Monthly Archives: July 2011

Soul Survivor: The verdict!

Me and mum went for a day to Soul Survivor on Saturday, at Staffordshire County Showground. When we arrived, we had missed the 9:30 am seminar, but we were in time for the main meeting at 11am, with worship, bible study and prayer, led by Mike P (who founded Soul Survivor). That was really good. Mike’s right; I was prepared for lots of strange things happening, especially during the prayers. However, I found it really moving and comforting. After lunch we went to a seminar about hiding things from God. I always thought I was totally honest and up front with God (which I’m not on here for the sake of my job) but during that seminar and afterwards, I began to wonder if that was true. that will give me something to ponder and pray about. It was interesting; the seminars were spilt into three strands, and I automatically looked at the ones about work in the community, which is what I do. However, the two seminars from that strand weren’t really suitable, once I read the detail. I just felt, honestly, that God was saying “Go to this, because its for you and your relationship with me, not you helping others”. Consequently I ended up in the seminar I went to, and he was right, of course! I’m still contemplating that! Overall I found the whole thing really interesting and thought-provoking, but it does leave us with a quandry. We have both decided that we don’t want to give up going to Greenbelt, and I don’t think we can afford to go for the whole time to both events. However, I think, having thought about it, that i would really like to go again. We know we can afford to go for a day, so we may do that again. Maybe by this time next year things will have changed and we might be able to camp for the whole time at both, but right now, I don’t see that! Money is the issue for everyone these days, isn’t it?!?!

London Olympics 2012: less than one year to go!

I do love watching sport, all sorts of sport, and I always love watching both the Summer and Winter Olympic competitions, so I hope that by the time we get to next year’s opening ceremony, we’re not all bored by the whole thing. There will be some people who are bored by it already. I didn’t bother to go for tickets to be there in person. I think we’ll probably get a better view on TV, although I have been to live tennis, and you cannot beat the atmosphere, I confess. I had a friend from Athens, who I went to university with when I did my MA degree. She had mixed feelings about the Games and the impact it had on the city. That’s the last thing Greeks are thinking about by now, which is probably why I’ve not heard from her for some time. We need the Olympics to work well, cos we are going to lose out in terms of general tourism next year because everyone is going to think “Britain’s going to be heaving everywhere, so we’ll stay away”. Everything at the Olympic park looks INCREDIBLE so we should be really proud of that. I really hope we can have a successful, productive and peaceful Games, conducted in the spirit that Baron Pierre De Coubertin invisaged; no money, no gamesmanship, no jealousy or bad losers, just the best competing for the medal and the honour. Something will go wrong, I reckon, but I really really hope it doesn’t!

Paloh the elephant, Daily Mirror, 26.07.2011

In this copy of the Mirror newspaper, was a picture of a baby elephant, chained up at Johor zoo in Malaysia. The pictures were taken in a back yard which is out of bounds to paying customers. This is the same zoo where the orangutan Shirley, who was a chain smoker, was. Paloh cannot move, stands in her own mess, and cannot find shade from the 100F (38C) heat. Given its track record, this zoo needs to close, because such callous treatment of any creature CANNOT be justified. If you want to add your voice to this call, contact the Malaysian Embassy. Call 02072358033, email myconsular@btconnect.com, or write to:

Embassy of Malaysia
45-46 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8QT

Response to Dynamo: Magician Impossible comments

I’m getting the impression that people don’t much like this programme (which is fine) or don’t like people who watch them. People are entitled to watch what interests or intrigues them. My father thinks that anyone who watches Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing on Ice, Britain’s Got talent or The X Factor is thick! That’s a hellva lot of people whose intelligence he just insulted and actually includes his own wife! (Dangerous move there guys; don’t try it! Seriously, don’t!) People like watching things for different reasons, and everyone, including my father, needs to learn that. You can’t make everyone watch documentaries all the time(although I do like them a lot). Not everyone wants to! Some people just want to be left alone to relax how they want to!

Brahms Concerto for Cello and Violin

I heard this work last night on TV on the BBC Proms. It was played by the French brothers Renaud and Gautier Capucon. I don’t know if it was the work itself or how they played it but it was incredible! I used to play the cello at one time.Gautier’s cello reminded me of mine, although mine was a school instrument. Its colour was amazing. I loved it and found it very difficult to give back when I left school. Apparently the brothers have recorded this work so I’m going to look into that. It was written by Brahms as a peace offering to a friend he had a big argument with. It would’ve worked for me, I think!

A crazy weekend…and not in a good way

Okay. Norway. Over 90 young people killed at a youth camp associated with the Labour party there, plus bombing hitting goverment buildings. The guy arrested has confessed his guilt, saying it was “gruesome but necessary”, and he appears to hold very right-wing views, and so wanted to attack things that were opposite to what he thought so passionately. When is killing ever necessary? I guess there are examples I can think of, but even though I felt that Saddam Hussain needed to go and the same should happen to Robert Mugabe (though it won’t), I was still very uncomfortable about everything, because killing can not be justified. I have no issues with abortion for example, if the foetus will not have any quality of life, or with euthanasia for the same reasons, (these two issues are MY OWN OPINIONS. I may work in a Catholic school and I understand what is and isn’t against the tenets of the Catholic Church, but I am not a Catholic myself, and so am entitled to hold opinions. I would not however inflict those directly on the learners at my school), but cold blooded murder, however you explain it, will understandably always leave a taste of bitterness behind.  It was incredibly moving to see everyone going into the church in Oslo this morning. My mum heard on the radio that both Christians and Muslims were joined in grief, both going into the church TOGETHER. Thank you God for that at least! People working together and supporting each other in the shock and disbelief of a situation. That’s what we want to see in the world. Peace and harmony not violence.

Amy Winehouse, despite her troubled life of addictions, did have an AMAZING voice, and wrote AMAZING songs, from the tender age of 13 until she died yesterday aged 27. Having a voice so powerful and lyrics so mature at 13 leaves you speechless. Those songs will still be there, always, and are incredible. Her voice seemed so natural, so effortless when she was on stage, when everything was going right, and yet there was so much power behind it. I hope she is remembered for the music and that voice and not so much for the trouble in her life, although I am not so naive as to think that could happen!

Dynamo; Magician Impossible

Dynamo: Magician Impossible is on Watch. I can’t remember what night it’s normally on, but I just saw what I think is a repeat, at 9pm on Sunday night. I’d seen the trailers, but I can’t see Watch in my bedroom, so I’d have to watch it downstairs, and I didn’t think my parents would let me! They didn’t argue, and I’m glad, cos it was really good! I’ve seen Derren Brown who does similar things, although he doesn’t do ” putting my hand through a glass cabinet or going from one side of a glass window to the other when there’s no apparent way of getting out” type things. This guy does. He also managed to make credit cards that he got someone to hold in their hand, literally fly upwards into his! I really don’t know what I think, apart from I know that there is a technique in there somewhere, but it’s just interesting! Derren Brown showed us behing the scenes of a trick he did with Meera Syal (of Goodness Gracious Me Fame) in one programme. Seeing how it’s done didn’t ruin things for me. I still found it interesting and intriguing!

Harry Potter!

WOW! I saw HP and Deathly Hallows Part 2 last night. Brilliant! I may be a lot older than Daniel Radcliffe but he is very cute these days! A mate of mine has said for years that he is a very wooden actor, but maybe he has improved as he’s got older, I don’t know. My friend thought Ron was hilarious, and I just knew that the film makers would go to town on the Battle for Hogwarts. Just reading the section in the book, told me that it was a gift to anyone producing the action for the big screen. My friend isn’t a big Potter fan, but she did enjoy it, I think, so just go and see it. Very good!

Africa

Wow! I’m seeing things on the news that are taking me straight back to the vague memories I have of the footage in Michael Buerk’s report that inspired Band Aid (I was only four or five at the time. I definitely remember the concert, but I probably saw the news footage when I was older). It’s not something I ever wanted to see again; babies so weak because they had no food. At the same time we’re seeing celebrations as South Sudan becomes the world’s youngest nation. There is still fighting along the border (a lot more finance thanks to oil will be available in the South) but I do hope and pray that this can be can be a solution to allow people to live in harmony with one another. Whether it will be or not, we will have to wait and see…

To help in east Africa with the famine, the DEC has now launched an appeal, as have Save the Children, WaterAid and UNICEF among others.

www.dec.org.uk

www.wateraid.org/uk/
www.unicef.org

For Save The Children, just click on the link from the list on the right hand side of my blog.