Posts Tagged ‘My Blog’


Protected: It hurts

August 5, 2010

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Protected: I’m moving

July 29, 2010

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Protected: Are you listening?

July 27, 2010

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July 16, 2010

Firstly may I apologize for the considerable lack of blogs published over the last 6 weeks or so…! I have them all in draft form and aim to get them published soon-ish [I shall publish them in chronological order to keep some kind of continuity, so you may have to go back a bit…] but I can’t make any promises! I presumed that once I’d finished exams, everything would calm down somewhat, but it’s been quite the opposite, if I’m honest! Hence I have a fair amount I want to share with you!

For now, the most exciting news of the week is…

[drum roll please…]


Under two weeks ago, my friend Shirin, from All Souls Orchestra sent me the link for a job at All Souls Church, for the position of Church Assistant. Initially my brilliant lack of self-esteem said ‘why would they employ me? they know me, I did my first year placement with Langham Arts, I play with the Orchestra, they know how pathetic and rubbish I am…’

But, after some prayers, I decided it was worth a shot, and, after rejection from Southwell Minster for a job which I had done during my gap year, I figured I could take rejection from All Souls and still be happy to play with the Orchestra.

So, whilst on my parents narrowboat, Coriander, with Dave, I wrote my application and emailed it off to them, due to the lack of printer on board!

The deadline was published Saturday 10th July, with interviews the week beginning Monday 12th July.

Having not heard anything on my return from the narrowboat by Monday evening, to be honest, I was a little despondent. However, on Tuesday morning, when I checked my emails I had a message from them inviting me for an informal interview the following day and then a formal interview would follow the next week.

I ‘phoned them to confirm that Wednesday was fine, but I explained that I’d be coming from Nottingham and that I would be in Keswick the next week, so I asked if it would be possible to have the formal interview in the same trip, either an evening, or I was happy to stay over to the Thursday. I was told this would not be possible, but we’d arrange a time for the formal interview while I was there on Wednesday.

While I was on the train from Nottingham on Wednesday morning, I didn’t have much phone signal the whole journey, so I received a voicemail message from Monty, the Church Manager, saying he was aware I would be in Keswick next week, and would I be able to stay that evening for a formal interview with the church wardens. Obviously I said I could, and then began to seek somewhere to stay the night!!!

I was dressed in smart jeans and a pretty top, and just carried what I needed for the day! So I began to worry if I needed smarter clothes for the formal interview!
Shirin said I could borrow some PJ’s and stay at hers for the night, which meant I just needed to buy a toothbrush!

I arrived at All Souls and met with Dave Miller who oversees the Church Assistants. He showed me around parts of the church I wasn’t familiar with, so mainly Church House! Dave told me lots of information about the job, and asked me some basic questions. When he said about the start date, 8th August, I told him about mine and Colette’s plot to go on the Girl Guiding Centenary Tall Ships Adventure, leg 7 from Portsmouth to Falmouth between 9th and 18th August. Dave didn’t seem too impressed by this! As the first month, August is intense training and team building, which is fair enough! During the course of the meeting, Monty found us to change the time of my formal interview to 6.45pm, which meant I had more chance of getting home that night!

Initially I had no idea what to do for the afternoon, especially as it was raining, and I didn’t like the idea of having to eat lunch and dinner on my own. David Marriott suggested going to a gallery, which I was about to do until I met up with Shirin and we went for a McDonald’s lunch, which was lovely to spend time catching up with her and chatting about lots of other things too! I went back to Shirin’s work to check the train times that night on the internet. By that time I’d had a call from the wonderful Cat White, and so we met up at Marble Arch and sat in a coffee shop, catching up and things. During which time we laughed about her pending audition for a part in a Zombie movie, and decided that she is Barbie’s Plus-Size Friend! I wandered back down Oxford Street at a leisurely pace, popping into John Lewis to look at Digital SLR Cameras!

The formal interview was with Mary, an ex Churchwarden in lieu of the two current Churchwardens being out of the country! Roger Salisbury a retired Minister with the responsibility for the pastoral care of the All Souls staff. And Monty Erskin, the church Manager. On the whole the interview went well, I thought! They asked some different, yet encouraging questions, about my faith, home life, and health. I was a little intimidated by the health questions, knowing it has been such an issue lately, and that it had potential to be a concern for potential employers. But I was encouraged by the subsequent questions Mary asked; ‘What are your warning signs?’ and ‘How can we help and support you?’
The three of them were also more encouraging and positive about the Guiding Tall Ships voyage, acknowledging I’ve had much less notice than the others, and also that it would be a really good, valuable experience in itself.

I came away feeling fairly positive, but didn’t want to build my hopes up too much! They said they’d get back to me within 24 hours. I caught the 2015 train from St Pancras, which meant I got to Nottingham by 10pm and home before half-past.

On Thursday I felt quite ill most of the afternoon, which prevented me from getting things done, like packing for Keswick next week! I was frustrated, as this week was supposed to be fairly relaxed, in order to organise things!!

The phone rang late on Thursday afternoon, it was Monty. He started the conversation with ‘Firstly I want to thank you for coming in for the day yesterday and staying for the evening, we really enjoyed meeting you… etc’ So, I was waiting for the ‘.. but…’! So was very surprised when he said that it was a unanimous decision to offer me the job!!

I shall be one of five Church Assistants, it’s mainly a practical job, preparing buildings for meetings, hosting meetings, locking up etc. but with some ministry experience, with different placements each term. There is also the possibility to stay on another year to do their Apprenticeship scheme, which is more ministry based with some practical, which I would be interested in.

The support structures they provide appear fantastic, and although they asked difficult health related questions at the interview, I was able to answer honestly and positively, and was pleased when they asked ‘what are your warning signs?’ and ‘how can we support/look out for you?’

The post also has accommodation available, which I have accepted, just off Oxford Street, between John Lewis and Debenhams, near to the LICC.

I feel so very blessed! I have been praying about where I’d like to be next, and as much as London scares me, my support network and many friends are around London, including friends from home now, too. I was worried that I would be job hunting for a very long time and having to live at home with my parents, which has been fine so far, but I did find it tough while I was at home last year.

Since first year at LST, when my placement was with All Souls Orchestra, I longed to make All Souls my church, to be involved, but I couldn’t realistically do that with the distance and weekend tube works! I will be able to continue to play with ASO, and have some cello lessons with my teacher in London 🙂

Praise the Lord! God is good!


Technology vs. the Arts

April 15, 2010

This morning, during our Arts and Worship lecture, we read and discussed an article by Dick Pountain (editor of PC Pro’s Real World Computing Section) putting forward the motion that computer technology is killing artistic creativity; in the way calculators killed mental arithmetic.

Initially I had my ‘old school’ head on and agreed with his position to an extent.

We discussed how for some composers, programs like Sibelius, are more of a hindrance than a help; Chris Grey (our lecturer) explained how he can’t stand composing on the computer, the visual limitations of the screen and not being able to see the whole thing at one glance. We discussed the inability of the computer to create audible music in a way a live instrument can; the expression, thought and feeling just could not be produced.

We should also concerned about the disappearance of handicraft; we don’t want to lose those skills, either.

In terms of visual art, especially the realm of photography has taken off in the last decade with the digital camera, the ease of editorial programs and ability to publish work on the internet. Has this development erased elite artistry and promoted amateur arts? One member of the class was particularly against digital art, if art draws a link between humanity and the transcendent, how can computer generated, or manipulated work inspire us to look to the divine?

And yet, the more the discussion continued, the more I disagree with the argument. Obviously we need to be wise with how we use it.

I got very cross with the member of the class who said that computers are only a tool which manipulate in a negative way. Yes they are a tool. But so are the paint brush, the pencil, the piece of paper, the instrument etc. Animatedly, I stole the pencil and paper off her and said ‘now create a work of art!’ to prove my point [with hindsight she could have chosen to get up and dance, but she did not!]

Digital photography enables the photographer to practice their skills at less expense of time and photo paper. Editing software enables them to be more creative with the image they have captured.

Personally, I have found Sibelius a very useful tool when I have been composing; but there is the generational aspect here, too; I was taught to compose with Sibelius! It would take me hours and hours to compose with pen and paper, not that I lack the skill, knowledge or theory, but I have learned how to use Sibelius with the ability to copy sections at the click of a button.
I remember when I was very young being told that the only way to compose was with a pencil, manuscript paper at the Piano. This was such a confidence crusher for me, as I lack the ability to play the Piano with ease.

Programs like word are tools which I could not live without and produce the work I need to produce. They give me the ability to rearrange my thoughts, ideas and arguments with relative ease, compared to writing out however many drafts by hand! Had it not been for the computer, I would never had any confidence in my creative writing ability. The option of putting down ideas, coming back to them, rearranging, editing, changing until the author is happy that they are ‘right’ is such a blessing.

Music technology provides the facility to record multiple layers, to save time re-recording in the studio by editing. [Although it was argued that the ‘perfect’ output of some recordings makes live performances seem weak?]

It also enables a musician to listen to various recordings of the same piece of work and compare their interpretations.

We as artists have limitations. Our work has blemishes. And I accept the computer should never take the role of the artist. But the computer can be used, as a tool, by the artist to aid, inspire and develop work.

The computer certainly doesn’t replace other means of creativity.
It has it’s limitations.
But we can use it wisely.


Protected: Last week catch-up and todays achievement

February 28, 2010

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The problem with my blog

January 10, 2010

One of the main aims of my blog is to save me from repeating myself to those close to me how I’m doing. I write it, they read it, then we can talk about stuff.

Except, when I’m so numb I can’t put what’s going on into words. It frustrates me so much.

And then before I’ve even written a sentence, you want to know how I’m doing.

It’s so hard.