Monthly Archives: September 2006

“Jesus’ Day Off” by Nicholas Allan

I’ve been babysitting tonight for Lanark’s two kids, Cambuslang and Airdrie. And when it came to their bedtime story, they each brought over a book for me to read to them. Lanark hadn’t left to go out yet, but they decided they would like me to read to them. They each gave me a book and after dutifully reading Cambuslang’s choice of book, I picked up Airdrie’s book. I read the title, “Jesus’ Day Off” and sent a bemused look across the room to Lanark. He muttered some comment, and urged me to continue.

So I started reading this simply children’s book to Cambuslang and Airdrie about Jesus’ busy life, performing miracles, making up stories for free and spreading joy throughout the world. But then, one morning Jesus wakes up and finds himself exhausted from saving the world. That day things didn’t go so well. The miracles didn’t work. And the stories didn’t make sense. So Jesus goes to the doctor, who advises him to take the day off. Relax. Enjoy yourself. So he does. He does cartwheels across the desert, plays catch with his halo and rides a donkey at full speed (with suitable ‘Yee – haaaarrrrrrrr!’ speech bubbles and everything!). At the end of the day he feels suitably relaxed, but sad because he hasn’t helped anyone. So he talks to his Dad, who points out to him that everywhere where he spent time that day, he made the people there happy. “So you see, when you’re feeling better yourself, you can only make others feel better too.”

Throughout today I have been in lectures from 10-3.30, in my breaks I’ve been helping out on the chaplaincy stall at Freshers Fair and after my lectures I was involved with the chaplaincy service. Its been manic. I feel ok, just a bit tired and as if I’ve hardly stopped all day. Just before dinner at Lanark’s house, we were discussing my day and how I really do need time to stop and relax. Which I know is true, and I am *trying* to do so. It was just incredibly ironic that the book that Airdrie shoud pick off the shelf should be that specific one, after today. In fact, after this week. Throughout the story, I was exchanging looks with Lanark, because we both knew how relevant that kid’s story is for me at the moment. I really don’t agree with it theologically, but the moral of the story was spot on!

And before I collaspe in bed, I believe a special mention is required for the two people who purchased the book initially!

Knackered

Apologies for the lack of blogging recently, my life has been completely manic the past few days. I’ve been in lectures, working on my dissertation, sorting out SCM stuff, sitting on the Chaplaincy stall when I can and generally running around like a maniac. I’m gonna go home now and try to sleep/relax before going out to music group and then onto the pub. Will tell you more when I can think straight (like about the fabulous, enthusiastic supervisor I have for my dissertation!).

Relaxation

I have just had the most amazing practical lecture on relaxation and massage. We were taught massage techniques for the shoulders and back, and massaged each other. I was quite impressed – the person I massaged claimed it was v.good and I had managed to ‘release emtional tension’! We were also taken through a number of relaxation techniques, all demonstrated completely by us. Then this afternoon we were shown how to massage hands and feet with really nice Body Shop cream, and we massaged our partners hands (only one person in the class were willing to have their feet massaged!). Throughout the entire lesson there was v.chilled out, relaxing music being played softly in the background. By the end of it we were all v.relaxed, half asleep and practically floating!

Many of the class had arrived feeling stressed and upset about something or other, and by the end everyone felt refreshed and relaxed. I relaxed very quickly and easily, at the start of the day, which I think was thanks to a good friend. The person who massaged me, also said that my muscles weren’t tense or knotted at all, which was really good. This past week I’ve been trying to make time to myself to relax, instead of constantly rushing around everywhere, and I think it has made a difference.

I think the session was mostly done for *our* sakes. Knowing how to relax or how to massage a friend/colleague/partner is important, when we will be going into such stressful jobs. I know in the hospital I worked in on my last placement, they provided free complementary therapies for all staff members. I think it was run once a month and you just had to go down and book. And I really do think its important for hospitals, companies, employers to do it. If they are going to make you stressed, by the nature of the job, then the least they can do is help you relax occasionally!

SCM Publicity

As some readers will know, I am setting up an SCM group in Swansea this term and during the summer I designed a poster, flyer and ‘Swansea SCM’ logo. These all got sent off to the printers, thanks to Richard, and I have just got them back this evening! And they look great! 😀 I just get this tingly excitement when I look at them – I designed them. I sat and worked out all the finer details (with some help from great friends). And now they’ve all be professionally printed. And its just WOW!!!! I just want to bounce up and down everytime I look at them! I just hope I don’t scare off all the freshers by being too excited!

Disturbing Dreams

Twice in the past week, I have had a v.strange dreams. One of them involved a good friend being wanted by the FBI, and the two of us being on the run from them. And the other one (last night) was about another good friend who decided to kill everyone (except me – I used reverse psychology to get out of it!). I really am beginning to wonder what is going on in this crazy head of mine!

A friend who I described these dreams to, said it could be stress related. Which could be true. I have got quite a lot of work on, and am trying to sort out house stuff, SCM stuff alongside various other things. I thought I was coping with it all. I haven’t been getting too stressed about my work, and I’ve just about been fitting everything else in. I’m out most evenings this week and I’m just generally busy. Maybe my head just spins during the night with it all, and it comes out in the dreams. Maybe I should try relaxing for an hour or so before I go to sleep. Maybe I should go to bed earlier. I just don’t have the time though. My diary is packed for the next few weeks. Hmm.

New housemates, silliness and fuse boxes

My new housemate moved in on yesterday! Shes a good friend of mine, and we’ve had a great couple of days together. We have been getting quite naturally high, a considerable amount of the time – but i think thats just because we’re excited about the new house! The other two housemates are moving in tomorrow, so the dynamics will change then, but it should be cool.

After a manic weekend (unpacking, sorting house stuff out, partying and being silly), we were just going to bed, completely knackered, at about 10.30 tonight and she turned on her bedroom light only to find the whole house consequently went black! The fuse had blown. And despite living here for 15 months, I really couldn’t remember where the fuse box was. I know, I can’t quite believe I could be that gormless. Whilst she went off with a torch hunting, I sent a text to everyone I knew who has ever lived in this house (a surprisingly large number of people!), asking where the fuse box was! I was very impressed with the influx of replies and phone calls I had!!! Thanks guys.

Why???

Question: Why is the library is moving all the books around??? So I’m there, following a series of call numbers which are gradually getting closer to the number I need. And then it stops. Nothing but empty shelves follow it.
Answer: Cos the library is stupid. When I’ve finished ranting here, I’m going to go and ask if its at all possible to track the books I would like. But I doubt it, cos they’ll be in some box somewhere.

Question: Why, from the books they’ve already finished moving, there is a gap where the book I need, should be???
Answer: Cos that life.

Question: Why is it that I can generally work and research much more productively, if I’m not trying to do it late at night when i’m knackered???
Answer: Because when i’m knackered I need sleep, and I can’t function properly until I’ve had it. I learnt this lesson earlier this week. (Or at least, I was reminded of it)

Question: Why is my knee playing up today???
Answer: Because I’ve forgotten / haven’t had time to do my exercises much in the last week… :$ Yes, I know – thats my own stupid fault. I will try to remember. Promise.

Back in Uni

I’m now back in Swansea, back in full time lectures and already going ‘eek’ at third year. Its just terrifying that I will (hopefully) have a job on a ward this time next year! And the amount of work that i have to do before then really is quite scary. So, apologies if I’m not around here much (and if im here lots, tell me to get back to work!).

It was nice to have a break over the summer and just completely shut off from it all. Although I did do a little bit of work. I spent most of my summer travelling around visiting friends and going to festivals – I was home for 5 weeks, but away almost every weekend. I think I made it to my home church once for a normal Sunday service. Its amazing how quickly you get back into the ‘Swansea busy-ness’ of life. With lectures, work, church and SCM all taking up time in my life, finding time for tasks like food shopping, eating and cleaning can be interesting. Juggling. Thats what I’m doing. I’ve never been able to juggle with balls, but at the moment I’m managing it alright with life stuff. And I’m sure you’ll hear about it when it all gets too much.

Argh! – Too much stuff!!

I’m trying to pack all my stuff to go back to Swansea tonight. And there’s too much of it! I have a 55L rucksack full of clothes and shoes, with a sleeping bag strapped to the bottom of it. I have a small rucksack which can be carried on my front with books and other random stuff I’ve acquired during my 5 weeks here. Then I have my laptop bag, with my laptop and computer bits in and a carrier bag with everything I might want on the journey (music, book, food, waterproof, etc) to carry in each hand. Hmm, this train journey is going to be interesting. I’m not scheduled to change anywhere, so I’m *hoping* this train doesn’t give up at Cardiff and insist on everybody changing (as it has been known to).

The packing is made more complicated by the fact that this afternoon I’m going to V’s (who you may remember me mentioning last year) memorial service. Its been a year since he died, and in the country where he spent a lot of his life working, it is tradition that leaders of the community have such memorial services. I have chosen to go, but this means that I want to wear different clothes and shoes this afternoon, to travelling this evening. For travelling I’ll wear my walking boots and jeans so they don’t have to be packed, but I can’t wear them to the service. So I have a bag of clothes and my boots, which I’ll take to church in order to change, before going to the station. The sandals and skirt I’m wearing this afternoon can be fitted into the top of a bag somewhere. Nothings ever simple, is it?!

Chuckie Egg

Does anyone else remember Chuckie Egg???! It was a game in the 80s where you have to run around and collect all the eggs, before the flamingos catch you. On the harder levels there are fancy things like lifts and flying evil birds. We had a BBC computer when I was younger, my dad had bought it for work, and then when the PCs came in he needed to get a PC and didn’t have any use for the BBC. So it ended up in my bedroom for me to play games on! I had a stack of floppy discs (that really were floppy!) with different games on, but I mostly remember playing ‘Hopper’ and ‘Chuckie Egg’. Anyway, my sister found a site where you can download these games, so I now have copies of the retro Chuckie Egg on my laptop! It is very surreal playing the games I can remember playing on a massive BBC, on my laptop! But its great! A friend who has lived over the road from me all my life, can remember playing the orginal games with me, and she came over for lunch today. She got very excited when I showed her the new copy on my laptop and we played a few games.