Monthly Archives: September 2007

Friends

Worms Head with Lichen in the foreground

Some friends took me down to Rhosilli, during August when I had to go back to Swansea to make up time on the ward. I said I’d blog the photos and I didn’t round to it, until today. Some more photos can be found here. I really like the above photo, you can clearly see the lichen in the foreground and Worms Head is as stunning as ever in the background. Every time i see lichen now, I remember a friend of my parents who we met up with when I was younger, who was absolutely obsessed with lichen. He collected them. And he spent the whole day educating my dad about all the different types. For a while after that day out, my dad had similar excitement about lichen. We used to sigh and tease him about this brief obsession, but I did learn some pretty cool things about them during this period. They take years and years to grow just a tiny bit. So, the lichen in the photo above, has taken a Very Long Time to grow that much!

I was grateful to my friends for taking me down to Rhosilli that day. I enjoyed myself. Recently I have become very grateful for a lot of my friends. Old ones and new ones. It doesn’t matter where you live, friends can still give you support when you need it. Whether its a deep and meaningful conversation or a light hearted giggle or a random facebook hug, its fantastic that they are there. So I’d just like to say thank you – you know who you are.

Down South

As most people who know me will know, I have recently moved Down South and started a new job. For obvious reasons my current location and details of my work will remain anonymous on such a public blog, but at the same time I am very aware that many readers will be wondering how I’ve been settling in, etc. So I’m going to try to give you an update, without disclosing too much.

Basically I feel that I am settling in fairly well. On my first proper day here, I went for an explore and within half an hour I found a kite shop and a Christian Aid protest – and I had a warm feeling that this could become home. I’m slowly beginning to find my way around and find the necessities. Work is going well – the staff are friendly and I get on well with my mentors. I’ve been receiving quite a lot of teaching and information overload often comes to mind, but at the same time I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m currently living with other NHS workers, who I get on reasonably well with, in a fairly decent flat – it has a much bigger kitchen than my old student house, not that that is hard! 😉 This morning I was kindly introduced to a local methodist church, where I negotiated offers to join the local student groups and help out with the Sunday School!

So generally I’m feeling positive about settling in properly. I do miss Swansea a lot, but I will be back to visit and my friends are planning trips Down South. I have to go back in November as I’ve organised an SCM gathering there, but I should get a quick visit in before then. My bike is currently in a friend’s garage, so that’s my excuse to go back and visit! Having found a secure and dry place for my bike at both home and work, I’m looking forward to being able to cycle to work and explore a greater distance with it.

Bookcases (written on the 16th Sept)

I seem to have developed a habit of sorting bookcases. This is the third now in two weeks. I quite enjoy it though – working out the best order and layout for them, either by subject, size or general bulkiness. This current bookcase is relatively simple, compared to the previous two. This one only has 3 shelves. Bottom shelf – nursing books. Middle shelf – God and related areas. Top shelf – fiction. Easy. Although it never is… my dictionary, thesaurus and Winnie the Pooh have ended up on the God shelf because they fitted nicely in the gap. That I can cope with. The top shelf, on the other hand, also has maps, cookbooks and Martyn Joseph (signed copy of Notes on Words). Which is fine… except that because the books are in height order, Martyn Joseph is the tallest, and because the bookcase cuts off relatively low down, Martyn Joseph peers over. Literally – his face is on the cover and from my bed I can clearly see the top half of his face! At the moment I can’t decide if this is great because I get to glance up at the gorgeous Martyn Joseph whenever I fancy. Or spooky because his eyes gaze over the bookcase at my constantly. I could of course, easily solve this problem by promoting Martyn to the God shelf. Is he Godly enough? Is he more or less Godly than Winnie the Pooh? Or I could rearrange the top shelf, so there are other books between Martyn Joseph and myself? Or I could leave him where he is? Hmm… what do you think?

Big Girl’s Toys ;)

My Dad’s gone out, leaving me with instructions to play with use the electric sander to prepare the skirting boards for gloss paint. This is the electric sander which I believe was purchased to aid the production of a dalek. So therefore its on loan to my dad, meaning that I have never used or seen it before. And its great fun! 😀 You just have to watch out for bare legs…

News

So, what have I been up to? I’ve been making the most of my freedom before I start work in 10 days, to travel around the country a bit. Since moving back to Manchester a few weeks ago, I’ve done Manchester – Swansea, Swansea – Cheltenham, Cheltenham – Manchester, Manchester – Edinburgh, Edinburgh – Dundee, Dundee – Edinburgh, Edinburgh – Manchester. And in 2 days I’m doing Manchester – Chester, Chester – Birmingham, Birmingham – Manchester. Sigh. That makes me tired just thinking about it! Its been good though. Edinburgh was meeting the parents which went well (I think!) and I also helped John sort out stacks of stuff in his room. I would show you the impressive photo of his bookcase after I’d tackled it, but this computer doesn’t like flickr. It was great – I put the Bill Byson’s with the Bill Byson’s, and the politics books with the politics books. And made a Jen pile of books I wanted to borrow… He had done some sorting before I got there – there was a whole section of the bookcase for God books and another for Dr Who. Which I found quite amusing, as Dr Who was directly above God.

Dundee was good fun too – I met one of John’s best mates, who tried to take us to the zoo but we got there at 3.50 and it closed at 3.45. Oops. We still had great fun though, playing in the play ground and eating icecream! We discovered this fantastic music pad, with 9 squares of metal and when you jumped on each of them, they each made a different pitched sound. So you could dance over all 9, and produce a fantastic tune! John took a video on his camera of Andrew and I dancing over it – I’m going to have to persuade him to put it on the net somewhere!

Since getting back to Manchester I have been relaxing, sorting SCM stuff and helping my Dad to decorate the back room, in varying quantities. Its been great to sleep in lots every morning – something I haven’t been able to do for a long time, but then I have been trying to get stuff done once I’m up. This morning I had some exciting news – I had my degree result. I rang up my Grandparents with the news, and my Grandad couldn’t understand why I was so happy about two ones.

This afternoon I went to visit G, who I have mentioned before here, and possibly referred to her as my adopted grandmother. She, very kindly, gave me a wooden cross which she herself made out of the pews of her old church, when it was being knocked down, and she wrote my name on the cross. Her and her late husband have spent their lives serving the church around the world and are truly inspirational. On Saturday night my church is having a concert to raise money for a school in Panama, which her and her husband established 50 years ago, when there were no other schools in the area. He was a Methodist minister out there, and he became the school’s first headmaster. On the school’s first day it had one borrowed room and 7 pupils. Now it has 7 classrooms and 350 pupils. Sitting and listening to her life’s stories is just fascinating, as its full of equally amazing achievements.

Greenbelt Photoblog

Well nearly… I wanted to put up a selection of Greenbelt photos, instead of talking about it this year. I hadn’t had time to do it up until today, because I’ve been traveling round the country, and now I try to do it, and my Dad’s computer is being silly and won’t let me do anything with my photos on Flickr, to transfer them across to here. I’ve also been trying to put up lots of Greenbelt photos onto facebook and it doesn’t like that either – it gets stuck halfway through the upload. Sigh, technology. Anyway, you can find my best (and one of John’s) photos, here – did try to put them in a separate set for you, but the computer didn’t even like doing that! Sorry for the lack of descriptions and titles – will add them in as soon as I can persuade the computer to play nicely.