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Archive for June, 2008

Some photos

Life has become very strange, I’m sitting in my old house borrowing their internet, as ours won’t be working for another few weeks. In the last week I’ve moved house, had my last team days, my last drive up the A27 for work and had the last time with my Relay Workers. All in all it’s been a funny few days. Thankfully I now have much time off to settle, sort, unpack and generally believe that I really have moved

Here are some photos from the last week, a teapot my students gave me, a last glimpse of the A27 and my favourite sign on it, our trip to the grand hotel for afternoon tea, our new house with Kev and Lou and me with Anna and Sarah reflected in my sunglasses. More soon when I can find some more internetski.

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Tonight is my last night in Fallowfield Crescent. It’s a strange feeling to be departing from this place that I have loved for four very very happy years. It’s been one of the best places I have ever lived, if not the best place I’ve ever lived. I’ve made some of the closest friends I have here and I’ve hung out, shared the love, had a brilliant place to live and work for all of the years in my current job. In short it’s been incredible. Last night I sat around with my current housemates and we relived the phases we’ve been through as a house, the knitting years, the hustle era, bagel lunches in front of Neighbours, the davina madness, Martin the cat, discovering House, and the endless reams of Friends episodes watched. I’ve lived here with Birgitte, Lizzi and Bodil over the years and it’s been a house that has welcomed others in, Cathy has her own key and we love inviting people over for wine and fun.

Tomorrow all that changes. Fallowfield will still be here, the magic will live on, Lizzi and Bodil and whoever moves in will carry on being hospitable, loving and enjoying life here. I will be moving to Hollingbury, not near Hove at all, in fact the very title of this blog will come into question tomorrow as I move across to Brighton. I’ll be living with Lou, Kev and Larry, we’ve had this crazy idea that God wants us to live as family together and to welcome all around us into that family. That He wants us to serve the community of Hollingbury, get to know them, be part of them and love them. That He wants us to live with each others interests as more important than our own and put aside the stuff of this world to serve others. To point others to the reality of Him. (Read Philippians 1 and 2 for actual proof of this.)

And so we’re going, I’m going to attempt to squeeze my vast amount of stuff into a room 2/3rds smaller than the size of this one (check out my fraction ability Dad :-). We’re going to attempt to live as family, not just being individuals living in a house but caring for each other, loving one another and welcoming all into our mad house. I’m excited and terrified. I’m scared and I’m loving this feeling of stepping over the cliff edge. We won’t have internet for a while but I’ll update you all on how it’s going when we do… Pictures included… I’m glad we’re not doing it alone, I’m glad we have a God who will help us love each other, forgive each other and keep on having hope because of His work in this world. I’m glad that this is only possible through Jesus and his example. And now I’m going to sleep. There is a long day ahead tomorrow as the beginning of this crazy journey starts.

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That I love The Crowded House, not the Australian band, but the bunch of people in Sheffield spawning many conversations all over the shop about church and how we do it and what it’s really all about. Pretty much everything I read by the guys who do stuff there makes me go, YES, that’s obviously what we should be doing, why isn’t everyone doing that?  These are people who really are trying things differently, and not just talking about it. These are ideas that make me glad to be part of the family of God. These are ideas and reality that make me think that it is possible to be real community focused, Bible loving people who actually live out the reality of what God says about loving each other, considering others better than ourselves, living lives that reflect that and rejecting the way of thinking that says my needs matter more than anyone else and that I am my own God. Advert over. But read Tim Chester’s blog.

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Soon I’ll introduce you to my housemates to be, probably when we actually move, denial is easier in the meantime. But for now here’s a little tale of our visit to A and E last night. Larry stepped on a rusty nail, 5 phone calls to various medical friends, NHS direct and the advice of my housemate who used to be a nurse later, we decided to take him to hospital to get a tetanus jab. Together. All 4 of us.

4 hours in A and E, normally a trial that would test even the most ardent of friendships. Not us, no no. We stubbornly refused to leave Larry’s side as he waited for his tetanus jab, and made the most of 4 hours in a confined space together. We listed all the US states we could and played the alphabet game with biblical characters, bands, films and countries of the world (Larry-Oman was the ‘O’). We told stories to each other, Kev and Lou developed a darker side by killing the characters in theirs. Kev tried to teach me maths:

Kev: “If there are 100 legs and 36 heads in a farmyard how many cows and chickens are there?”

Kath: ”I don’t care”.

Kev: “What number increases by 21 if you turn it upsidedown?”

Kath: “I don’t care”.

We wondered why they were X-raying Larry’s foot when all he needed was an injection. We told each other more of the stories of our lives, we played blah or blah (cake or death?, wine or tea?, parsnip or chocolate?), we hung out and at 2am we went home. I wonder if this dedication will last?

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Much has happened since we last spoke. Mainly I’ve been coming to terms with the reality that I shall be moving on from this house to a new one in (God willing etc) a few weeks time (or 1 week and 2 days time). Eek. Lots of things are changing yet again. This job is coming to an end and soon I shall have 3 new housemates, together facing the challenge of being 4 wretches under one roof, trying to consider each others interests as better than our own. I’m torn between wild excitement at the new things to come and despondency at having to leave things behind and face the change in circumstances and relationships.

With all this going on it’s a good job Hebrews 13 is in the Bible. And an even better job that it keeps on cropping up. It says: “Be content with what you have because God has said, “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid what can man do to me?”… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” We have a Rock in such times. We have one who remains with us, and so we can be content and confident. That’s a pretty good thing in this crazy, ever changing world around us.

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