Show
2. Monsters Inc.
3. Mona Lisa Smile
4. West Side Story
5. Forrest Gump
6. The Great Escape
7. School of Rock

Seven things I got for Christmas:
1. Divine Chocolate
2. Grow-Your-Own Spices
3. Jewel in the Crown - Fairport Convention (CD)
4. Teach yourself Japanese - Beginner's edition (book)
5. PDA - HP iPaq 2200
6. A frame for my map cross-stitch
7. Book of very random and yet very interesting lists.

Seven people to do this next:
1. Chris F
2. James
3. Hannah
4. Aaron
5. Beth
6. Tim C
7. Erm, some more people need to get blogs ...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A long-delayed update

I guess you want/deserve an explanation of why it’s been so long since I last updated this. This entry will not be easy to write and may well be quite long, but please bear with me.
This term has been very eventful for me. Despite the fact that I have been in Reading, as I have been for the past 3 years, I have started a new job and my role has changed a lot. I am no longer a student, yet I am surrounded by students at all times. My role is now more pastoral and responsible than before, which has caused me to grow up a lot, very rapidly. I have also had to become more self-reliant and confident – something that I never dreamed possible.
This change has led me to re-evaluate everything in my life. As most of you know, I have been with James for slightly over 5 years. Various events this term have made me wonder whether our relationship is still what it had been or whether, to an extent, we had grown apart and were not ‘right for each other’ anymore. There have been a few issues between us for a while. I still care about him deeply, but I’m not sure whether that is enough and I’m not sure I’m ready to make decisions about marriage (yes, I know I’ve been a little delayed in realising this!). So, James and I are now ‘on a break’ for the time being, until March, when we will come back and see where we are. We are remaining friends throughout, however (we’re going for coffee on Tuesday). I’m still a little bewildered at the moment, but I think we are doing the right thing.
That has been the main thing that has been going on in my life and because I wasn’t sure what was going on, I didn’t have anything I could write.Now that I’ve explained that one, I may be able to post about other stuff. Some time this week (I hope), I will update about what has been happening in the Chaplaincy this term, but for now, that will have to do.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


This is really an extension to the previous post, but I just wanted to share a few things that have happened today...

Firstly I got asked if I was the daughter of the guy who I ended up sitting next to in church this morning (he had a son in the beaver-scouts ...), then I was asked whether the toddler I had just tripped over/walked round was mine and finally I got ID'ed buying cider in Asda. I should go and catch a bus just to see whether I can get child fare... :o)

New Beginnings

Well, I've been told off for not posting on here often enough, so here's a post-Freshers' Week update.

I've now been back in Reading 2 weeks. The first week was pretty ok, just getting settled in and finding my feet in my new job as Chaplaincy Assistant. This basically means being a spare pair of hands in the Chaplaincy, helping the new Chaplain (Mark) and also starting a new group on campus for Christian students who don't feel catered for by the existing groups (i.e. Christian Union and CathSoc). This may take the form of a 'Focus' type group. I'm also involved in admin, etc. in the Chappy when Susie (the secretary) isn't in.

Last weekend I went to visit James in Newport. The journey there was so much easier than the one to Northampton ever was. He's got a nice place - lodging on the top floor of private house with his own bedroom, lounge and bathroom. All newly done up, so it's pretty comfy. He seems to have settled in well. :o)
We spent the weekend exploring Newport really, and went to the wackiest service I have ever been to (& I've been to a fair few!). All in all, a good weekend. :o)

This week has been Freshers' Week and (school productions excepted) was one of the most busy weeks of my life! For 2 weeks now, I have been trying to get some teatowels printed with an advert for the Chaplaincy on to give to Freshers. Various hiccups have meant that they won't arrive until this week. Oh well, we gave out loads of delicious Fairtrade cookies (thanks Sabine!). Aside from the teatowel saga, early in the week wasn't too bad. However, a long discussion with Michael and Mark on Tuesday afternoon about conversion and what that means, meant that I was in the building for 10.5 hours straight, ie. 8am-6:30pm! Was good fun though and good to get the debating skills back up to scratch after they have gone a bit rusty over the summer.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were Freshers' Fayre. I was on the stall on and off for all 3 days. We had lots of people come past and around 60 signed up for Chaplaincy info or took details of local churches, etc, which is great. :o)
Wednesday night was the most amazing night I think I have ever seen, however. I was going to stop going to Small World Cafe this year, as I have graduated. SWC is a free weekly cafe run on Wednesday evening on campus for international students, with a presentation on an aspect of British life and an basic optional Bible study. So, as I said, I wasn't planning on going, but was still on campus when people arrived in the Chappy to start sorting out the food (this week was a free ploughman's-style meal), so I thought I'd help out and go along. Well... basically, we took the food over and set up the room for the Internationals who were arriving at 7:30pm. I was still setting up the food and drink at the side of the room at 7:30. When I turned around at about 7:35, I was greeted with the sight of virtually every seat in the room filled and people still pouring in. When every seat was full, there were still 30 people literally queuing in the corridor! We had catered for 60, because we normally get around 50 students at the start of term meal, with that figure dropping to more like 20 over the term. Well, we were faced with lots of people and nowhere to put them so the wonderful porter (Thanks Andy!) went looking for more chairs. At some point someone remembered about Fire Regs, so we couldn't cram any more people in, so we put 3 tables out in the foyer/corridor! During the grace before the meal, I took the opportunity to do a head-count while everyone was standing still. I counted 110 internationals and 9 team! Awesome!!
The truly amazing part was that although we had catered for 60-70, no-one (apart from the team) went hungry! Genuinely miraculous. God does provide and he will bless us if we rely on him!

Also, at C.U. on Thursday, there were around 130 people. I was there to 'apprentice' Dan for the Powerpoint controls (for lyrics). He did a good job, given the circumstances. :o)
Yesterday was the CU/Chaplaincy Joint 'Walk to Sonning & Barbecue' (a village just up the canal). I chose not to go on the walk, but went to the Chaplaincy to set up the barbecue so there was hot food when they got back. All went according to plan and there was plenty of food. :o) Then spent a little while playing "Frisbee-Piggy-In-The-Middle" with Michael, Tim C, Tido, Dan and a couple of Freshers whose names I forgot to ask. Oops. We did that till it got too dark and we (me, Dave M, Marie, Tido & Michael) then cleared up and decided to wander down to BoB (Wetherspoons - Back of Beyond) for a quick drink, etc. We would have stayed at the Chappy, but then I would technically have been working (no fun!).
This morning I went to Trinity Church and came back via Asda. I went in to get some lunch, bread & milk, but I decided to treat myself and got a pack of Merrydown Cider (yum!). I then got ID'd at the checkout and had to persuade the guy (who was almost certainly younger than me) that a credit card would do, as I haven't replaced my driving license since it was stolen last Easter. A little humiliating though.

Anyway, that's what's been happening in the world of me. I will try to keep this updated a little more regularly. :o)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Feeling Peaky...

Well, James & I finally managed to get a holiday this year and headed off the Peak District for a few days, via Northampton to pick up some of James' stuff from a mate's house and play Vampyre (RPG) with them. Pretty good fun, although the game took a little longer than expected and we didn't get to bed until gone 6am! Next day set out up the M1 to Grangemill and after a series of misunderstandings found our B&B which was called the Hollybush Inn, Grangemill (not The Grange Mill, Matlock, as previously understood!). Following day (Monday) took a car tour around Matlock and the surrounding area. Took far too many pictures, as James got a new 4megapixel digital camera for his birthday 2 weeks ago. Found a lovely (ruined) 16th century house to wander round though (I've forgotten the name now tho!).
Stayed in Hathersage that night and then went to an Owl & Otter Sanctuary in Chapel-en-le-Frith. Again, had a little bit of fun finding it - even with GPS, we never have a terribly good time navigating. :#) The otters were cool, and we even had a squirrel come and join us when we were having lunch. Then it panicked and ran up the window, but it got out fine. :o)
Stayed in Matlock that night. Truly lovely B&B! If anyone ever needs anywhere to stay there, I truly recommend Ellen House (37 Snitterton Road). Really, really nice. Great attention to detail and a fantastic breakfast! :o)
Wednesday, went to Alton Towers! I'd never been to a real theme park before, so was keen to go. I went on every 'major' ride except Submission (spinny round upside-down thing) because it looked horrendous and the spinny rollercoaster (whose name's escaped me) because the queue was too long and we wanted to go home. The longest we queued for anything was 30 mins (for Rita, Queen of Speed - 0-100mph in 2 seconds!). Other than that, we pretty much walked straight on, or waited no more than a single load of people. Fantastic idea to go once the schools had gone back! Had a great day, although it took a couple of days for my head to recover, having smacked it against the head restraint on 'the Corkscrew'. Left Alton Towers at about 4:30 and drove home, hoping to find petrol for less than 96p/litre. I don't think we managed it, although I saw it for 93.9p/L earlier. :-S

Ooh, other exciting thing - Commit random acts of literacy! Read & Release at http://www.bookcrossing.com/friend/ichigo84

Saturday, August 13, 2005

'Real' Update coming soon...

I've not been busy, in the traditional sense - I've just barely been home. We are having building work done, so I've been doing my best to be out when I can be. Hence, I've not been around to post.
I've been helping James clear out his room. His room here is pretty small and his room in Northampton was vast. Hence, he has collected more stuff than he can store. So... last week we took 16 black bags of rubbish to the dump, plus a stereo and a tv that don't work!
I have also been pondering several topics of discussion - one of them based on an article I found whilst clearing up. When I can find a way of posting/hosting the article, I will comment on it. Without it, however, it would make little sense! :-)

Right - to bed! (it's well past stupid o'clock!)

God Bless!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Two Very Different Wars

I've been largely thinking about only two things for the past day or so and felt I ought to share these. This post will probably slightly less light-hearted than previous posts have been.

Firstly, last night I went to see 'War of the Worlds'. I cannot say I enjoyed it. At least, I enjoyed small parts of it. I was slightly concerned before I went into that I would find it overly unpleasant and uncomfortable. However, I was under the impression that it would be ok, as it is a 12A - had it been a 15, I would have been much less likely to have gone in. This method, however, did me no good. Of course I expected it to be a thriller (UCI said it "Contains sustained menace, threat and moderate horror"). However, I did not expect it to be of the level that it was. I will not go into details, so as not to spoil it for those who do wish to see it (although I will if people would like me to). Around half way through I felt sick and extremely uncomfortable. Had it not been that James was there and enjoying it, and that I felt I needed to see the end to 'recover', I would have left.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not objecting to the film. Not at all. It was well made, faithful to the original and Dakota Fanning ('Rachel') was fantastic! However, I am appalled by the certificate it has been given. By the new certification rules, any child over the age of 5 can see this film as long as they are accompanied by a 'responsible' adult. I am 21 and I found this film horrendous in places. IMHO, it should have been a cert.15.
Ok. Rant over.

My second topic is to do with the events in London over the past two weeks. I live near London, I am on a 20minute direct trainline to King's Cross, I crossed London by train (for Ros' wedding) on the first weekend between the events... and I am not scared. I am not worried, I am not particularly bothered by it at all. I don't know why not. Perhaps I am totally mad. St.Albans has been bombed in the past (in 1991, by the IRA). I have regularly used trains and tube, especially in the last couple of years, as it is the easiest way for me to travel from Reading to St.Albans.
These attacks have made little to no difference to the way I behave, the way I travel, the way I behave, anything. I am not more wary, I am not nervous around Muslims (I have met a number of people who are - and argued with them about it accordingly). Am I crazy? Am I abnormal? Or are there others out there who feel the same? Everyone I have spoken to have said things like "Are you sure should be using the tube?" or "All this stuff on the news is really scarey, isn't it?". And always, my answers are 'yes' and 'no' respectively. Am I the only one?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Swimming and Pottering

Wednesday and yesterday I spent the afternoon looking after 2 kids - same two as the other day. The oldest was on a Christian holiday camp, so I just had the littler two - Dan (9) and Tasha (6). On Wednesday I took them swimming. I was planning on just watching but apparently they are not allowed in the pool without direct supervision under the age of 8. Therefore I had to get hold of my swimming stuff from home (luckily my mum had come home from work early) and join them in the pool. Oh well, it was quite a lot of fun, actually. We also fed the ducks and had icecreams.
Thursday we watched Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, and also went to the park. Not a bad way to earn some money, even if they were being infuriating on Thursday. I think they were a bit shy before, but they've got used to me now - and hence have started being cheeky and exasperating!

Oh well, James & I are getting there with the Half-Blood Prince too - I think we're about half way through. It's starting to get interesting now. :o) He's making progress with his new Space Marine squads/army. 1000pts so far.

Right, tonight Dad's doing curry for dinner and James is staying over because Sam and Rosie are coming here at 4:30am to drop off his car at mine, before catching a train to Luton to catch a plane to Sweden, and James has offered to give them a lift to the station. It made sense when Sam rang last night, anyway! :o)

Not sre of plans for the weekend yet.

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rites of passage

Had a mixture of eventful and uneventful days over the past week.

Last Thursday was James' graduation. The day went amazingly smoothly and his parents did manage to get there (was looking touch-and-go). A good time was had by all, and I think we bought nearly all of the graduation merchandise stuff possible!

Saturday was Ros' wedding. Took me slightly longer to get there than I had anticipated, so I got to the church only 5 minutes before it started. Ros looked amazing and the service was good (apart from the slight scariness of the address). I wasn't invited to the reception, so me and several others went to a pub up the road to drink to the happy couple before heading home. I then headed to Clapham Junction station with Chris. To cut a long and fairly boring story short... owing to a trackside at Cricklewood, the Thameslink line was closed indefinitely north of City Thameslink, so I had to go to Watford and then catch the Abbey flier. This was made all the more entertaining by the fact that I had to be in Rushden for 8:30pm to surprise my dad. He'd spent the afternoon driving a Caterham 7 at Silverstone and then my uncle had arranged a meal for several of us in Rushden afterwards. My dad had assumed that because I was going to the wedding I wouldn't be there and we didn't bother to correct him. :o) So, I finally got to St Albans at 19:02, where James picked me up and headed to Rushden (having persuaded the Sat.Nav. that Rushden was not where it said it was!). Made it at 8:25 and a highly enjoyable evening was had by all. We headed back to St.Albans and got back just after midnight. James stayed over in our spare room, as his sister's boyfriend, Dom, was staying in his room. We read the first chapter of Harry Potter and then went to bed.

Sunday we both went to my church (Hatfield Road Methodist Church, St.Albans) and then went back to his house for a barbecue and for me to meet Dom. He's at Warwick with Hannah. He seemed nice enough. After dinner, they had a huge waterfight, but I've never been a fan of getting wet, so I stayed inside and tackled a super-sudoku instead. Spent the afternoon reading Harry Potter (or Happy Routes, as my phone calls it) and then walked home when James went to meet a couple of his colleagues who had agreed to go to the evening service with him at his church.

The last couple of days have been wholly less exciting. I'm off to James' for dinner tonight, so I ought to get my stuff together, as he's picking me up shortly.

God bless!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Children & Chips

Spent most of today looking after 3 kids. I played charades, hide'n'seek, made fruit juice lollies, went to the park, went to the shop to buy icecream, watched a little CBBC and supervised the paddling pool. What an afternoon! Got a little closer to paying for what I bought on Saturday, anyway. :o)

Was planning on going to James' for dinner, but he ended up working til 10pm, so that wasn't to be. So I had fish'n'chips for dinner and then spent the evening doing nothing much.

No plans for tomorrow...

Monday, July 11, 2005

What a week!

Wow, just thinking over the last week, I've realised quite how eventful it has been! Last Saturday was Live8 and I moved out of Reading and the wonderful 65 Donnington Gdns. Monday I got my percentage results.
Wednesday was the Olympic bid success.
Thursday was the London bombing - not really sure what to say about that one. All the people I know who commute through King's X are all ok, which is a relief.
Friday was graduation - a slightly stressful/hectic day in some respects, but was enjoyed by all as far as I am aware. I will post some pictures here just as soon as I figure out how! :o)
Saturday went into town for some things and spent far too much money. I'd not been into town for no real reason by myself in ages and my finances suffered for it.
Sunday, my Nan & uncle came up for the afternoon for my Dad's 50th... and today is my Dad's 50th birthday. He has significantly increased his CD (& DVD) collection and gained several bottles of nice red wine... he might need some help with that - I hope. :->
Spent today reccying a place for a church away weekend in 2008. The place was lovely -Hothorpe Hall in Northamptonshire http://www.hothorpe.co.uk.

So, all in all, an eventful start to the holidays! Tomorrow, I'm childminding 3 children (aged 11, 9 & 6) for the afternoon and then Thursday is James' graduation. Phew!

Pictures and Prayers

Firstly, due to popular demand, I have changed my photo to suit recent events.

Secondly, I simply wanted to share a part of a prayer from this morning's service.

"We thank you, Father, for sending Jesus to show us you love us.
For his companionship, death and resurrection we give thanks." Rev Michael Giles

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

All Change...

I seem to have had an accidental post-Uni revamp. I've ordered some new glasses (my contact lens prescription got changed too), got a new hair cut and bought some new shoes.

My hair is now chin length(!), much as it was when I started Uni, but it got cut very little on a student budget - wanted it short for graduation though, so I didn't need it tied back. I like it, although they seem to have used conditioner that smells of soy sauce! Also, having worn the same pair of blue suede shoes for almost a year (yes, I've heard the jokes before!) I thought I ought to get some new ones and also needed some for Friday (graduation). I now have some red canvas shoes and some beige suede shoes.

Was at the pub quiz tonight with my parents , as James was working til 8. We came 3rd - prizes only available for 1st and 2nd - grr. The only question I got uniquely was to identify a series of names as being from 'The Tweenies'. :#) [Jake, Bella, Milo, Fizz]

No plans for tomorrow - may well go to see Bugsy Malone at my old school. Should be a lot of fun. Was in it myself, when they did it last time - I was in Year 9, I think.

God bless,

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Blue Skies & Smooth Trails...

It's come to the time of year that means many 'goodbyes' for anyone involved in education. Tomorrow, I move out of this house and am forced to part ways with several people I care about very much. I just want to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed being at Reading. I have made many, many true and wonderful friends here. You guys have made me feel special and so cared about, and I hope and pray that I have achieved the same in return. I hope to see people soon - at Ros & Dave's wedding, if nothing else, for many of you!

I'm sorry this is rather melancholy - I've feeling a little bewildered by everything - it hit about an hour ago that this really is it. And I have done no packing yet. Guess I ought to be up early tomorrow... better get some shut-eye. God bless!

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Well, the party was a success, I think. :-) There was a strange part when there were hungry people and loads of food, but the barbecueing (sp?) just stopped. A bit odd. Oh well, not to worry.

This house has been a little chaotic in the past few days as Chris & Fish (plus Steve C., Dave M., Reg and me) have been putting together a CD in the hope of selling it before the end of term - probably at the C.U. meeting tonight. It sounds pretty good, and I would know - it's been playing almost all hours of the day and night all week! :o) There have been people here til gone 3am the past three nights, I think. I also got to sing a solo on it, plus a few bursts of backing singing, which was lots of fun. All the music on the CD is 'original', largely written by Fish & Chris - many are parodies, but there aren't any straight covers. :o)

Tonight's going to be something of an end of an era for me - I've been producing the song words for C.U. meetings for around 5 terms now, and tonight will be my last. I'm handing over to Dan who I'm sure will be very good at it. :o) (story of how I came to know Dan will follow shortly, when I don't have lunch burning downstairs!!)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Roastings & Coolings

Achievement of the day - successfully produced a roast dinner for 4. Roast beef, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings (frozen - my only 'cheat'), gravy, sweetcorn, peas & carrots. Followed by Icecream. :-)

Btw, on Tuesday night, our house is having a 'house-cooling' party (like a house-warming, but the other end of the year!). Feel free to come, although some form of RSVP would be good. :-)

7:30pm til late - Bring £1, a hat and drink. Hope to see lots of people there.

(If you don't know the address, contact one of us - Sam, Sal, Chris or Steve)

The Strawberry has landed

Well... I've entered the world of the Blog...

Have been meaning to do this for a while.
Gotta go do the dinner now, but watch this space. :-)