Tag Archives: friends

Driving

I’ve been thinking about driving a lot recently as it appears to be the main activity during my week off (this week), Rambling Folkie and another friend have passed their driving tests.

I took my mother on holiday to the end of the country today – or at least it felt like it. Okay – the journey there was fine. We stopped in the Eden Project on the way and it was really cool. Last time we went, all 5 of us (family) visited but we couldn’t really go round the humid biome for very long, so we started there… It was a really lovely.

After dropping mum off, and getting her settled in a bit I turned round and came back. About half way through the journey I decided I was too tired to keep going and needed to find somewhere to stop. It took me an hour and driving over large chunks of Dartmoor before I found somewhere sensible. In the end, the journey was only about 30 miles longer on the return than the outgoing journey. It did, however, take twice as long as the original route seemed to. It was also interesting the effect that Dartmoor, a couple of days worth of reminiscing, darkness, and driving on my own makes. I suddenly remembered all the myths and legends (well – probably not all of them) that I learned when I spent huge amounts of my childhood exploring the moors. It was a little spooky and that seemed really silly! At least the recollections of the moor also provided me with enough knowledge to get back to where I wanted to be… without the use of maps.

Anyhoo… I’m tired now and need to sleep. Tomorrow I’ll be taxi service for my grandmother and on Monday I’m going to another fair city – about as far away from where I am now as mum’s holiday location but in another direction.

*Yawn*

Strange the way life takes you

I realised today that I should have graduated this month. If I had completed my degree I would have graduated on July 4 with a BSc. When I mentioned this to a friend earlier, he said something along the lines of ‘so that part of your life is over’ and I replied that it was three years ago. In the last three years I have lived in 5 different places in three different parts of the country. I spent 6 months in a convent and discovered blogging. I developed some of the best and strongest friendships I have. I have held down 4 paid jobs and two voluntary ones, been on different styles of retreats which I had not done before. I’ve been a member of three churches – sort of and even started Local Preacher training. I started a job that terrified me and is one of the best jobs in the world. 😀 I’ve traveled round more of the UK than I could possibly imagine and even been to abroad! I’ve put myself together and even worked out what might be worth exploring in the future. I also discovered that planning the rest of your life away is an interesting game when you don’t know what’s around the corner.

I’ve proven to myself that I can live on my own, survive and even enjoy it. I have also proven to myself I can live with a fantastic collection of older women, live by rules, survive and even enjoy that.

This time three years ago, I made the decision not to return to university to complete my degree. Considering what I’ve done in the mean time I certainly think I made the right decision – no doubt about that. Even so there was a little twinge when I realised that I could have been Never Conforming BSc this month. The thing is, ask me to make the decisions again – the ones that led me both to and from uni, even with the intervening steps – and I’d do it again. No hesitation. Hopefully I won’t be asked again. Been there, done that, didn’t buy the t-shirt but still have the memories.

Holiday reports again…

Yesterday was the second full day of my holiday in Swansea. We had much more of an informal day as the grown ups had responsibilities like work to do. I spent the day on my own and embraced chilling out. At the end of the long hard day of nothing, the others returned and Sarah cooked for a gaggle of us. This, slightly larger, group enjoyed supper, a fair amount of icecream and a glass bottle or two four of wine.

I performed a little favour and fixed a broken dress. It was a little entertaining to be trying to fix a pale and delicate dress after drinking much red wine and having more in the glass. I’m not daft enough to try mixing both completely and the dress ended up much better for it’s little surgery. It also meant I could enjoy a little wine without worrying. And I certainly enjoyed a little wine. 😉

Speaking of surgery – it’s amazing what happens during an evening with friends. Having mentioned in yesterdays post that I hurt my foot, I ended up having it assessed, prodded and poked by a more than able friend. It certainly feels better for the erm… examination.

It was a really lovely evening and it finished rather early this morning. It is so lovely to spend time with such a great group of friends and a wonderful last evening of my visit.

I have to go and pack my stuff now as I’m due on a train in an hour. It has been a really good trip and I hope to be able to catch up with folk again soon.

Holiday Reports

Woo and yay. I’m currently on holiday. Having decided that I wanted to get away, I called on some Swansea friends to see if they were willing to put up this poor, tired, resident of Birmingham who had a hankering to see the sea and catch up with some friends. They willingly took me in so I arrived here on Tuesday night after a day in the convent and it has been great to see them all here.

Yesterday all three of them, one of me and toddler blonde went off exploring Gower and Mumbles. We ended up playing with kites on the beach. I only flew one but thought it was the best sized one…
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Jen’s was much, much bigger. Toddler Blonde seemed to really enjoy the trip to the beach and managed to walk for miles and miles. It was really great to see the sea again and even get to go paddling. As is usually the case when I go anywhere near a beach in my flipflops I hurt my foot. Typical but have taken the advice of my elders and betters so soaked it to make it better. Poor foot. Eh well – I have to get my souvenirs somewhere.

It’s really been lovely to spend time with Toddler Blonde. Last time I saw him was at Greenbelt and that wasn’t for very long. Before that I last saw him when he was about three months old. Now he burbles away to himself and is a complete charmer. I decided to pinch his hat for a while on the beach and he came to get it back.

Fortunately it fits him a little better than it fits me.
To give the little star a chance for a nap in the car, we went for a drive round Gower to show me the sites and allow the boy to rest. We stopped on the top of Cefn Bryn and indudged our love of beautiful countryside and group hugs. It really was lovely.
After that we stopped just in Mumbles for some luxury hot chocolate and a wander along the prom. As we left the cafe, I heard what really must be the quote of the day:
“No, boy. Don’t chase after the girls. You’ll never have a car that long.”
The little chap seemed both interested in the limo and the teenage girls who poured out of the door.

All in all – it was a really excellent day, rounded off nicely by girly gossip and a glass of wine. It’s been such a lovely time so far. Tonight we’re going to have a slightly larger get together and all I need to do before then is write my church service for Sunday. 😉 I’ll get there by then.

Finding a little Joy

A silly story for you.

Once upon a time, I was planning worship and decided that it would be really nice to finish with ‘You shall go out with joy‘ which led to a little merriment amongst some of my friends, and some not entirely serious singing. This started a little joke about Joy.

Several months after, I was chatting to one of these friends and she said she’d found the service sheets and was remembering the jokes. Thus, the joy jokes were confirmed. We were now searching for Joy.

Some time later, I was planning worship (spot a pattern here…) and I was going through the hymnbook. For all sorts of reasons I was having terrible problems with it. I have to confess that my brain is, on occasion, to be found in the gutter and as I was reading through I ended up thinking about hymns in ways I’m sure weren’t intended. :angelic: It wasn’t intentional, honest. Anyway, I confessed to several of my friends, now in on the joke, that I’d found more ‘interesting’ songs, especially about joy. One weekend we all got together, added alcohol to the mix and the joke, by this time, was running along quite nicely.

From time to time we (different members of the group) joke about joy but we had yet to find her. Until this morning…
I went to church, as normal (or as normal as it ever is). My mentor and I were jointly doing the service and it was in a quiet time so I was merrily reading away when I noticed something a little strange. The sheet said all the usual information… X church, service times etc… then it added…
10.45am… Mr LP Mentor and Miss Joy Conforming (on note).
I have joked that being a Jo, I’m the closest to Joy out of the lot of us but seeing someone print it on a piece of paper was hilarious. It’s really quite funny (and very bad) being sat in a service splitting with laughter on the inside and needing to keep quiet about it. I decided not to tell anyone at the time but it did warrant a few phone calls when I got home. I’d found Joy in church! I’m led to believe it’s caused a little laughter in other parts of the country today too, and all we need to do is find a real Joy not a pretend one.

All we need once we’ve done that is to pair her up with a friend…

Something I’m definitely not telling you

I’m certainly not telling you that I’m still procrastinating about tomorrow’s service. It’s the first one I’m doing on my own and I’d completely forgotten that ’til Thursday. I will get there but it’s almost tomorrow and I still have a long way to go. Thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.

It’s on trust and I’m gong to pinch the reflection from our very own Sarah. But then I still have a long way to go….

What to tell you about…

I have this dilemma frequently. I want to tell you all about… but I can’t! I want to tell you this fascinating information about my friends… but I can’t. I want to tell you about things that make my head spin… but I can’t. i want to tell you about this really exciting work project that’s nearly finished… but I can’t… yet. It’s very annoying at times but there are worse things in life. I know it’s always annoying to read that people can’t tell you what’s going on but unfortunately it comes with having (mostly) given up my anonymity. There are too many people who know who I am. I’m also convinced that I’m not the only wiblogger in a similar situation.

What has been nice is I’ve been catching up with a number of friends – mostly by messenger but also by phone too. It’s been good to hear from Legally Blonde, ERG and Rambling Folkie to name but a few. I was very sad to miss Alice’s do but couldn’t make it. That’s life.

Life has been interesting and busy lately with weekends away with work – but other wibloggers have already talked about it so that gets me out of that. 🙂 I’ve been involved in leading worship lots and have now got a trial service arranged for the weekend before Greenbelt. Jen is going to stay with me that weekend which is great and a little scary at the same time. NC in the pulpit is a little different to NC at work or NC at home. Not in a conscious way but still… it feels very different. It will be great to have her to stay.

Since moving here, I’ve had more people staying over than I did in about the last 6 months in the abomination. It’s such a lovely flat and I’m delighted I managed to convince myself to get wireless broadband – oh, the luxury! Anyway, I’ll eventually get round to taking photos of it… One of the added delights is I have a sofa now. I’ve technically owned it for about a year and a half but it only moved into this new flat when I did. Saying that, I’m also enjoying having carpet again – even if there are blue dust bunnies everywhere. We have come up with various ways of catching the things including running across the floor with masking tape on our feet (not just me, you’ll note – and no fellow wibloggers for that matter) but that doesn’t work. Neither does hoovering them all up… Anyway – carpet is a fantastic invention. 😀

I’ve been knitting to celebrate my house move too. I’m trying to knit a selection of cushion covers but keep getting distracted. By almost anything – currently it’s being ill.

All in all things are good but variously make my head spin in good and bad ways. If I wanted you to not pay attention too much to what I write, now is the time to look away… It’s all boring stuff…. Honest…
I’ve misplaced my wallet or had it nicked (in morrisons). Grrrr. Lots of confusion and upheaval. The other minor thing I might mention is that a couple of months back I went to talk to my minister about vocations and stuff. That’s definitely minor and nothing to be thought of seriously. Hmmm… Was that a good plan? I doubt it.

Anyway… I need sleep. Should go now. Will try and find more things it’s okay to talk about soon.

All sorted then?

Well, I signed for the flat. The references from the previous agency had arrived and there seemed to be no problems. Woohoo. I’ll get the keys in about a fortnight then will do the move gradually over the next month until I have to be out of the old flat. Now all I have to do is the move! I’ve found storage space for the things I don’t need at the new flat and can work out what to do with them over the summer. I’ve arranged to get my hands on some packing boxes and have already packed up the books and things. Still lots to do and many people to tell.

I’ve invited a few friends to a housewarming party before I’ve even managed the move. This is to be the incentive to make me move and have everything unpacked before it happens. I’ve lived here for nearly 18 months and still haven’t done house warming! Says it all really. Anway, I guess I should stop procrastinating and work out what I’m going to do with the rest of my day!

General update

The only thing that I’ve really dropped by to talk about lately is the state of my flat. Fortunately it is not the whole sum of my life and I have been really quite busy with other things – local preaching, w*rk, flat hunting, social life…

Local preaching
I’ve been involved in leading services since December and I have been given the date of the first sermon which is some time in the future (obviously). I *might* tell you when it is, nearer the time, but I might not as it will be quite scary. Mothering Sunday is a bit daunting too but at least I don’t have to do the sermon. Things progress with my tutor and progress is being made – I hope. I’ve also survived my first local preachers’ meeting and really didn’t find it too traumatic.
It’s also all a good excuse to find out more about Methodism (which I’m a relatively late convert to) by asking many of my (poor, unfortunate) friends. Fortunately the ones I’m thinking of don’t read my blog, to the best of my knowledge… I had a really good chat with one of them today which was really nice. It’s good to be able to do these kind of things which aren’t related to w*rk. Which leads nicely to…

W*rk
On the whole I don’t discuss too much about w*rk, so I hope you’ll tolerate a brief update only. As ERG has already blogged about and mentioned by Blonde, there was a conference recently. It’s also been hinted that I was involved in it… It was a very good but hard work weekend. I really did manage to enjoy it too, which is a bonus. The atmosphere just seemed so lovely and I’m really glad and relieved it turned out okay.
About a month ago, I went to an interfaith conference. It was absolutely brilliant. I got to learn so much more about Islam, Judaism and the Ba’hai faith. It was really enjoyable and I’m so lucky to be able to do things like this as part of my job. Woohoo.
There is another residential coming up at the end of the month and it’s probable that there will be more than one wiblogger there too. It’s always nice to catch up with wibloggers, especially when they come to my city. He he he.

Flat hunting
I’ve now started flat hunting. I’ve seen… one. Unfortunately it was too small but at least I’ve started. I cancelled todays appointment as I didn’t like the agent. The one advantage of the current situation is that there is no real urgency to leave so I can pick and choose. I’m not looking forward to the next stage of the war with the landlord. The agency are best described as… not all that helpful. They want to hold a meeting in my flat with me and the landlord present. I’m really not looking forward to that at all and I hope to recruit someone to keep me company. It’s possible that it will be a long and drawn out war but that’s what it now is. I’m going to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau on Thursday and I hope that they will be some help. Anyway, all I need now is somewhere new to live…

Social Life
I’ve recently developed one! It’s great. I’ve been to a birthday do each weekend for the last three weeks! Mum reckons I should get friends who live closer together as I’ve been to Leeds, Manchester and London for the events. I guess it’s a good thing that I live somewhere in the middle of all those places. It’s been really nice to catch up with folk, and it’s been an entirely different set each weekend – me being the the only point of overlap. I’ve seen uni friends, church friends and w*rk friends. It’s fantastic.
During the last weekend, I did get accused of drinking a little too much (alcohol). This was just my luck as I had only water but it entirely goes to prove you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. It was so much fun… Singing along merrily to Abba, Grease and a whole bunch of other cheesy music. I think there should be more evenings like that.
This week I should be going to see someone I know through work in a play. That should be good fun too. I’m not really trying to spend time outside my flat, honest. 😉

Well, I guess if my life is just *that* hectic(!) I should get to point (5) on the things to do list (below)… Go to bed.
Night all.

Another year over, another year older.

I appear to have survived another birthday and had a nice day with the sisters, followed by the evening spent with good friends old and new. It’s really special to me that two friends have traveled to share the weekend with me. It’s also special to get to spend time with people who are like a second family to me (the sisters). I told one of them this today and she seemed really delighted that I had told her.

It’s been nice but seeing as it’s well into tomorrow now, and there can be no hiding from the mid twenties, I’d better get some sleep.

On another matter I’ve also not received a date from the agency.