Friday, August 31, 2007
Down to Cornwall(backposting) We noticed today that Miriam has started taking a great interest in the food that other people are eating. This was a big sign for Jo that she was ready to start on solid foods, rather than just breast-milk, so we'll keep an eye on it for Miriam.
The trip down to Cornwall was pretty good, actually, and the cottage lovely. A 20 minute poo stop isn't as bad as it might seem.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Nightmare drive(backposting) We had a terrible, terrible drive down to my parents today. We decided to leave after my work had finished and headed off around 1800 after a quick supper for the girls and a bath to settle them down. Jo slept for a little, and then was awake, and Miri really lost it. Despite our stopping twice on the M4, she cried almost non-stop for an hour and a half, and by the time she did quieten down, Jo was wired, and making so much noise that we were worried that she'd wake Miri again.
In the end, I turned up Radio 4 longwave and listened to England beating India in the one-day. Great match, fantastic finish by some up and coming players.
The girlsWhat are they up to? Well.
- can now dress herself without any help at all
- has now started talking about whether things match or not (pyjamas, etc.)
- is really big into hide and seek. But she'll always hide in the last place you did, and will usually giggle. And if you ask her where she is, she'll tell you...
- is now trying hard to lift herself up to a sitting position
- loves sitting up - though she needs help to _stay_ there
- will now raise her arms and call to one of us when she sees us and wants us to come to her
- is one of the loudest humans in the entire universe
- likes watching pictures of Jo on the computer
- loves watching athletics on TV
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Paul conflictedJust had a really, really weird thought. As regular readers of this blog will know, I've read, enjoyed and been very challenged by some of Marcella Althaus-Reid's work. And, under the influences of the past week's work on postmodernity, I'm sure, I suddenly thought: "what if we try reading Paul as the voice of a woman forced to travel, preach and teach under a man's identity?". Hmmm. Makes the pseudo-Pauline stuff particularly interesting, I suspect.
Really need to think hard about this, but I feel that it's probably a worthwhile thought experiment, if only because it will force me to rethink my view of Paul and his (her...?) identity as revealed through the Epistles. Thoughts welcome.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Back at work - huzzah!(backposting) Odd that, isn't it?
Despite lots of sleep - Miri's going 11-12 hours unbroken, and Jo's alternating a night in her bed with one when she ends up in ours - Moo's still very tired. I think we need some routine weeks, but that's not on the horizon for a while.
Tonight, I finished and sent off the 6,000 word essay for ERMC on music. I'm pleased with it, and I think that it's moved me forward formationally, too, which was a large part of the point of it, I'm sure. All it needed was some tidying and completion of the references, and I've done that. Also sent it to Keith, with whom I had a supervision over lunch. I've agreed to run the Great Yeldham service for the 2nd Sunday of each month for him, and I want to think about what it might entail: there's an opportunity to do something new there...
Monday, August 27, 2007
Bank holiday - aargh!(backposting) Just when you want some rest, it's a bank holiday. Moo really deserves some, as she had to look after the girls all last week, one of whom (Jo) caught a bug, and kept throwing up. They were all with her parents, but Jenny, Turtle and Mouse were there, so little rest was had by anyone. Did a bit of work in the front garden with Jo also "helping", and in the evening when to Si and D's for a walk with the dogs and then supper. Ended rather later than we'd planned, but had a good time with them all, plus Andy and Zae.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
A day off - the zoo(backposting) I decided that I'd done enough church for a while, and so decided to have the day off. We asked Jo where she'd like to go, and she chose the zoo, so that's what we did. So tired.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Back home(backposting) At last. After a long hard week, some final discussions about worship over the week and a final Eucharist - to which we decided that Moo, Jo and Miri really couldn't make it - I drove home, had half an hour with the girls, and then took Jo to pick up Buster. It was so lovely to see everyone, and great to be home.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Review(backposting) Some work on preaching today: special occasions (funerals, weddings, baptisms) and times of year (harvest, Easter, Mothering Sunday, etc.). Useful and interesting.
A very inspiring evening worship (starting with Joan Osbourne's "What if God was one of us?"), then supper, then the Review!
I ended up taking part - to varying degrees - in 5 items, and being satirised in 1. The latter was a sketch taking the piss out of me for my extravagant demands on the choir and the issue of the Methodist Worship Book issue. Apparently some people were worried that I might get offended, but I laughed throughout and was prevailed upon to take a bow at the end...
The five items I was involved with were:
- madrigals: we sang "Fair Phyllis" straight and slow, then introduced ourselves as a high culture item, then "The Silver Swan", then explained that madrigals were really popular culture, and sang "Fair Phyllis" again, fast with suggestive facial expressions... ("up and down he wandered, up and down, up and down). Lots of laughter.
- backing singer for Charles' critically acclaimed "I am the very model of a Curate Non-Stipendiary": genius
- 1st soprano (at soprano pitch, in full drag) in Rossini's Cat Duet, with Brenda as 2nd, and the marvellous and very patient Lizzie on piano
- straight man (the interviewer) for Gary's piece about twins (him and Andrew) separated at birth as part of a nature or nurture experiment, one sent to Suffolk, one to Luton
- a piece I'd written about recruiting a new Archbishop of Canterbury, with me on the phone as the recruitment consultant: "I've got some standard text here... 'The Church of England is an Equal Opportunities Employer...' You're _not_? Really? ... 'We welcome applications from ethnic minorities...' You've got one already...?" It's satire, folks. Went down well, despite my last minute concerns that it wasn't funny, and that I'd look like a complete prat.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
"A frustrated professional musician"(backposting) A very interesting URC worship service in the morning, then more work on the music, including a discussion. It was wide-ranging, but we got quite hung up on the question of how to reconcile the desire for the highest quality music (and worship for God) with the wish to include people of varying abilities. I really struggle, these days, with singing in Christmas choirs, and decline the invitation, usually. I don't mind listening, but there are times when I want to create the very best I can. I struggle with the fact that it's difficult to explain that I feel pain when not worshipping to the best of what I can achieve, just as someone may feel pain when they feel excluded from music making. Brenda, a professional musician on the course who will give up a large part of that when she's ordained, discussed this in some depth with me, and it was she who said "you're a frustrated professional musician".
I think she's right. Although I made a very conscious decision not to become a musician, and I think it was a good one, there come times in our lives when we realise how big those decisions were. I have very little opportunity for high-standard music-making at the moment, and I really miss it: particularly when I _do_ get the chance, which I have done on this course, in particular with the madrigal group. I really don't think I realised what good musicians we were at King's, and actually how good a musician I have the capability of being, thanks be to God. But it's a burden, too...
Had feedback on my service yesterday morning from Cathy, on the staff. Very helpful, and generally positive, which I'm pleased about.
A discusssion on the church in "cyberspace" (yuck), at which we talked at length about SecondLife and the Anglican Cathedral there. People raised some very good questions, quite a few of which I had no answers to.
Final rehearsals for tomorrow's Review...
Oh, and Andrew and I saw a Merlin today, which had killed and was protecting a dead blackbird. What a privilege!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"Bring your Methodist Worship Books"(backposting) I had, over the past few days, announced rather too often (4 times?) over meals that people should remember to bring their Methodist Worship Books to Morning Prayer, and had started to be mocked for it. This, however, didn't bother me, and when it came down to it, there were lots in evidence, so it had worked. So there.
I was leading the service, and had rehearsed "Ghimel" (just the title, not the main bit) with the same group of singers for the madrigals, which we performed in the ante-chapel just before starting the service. We did well, apart from my screwing up a lead. Oh, well. I'd decided to make the service about affirming vocation, as this was half-way through the week for some of us, but only a few hours in for the new first years, and everyone was a bit shell-shocked. We had the Commissioning of Aaron and the "Holy Nation, Royal Priesthood" piece from 1 Peter, and during the intercessions, I encouraged people to pray for themselves chiefly, as we have lots of prayers for other people, but not always enough for ourselves. I asked people to stay at the end for some organ music, and hit them with the last 3 minutes of "Dieu Parmi Nous" by Messiaen, which always blows me away. Not everyone liked it, but everyone who I spoke to seemed to have engaged with it.
After breakfast, we had an excellent session on Visual Arts through the ages by a visiting speaker, Neil. I ended up next to a student with a significant visual impairment, and as pictures came up on the screen, tried to describe what I was seeing. It was fascinating thinking about how all she could see (with the exception of a few pieces of work like a couple of Rothko paintings) was what I described to her, and it really made me think about what I was seeing in a new light. She said that she learnt lots about me, which was unsurprising!
In the afternoon, a session learning "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" with a bunch of singers of various abilities, ready to discuss the process tomorrow. Course photograph after supper, followed by a pub quiz. Our team won. Big surprise, but lots of wine as a prize. All gone within the hour...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Music, new students(backposting) The theme for much of today was how the Gospel and music have inter-related through Western culture over the ages. The day started with a BCP Mattins led by someone who'd never done one before, and had only participated in BCP services on ERMC weekends and summer schools: it's just not his tradition. He did a fantastic job, and I enjoyed the service very much. This rather set the tone of the day: lots of music and discussion about it which was great. We watched an excellent DVD about Bach (J.S.), with lots of excerpts, very well performed, and I really felt at home. The discussion we had later included a number of short pieces from the group, including Iain's wife, Beth, singing and playing a lovely song that she wrote herself, and which we listened through twice as we were so moved by it. It's on a CD of music performed by Westcott students, and I'd like to get a copy of it.
The new students arrived today, and one of them, Celia, is ex-Cambridge, and knew a bunch of King's choral scholars who I also knew or knew of. Lots of shared history, including the Chetwynd Society (debating or drinking...?). Hmmm!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Quiet morning(backposting) A quiet morning - in that we're not supposed to talk. Prayers and address in chapel, and then silent till an Iona Communion. I used the time to polish off all but the references of my essay on music. Apart from the usual day-to-day, fairly quiet until 1630, when we met in groups to do some more discussion of literature again, following up from yesterday. Interesting, and we got quite deeply stuck into some of the questions set.
The evening session was a fascinating talk and then discussion on graphic novels, including manga, and how they're impacting telling of the Gospel - both OT and NT. I really enjoyed this, and would like to get my hands on a particular book Marked by Steve Ross. Not quite sure how I feel about it, but I'd like more time to reflect on it and my reaction.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Sunday, the day of rest(backposting) Not if you're on an ERMC summer school, it's not! A Methodist communion - wow, all those little cups of non-wine! - at 0730 (ow!), then breakfast, then more discussion on films. After that, another Ian and Richard double-act, this time discussing post-Christendom. Have to admit that I had a bit of a dose through some of this, as the historical stuff wasn't new to me.
Free time in the afternoon - again, laughable, because there was more choir rehearsal. Much, much better, the Tye, and ready for performing at this evening's worship.
In the afternoon, a session on literature, which focused rather oddly on A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which I'm afraid I hadn't got round to reading (I wasn't alone). Lots of education on post-structuralist and deconstructionist theory, which should be a good underpinning for the rest of the week.
At one point, one of the students, who's firmly from a more evangelical tradition than me, said, "As a Christian theologian, we accept the authority of the Bible...", and I took it up with him later on. I absolutely can't make a blanket statement like that. I have to look at any such acceptance, _particularly_ of the Bible, critically, and when it comes down to it, I find that it's my faith that is the bedrock of my Christianity, shored up by the Bible, and not really the other way round. This isn't a new thing for me, and it's an issue that I grapple with, but it's one that I'm very happy that I _do_ grapple with. It's one of the concerns I used to have about how many scientists at university took to evangelical Christianity: when they're so used to probing and questioning in their own lines of work, how can they be so uncritical in just accepting the Bible (and a rather narrow set of interpretations thereof)? An _uncritical_ sola scriptura just doesn't hold it for me.
The Tye went well, despite a missed alto entry, which we salvaged quickly, and no-one was the wiser. I was very pleased, and lots of people said how much they'd enjoyed it: both choir and congregation.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Postmodernity(backposting) A large part of the week's work is to be engaging with issues of postmodernity in its various flavours, so Ian and Richard started us off with general descriptions of the (alleged, in Richard's case) state of postmodernity. Richard is very eloquent, and refuses to believe that there's any such thing, despite taking many intellectual positions which are hard to imagine being possible in a non-postmodern world. It doesn't help that he tends to argue against what he sees as postmodernity: as a completely pluralist, non-critical academic movement, which believes in a clean break between the modern (then) and postmodern (now), despite this being almost the exact opposite of how most people with a postmodern bent would describe it. Heigh-ho. I refused to get too drawn in...
In the afternoon, another Ian, this time for the Moot community, gave us a very interesting talk on Fresh Expressions of church, and how they relate to our current (overwhelmingly consumerist) society. He made the point that we should really be talking more, and preaching more, about the dangers of consumerism as a creed, which I have to say resonated with me strongly. In the afternoon, Cathy led us in a discussion of high and popular culture. Although it didn't grip me, we came up with some important points, and it's to be a theme of the rest of the week.
The evening held clips (one clip from the body of the film, then crucifixion and lead-up) from three films about Jesus - or not. They were:
- The Gospel according to St Matthew (English title), by Pasolini
- Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
- Monty Python's Life of Brian
We started singing today: a piece of Christopher Tye, which went pretty well for a first off, though the tuning was shocking. That'll fix itself as people get more happy with the notes, I think. We had a good mix of singers, including some new faces to the group, which was excellent.
Also started singing some madrigals - hope to do them at the Review.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Arrival at Summer School(backposting) ERMC Summer School started today at Ditchingham. I always leave in a bit of a fluster, but then arrive too early, and today was no exception. After some sherry (most of us are CofE, after all), we had supper and started off on the work for the week, which is "Gospel and Western Culture". Unluckily one of the staff, Helen, is away, and she was down to do lots of the teaching, but her workload has been shared around, including to a visiting academic called Natalie. I spent quite a lot of time in the bar with her after we'd finished the first worship (in our groups), particularly as Helen had suggested that I talk to her about Christianity on the Internet, and my experiences in SecondLife in particular.
Good to see lots of mates. Plans are already hatching for various items for the revue at the end of the week.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Busy, busyStayed up till after midnight last night and then did some work on the essay this morning, and we're getting there. Unluckily I'm not going to manage to finish it today, which means that I'll probably have to do it at Summer School. Annoying, but at least I know where it's going.
In London for a useful meeting during the afternoon, back in time for Jo's bath and bedtime. Tired.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
New machineVery nice. Had some initial problems, now sorted. Am about to stay up late to write more essay. Very busy working day, too.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Inclusive or exclusive: you mean there's a choice?those who read my blog frequently probably know my views on both homosexuality and women's ministry. Those who know me will probably be expecting me to blog on those particular issues today, given the title of this synchroblog. Well, it's not to be. It's bigger than that. Matthew 7:1:
- Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (NIV)
Who am I to exclude anyone? Who am I to separate sheep from goats? I'm as much a goat as anyone else, and I don't get to decide.
This doesn't mean that I'm ready to say that all behaviour is acceptable, which is to advocate antinomianism. This doesn't mean that I won't decry particular behaviour by particular people. but I must do that in the knowledge that they have every right to do the same to me, and that I don't get to exclude them. I cannot see into their "utmost hearts and minds", any more than they can mine: thank God.
- Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them." (Luke 11:46, NIV)
- "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering." (Luke 11:52, NIV)
SynchroblogToday is a "synchroblog" on the subject of "Christianity: Inclusive or exclusive?". If you've liked what you read here, or, more particularly, if you didn't, and you'd like to read some other opinions, please visit one of the other participating blogs:
- Steve Hayes is blogging his thoughts "Christianity inclusive or exclusive?"
- It's a family affair comes from Jenelle D'Alessandro
- John Smulo will be adding his thoughts.
- Erin Word share some thoughts on The Politics of love.
- Sam Norton adds his thinking to the synchro team.
- As does Julie Clawson
- David Fisher asks "Why are we exclusive?"
- Mike Bursell muses on Inclusive or exclusive: you mean there's a choice?
- And Sally shares her thoughts here
- Cobus van Wyngaard is contemplating Inclusivity within claims of heresy
- Tim Abbott joins the conversation with Christianity inclusive or exclusive?
- Sonja posts on Pack behaviour.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Essay writingI'm about 2000 words (excluding quotations, references, etc.) into a 6000 word essay I'm writing on the question "What insights can the Orthodox tradition give us on music as a response to God?" for Helen at ERMC. It's going OK, and I think I'm about at the right point for where I've got to in the examination. I've tackled one hard bit - rather poorly for now, but I hope to improve it - and the really difficult bit is coming next. I'm being helped by listening to Cloudburst and other choral works by Eric Whiteacre. Very uplifting, very stirring, very calming in about equal measure. A must to listen to on a regular basis for me.
I'm going to have a quick read over my notes for the next section of the essay before heading down to be with Moo. I hope (and suspect) that having a night to think things over and mull quietly will bring things into more focus.
Timing not great in that I've got a new computer (in bits) arriving tomorrow, and you just _know_ which task will win out...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Detoxing long walk(backposting) Up at 0630 this morning with Jo, soon followed by Victoria with Sennon. Victoria and I sat around drinking tea and feeling somewhat sorry for ourselves while the children played. Moo came down after a couple more hours of sleep.
I was planning to get to church with Jo after Victoria headed off, but Jo was adamant that she didn't want to go, and was very, very tired, so I set off on my own. I turned back within 500m, and came back to spend some time with Moo, and support her with Jo if required. I decided that there will be more than enough church next week (the ERMC summer school), and that family should come first. Jo had a big sleep in the end, which she really needed, and Moo and I had some nice time together.
After lunch, we all went to Broaks Wood, the other side of Sible Hedingham, for a bit of a walk. Just planning on 35-40 minutes, we got hopelessly lost (as we _always_ do when we go there - only more than usual, this time), and ended up spending more like an hour and a half there. Miri slept most of the time, and Jo did very well, though she did need some carrying. We collected leaves from various trees for her to do things with tomorrow.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Gardening, barbecue(backposting) In a somewhat desperate attempt to make the garden habitable, I cleared lots of brambles today. It's nice to have blackberries, but I prefer them not actually to grow in the garden. The other reason was that Victoria and Grenville came over for a lovely barbecue this evening. They waited until Jo was asleep, brought Sennon around, put him to bed, and then we had a lovely time. Grenville headed off around 2200 to do some work (!), so the rest of us stayed up. Moo went to bed around 0000, but came down at 0100 to tell me to sort the dog out, as he was still barking. This saved Victoria and me from drinking even more of the Scotch/Irish whisk(e)y that we'd been consuming, and was generally a good plan.
Today's toddler quote is "I got some in!". Jo had said that she'd get herself some milk, and had gone to the fridge to do so. I'd told Moo not to worry, because Jo's milk (full fat) wasn't opened, so she wouldn't have a chance. The sounds of "glug, glug, splash" made us realise that the other milk _was_ open, and being a resourceful young person, Jo'd gone with that. The cry "I got some in!" was accurate, but the stress would have been better placed on the word "some". Well, Buster got to lick lots of milk from the floor, and Jojo felt pleased with herself.
We prepared Miri's room today. Soon, we'll put her in there overnight, but Moo didn't think that today was a plan.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Funeral visitI went on a funeral visit with Ian today: the first one that I've attended. The family had very kindly allowed me to come along, and it was very interesting. Difficult, at time, but Ian has a very light touch. This is one of those occasions when I absolutely can't discuss what we talked about, but he allowed the family to talk, led them through the service and was calm but empathetic at the same time. I was very impressed, and learned a lot.
Discovered that it was a real pain not having a main machine, and after trying to use the server, I discovered that it was struggling. so, I've ordered a new one. Or pieces therefore to build one. Moo loves it when I do these sorts of things.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Prime birthdayNo, I'm not 41. Or 31. Somewhere between that, which should give you all the clues you need.
I've asked for money from people to allow me to buy a cassock, which I really am beginning to need. Poll and Lee gave me a nice top, and Moo and the girls also gave me a random Wii game which has been annoying me throughout the day! (Which is kind of the point).
I was a bit grumpy to begin with, as I woke up rather early without enough sleep. Got a bit happier when my main machine broke: seems like a motherboard (Mobo) issue, which will require a new box, though I can use lots of bits from my old one. This made me happier because it's quite an old box.
Got a bit more grumpy when I had a look at our finances, which aren't really in a position to be buying a new box right now, after our recent holiday.
Had a good lunch with Ian, though. He gave me some good feedback on my evensong last Sunday:
- don't saunter when processing! Maybe OK when on my own in a small parish church, and he wouldn't want me not to be me, but... Entirely fair!
- at times, when I made announcements to the congregation, I didn't face them. Also entirely fair, though Ian did take my point that more than half of the people in the church were actually in the choir: in the other direction!
- I intoned the responses in a very formal way. Not how he does it, but no problem. Just good to know the style that I used by default. It was pretty intentional, actually, and it's such a lovely acoustic that I loved singing like that there.
A small supper, as I had a good lunch and lots of cake.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
"Sorry, Miri"(backposting) Meant to post this about the holiday, but forgot. We were driving along in the car in Cornwall, behind some other traffic. One of the cars in front stopped rather suddenly to turn, to I had to brake quite sharply. From the back, we heard Jo saying "Sorry, Miri". Moo's been using it against me ever since.
- Sunday: 41
- Monday: 27
- Tuesday: 34
Monday, August 06, 2007
Becoming a ReaderI had a very interesting chat - which turned into lunch and a drink - with Jane, an ex-Church Army officer who's about to start training to be a Reader. We got on extremely well, and seem to be coming from pretty similar places. It was a very illuminating conversation, and I look forward to more chats.
We talked about a number of things that will stay confidential, but of particular interest were her reasons for deciding on becoming a Reader, rather than considering Ordination. I won't go into the details, but she told me one of the best pieces of advice that she has ever received. I think it's OK to quote it, and it sums up quite a lot of my philosophy as well: "God's gift to you is common sense: so why aren't you using it?"
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Church (twice)Jo came into our room in the middle of the night. There's a surprise: we must fix this, though. Slept quite late for us, though: past 0730. So, took Jo to Eucharist at Long Melford, where, before the service, Ian asked me if I was planning to sing tonight. He meant whether I was planning to intone the responses at the evensong that I'd forgotten I'd be taking.
Jo did very well at the service, but I was dreading telling Moo about evensong, because it meant that she'd have to put Jo to bed on her own. In the end, she was very good about it, but I did feel very bad.
Jo had her paddling pool out, I mowed the lawn (a major undertaking) and cut back one of the buddleia bushes (not a minor undertaking either). Simon from Castle Hedingham came round, mended a puncture on the push chair, and we went to Clare Country Park with Jo's bike. Not that she'd ride it, of course.
Came back, played a little (Jo in paddling pool), and I went off to evensong. Enjoyed singing in a choir - not very challenging music, but still - but best of all was intoning the collects. In a good acoustic. Fantastic. "The day thou gavest" as the last hymn: one of my favourites.
Got home, discovered that Jo hadn't been too bad, cooked supper, watched a Harry Potter DVD (... & the Prisoner of Azkaban), went through my work emails to clear the decks for tomorrow, wrote this blog entry.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
ZooSlept in till nearly 0800, but Jo had come in just before we went to bed last night, and Moo did _not_ have a good night. So, I took Jo off to Colchester zoo, which was, as usual, a sure-fire winner. Some shopping, and then back home. I tried, but just couldn't keep Jo asleep all the way back. This meant, of course, that she was difficult to get to sleep tonight, but that's partly the chicken pox, of course. In fact, with the exception of a few patches, the spots are beginning to fade, and she doesn't seem to be wanting to scratch them as much.
Went to Kim and Andy's engagement party at The Three Bottles in the afternoon, and met some nice people we didn't know before. One couple with a lad (Archie) six months younger than Jo: Jaz and Mike. Jaz is stuck at home without a job, and can't drive: rather a vicious circle in a village. We had a good chat about bringing kids up, and development generally - what about potty training, etc.? We're very lucky with our support network for kids' things, and we've been around a while. Jaz is only 18, and doesn't have much experience. I'll be looking out for her in the village.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Driving back home(backposting) We left around 0930, and stopped off at my parents. Spent an hour or two with Mum, had some lunch, and caught Dad just before we left. The drive wasn't too bad, and the girls didn't cry much.
Heard the news tonight that there's a case of Foot and Mouth in Surrey. Bad news: time for prayer.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Back to Polzeath(backposting) We arrived a little later, partly because we knew that the weather wasn't supposed to clear fully till the afternoon. On arriving we went and bought some postcards, a bucket and spade for Jo, a hat for Moo, and a wetsuit for Jo as well. We should have got one earlier in the week, but there's some room to grow into it, and we'll be back in a month or so.
Jo looked great in the wetsuit and it certainly kept her much warmer. We put up the UV-resistant tent (for Miri - it's been very helpful all week), and I took Jo to jump in the waves and do some rock-pooling (which she'd enjoyed yesterday). Then we went back to Moo. Although the weather had cleared from the morning (there'd been rain overnight), there was some _serious_ cloud coming in from the Atlantic. We then saw the rain coming down, which meant that we had some time to prepare. People were running for their cars, Moo put Miri into the tent, and got Jo in there as well. No room for me, so I hot-footed it to the sea and the surf. I was already in my wetsuit, and it was much warmer in the sea, and I stayed there until it finished raining, lovely and warm and happy.
I got back to the tent really worried that a UV-tent wouldn't be water resistant, but it turned out that the girls were all dry, and had had a fantastic time.
We had a good rest of the time, and towards the end of the time we were there, some people set up a booth. Turned out it was the Polzeath Family Mission. They seemed to be offering some good entertainment for the kids, and I was pretty impressed. Caught a couple of minutes of a - what? sermon? homily? chat? - well something that was being amped up. Arguing from natural theology - "we're called to look beyond what we see to a creator, who created all we see around us", that sort of thing - isn't my thing, but they had a decent number of people, and I picked up a flyer: they're doing quite a lot of work.
We stuck around for a late lunch (pasties, chips), and then headed back to the house. As we were heading back, we had a call from some friends of Kate and Mac (and therefore Moo): Sally-anne (sp?) and Mike. They live near Redruth, and we'd left them a call earlier in the week. Although it was last minute, we ended up joining them - and about another 20 people - for a lovely barbecue. Jo stayed up past 2100, not having slept on the way, being absolutely manic, mainly with the youngest of their kids, Christina. The family - and, in fact, all the guests, many of whom were also family - were great, and we had a fantastic evening. Because we're not stupid, and as I wanted to get some sleep - I'll be driving lots tomorrow - we put Jo in with Moo and Miri.