Tag Archives: Greenbelt

Greenbelt 08 – “the year Jen got ill”

Yup – “Greenbelt 08 – The year Jen got ill”, as the person who took v.good care of me was quoted. I vomited numerous times on Sunday night and during the day on Monday; made everything stink of sick (I accidentally only opened one layer of the tent door…); and spent a total of 5 hours in the GB medical centre. But thankfully I had Mr B with me, who cleaned up the tent; sat on the floor next to me whilst I slept in the medical centre; and forgot about everything he wanted to see on Monday so he could look after me. I’m now, just about, getting better. Yesterday I didn’t vomit at all, but couldn’t manage to eat v.much, so when I tried to do something I wobbled. Today I’ve been fairly lethargic, but have eaten most of a small lunch, so I’m hoping to get my energy back sometime soon. I was supposed to be working a night shift tonight, but I’ve rung in sick.

But, despite the sickness, Greenbelt 08 was still very good. Before the sickness, I managed to see a few talks, a few good music artists and saw numerous friends. And although I was physically sick, psychologically I was in a Good Place, which definitely helped.

Trying to see everyone I knew at Greenbelt was quite difficult, although the SCM / wib meets helped. Due to Mr B, I camped with people from my church in my New Home, instead of the SCM crowd, as I have done in recent years. This made trying to see SCM people difficult at times, not to mention friends from Manchester, Swansea, wibloggers and people with other random connections. And Mr B isn’t exactly short of people he knows at GB. Too many people! I think I spent more time socialising in the Tiny Tea Tent / Organic Beer tent, then I did going to actual events, but I’m glad about that. It was good to see the people I did manage to see, and for those who I missed, I’m sorry.

For the first time in 6 years of GB, I didn’t go to the main communion service. In fact, the only worship I went to was the one I was involved with leading, unless you count Beer and Hymns! This wasn’t intentional, it just worked out like that. I chose not to go to the main service because we were meeting to set up everything for our service straight afterwards, so I preferred to have a quiet couple of hours at the tent. Our service… those who were there will be able to tell you it was, erm, different. I just hope that the message we were trying to give came through though. Its hard to tell when you know it inside out, and already know the point of x, y and z. It was long in the planning, and had many ups and downs, but overall I think it came through alright. Whether I get involved with a service of that style again is one for me to think about. I think next year I’d like to get involved with something else at GB, and stick to just planning the little services at church. But we’ll see.

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.

General Update

As I was reminded the other day, I haven’t blogged much recently, so I thought I’d give you a general update.

I’m currently on placement, so have been busy doing 12 hour shifts, the other side of Swansea which adds extra travelling time onto my working day. I’ve only been there a week so far, but I’ve settled in reasonably well and am beginning to know where everything is and how the department works. I’m getting to see lots of things that I haven’t had experience of before and its really exciting. Although obviously, I don’t show my excitement at unusual conditions when working with them… its more an inner ‘ooh!!’ than anything else.

Talking of exciting, I’ve just booked my Greenbelt ticket!!! 😀 I got the latest publicity through the post yesterday and decided I had to book it before the end of this month. So I did. I’m not really excited about it yet though, I’ve got quite a lot of other stuff going on and so its difficult to think about and get excited about Greenbelt yet. Although, it usually works as quite a good distraction technique – Sarah and I have written each other an ‘other things to think about’ list – things to think about instead of the stuff you shouldn’t be thinking too much about! And she quite rightly, put Greenbelt right at the top of my list!!

In less exciting news, my laptop has broken. Lots. Well, it turns on and will log on as normal, but then it doesn’t do anything. After a couple of minutes, it refuses to respond to everything except the off button. It’ll work in safe mode, but thats about it. Its because I deleted a load of infected files, which were important for the computer to work. Oops. We tried doing a system repair with the orginal disk. It worked better for a short while but was still incredibly slow and it gradually got worse and now its back to not responding again. I’m going to have to do a complete system restore. I’ve got all my important files backed up on various sources, so it should be ok. Thankfully, my amazing housemate had a spare laptop which he kindly lent me! This has been fantastic because it means I can take my time to mend my laptop, and get on with internet procrastination work in the mean time!

Uni work at the moment is going very slowly. Its difficult to find the time and motivation for it when I’m working full time on the ward. The second half of my dissertation is due in the 30th April, so I’ve got a bit of time yet, I just need to get on with it! So far I’ve written about 1000 words, but before I can write anymore I need to do a lot more reading.

There are several more specific things that I keep wondering about whether or not to post, and keep on changing my mind! So you might hear from me more frequently…


So, Greenbelt. It was good – I enjoyed myself. I didn't get to go to lots of things – as ever there were items on the programme I wished I could have gone to. Like the Taize worship in Centaur, which we got into, but had to leave almost straight away to get to my shift on the SCM stall. But we made up for it by ensuring we made it to the Sunday evening Taize night prayer. Other highlights include Martyn Joseph, when I got very excited and jumped around lots, and Cara Dillion who really does have an amazing voice. I also enjoyed Jonny Baker's call for more creative and inspiring sermons and the Othona community's singing workshop.

The communion service was good, but I did miss having everyone in the one area. It seemed silly to split us up, when as the logo shows, we're all one. Having said that, I was impressed with John Bell's efforts to link us, by asking each group to shout over to the other group. And, generally, having the main stage situated where it was seemed better – it made it more accessable for people who wanted to just sit back on the grass and listen to the music and I often felt claustrophobic listening to music in the crowded stage two. Although the new mainstage was more open to the elements, it did feel more welcoming somehow.

As I mentioned earlier, I helped on the SCM stall. This year we were making peace cranes out of paper. This took me a while to get the hang of, but one or two Christmas trees later, I eventually managed to do them myself! This activity seemed to attract a large amount of primary school aged children! I quite enjoyed teaching these children how to make the cranes, though I was very aware that it did seem to deter other (slightly-more-interested-in-SCM) people away from the stall, which was a shame. SCM released their new book over the weekend, which was very exciting (or at least it was when the bookshop eventually put the copies out for sale!).

I was also camped with fellow SCMers, which was great fun. There were about 20 of us altogether, camped in a circle around a gazebo – which unfortunately didn't last very long. It was nice to see people gradually emerge from their tent in the morning, and to stay up late singing silly songs into the early hours of the morning!

Overall though it was a good weekend. Having the opportunity to meet up with old and new friends was as good as going to the music, worship and talks.

Yay!!!!!! :D :D :D

I am *so* excited! Its Greenbelt tomorrow!!!!! Its a big occasion – only happens once a year! I heard quoted once on some GB publicity that a young Greenbelter stated that Christmas and Greenbelt were the best times of the year. And I know the feeling. This may sound silly, but there has been a ‘Christmas eve’ kinda feeling about today. The build up of excitement and anticipation. The preparations, ok, so I haven’t been preparing for the birth of Jesus or for a Christmas dinner, but I have been buying food and packing. And I am going to be seeing a lot of friends (and some family) that I haven’t seen for a long time, just like at Christmas when our family reunites.

As I’m on holiday at the moment, I’ve had the whole day to get my stuff ready and make the last minute arrangements, and now I’m all ready to go. I still have to make my parents house slightly more presentable, so that when they come back it isn’t a complete tip! I’m back-packing it there this year, for the first time without any access to a car, but I’m camping with a group of friends and we have shared out the necessary camping equipment. I have to be leave the house at 7.30am tomorrow, and haven’t woken up before 9am this week*, so an alarm will definately be needed!

I am definately looking forward to the wibmeet and generally meeting up with friends I haven’t seen for a long time, as well as all the music, talks and general atmosphere you find there. I will be helping on the SCM stall in the pulse again, so come and say hello!

*This excludes the morning when I woke up at 3am due to the mouse in my room and didn’t get back to sleep again.

Excited Jen

I’m very excited. Greenbelt is 18 DAYS away!!! I’ve booked my train ticket!!!! I don’t have my wristband yet, but hopefully it should arrive soon. And we’ve managed to sort out the internet probelms at home, so I now have my laptop online!!! 😀

Greenbelt!!!!! :D :D :D

I haven’t done a really, really excited post for ages, but tonight when i was reading the Greenbelt postal advertisment, I got so excited I decided I had to!

Just the initial introduction on it, took me back to the whole Greenbelt atmosphere – The sheer variety, multiplicity, exuberance, provocation, depth, richness, chilled-outness, and welcome of the Festival’s programme is pretty much impossible to grasp.

And then I started reading the details in the programme. I had read some stuff on the website about the lineup, but reading it on paper seemed to get me even more excited. I love the way that each year I go, I seem to know more and more people who will be there. I think I’m jsut getting older and more knowledgable, but it is cool. 🙂

Wow!!!!!! I can’t wait!!! Only 47 days to go! 😀

Amens said Begrudgingly

At lunch time today, I went to the chaplaincy communion and offered to read (after I’d made sure it wasn’t from Judges!). The last verse of this reading (Matthew 25:29), taken from the parable of the talents, basically said that if you have lots you will be given more, and if you don’t have lots, it will be taken away from you. Although I do not agree with that sentence, I said Amen at the end, just because its what I always do. Richard, who was speaking on the bible passage, immediately picked up on the fact that I had said it begrudgingly and as if I didn’t really mean it (which I didn’t). This made me realise how often I say ‘Amen’ or another similar response, out of pure habit, when I don’t really mean it.

At Greenbelt 04, I heard some of Jeffery John’s talks on The Meaning in the Miracles, and also bought his book on the subject. One of the things, I can remember him saying in one of the talks is a story about a church he was minister at once. I gathered that it was from an affluant area, and there was a woman in the congregation, who was very posh, always stuck to the rules and was set in her ways. This woman was reading in church, from the Old Testement, where it was stating (in reference to the culture then) that a woman’s role in life was to be submissive to her husband and provide children. This woman read the bible passage and then stated, very definately, “This is NOT the Word of the Lord”.

When I was at home, a couple of months ago, we had a preacher at my church, who was …..um….. lets just say she was more vibrant than most Methodist preachers. She has a habit of saying ‘Amen’, fairly loudly during the middle of her sermon, after saying a prominant phrase. The congregation, would generally, repeat the ‘Amen’, to show their agreement with it. But, at one point in her sermon, she stated that the rich, Western countries were brilliant because they weren’t letting the poor countries starve, they were helping them (I had to physically calm down my errupting sister!). She then said ‘Amen’ in her usual, enthusitic manner. At this point, I thought “there is NO WAY I am saying Amen to that”, and I remained silent. I was pleasantly surprised when the rest of the congregation remained completely silent too! There was an arkward few seconds of silence, as the preacher realised that nobody was going to agree with her statement, before she carried on. I was proud of the congregation for not sucking in everything the preacher says, and believing it.

I think its important to critically assess the bible and the preacher’s sermons and not just believe every word that is spoken. I am going to try to be more aware of when I say ‘Amen’ and not just say it at the end of a bible reading, because thats what I’ve always done.

Greenbelt Photos!!!!

Thanks to Jack’s helpful comments (a couple of months ago) I have managed to upload some of my Greenbelt photos. You should be able to view them here. I apologise if the quality isn’t the best, I don’t have a digital camera (yet) and it means they don’t always come out that well on screen. And I’m sure I should be able to put them into my actual post, but was unable to find a way to do this – suggestions will be appreciated. Hope you enjoy the photos!