Posts Tagged ‘Narrowboat’


Protected: Cancer

January 22, 2011

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August 6, 2010

If anything, I feel like it’s all too organised. I have everything packed and ready to move to London. I’m not even stressed out (that’s a miracle) that my life is in different piles of boxes;

  • There’s a suitcase with my bedding in and bag of stuff for this weekend, ready for me to take on my train journey tomorrow…
  • … whilst waiting for the majority of my things to come down with Mum and Dad on Sunday. So there’s a pile of boxes by the front door.
  • There’s another pile of things which can come down at a later date, August Bank Holiday Sunday, or whenever my parent’s aren’t on the narrowboat and can manage a trip to London…
  • And another pile of boxes which are ‘in between’ it’d be nice to have on Sunday if there’s space in the car… otherwise, they can wait.

I’ve even made a batch of biscuits and a cake to share with my new flatmate and colleagues, which will also be brought to London by the wonderful delivery service that is my parents!

It’s possibly the most organised move since perhaps even before I started at LST. And yet, it feels like more of a milestone; I wont be coming home after a 10 week term. I have the majority of my clothes, not just clothes for the Summer or Autumn terms. I won’t be catered for, and thus have my own cooking ingredients. Etc…

I presume the next time you hear from me, I will be in central London, when I shall fill you in on the adventure 🙂

I will be living in the ‘real’ world, despite working for the church 😉

Surely I’m missing something?



July 11, 2010

Canals change your perspective on the world.

Everything passes you by slowly. You can appreciate the beautiful surroundings. You can stop where you like for the night (within reason). I loved that we stop in the middle of nowhere most of the time.

I spent the week following Graduation aboard my parents narrowboat, Coriander. I wasn’t sure how it would go, spending a long time with my Mum and Dad on a boat, but we had a good time! At the weekend, Matthew was around too, so he was at my graduation day. We all headed into London early on Sunday morning, as I was playing at All Souls for the Orchestral morning services. Which was followed by lunch at Pizza Express with Daniel and others, to celebrate his new job!

I went home on Friday in order to be around for Amelia’s wedding, which was beautiful! The service was perfect. Incredible. It was truly lovely to catch up with Sophie and the Teague’s – it’s been far too long!

The Teague family

(the girls have grown into models…!)

Sophie and I

The following week, Dave and I spent on Coriander. We had a really lovely time… and we didn’t break it… until we were 1mile away from our rendezvous point with Dad!! Dave let me play with his camera, and I now love photography! Here’s some pictures we both took:

Going through the first tunnel

Coming out the other side; we hadn’t lost a fender after all!

Feeding the ducks

Where we moored for the night; so peaceful 🙂

Watch out, its me piloting!

Me steering us into the dark, again!

Down the locks…

Building a new marina…

Silhouette at dusk on our last night aboard

Silhoette at dusk
As I was saying about perspective, there is a section of the Grand Union canal which runs parallel to both the M1 and the Railway in a valley. But it is only from the canal that you can really appreciate this. Driving along the M1, you would probably have no idea about the canal or railway. From the train, you can, if you’re looking attentively see the canal in fleeting moments. But only along the canal do you really notice this.

I also went to an LST reunion with my original LST year. It was a trek to drive from Nottinghamshire to Maidenhead, and I wasn’t sure if I would really be valued. But, because I promised Dave a lift, I got there. I’m so glad I went! I felt so loved and appreciated by people I didn’t think cared about me. I must make more of an effort to stay in touch with folks…


Protected: Fun Week at London School of Theology 2010

June 26, 2010

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June 21, 2010

Last Wednesday I met Dave in London, we went to the matinee performance of the Lion King. I had been looking forward to it for ages! It might have been an error on our part, booking for the matinee, as we were surrounded by lots of school children! All in all, it was good, but going from all the reviews etc. I had expected the general acting, dancing and singing to be much tighter than it was! But the costumes and set made up for it!

After that, we decided to head over to the pub where Matt White was doing a gig that evening. We ate while waiting for the action. We were there as Matt, Simon and Ben arrived – It was ace to catch up with Ben, as I’d not seen him since he and Simon came with Vizaviz on mission to my school in 2004!

Dave took pictures during the gig, which I really enjoyed. On the way back to the station, Dave asked me if I could drive him to his Mum’s house to pick up some things for his holiday, I said we could do it then, as we’d got out the gig by 8.30pm. So we got the tube back to Northwood, and I drove him to Hillingdon and then back to his home in Finchley.

It was at this point that Dave told me some news. Initially I told him I was ‘okay,’ but my body was reacting before my mind, so I was glad it was dark and we were in the car. I drove off, desperately wanting to ask him questions. But I couldn’t bare to be that girl from that film who turns around and crys.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I got home to LST. I called to say I was home, after a long silence Dave asked me how I was, to which I was able to reply in words that made some sense. He said he was proud of me, that I’d been able to verbalise how I’m feeling, rather than thinking he would guess.

I spent the majority of Thursday in tears, which was, well, embarrassing.

On Friday, I met a friend from All Souls Orchestra for lunch in Covent Garden which was lovely. He’s just got a new job with the BBC starting at the end of the month.

That afternoon, I got the tube to Finchley, sat in the park, and wrote a letter to Dave, which I then went to hand-deliver to his church. He was around and we hung out; everything was bizarrely normal.

I headed back in to London, meeting some LST folks at Regents Park for a picnic to celebrate Simon’s birthday. We then went to the Open Air Theater to see the Cruicible. It started pouring with rain during our picnic, so the performance started an hour late and we were all snuggling up with our cups of tea trying to keep warm! All in all, it was a fun, but late night!

On Saturday morning, I had arranged to visit Chloe in Willesden as she has a spare room going in her flat, which I was interested in. I really liked the flat, but I can’t commit to it until I have a job… so watch this space!

On Wednesday evening, I had a text from Lucy at Langham Arts Office asking if I was free this weekend to play with ASO in Goring on Thames. I was, so I drove over for the rehearsals Saturday lunchtime. We were staying with hosts, and had dinner at the church that evening with all the host families, which was lovely. Sunday morning was an Orchestral Service, with the local primary school choir. We went back to our hosts for lunch, and then at 3 O’Clock, there was a concert in the church. I had a really lovely weekend, meeting some wonderful people.

Driving home, I was exhausted! And I had promised Mum and Dad I’d go and meet them wherever they had got to with the Narrowboat. They were just north of Watford by the time I got there. So I went to meet them for dinner to wish Dad a Happy Father’s Day and Birthday! He really liked the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ mug which I had bought him; then he opened Matthew’s present, to discover he, too, had bought him the same thing! Mum said he can have one at home and one at work now!

All in all, the last few days has been a huge whirlwind…


post exams, post wedding

June 16, 2010

Mum Dad and I set off south fairly early the morning after Victoria and Matthew’s wedding. I dropped them off at the narrowboat as they began their two week boating holiday, hoping to get somewhere near Northwood by the end of next weekend.

I drove onto LST and rested. I was so tired! I wanted to go to church that evening, but I didn’t know where, and I didn’t have much energy. I decided, last minute, to go to St Andrews, Chorleywood. The visiting preacher was Vicar of Baghdad, he was brilliant. I’m really glad I went. His sermon was on 1 Corinthians 13:13

‘There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.’

During the service, I had a vivid picture in my mind, a picture I long to sit down and sketch out myself. I’ll try and describe it though. It was of a human heart. The heart had many scars, some deep, some not so deep. But, despite the scar tissue, the wounds were not only healed, but stronger than before. Which reminded me of a friend’s comment:

‘LST is like having open heart surgery.’

On Monday, I rested some more, and later joined Lizzie J, Manon, Nicola and Shemida on a shopping trip to Watford. The girls were looking primarily for outfits for Graduation day. I already had mine, but needed something for Weddings this summer. I was successful in departing with money!!

On Tuesday I had two cello lessons! Greedy, I know, but it’s kinda the way it happened! My first lessons since my final recital which was, in my opinion, rubbish. We began to think about what next with my ‘cello, and my hopes to do the diploma, and I’m really quite excited about doing a lot of technical work. I need it, let’s be honest.

This afternoon I’m meeting Dave, and we’re off to see the Lion King, which I’m pretty darn excited about!


Es ist vollbracht! Finals etc

June 15, 2010

Well, if it hadn’t been for the funeral, the wedding to think about, for struggling with my health, and for life generally, it wasn’t so bad! Gah, who am I kidding?!!

My preparation for the Bible and People of God: Then and Now, Biblical Sexuality exam kind of began the weekend before the exam. Don’t get me wrong, I had done a fair amount of reading for this module, but my notes weren’t tidy because I’d not made it to all my lectures, and well, I can’t cope if my notes are in order. Once I’d got that sorted, I chose my exam topic to focus on. I went for the Song of Songs and a contemporary application. By the night before, I had a solid argument, but would I remember it?!! I was stupidly anxious about the exam, but somehow found peace that morning. Scott, bless him, came up to my room to check on me and make sure I got to the exam, in a way someone else who wasn’t there might have done. I felt loved. I was able to write for the entire exam, which was amazing, because I thought I’d get physically tired, which I was, by the end, but I did the best I could! It wasn’t till I got out the exam room that I remembered some of the things I had forgotten, but I didn’t think they were so vital anyway!

It was then time for manic cello practice! I was frustrated, because had I had more ‘well’ time, I would have been able to perform better. I was very blessed to have so many people come and support me, especially those from outside LST: my parents, my God mother, Katherine and her Mum, Derek, Rodney, Daniel, Hazel, David [I hope I’ve not left anyone out?!] My Cello teacher also came, which was nice, it also turned out that she and Rodney knew each other from orchestras!! It was so nice to have so much support, but if I’m honest, I felt humiliated by the whole experience! Because I was performing about 2 or 3 weeks short of a ‘good’ performance, in my books! The Saint-Seans started well, but I slipped up in places I know I can play so much better, which was frustrating. The Kol Nidrei was alright, but I think I’ve played it better. And the Toccatta was, well, I got through it, I guess. People can tell me I did well, but I know I can do better! It was surreal to have finished all my LST exams! People went out to the Pub to celebrate, but I was just too shattered, and needed to go straight to bed. Sad times.

I took Thursday off, which was needed! Katherine and her Mummy took me out for dinner, which was lovely of them, they knew I wouldn’t have much time on the recital day to see me, and as they’d come down from Yorkshire to see me…! There was a slightly awkward moment, when Katherine asked naively why I hadn’t invited her to read my blog. I managed to answer without frightening her, and her Mum backed me up, even though she has no idea of it’s content…!

I don’t remember what happened the Friday and Saturday, other than joining in games of Frisbee to discover I can’t breathe after 5 minutes which wasn’t too fun. But the Sunday, I visited Finchley, although I kinda ran out of fuel on the way, which was interesting!!! It was funny observing one of the church wardens drift off during the sermon!! We went to the pub for lunch, played Scrabble and then Dave helped me tweak my Language and Worship Liturgy, which we finished. And, as Dave said, finishing my last piece of LST work was a bit of an anti-climax!

But, as Beethoven so aptly put it: Es ist Vollbracht! It is finished. Done. Finito.

I have finished my degree. I had been dreaming of life at LST since spring 2004. I got my place in January 2005. I embarked on this journey in October 2006. It may have taken me 4 years rather than 3 to complete, but I have finished. And, in all honesty, I don’t know how I feel about it!

On the Monday, I finally rang the LST bell for real. It’s an LST tradition to ring the bell in the library (which was a chapel when it was St John’s) to mark the end of assessments at LST.

I packed the car with as much stuff as I could take home and waited for dissertation results to come out, final recital marks were back also. I can’t complain, but to me, they don’t add up! Last year, when I was pretty darn ill, for my assessed mid-year recital for my dissertation, I got 69. This year, I KNOW I played a heck of a lot better, playing 3 times more stuff… I got 66 for the recital. It’s a good mark, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t make sense! I also know that there was more than 6 marks difference between my dissertation recital and my final recital! My Head of Department pretty much admitted that the marks would have been different had Chris Redgate still been part of LST faculty. I was also frustrated with the comments on my written submission. Again, 68 is a good mark, I’m not complaining at that in itself. But the person who marked it questioned why I hadn’t looked at Beethoven’s specifically religious works, giving examples. I had done in my research! But due to the very tight restraints of the essay, I focussed on Beethoven’s cello works, and acknowledged in both the introduction and conclusion the tremendous role the other works have in this argument. Gah. Anyway, I got 67 overall. Which is, pretty good for a dissertation, I feel.

I left LST Monday evening, drove to Cosgrove and met my parents off the narrowboat, another leg of the journey nearer to LST completed. And we all drove home from there. I was home for the week prior to Victoria’s wedding 🙂