Friday, 2 October 2009


so days are growing steadily busier and busier. but in a good way, times have been spent in the office, training, working and preparing for the missions and the weeks ahead. this past weekend was spent in Swanwick with some youth from St Johns Harbourn, which was amazing. it was incredible to see how God was really working in their lives, and really spoke to them this week. Autumn is really starting to set in now. days are growing shorter, the air is growing colder, and leaves are bursting into colour and begining to fall earthwards. not that i'm complaining. i am always quite a fan of the cooler weather every now and again as it rolls around each year, so bring it on...
today i journey South in the direction of Kent where i will be spending the weekend doing Fort Rocky with Andy Hancock, Dan and Beth amongst others. it should be good. having gone to Fort Rocky as a young person, it will be interesting to see how it compares when working there as appose to being there as a young'un. after that rolls round, i'm off to wales for a few days, thn up to Coventry for Commissioning. so it's due to be a full and busy week or so.
Prayers would be appreciated that my strength will stay, and that i can be fully rested to not colapse and fail before this week is over.


Monday, 21 September 2009

the next stage...

so today was the official start of my time on crux, not counting the week of training that i had at worcester university the week before last.
i got my train from oxford to birmingham this morning, and was picked up by Hannah in the berlingo from the Station, from here, we (Hannah, Dan (Horner) and I) went back to the YFC head office where we met up with the final member of our team Nic DeBoo (aka BooBoo) we hung at the office for a little bit, where we were introduced to most of the full time office staff, basically none of whos names i can currently remember... so we'll see how that goes tomorrow morning. we then went and ate lunch followed by a meeting in a loooovely pub. (pictures to follow...) about the team this year and rules etc. etc...

next on the agenda. was somewhere to live.
i am based with a couple called Ray (the vicar at my church) and Mary Yates, who have a son (22) called Matthew.

so that is me...
here i am, sat in the home that i will be living in for the up coming year. and looking forward to the days and weeks ahead...

once i've done some real work with real people... i am hoping that these posts will begin to become a little more interesting. we shall just have to wait and see..


Thursday, 17 September 2009

knowledge isnt everything.

Bertrand Russell once said:

"The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge"

today i watched two films (lets ignore for a moment how little of a life i currently have) both of these films, once they were finished i would've described as having "disapointing endings" and both for the same reasons:
- they ended abruptly
- they didnt really seem to go anywhere
- there was no real conclusion to the story line

i recently went to a christian festival called soul survivor. while i was there i listened to a talk based on impatience. this advert was used

this advert is based around the idea that people want action. they want everythign now, and waiting is for others. time spent waiting, is time wasted. answeres are desired immediately. i made a parralel between this comercial, and my views on these two films. i was disapointed because they didnt fulfil my desire for immediate answers. i wasnt immediately satisfied with what i was given. i wanted to be told the exact outcome of the films with all of the plot lines leading to a conclusion which made sense and satisfied my expectations.
but i was thinking.... why...
why would i want all the answers, with a lose ended film such as one of these, rather than having one fixed ending set out by the director, and executed by the actors which will forever be the only thing that happens at the end of the film, instead, a whole world of posibilities is left open to me. the world of imagination is reopened and using it, i can make the end of the film my own, and make it different every time.
i was given a unique mind, with a superb imagination. what a shame not to use it. what a shame to have everything dictated to me, when my mind is so much more fantastical than any film producer.

so i would challenge mr Bertrand Russel, that infact, the good life is inspired by love but guided by our own human nature, our desire for the fantastical. by our imaginations.

looking back

so as i got to know the First Year voulenteers on Yfcone this year, i was really encourages to see their passion and joy for the start of this year. i just look back to when i was in that possision last year, and to think how much i have changed over the past 365 days. and i am just so excited to see how they change and grow as the go out to their placements this year. :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


so, this past week, i have spent in Worcester Uni at ETC training for the upcoming year. it was good, very busy, and very intnese, but it was really good, and i really felt like i learned a lot.
one of the things that we did at the training was our Personal Mission Statements. we just talked for a bit about what we wanted to do this year, and how we felt about it and what kind of principals we wanted to live by etc. in other words, what our "MISSION STATEMENT" was going to be. I really enjoyed talking about it, and having written down what i was going to do this year, i found really encouraging... here's what i came up with....:

  • To Love my God; to grow daily in my walk with Him and to serve Him in everything I do.
  • To continue to challenge myself in everything I do, pushing my boundaries and stepping out of my comfort zone.
  • To treat everyone I meet with the Love that reflects that of Christ Jesus.
  • To take time out for myself and to not feel guilty about it.
  • To read my Bible and continue to learn more about God.
  • To use my God given gifts for the Glory of the Kingdom.
  • To take every chance available to spread the Good News.
  • To stand up against injustice and to protect the wellbeing of vunerable and needy people, especially young people.
  • To always have time for people who ask for it.
so, as i go on this year, i will really strive to follow these in everything i do.
wish me luck!

point for prayer:
-if people could pray for me to be rested in this week off, and to start work refreshed and energised, so that i can do my best.
-i dont yet have anywhere to live, so prayer that that could all get sorted out would also be awesome!
-praise for the fact that we have a complete team on Crux Media, and prayer that we will stay as a team, and all manage to get along, and there wont be any breakdowns etc.

:) peace out.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

a new begining...

so, it's tomorrow that i start.
a new chapter in my YFC journey, and not one that i would've been expecting at this time last year. far from it.
as i look back at this past year. it has been one of the quickest 365 days that i think i have ever experienced. it seems like such a short time ago that i turned up to Birmingham last year, not knowing anyone, unsure about where i would be, who i would meet and what i would be doing. and i look to the now. so much has changed, yet i am still in a pretty simelar position as i was at this point last year. like last year, i am currently unaware of where i will be living in what is now only a matter of days. i dont know much of what i will be doing. i feel slightly underprepared (though i am sure that i will be provided with excelent training to help with that one).
i think back on how much of my life is different. how much better it is, but how ultimately, as i face a new experience, it shows me as i truely am. i put on no front. i do not pretent to be anything more than i am.
a guy. who without my saviour, is nothing. but with him, i can acomplish anything.
it's as simple as that.

so as this year starts, i know that i do not start this year alone and unprepared. i start this year with my Lord at my side. and with the knowledge that through him all things are possible.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


dear blog. i am sorry for neglecting you over the summer. i will try to do better this next year. love tom.

so last year ended really well in burton.
i finished everything.
i said my goodbyes.
i started to move on.

summer has been busy.
i've been away.
i've worked.
i've caught up with old friends.

next year looks good.
i will be starting afresh.
i will be busy.
god will be doing amazing things.

So, for a new (academic) year i have decided that i want to do something a little different with my blog. and i think a few changes need to be made. and i will try my bestest to keep up with what i promise.
i) i shall be adding pictures next year
ii) i will try to be less dull
iii) i will update more
iv) i will not only be updating about myself, but about others and the world at large
v)i hope it might actually be interesting

so this is the hope.
only time will tell how well this goes.

i start training at
worcester university
7th september

then on to birmingham...

psalme 119:35
"Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight"


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

so, things here are getting a bit weird... so i think a brief update is needed..

first off, i ma so busy of late. i seem to be working a lot...
i am preaching this coming sunday. and i am very nervous.
i am coming to the end of my time here. and saying goodbye is harder that i thought it would be.
im feeling stressed.
and im getting upset for no reason.

not fun...

i just need to keep strong untill the end. there's not long now.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

this year has passed all too quickly.
and not nearly enough time has been spent with the people around me.
as time goes by, i must learn to survive despite the difficulty.
and pray that the distance will be tollerable.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

so, today i am back in oxford allbeit briefly.
i was in cambridge for a visit for my sisters "birthday party" on thursday evening, and came back here on friday afternoon. and i have had quite a busy few days all in all.

on wednesday i had an interview for my potential position for next year with Crux Media and it struck me as i was in the car on the way home, that i am getting really stressed about where i will be next year, and what i will be doing and exactly what my job will be. and it's just silly. i dont need to be worrying about things like this at this point in my life. i need to begin to trust more. trust more that God has my life in his hands and that he will both guide me and protect me in my life and throughout my journey. and it's silly that i am wondering about where i will be in 15 years when for the first time in my life i am not tied down by anything or commited to being anywhere specific.

and yeah...
i'm rambling..


Monday, 15 June 2009

amazing, because it is.

so today while driving (being driven) home from my youth group, i was feeling kinda gloomy as i have a very early morning tomorrow and am still not feeling on top of the world. my mood was changed however, when i glanced to the side out of the window and saw an absolutely stunning sight. a sky filled with clouds was streaked with gold and red while a lone tree remained black as it was shillouetted against the horizon.
it was amazing.
i was struck with how even in small and seemingly unimportant situations such as the setting of the sun. God can produce such amazing beauty that can make us want to stop and stare in wonder. i think that too often i let the world pass by in a blur as each event in my life blends into the next. i need to take more time to stop. let the world continue on it's merry way, and take some time.
time for me, God and the beautiful world he has placed me on.
let it not remain abandoned, taken for granted and unappreciated.
let it be respected, admired and looked upon with awe.

for God looked at it and he saw the it was very good
let us look, and glimpse but a fraction of the beauty he gifted us with when he first created our beautiful planet.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


so, for the week of half term, i went home to oxford for the week. i left burton straight after finishing work on the Firday, and got the train home, via Birmingham. while i was waiting on the platform in Birmingham for my train, Maddie walked out right next to me, it turned out that she was coming home for the weekend, so we chatted and caught up as i hadn't seen her for a long time, and then we got the train together, and her dad offered to give me a lift home when i got there which saved me from getting for a bus, and since i had managed to get the earlier train too, i got home about an hour earlier than i had expected all in all. which was good, this gave me time to come home and shower before heading off out to Ruths.

Saturday morning, i woke up bright and early and at about 10, i headed out, and drove the 4 hours 20 minutes to the north east to Stockton where i was staying with my aunt for the night. the drive was alright, but there was a lot of traffic so i had to keep the speed down, and at one point i came to a complete standstill on the A1(M) which kind of sucked, but no matter, i got there in the end. so i hung out with my family for a little while which was nice, i taught my grandad to use his laptop a little more - this time i was teaching him how to send an email to more than one person at a time, and also add new contacts to his address book. he struggled a little to grasp the concept at the beginning, but i think he got there in the end. we were all at my aunts for dinner where we had macaroni cheese, my uncle then lit a fire outside, and as my grandparents went home to sleep, we all went and sat by it. it was very nice. but at 2 am when it was just my cousin and i left outside, and the fire had gone out, we decided that it was time to move inside.
i woke up fairly early on Sunday, my aunt, uncle and cousins were going on holiday that morning, so they were up earlyish to get everything sorted, i left there house at 9.30 / 10 and drove to my grandparents where i was spending the morning, i left their house at about 12.30, at which point i drove to Nunthorpe to pick up Kelsey and Nicole. i was at there house for about an hour while they waiting for their jeans to dry, and finishing getting ready. once we left we drove straight home, and it was hot in the car, but i drove pretty well, and managed to do the entire drive in a little over 3 and a half hours, which was pretty good time in my opinion. we just hung out for a bit once we got home, then in the evening we went up to a pub in my village, to meet up with a few of my friends from church wich was nice.
On monday, we started the day by starting our HP marathon, we then had lunch, and after lunch Nicole, Kelsey and I cycled to a shop to buy some stuff for my mum, which turned out to not be the best idea in the world, it was alright, but it was SO hot, and the cycle was a lot longer than i remebered it being, and i'm not sure how much fun the girls had.... :/ on monday evening, we were up to HP 4, and SI ARRIVED! Cole, Kelsey and i had planned a really fun surprise for him, because he didn't know that Cole was going to be at my house, so we had everything ready and we walked into my room where Cole was waiting to surprise Si, and it turned out that we had got way too excited about the entire thing, and he just didnt get as excited as we had hoped that he would. but no matter.
[Si was very excited to see Cole, but just overwhelmed and not outwardly showing it by screaming or whatever. I was very surprised as they'd all done a good job of covering it up that she was going to be there. I love that Nicole was able to come, so much.]

on tuesday, we started the day kind of slow, and we continued our HP marathon, in the afternoon, we took our first trip into real Oxford, and Kelsey and I went into Christchurch College (which is where parts of Harry Potter are filmed - so things was pretty much amazing for Kelsey (not that it wasn't amazing for me, but i have seen it before, so i think it was slightly more amazing for her this time round)) we then went to a really good ice cream shop in Oxford called G and D's (George and Davis/ Danver) and we sat in there for a while eating our ice creams/ then we wandered around Oxford for a little more and went back home, where we watched Britains Got Talent and finished off our Harry Potter marathon.

Wednesday was rainy. we had a lazy day. we watched Little Miss Sunshine. and we had piano time... that was basically it.

Thursday was basically an awesome day. we aimed to leave the house for Stratford at about 10. but that just didnt even nearly happen. come 11.30, we were still sat at home, but again, no matter. so we left, and drove the hour or so to Stratford, we got there, parked and made our way into town. we stopped off at the Information desk to pick us some maps and things to help us find our way around. we then decided at this point, that Nicole needed caffine, so we walked up the high street to Costa Coffee where she got her drink of choice - a low fat vanilla latte. we then walked ooff in the direction of Shakespeares birthplace. we saw the outside but the prices to get in were rediculously expensive, so we just took a couple of pictures of the outside and moved onto a gift / souvenir shop which we wandered around in for a while. we then started to make our way towards Anne Hathaways Cottage which was a litlle walk out of the town centre, we had barely made it to the edge of the town when we found something which at first glance looked pretty cool, but upon closer inspection, turned out to be one of the best shops in the entire world. It was a little second hand charity bookshop called "Books Etcetera". it was wonderful. it was such a little shop, but it was just so awesome. they had pretty much every book you could think of plus a pretty dodgy looking copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. so we ended up spending a pretty long time there and in the end i feel like we collectively spent quite a bit of money. but it was worth it in the end. so after the wonderous bookshop, we finally continued on our way to anne hathaway's cottage which was (as a sign indicated) a mile away. fun.
so we took the stroll past houses, over quaint little bridges, across fields, past shops, and finally made our way to the cottage, it was a little pricey to get in, so we wandered around the gift shop for a while and after catching kelsey staring pretty much longingly into the garden i convinced her that she did infact want to go into the garden to see the house, so i paid and we went in. we walked around the garden for a while and sat and looked at the cottage. we didnt go in.. the queue was huge, and it was really hot. and on top of that, it was bound to be really crowded inside and im not sure i could've taken that. so kelsey and i left the cottage, and re-joined si and nicole who were waiting for us outside. we walked back in the direction of town from the cottage, and headed to get some food, before going back to the car to drive home. it seemed to take a long time to choose what to eat, but eventually, we were all back at the car stocked up with food. which was good. as we drove home Si and Kelsey fell asleep, and Cole and i found it quite ammusing to watch Si as his head bobbed slowly up and down on his chest. we arrived home and decided after a little while that we needed pizza. so we drove to the co-op this time and got our selves pizza and Kettle Chips (how healthy are we) and returned home to settle down in front of Britains Got Talent and eat our dinner. which was lovely. i think after this we may've gone and watched a film? but my memory fails me at this time.

Friday. now, if i hadn't been there myself, i would not have believed it, but if possible, friday was an even better day than thursday. it was magical. we started the day kind of slow we got up lazily, and ate a leisurely breakfast follwed by lunch.. we didnt do a great deal in the morning (well, i say we... i popped up the road for an hour or so to visit my friend James who i hadn't seen in a long time and i hung with him for a while with his sister and mum and just had a chat and caught up with them which was lovely) so i returned from that at about 12.30 at which point we ate? i think? or maybe we skipped lunch.. well, i can't remember, either way, after a little while, we went out and park(ed) and ride(ed) into oxford once again. we got off the bus in town and headed straight to HSBC so cole could try and sort out some stuff for her bank with kelsey. si and i stood outside for quite a while. right outside of HSBC bank, there was a guy who was (attemping to) hand out leaflets about the "Socialist Labour" party, but appeared to not be the most charismatic soul int he world, and was somewhat failing to inspire interest in the hearts of those who passed by. as we stood there for about 30 minutes, i think he managed to offload 5 onto passere by, this was after he had given up trying to palm them off to 12 and 13 year olds. so we found this pretty amusing as we stood in the sun outside of the bank listening to some upper-class oxford busking. it was delightful. after this we wandered around town for a bit, and we walked down towards Magdalen Bridge. rather than walking down the busy and not so pretty High Street, we went via the gardens of Christchurch college as it's much prettier. we arrived at the bridge, and rented out our punt. i think that we chose a bad time to go out on the river, there seemed to be way too many people coming back as we were trying to get out, so for the first like 5 / 10 minutes, we just sat there, bobbing int he water as i waited for people to get out of the way before i left. eventually we got on our way, and we spent a delightful hour slowly drifitning round the little loops if the Cherwell river. it was divine. after punting, we wandered back up the high street, in the direction of town, where we encountered yet another beautiful little second hand book shop. we went in for a while, and wandered around before leaving and heading back to town. we had, by this time, about run out of things to do, so we made out way back up to town and headed to The Eagle and Child pub which is where, back in the day, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein used to go to talk and write together. nicole had fun here, and it was nice to see it. we walked back home and got distracted by yet another bookshop. but we made it back to the bus and then to the car... on our way home, we decided that we wanted to buy margarita mix... so we went via the co-op, but it turned out that they didnt sell it. so we gave up and just went home... and went without ou tequila fix for that night.

Saturday was another fairly slow start. we didnt really do anything all morning other than hang out which i wasnt really complaining about, it was a really nice morning, even though it wasnt the most eventful in the world. our task for saturday (and we chose to accept it) was to go shopping. so after lunch we droe off to Waitrose to shop, shop, shop! for groceries. it was pretty fun, even though it doesn't sound the most thrilling. after completing our shop, we went to a little local farm so that we could PYO!! thats right, 'tis the season for Pick Your Own strawberries! i was excited, and so were the others so i felt less silly for that. :) it was pretty much the perfect afternoon. i loved it. it was so calm, and relaxed and nice, but at the same time we were doing enough to keep up occupied, and entertained. i was well and truely a fan. on saturday afternoon, my cousin James came to have his eyes tested with my mum, so he stayed for dinner. i was given the responsibility of being in charge of the barbeque. i think i did an alright job. i didnt burn anything, and it all seemed to be edible. so that was good. i was happy with myself. ha. saturday night, was also the night of the Britains Got Talent FINAL!! so we watched it, and it was good. Diversity (a dance act) won. and they were deserved winners in the end.

Sunday was a day of mixed emotions. for me at any rate. although i'm sure that the others would agree with me. it was at the end of such an amazing week, so on the one hand, i was really happy about the week that had just been, but on the other hand, it was weird for me, because after getting to know some of my best frineds ever this year, it was coming to the end of their time in this country, and this was the last time that i saw them before they leave for Texas on the 26th of June. so i was pretty upset truth be told. si left us at like 9 ish as he had to be back in swindon for church that morning. after this, kelsey and I dropped Cole off at the bus station in Oxford for her to catch her rediculously long bus ride home back to the north east. then a little later i dropped Kelsey off at the train station in Oxford and said my final goodbye. not fun. i was not the happiest person in the world as she walked away from me and got on the train. i then picked up my dad, who was getting off a different train, and was back at the station that evening to go back to burton myself. i got off the train and had to get a taxi home due to poor bus timtabling....

and thus concludes the best, and eventually most bittersweet week of my entire life.

i hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as i enjoyed living it.



Tuesday, 19 May 2009

so i am sat in the office, having not gone to Kickboxing due to the traffic making me like a half hour late, so i called Kay, and in the end we decided that it would be far easier for her to just go alone, than have to wait for me for an age, and then be late for the kids.
so, i walked home from Short Street chapel (via Tesco - i decided that i really needed something to eat, so i popped in and bought myself a salad) while walking, the clods decided that the water was just getting far too heavy for them to cope with, and thoughtt hat i looked a little too dry to be allowed, so i got wet. yay. so after getting back to the office to pick up my bag, not having to be anywhere any time soo, i decided to dry off for a bit before catching the bus home. so i am currently doing this, my jacket is on the radiator, and i am sat listening to some Death Cab For Cutie, listening to the rain against the windows.
today i only had a couple of things, it wasnt too busy, i had Paulet school int he morning, where we started a topic on healthy eating and drinking etc, with the year nines, and then we were in the workshop making tree-planers with the year 10s. we had no more lessons, because the year 11s are now basically finished for the year other than having the joys of exams to look forward to. i then was in Winshill primiary where sue and i had only two kids today, so we just played some games, and played with the k-nex for an hour or so, it was nice, and i really felt like i connected with the two kids that were there.
before i started this year, i had never really done any work with small kids like these guys, but this year i have done quite a bit with primary kids (although these guys are the youngest (year 1 and 2!)) and i have really enjoyed it. like way more thatn i thought that i ever would do.
i feel like i can connect with these kids in a way that i wouldnt've thought was possible fore kids that young.
it's wonderful! :)

i am currently, ill. sad day. whcih is making me sound kind of nasal, and weird, so i'm, not the biggest fan of that, but what can you do.

other than that, my week, thus far, has been good :)


Monday, 18 May 2009

Unfinished Business

so, today i was at a youth group, and Rachel Ortiz, one of the leaders, played and sang a song she wrote us. not that she wrote it for us, she wrote it. then happened to be singing it for us.
but anyway, it's called unfinished business. and it just really kind of connected with me.
so here are the lyrics...:

"I'm not so deaf Lord, that I can't hear your voice,
I knew this moment would arrive sooner or later,
I've known for a while you'd come around.
for there's this case of unfinished bussiness,
namely the gift of my heart to you.

I've confessed you as my King,
I'm glad my life is not my own but Yours truely,
Though I'm increasingly aware
That this is not the state of affairs any longer.

'Cos I dream, and I hope, and i still nurture these dreams of my own,
how can this be, when it was so sincerely
I gave you my life, made you my King, surrendered everything.
Well I'm thinking there's always gonna be
A case of unfinished business,
namely the gift of my heart to you

But this i know, will all persuasion,
That there will come a time when we will be one
And I will perfectly follow your steps whatever dance you call
And all my songs will echo those you sing for me
And I'm thinking that one day there will be
No more unfinished business
Only the completed gift of my heart to you"


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

so, i have realised that i only ever seem to blog on the days that are particually good or bad. and i shouldnt do this, i should blog from time to time on the more mundane days. just for a change.

and way, today started not the best. i forgot my wallet. entirely my fault i know, but i didnt have enough change in my pocket to get all the way to work, and i only realised this when i was getting onto the bus. so i paid the £2.20 i had, and could get from Etwall to Stretton, i then got off and walked the next 50 minutes to work in the rain. this sucked. i mean i am a great lover of the rain, but not so much today. it was cold and miserable. about half way through my work, the memeory card in my phone decided to die, so there wasn't even any music for me to listen to to endure the walk. so i arrived at the office wet and miserable, i then planned for a club, only to find out as i finished, it was cancelled. i then did some dull paper work. then had lunch, i then went to an afterschool club, and this was kinda fun.

i then went back to rachel and dan's house.
i ate.
i cleaned.
i read stories.
i built a sofa.
i listened to music.
i talked.
we then had bible study on Matthew 10. which is all about god sending out his Disciples into the world to go to begin to preach his message to the people.
a couple of bits stuck out to me while i was reading...

1. Matthew 10:19-20 " When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." this really made me think, sometimes i am so quick to want to know all the right things to say at the right times, way before the moment arrives, but i need to relax more, step back from a situation, and think, God has this in control, he knows what to say, and he will say it through me when the time is right.

2. Matthew 10:34 "
Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword." sometimes, i think people (and i do include myself in this from time to time) are very quick to judge Jesus and God as overly 'lovey - dovey' and not really as a powerful force to be reaconed with. but in fact, he is. ha. and i think that from time to time i need to remember that.

that is all..


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

my day.

so, today was a mixed day for me. it started off bad, and it looked like it was only going to get worse and worse, and for a while, it did, but it picked up towards the end. sorry to ruin the end of the story straight there. but meh.

so, i woke up at a soul destroying 4.32 am when a text came through, and my body decided that this was definately time to get up. so after reading the text which said "ok" i was so infuriated by the nerve of someone, to not only text me at 4.32 am, but to text me witha ONE WORD TEXT. i mean seriously. what is that!? when i decided to check the 'details' section of the message, only to find that the text had been sent to me at the reasonable time of 11.36 pm some 5 hours previously. at this point the anger did not subside, it was merely transfered onto the general expance of cyber-space where the text must have been floating for 5 hours before deciding to make it's way onto my phone. by the time 5.48 rolled around, and i had been staring at me ceiling, watching the sun slowly creep through my window for over an hour, i decided to abandon the futile attempts at sleep, and just get up. bad move. i started my day by standing on an upturned plug. ouch. seriously, it was an effort not to shout very loud, which i am sure my hosts would not have appreciated. so shattered and with a crippled foot, i stumbled to the bathroom to wash and attempt to wake myself up with some cold water. i opened the door of the bathroom, to find that someone had left the window open the previous night, the room was freezing, and the bath was partially filled with rain water. lovely. so i washed, now adding cold and wet to my list of things to complain about. i walked back to my room and got dressed. this is when i discovered that both my belt and one of my pairs of glasses were broken. this was not looking like it was going to be my day. i fixed the belt, and with the help of a mini-screwdriver i found in one of the kitchen draws, i managed to fix the arm back onto my glasses too. (i had managed not to lose the screw, which would've been disasterous) by this time, the time was aproaching 6.30, so i returned to my room, and decided to make use of the time i had to put the pile of freshly cleaned clothes i had neatly folded the previous night, away. my next act was to knock an almost full glass of water straight on top of the aforementioned clothes, and soak the top 4 items. i put these on radiators, and put the rest of my clothes away. i then settled down to read for a little while, which i thought would be a seemingly risk - free activity. it turned out i was thankfully right. at 7.00 my alarm went off. a mere 2 hours and 28 minutes after i had woken up. at 7.40 i left my house to get the 8.00 bus. i arrived at the bus stop at aproximately 7.47 (yes, that was approximately) i was early, but i had got bored of being in the house, and i decided that standing in the fresh air for an extra ten minutes would be nice. it was at this point that it started to rain. at 8.24 when i was thoroughly wet through, and my bus had still decided not to turn up, i was really starting to get mad and was thinking of ways i could contact the bus service and shout at someone just to vent some emotion. a further 10 minutes later, the bus turned up. i walked on to the bus ready to be gracious and willingly accept the drivers humble appologies for being so late. they didnt come. i got over that, and was cheery enough while buying my ticket. i sat on the bus. it was boring. i got off the bus and mercifully the rain had stopped. running a full half hour late for work at this point, i started off on my walk (which was now a jog) to the other side of burton where i was due to be in school. this walk generally takes me 40 minutes on a good day. i succeeded in arriving at the school, exausted 16 minutes later. i wanted to die. i do two lessons in this school. normally, one in the classroom, and the next in a woodwork workshop. today, being my unlucky day, i just watched the same dvd twice over. i then went to the office. i next had a club at a primary school, where i teach 4 kids. sounds easy? it's not. one kid is 6 and is already in his 3rd school he started the lesson by telling me that he wanted to stab me. he then threw pens and cups across the room and shouted. he then found a foam mallet, and proceeded to hit everything in sight, including me, with it. i confiscated it. and he DID NOT like this. not one bit. he shouted. eventually we calmed him down, and managed to get him to act out being "dead" to be put into the recovery possition by his peers. next, i was back at the office briefly, while i waited to be picked up for kickboxing. it was at this point of the day, that things started picking up. i went to kickboxing, which was good. the exercise made me feel much better, and i got to punch and kick pads that small children were holding. it was good fun. after this club finished at 4.30 , i walked back to town to catch the bus. i wandered round the shops for a bit, and went to the stop to get the 5.08. however, when i got to the bus stop, i was struck with a sudden urge to walk. so i did. i had no where to be, so i walked from burton centre, to Stretton, a little village i used to live in, and i walked out the other side of this, and as far as i could before i hit the main road. having walked for just over an hour and a half, i caught the 6.43 bus home. i got off the bus in the village before mine at 7.03 and walked home from there listening to music. i really found this walk helped me a lot, i have been in the mood for some "me" tme for a while, and what with work, and living with two small kids, i only really get this late at night, when i am too tired to think, so i used the time i was walking today to think, and pray and listen to worship music and reflect on life. it was wonderfull. so i got home at 7.39 and was exausted, but this time in a good way. i ate dinner (home made pizza!!) and showered. and thus concludes my day.
it may have started pretty pants, but i think it really finished well.
i enjoyed it at any rate.

that is all
(2 post in like 3 days... i know. dont be too shocked)


Sunday, 3 May 2009

life. and the joys acompanying it.

so, it is a sunday afternoon, and it's nice weather, but the internet connection doesn't reach outside in this house due to thick walls, so i am sat in my room, enjoying the small amount of sunshine that can get in through the window. it's quite nice. this weekend, has so far, been pretty dull truth be told, so i decided that the time was right to write another blog entry. i dont really have anything specific to write about, so i figure that i will just write until i get bored, run out of things to say, or anything even vaguely exciting comes along to distract me, and draw my attention elsewhere. but for now, i am commited to writing at least something (which i suppose i have already achieved up to this point). today is the 2nd of May, which is fun. i like May. however, this year it seems to have crept up on me a little quicker than i thought that it would, which is crazy. i mean i expect that it has come at pretty much the same pace it always has for thousands of years, but maybe due to a lack of concentration, or a poor judgment of time, this year the month of May has arrived before i felt that i was ready for it. however, as surprising as the existence of May at present is, it is also a good thing, as i said. i like May. the weather is getting nice. exams have not quite arrived yet, and there are two bank holidays and a half term, so the amount of work that i am required to do is less than normal. not that i don't like work, but i do also enjoy time off. listening to music on shuffle is always an experience that i find very enjoyable at times. every now and again it bugs me, and i get sick of bad song after bad song coming up through my speakers, and it makes me wonder why i even bother having this much music on my computer, but other times, such as today, the shuffle button makes me happy to be alive... let me quote to you my "recently played"....:
1. Marching Bands of Manhatten - Death Cab For Cutie
2. All Time Lows - Hellogoodbye
3. White Spiders - John Ralston
4. Amazing, Because It Is - The Almost
5. Time to Pretend - MGMT
6. Fields of Gold - Eva Cassidy
7. Graduation Day - Head Automatica
8. Human - The Killers
9. Be Less Rude - Frightened Rabbit
10. My Stupid Mouth - John Mayer
11. Jodi - The Dodos
12. A Little Bit of You in Everything - The Rentals.
bliss? yes, i think so.
it's times like this that the people who decided that music players in general needed to have a "random" button really start to make their money in my opinion. as uneventful as this day is being, this music is just really making me feel better. my day today has consisted of, going to church. reading Redeeming Love. Watching Wall.E. and now writing this blog. so, i think that we can all agree, that more exciting sundays have happened. but no matter, not every day can be fascinating, and days like this, in which i actually have some time to myself, and time to think, seem to come few and far between recently, so i suppose that i should really stop, and try to use them whilst they're around rather than get bored.
(Add "Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles" to the list above that just came on. it's like iTunes knows what i want to listen to before i even do.)
So recently, i have become more aware of my age that i ever have been before in my life. which may sound really bizare coming from someone who is still in their "teens", but even as i have grown up, i still seem to think of myself as a bit of a child. and that isn't something that i want to lose, i love that playful, easy going side of life, and i wouldn't ever want to lose it, as i think that it would make life far more monotonous, and dull. but when i start 3 new youth groups in one week and the young people guess my age, i would never've expected people to estimate me at being 23, 24 or 27! so that was quite a shock for me, and i never think of myself as even close to these ages. but the fact of the matter is, that next year i will be moving firmly away from my teenage years, in the the scary world of being in my 20's! a brief story now... when i was on the bus on wednesday, there was a young boy, maybe about 3 or 4 sat with him mum. this boy seemed to find something about me oddly facinating and kept staring at me, i didnt have a problem with this, i actually find it quite amusing, but the boys mother obviously thought that her son was being quite rude and told the boy to "stop staring at that man". now at first this struck me as odd, as i had thought the boy was staring at me, and it took a while before i realied that the "man" about which the woman was talking was in fact me! i found this quite funny at first, but then it got me to think, that actually, even though i see myself as quite young and maybe immature, i apparently give off the impression of maturity. im not really sure where i am going with this, i just found it quite fun.
This weekend includes one of the bank holidays in May! (yay) which is tomorrow. as exciting as this may, or may not sound, it promises to be yet another uneventful day. i have nothing planned and i will no doubt just do some work and tidy my desk, which has currently undertaken the roll of "dumping ground" for all the stuff that i didnt want to be on my floor because i kept treading on it. after monday, i enter a shortened week of four days work. which i dont think is going to be particually challenging or altered from the regular course of events. on Staurday (9th May) Burton Yout For Christ are putting on a fundraising event. we are doing a Comedy Night! so arrangements for that are due to be going on all week, as tickets are sold, and we video the children we work with as the say jokes, and say nice things about us and the work that we do. it should be an aweosme event.. unfortunately however... i will not be there. this saturday, i get the great pleasure of going to ALTON TOWERS! oh the joys of being a youth worker. i will be going there to "work for YFC" although what i will actually be going when i am there, as of yet, remains a mystery. so i look forward to doing that, whatever it involves, im sure it will be good. but it basically boils down to the fact that i will be getting a all expences paid trip to alton towers. which i am definately not complaining about. the 10th of May (Sunday) is going to be an early start for me, (which after what i expect will be a very late finish on saturday, could be an interesting one) the reason for the early start is that one of the youth cells at my church are doing a car wash for the church congregation on the morning whilst the service is on, so, as the only male leader on the team, i have basically been given the responsibility of heading this up and being in charch of organisation, so i basically have to be there before all the kids get there. so i wish myself good luck with that. after that exhausting weekend, i then have just one more week of work before half term! when i am going home for a week, and kelsey (then si and jess for a day or two) are joining me in oxford for a bit. which should be good.

well, this is far longer that i thought it would be.
which is not a bad thing..


Thursday, 23 April 2009

three months

so, i think that first of all, we simply have to face facts.
1. i am possibly the worst blogger in the world
2. i will really try better in future
3. this blog will definitely not do the past 3 month absence of blogging credit, so i apologise for that in advance.

since friday the 13th of february, i feel that my life has changed a great deal, but i think that i will actually struggle to pinpoint moments in time, or particular events that have really had a huge impact of me.

so the remainder of february , or that which i can remember of it, was good. as people reading this will doubtless know, my memory sucks. so to be perfectly honest, the entirety of february passed in somewhat of a blur, and any moments that do come to mind, dont really seem very relevant to anything, and i therefore think that it would be somewhat pointless to include most of them, however, one moment, from some time towards the end of february does stand out to me as being kind of significant in my growth as a person, and my spiritual growth.
so, most years, since the age of about 8, i have gone skiing with my family and friends in the february half term, however the last few years, due to exams, and going at different point and what not, i have not been over this period. i still find it slightly odd that once the february holiday rolled around, i was not flying off to france to partake in fun, wintery activities. this february i knew a few people who were fortunate enough to be given the privilege, of skiing for this period. i was, it must be said, a little jealous. i know that i had only got back from skiing over christmas myself, just over a month ago, nevertheless, it seemed to me that these people were stealing my holiday, and i felt a little like i was being left out. as i was thinking about this however, it dawned on me how ridiculous this was. i was being petty about not being able to go skiing at a certain time of year, when skiing is something that many people never get the chance to experience in a lifetime, let alone at a particular time that they prefer each year. so i came to two conclusions:
1. this year, for me, is a bit about personal sacrifices. before this year began, i was somewhat of a TVaholic, however, since arriving in burton, i havent had the privilege of having access to a TV, so, as much as i would like to be able to stand up and say that i have fully abstained from television, i cannot, however, my time spent in front of the cube, i feel, has decreased dramatically. so this was quite a hard thig for me to deal with at first, but as the year went on, i began to realise what a blessing the time was, instead of wasting it by filling my mind with a load of rubbish, i had time to take out to pray more, begin to read my bible more indepth, and just take time out for me, or me and God. so as stupid as it may sound saying that my skiing issue was something that was a sacrifice for me, i think that it represents a lot of things that i've had to give up, and i need to get over the fact that i dont have them this year, and that i can definatley survive without them, and maybe, my life even may be fuller without them.
2. i need to be less concerned with self-satisfaction. i was thinking that if i had had the chance to ski this february, i would've loved it admittedly, however that wouldve been the full extent of the outcome, no one else wouldve benefitted, and this year, i have been called to serve the Lord, and to serve others. so i need to be less bothered about my own satisfaction, and concern myself with the well being of the kingdon, and of those around me.

as march rolled around, the workload seemed to increase a little, there were some small complaints, but i would far prefer to be busy all day everyday, than to be sat around feeling useless. so the increase was good. march was the month in which the YFC mid-year retreat was held. the volunteers journeyed to Kidderminster where we stayed at Fort Rocky for the week. the week was good and God did some incredible things that week, not just for me, but for loads of the other volunteers which i always love to witness as i find it so incredible to observe how people react to the Holy Spirit with a clear head. watching the Spirit act upon others and watching them worship always fills me with a passion to worship myself (not worship myself, worship God, but you know what i mean)
so that week was amazing.
after this i went back to Nunthorpe with Kelsey and stayed with her and Nicole for a week, which was lovely, we just hung out and stuff for the week, then at the end of my stay, i got the pleasure of meeting the rest of the Raymer family. which was just lovely! :)

march moved into april, where we currently find ourselves. work continued much to the same pattern as it always has, still awesome, but still the same. april this year, contained Easter holidays. this year, i spent my Easter with the McLaughlan family in Inverness. this was a new experience for me, and is was "the first time i had ever been to Scotland" apparently. so that was lovely, i saw the sights of Inverness, i saw the wonderful Loch (and monster :/ ) which was lovely, i was given a history of the entirety of Scotland, and am struggling to remember it, which sucks, because it really was awesome to hear about everything, first hand from Abi's dad (a history teacher). after spending the week up in Bonne Scotland, Abi and i journeyed back to the wonderful Oxford for a few lovely days... this was very nice, busy and tiring, but lovely. we did some of the usual touristy things, which was nice, i only ever really feel comfortable doing them when i am with someone foreign, so it was allowed! :)
we then got the extortionately priced train back home to Burton, where Abi then bussed it back to Ashby, and i got the bus back to Etwall.

we then spent my first week back at work in Burton moving offices, to just round the corner.
the new office, is big, and nice, but is one hige room, so could take a little getting used to, but so far, i like it. so that was kind of tiring, lugging things from the old office, to the new, but we are now in, and getting settled, so all is well.

so, we are now back to work properly, and getting into the swing of things, which is nice.

tomorrow, Kelsey, Nicole, and i will be in Leeds for THE RESCUE which should be amazing. i will really try to blog within the week...
i hope...
but i cant promise..
bug me until i do it!!!

peace out.


Friday, 13 February 2009

Disapointment on the bus.

So, on my bus to work everyday, the people who travel, in general, are old. first of all, im pretty sure that the majority of them, actually have no reason to go to Burton, as some of them go everyday, and there is just no way that they have that much shopping to do, or that many places to be on every day of the week. so I'm convinced that most of them are just going in, one, for something to do, and two, to mock the rest of us who don't get to travel for free using our old people's travel passes. the flaunt on, looking all smug as the flash their passes at the driver and go grab a seat while I'm still fumbling for change at the front (much to my disgust, the price of a ticket recently went up 40p!! on a single fare, and 25p! on a return. the injustice.) so most of these old people, who are travelling for no reason, are quite frail looking and look like a good hard sneeze might finish them off. however, there are these two old women who I like to think of the "head-grannies" (just for the point of clarification, i don't actually know either of these women, so therefore, i have absolutely no idea if either of them have children, let alone grandchildren, therefore, i don't actually know if they are grannies, per say, but I'm going to call them that, because i think it's more fun than old-people or anything) . they look like they're in control of what's happening, and if there was some epic war of grannies against the world, these two would be leading the charge. so, in the world of my imagination, i always thought that these two grannies would be mortal enemies, having a silent battle to eventual become the top granny. these two tend to get on at different stops, and I've never seen them exchange so much as a glance (which only confirmed my suspicion that they hated one another). so you can imagine my joy, as granny A got on the bus and the only seat left open was right across the isle from me, you guessed it, next to granny B! i had to pause my music, i was secretly hoping for them to start arguing and for them to cause an almighty scene.
you can imagine my absolute disgust then, when granny A sat down, and not only did she not blank granny B, but she smiled really nicely and started talking to her! i was outraged. but it didnt stop there. oh no. the two of them continued to talk all the way to town and by the time i had got off the bus they had arranged to meet for coffee later that day, and they were trying to sort out a date to meet up for dinner later this month.
so, pooff goes my imaginary granny war.
oh well.

[that was random, but i had fun writing it, so meh]

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

twice in a week. what's happening

so, I'm bored, in the office, and though I'd blog.
i haven't done a lot yet today.
one club was cancelled.
so I've been here since like 10.30, and it is not 2.15.
and mainly all I've done is listened to music, and drawn.
it's been good.
but not very productive.
oh well.

this week is the last before half term, which won't be as busy as normal.
so I'm quite looking forward ton having my first lie-in in like a month - possibly since Christmas.

so that's something to be thankful for.

that is basically it.
I am happy.
and life is good.
I can't complain.
praise Jesus!


Monday, 9 February 2009


so apparently i've become "one of those horrible bloggers that never blogs".
this makes me sad.

but i dont really feel i have anything great of note to say.
so i will keep this short and sweet.

this last week has been very mixed, and filled with a lot of emotion.
i was ill from tuesday last week, and i still dont think i have fully recovered as an annoying headache still presists. i was sent home on wednesday because i was too ill to work, and thursday was a day off due to the bad weather.

for a large part of last week, the weather decided that it was finally time to act like christmas, and snowed.
a lot.
well, no
on the grand scheme of things, the 2/3 inches (maybe a little more) that we had in burton weren't really a huge amount. but due to our countries apauling ability to deal with any type of weather other than showers, rain and downpours, the entire place came to a standstill. schools were closed, people "couldnt get to work" and business' had to shut.
however, i wasn't really complaining at the time.
i had a lovely day on thursday, as i took 2hour walk into the countryside aroung Etwall, and took lots of lovely pictures. [i even saw deer in the snow, it was awesome]

but back to work as usual this week, although at present, it is trying to snow again, we will have to wait untill morning, to see how successful it was.


Sunday, 1 February 2009


...i suck at blogging.
i really wish i was better

so yesterday Tom left for good.
it was a very sad day.
also matt, abi and i went into burton and attempted to get some Engage work done.
im not sure if we were as successful as we could / should've been.
but at least i now know what i'm writing about.

today: baptism at church who are bringing over 100 people. intense.
and i am so tired it's not even funny.
i need a real day off sometime soon.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Good Week

it's been a good week.
busy, but nice.
Monday. instead of having our regular team meeting, the BYFC team went to see a potential candidate to be our new head office as we are being kicked out of the one we are in very soon (we were ment to move out sometime soon after the end of December, but sofar we have been inable to find anywhere new that is suitable or really gives us the kind of space or facilities that we need from day to day). this new office was nice, very spacious, and new looking, slightly closer to the middle of town that our present one, and right next door to the Riverside Church.
after this we went back to the office and talked with selina for a bit about out diary's for the comming month, and matt talked about getting time off. after this, mondays for me mean french club! so off we went to that where we made some little calendars with the months written in french and the kids drew pictures of things supposedly associated with france on them. (i drew The Eiffel Tower). i then have a bit of time at the office before i walk to Rachel's house in time to take the kids to her friend's house to be looked after before we trundle off to CRE8 at William Shrewsbury school. this week however, Rachel's friend was sick, so we couldn't take the kids there, meaning that Seb and Mary had to acompany us to the club. this was, supprisingly, less stressful than monday's normally are, we got to the school like 20 / 30 minutes early and we weren't in a rush setting up and getting ready for the hoards of adorable 9 / 10 year olds to flood us. we had a good club this week and we made picture frames out of card and stuck pasta and rice on to them to make little patterns. after CRE8, i went back to Rachel's house to eat and play with the kids! who are so cute! after this i have the two Youth Cell groups that i do with my church called GG and FOG. the past week, we'd had meetings about both of these groups in an attempt to make us be able to cope with GG and to try to deepen what we are already do with FOG. i think, on the whole, what we did was a huge success. GG was, although completely hectic, quite constructive. we got the kid's to write down a set of rules and consequences designed by them, in a hope to keep the disruption down to a minimum. we then mannaged to play a game without it being a disaster and we talked about some vaguely interesting stuff. great success! FOG, was equally good, we talked about a CD that we had given to all the youth abnd they talked about their favourite songs. it was goood!
Tuesday. ...... .. .. .

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

FAO Mrs Stacey Raymer.

so if my crappy blogging of late was like a 6on a scale of one to 10, i think i have now reached an impressive like 8 or 9 on the "bad-at-updating-my-blog-on-a-regular-basis" scale. that is, if such a scale existed.
so since last time, a lot has happened.
i unfortunally have a memory like a seive, so i may struggle to remeber much about what happened a while ago, but i will do my best, and i will undoubtedly miss out some details, not that it'll matter to you, because you won't know. ha.
So I'm pretty sure that it's been well over a month sinc my last blog, which sucks, and is a little unusual, as i quite enjoy writing them once i get down to it, but i never really seem to have to right amount of motivation or desire to do them beforehand.
here enters Mrs Raymer - who is apparently my personal Blog Motivator.
well she didnt really do more than just ask me to post one, but oh well. i am doing. so i'm happy to oblige.

So when i last blogged i think it was like early to mid december?
i cant remeber, any way since then i've had like 40 days or something of work, holidaying and confrencing.
fun times.
So in december we at BYFC were in the process of getting ready for the holidays by having a bit of a change around in the old timetable front. a few clubs were cancelled due to the schools aranging other things to do for the kids. or because the orogrammes had finished for the term, so on that front it would appear that there was less to do. HOWEVER, no, what with extra clubs, tidying up and general festive jollyness, i seemed to be busier than ever.
I think the highlight of burtons christmas festivities was either:
-the all you can eat chinese staff meal at The Royal Harris
-the "snow" we had a couple of times
-winning first prize in the Stretton Playgroup Raffle. it was amazing (a hamper of random food, most of which i didnt eat, but it had biscuits and stuff which brought me much joy. also included a bottle of some champagne (dont know if it's technically Champagne - doubt it) but sparkling wine at any rate. fun times. thats still in my room, never to be opened)
i can only think of one:
- was when i was made to facepaint small childrens' faces for 2 and a half hours or something whilst feeling the whole time like i was about to pass out and / or throw up. not good times. oh well. i survived.

okay, so this brings us to like the 14th of december or something, after this i had a few meetings, in preperation for what i was going to miss while i was away. and got ready to go.

In our church over christmas (on the 19th, 20th and 21st of December) we had a celebration event called "The Heart of Christmas". the basic idea of this was that a load of places, groups and organisations in the community around Stretton and Burton were given huge wooden heart cut-outs ( about 5 foot high) and were asked to decorate them with something about what christmas means to us, what we see as the heart of christmas. and also incorperate into the design something to do with who they were and their impact on the community.
[i've explained that really badly, but the final outcome was pretty much a load of huge, decorated, colorful hearts all around the church for anyone to come and look at with a free cafe thing on the saturday (20th)]
i heard good things.
i unfortunately had to go home before they were all up eaning i couldnt see them before i left. but i saw pictures and stuff, and i have been told that it was quite a success.

Okay, so i left Burton for the Christmas holidays on December 19th, and, with one bag packed inside another i set off home. the journey was all fine. bit dull, and i had to sit in the hall way becasue some jerk had spilled coffee all over the seat i had reserved. and the rest were taken. so that sucked.
but yeah. whatever

So i was back for a day, turned out to be a pretty busy one, i saw people as best i could to say i only had like 30 something hours in my own home before running away again i went to a PARTAY on friday night for my frieds 19th birthday, and i wourked out that i'd known the person longer than all of her Uni friedns put together. it was awesome. then on Saturday i went into oxford for a look around and to do a little last minute shopping. yay for leaving it untill it's almost too late. so that was fun.
i was meant to be going out on saturday night as well, but i figured that seeing as we were leaving the house at about 4 / 5 in the morning, to get to the airport i thought i'd give it a miss.
instead i unpacked, then repacked and sat downstairs all night, and watched films. (no idea what i watched apart from the start of Pirates of The Caribean 3 and some other random black and white film about some war)
it was aweosme.
so we packed up the car and drove to the airport, parked the car, and walked through to the terminal.
this is where the "fun" starts. at like 7 in the morning, we then proceded to join the back of wht turned out to be an aproximately 2 hour long queue, the majority of which was situated outside. bad times.
we (my mum, my dad and i) then met up with my sister, and our friedns in the queue. which was good.
i hadn't seen my sister in like 2 months.
the longest time since i was born.

the plane ride was all good, and we landed, on time in Grenobles.
we got our bags, and then got on the coach which is about a 3 - 4 hour rde up the mountain to the amazing little (actually huge) resort of Val d'Isere.
conditions were close to perfect.
blue skies, not a cloud in sight, beautiful deep powder. love it.
So this was the 21st of December. we went and got our skis and gear etc and went back to the Chalet (Chalet Charlotte) and ate cake. good times.
these first 3 days were amazing. the weather stayed awesome all through.
i didnt have a single complaint.
so at 2.11am on christmas morning my phone rings, i dont understand what's happening, so i dont answer, so i get a message telling me that it's my own fault not being away at 2.11 on christmas morning.
i forgave her.

christmas day could not've been more different conditions complee white out, and like 85 km/h winds up top. intense. not a lot of skiing was done that day. instead we ate cake and opened presents. and it was fun.

boxing day morning followed the same general trend as christmas day, not the best of conditions, so we had a beautiful lie in.
however, as the day progressed, we saw the blessed return of the glorious weather from earlier in the week. so we skied, and it was good.

we came home on the day of the 29th of December to a dreary day at home, no rain, but bitterly cold. i think i may've made a mistake in traveling home just in my PJ's. no. thats i lie. they were amazing.

onto New years.
This wasn't the highlight of my year.
im not a huge new years fan to be perfectly honest. i mean i can see the point in it, but basically, it's an excuse to have a party, get a bit drunk and set of fireworks, and everyone gets charged twice as much as a regular night when they're out.
oh well.
i went to a party in swindon, where i spent basically the whole night being the only sober one there, trying to clean up after everyone else, and stop anyone getting paralettic.
i succeeded.
we counted down, it was 2009.
all was well.

i then drove home at like 5 in the morning, and slept. a lot. it was wonderful.

the next 5 days pass very quickly, in a rush of business, and chaos.
i saw people, and did exciting things.
i then remebered that i was going back in like 2 days, so decided to pack.
i did.


Staff Conference: Bodelwyddan (sp?) Castle, North Wales.

Worship ALL WEEK provided by...: YFRIDAY!
5th of January:
I got the train from Oxford to Birmingham (First Class! - which means free paper, free tea or coffee, my choice (i went for a cup of tea, and made the mistake of adding weird uht milk - i still drank the whole thing, i mean it was free, and i am a volunteer) and a free bottle of water. with the added comfort of all this being brought to me. and 4 huge chairs and a table to myself!) at 9.06, i then had like a 30 minute stop off in birmingham, and got the train to Burton.
Once back in Burton, i hung aroung the office a bit, then left with Jason to go to Staff Conference.
The journey took about 1 hour and 45 minutes, which wasnt too bad.
once we arrived we checked in. on the way from check in to my room i saw - KELSEY!
wonderful times.
i was sharing with Si (Watkinson) in room 116. go us.
i dumped my stuff in the room, read a beautiful note from our room cleaner person called Stella, and went to the introduction for YFCone volunteers.
we then had a little time to kill so we chillaxed for a bit. i cant actually remember what we did.
we then had the first of many AMAZING meals. it was just - yum!
the evening celebration that night was then held by Roy Crowne (the now ex-head of the whole of Naional YFC)

I decided to give the 7.00am prayer session a miss today.
wise move i think, i was tired.
breakfast arrived. and im not normally a breakfast person, but this was just huge. choice of cereal, or cooked breakfast, fruit, werd museli things. something for everone.
the morning speaker for the whole week was a canadian / american guy called Leonard Sweet, who did a series of talks called- "The Bible as Apple, Orange & Ostrich Egg"
they were very gopod, i really enjoyed hearing him speak.
I then went to a Talk by Geoff BAxter about calling - very good. had head some of the stuff before, but i really enjoyed it.
there was time here to dowhatever, and i cant remeber what i did.
but yeah.
i expect it was fun.
Celebration: Elaine Storkey.
love her.
really good speaker. was a little apprehensive at first, but i really liked it.
karaoke quiz night.
we didnt lose, i dont think, but we also didnt win. but meh.
i was happy with our performance.

i know
it's insane.
but i figured that once in a while God's worth the discomfort (well, God's always worth it, but from time to time i like to fully show it)
it was a good prayer session, writing on baloons and stuff, shoeboxes very enjoyable and i got a lot out of it, some things harder to deal with than others.
other than that -simelar to the day before.
i had a meeting with selina, about how everything was going etc.
and that was all good.
this night we went and played on the playground, and slightly broke a bridge. oops.

Last Full Day.
twas good.
played YFC football, which was good.
our team lost beautifully, and i had no football boots, so i was slipping and sliding all over the shop, but after all, it's the taking part that counts, like anyone's ever head anyone who just won something say that)
the evening celebration - awesome.
we had a good talk, with some slightly more interactive stuff to do
then we had a good oldfasioned christian rave.
twas good times, but had to end after a while.
sad day.
so we helped tidy, nicole (Mrs. I-love-to-pack) was in her element, i wouldn't be supprised if it was like the highlight of her week. i on the other hand was not so ammused when i was asked to coil what must've been about 200 metres of wire.
but i did it. because thats what christians are for.
this was a late night, eople just sat around chatting for ages, by the time i got back to my room it was like 4 / 4.30 and i wasnt asleep untill like 5. i then got up at 6.11 when i got a text.
so that wasnt the best night's sleep in the world.
oh well.

i dont like saying bye.
i find it hard for some people. so not my best day.
we left at like 10.00 ish i'd guess and got back to burton at around 12 by the time w'd got there.
i went back home to etwall, and settled straight in.

we've now been back at work for 2 days, and it's going good.
very tiring still,
and busy
but i love it.

that was long,

and Stacey, if that Blog does not meet you required needs from a blog, then you are being far too picky.


(kelsey - if you read this, feel free to spell check. i cant be bothered right now)