Posts Tagged ‘Scrabble’

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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 🙂

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It feels ages since I’ve blogged

February 3, 2010

Partly because I’ve been feeling numb. Doesn’t feel like there’s an awful lot to share, yet there is.

I spent the weekend in London, visiting the wonderful David. It was nice to spend time with him, even if he did beat me at Scrabble, but I say that was only because I skipped four goes waiting to get my first 7 letter word on the board!
I got to hear Dave’s band for the first time, which was good. And meeting his friends, I now have faces to put to names 🙂
I spent Saturday with Keswick Kids team in central London. Was nice to see people again, and pray lots. Although I found it hard, considering where I was last year at Keswick. We’re also praying Keswick returns to some sort of normality by the convention, following the floods. The building we use and live in was gutted, but on the plus side, we hope to have newly renovated accommodation and showers etc!
Sunday I returned with Dave to Finchley to play at a commissioning service for their new Children and Families worker – Ro Willoughby. It was lovely to see Dave’s church in action, and also to play my cello in worship – it’s been too long. I got to do some nice practice in the freezing cold church before others’ arrived, which was fun. After the service there was a tea in the church hall, most of the stuff I shouldn’t eat, but I did anyway. Then I crashed. To the point of someone from Dave’s church asking him if I had M.E.; she could recognise it from the way I wasn’t able to hold myself sitting down! Dave took me back to have a nap on his bed before we had to head towards St Pancras for my train. Bless him, he carried both my cello and my suitcase all the way. The guard saw me as soon as I got on the train, and offered to put them in the guards van for me. Such a blessing. I was in so much pain the whole journey, it was horrible.

I helped Victoria and Matthew with their Wedding invitations. Writing gift lifts, cutting and folding. We got them all done in one afternoon, which was nice. Bridesmaid duties are fun.
Mum and Dad have been invited, which is really sweet, so they were the first to receive their invitations! They’ve also given me an invitation ‘Elizabeth and Guest’ Hmm.

I saw the Nutritional Therapist again on Monday. She’s pleased with progress I’m making, but agrees… there’s still a way to go yet! We’ve made a few alterations to things, and she’s writing a letter to LST.

On Tuesday I had the last appointment with the CBT man. He read me the letter he’d written to Dr Brown. It was a strange session. We wrote ‘rules for living at LST’ to get me through, essentially.

  1. It’s okay to say ‘no’ in order to preserve energy, or if the demands are unreasonable.
  2. It’s okay to ask for help when I need it (including friends and staff) I’m NOT wasting their time – including if I need to call Graham.
  3. It’s better to stop and take time out before I feel rubbish.
  4. It’s okay to feel rubbish – I’m not always going to feel like this.
  5. Remember I’m on the bus! (Allow my thoughts to pass by).
  6. Listen to relaxation tracks and/or watch DVD’s to wind down before going to bed.
  7. It’s okay to have a social life (but no building snowmen!)
  8. It’s okay to feel lonely at times; it’s not forever.
  9. Pacing activities and plan rest. Protect rest times.
  10. Be honest with how I’m doing, with myself, friends, lecturers, GP etc.
  11. Avoid Boom and Bust or Rest and Rush.
  12. A flare up is not a catastrophe.

I need to put that up on the back of my door to remind myself regularly.

I saw Dr Brown this morning, she was lovely about the whole letter thing. I felt bad for not being able to tell her. But she understood it’s not the kind of thing you can just slip into a short GP appointment. She printed off a copy of the letter and put it in a sealed envelope (so I won’t read it again!) in case of emergency when I’m back at LST. She’s given me enough meds to get me through till Easter. And we decided it’s not worth me re-registering with the Eastbury GP’s, but rather go as a temporary resident…

It’s been snowing here today!

It better not get bad again and delay my return to London. I will not be impressed!

I’ve started packing for LST. My room is a tip! Books and clothes all over the floor… well, no books anymore, now they’re in 5 boxes, which I filled with clothes so they’re not too heavy.
Mum and I did a food shop yesterday, so I have plenty of supplies of things I can eat to get me through!

It’s less than a week until I return to LST. I just want to be back, now.

Except now it’s getting close, I’m getting really quite anxious about it too. Which doesn’t make sense; I’ve been looking forward to returning to LST this whole year. I can do this.

Why do I feel so numb?

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Protected: I can’t sleep

December 22, 2009

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I expected the worst

December 21, 2009

The last 48 hours of my life have been pretty awesome.

I caught a train down to London on Saturday, to spend a long afternoon with a very good friend of mine. As the train went further south, I watched the fields being covered in a thicker blanket of snow. I didn’t see any snowmen, or evidence of sledging, though, which was odd. It was lovely to see Dave again. And to see Finchley, his Church and where he lives, so now I have images in my head so when we chat, I’ll know what he’s talking about (ish). We went to a cafe for lunch, watched an old episode of Have I Got News For You from about 8 years ago, with Boris Johnson presenting. Love it! Dave didn’t even have to pretend he liked his Christmas present, which was nice! We had a pub meal on the way back to the train which was yummy. It went really quickly though, which was upsetting.
I miss being able to just hang out.
I also don’t like not knowing when I’ll see him again.

When I got back to Nottingham, it was snowing, huge snowflakes. This made me very happy! Maybe I can do this whole Christmas thing? Mum and Dad picked me up from the station and we drove home in the snow. As we got back to Radcliffe, though, it had stopped and we’d just had a light splattering of snow. Not enough to do anything with. Humph.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was feeling. Yes, I was physically tired and achy and in pain, but I wasn’t in the heap I’d expected following a day trip to London. This is good.

Sunday, I’d expected to have been a complete wreck, too. Having taken a while to get to sleep.
However, I got up about 12.30, maybe a bit later, cooked myself breakfast and got on with things. Mum and Dad were out moving the narrow boat [fools] so I was home alone. I had expected to be in a heap, crying all day, but I wasn’t.

I found two albums that helped me work last year. I put them on random play today, and surprisingly, I was productive!

I completed my application for the Liturgy and Music Assistant job at Southwell Minster. I received a message from Noel Tredinnick saying he’s happy to be one of my referee’s. So now I have DP, Rev’d Dr Jules and Prof Dr Noel!

While I was doing this, it started to snow heavily again in our village. So I paused Scrabble and the job application to take some pictures. Fun times.

Mum and Dad came home and we decided we’d go to St Mary’s in the village for their Carol’s by Candlelight service. It wasn’t bad, but I find it really hard to worship when things don’t run so smoothly. The choir has improved over the years, but there’s still a bunch of old women who warble and it’s just not nice choral singing. The solos were all over the shop and it wasn’t tight. Maybe I have been spoiled with my musical upbringing? And I’m used to things running like clockwork? Despite these, and other flaws I decided not to mention, I did manage to engage with God, which was ace.

I think I’m going to print out a copy of my Statement of Faith and stick it on my wall. Because writing that, and my testimony have been two really uplifting things for me this week.

I think I’ve found that place where I can stop trying so hard with God, and just be in his presence. I am feeling very positive and excited about LST work. And returning to LST. And trying to picture how I’m going to feel at the end of my Dissertation Recital, my Final Recital, and Graduation Day… It still seems far off, but yet there’s also a possibility it’s in reach. And I’m going to be as ‘beautifully stubborn’ as I can. To do my best to finish all my coursework before February, when I hope to return to LST.

I am happy. I just don’t know how long it’ll last. And I wish I could sleep without my mind going on overdrive!

The only thing is, it’s now past 4am and I’m not asleep, I’m just beginning to get sleepy tired. But I have a GP appointment at 10am. I need to talk with her about my options for completing my degree. Scary stuff.

This week I am to send off the job application, do some research for my programme notes and also some Jubilate work. As well as see friends and do Christmas. Hmm… we shall see..!

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Sometimes no matter how hard I try

November 21, 2009

… things don’t change.

Another low patch has hit which seems unfair considering how bad the last one was and I hardly seem to have had any rest-bite in between.

Just having a bath (which I had been putting off because I knew it’d kill me) left me so drained. I just sat waiting for the towels to dry me… then getting dressed was such an effort. My day didn’t really start till mid-afternoon. I didn’t began to feel a bit more human until well into the evening when I forced myself to do some work for Jubilate. It took my mind off things, which was good. I needed that.

And yet God is cool. He’s still there. I know that. Which is something that has changed 🙂

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On the whole, today hasn’t been too bad either :)

November 19, 2009

I was up, having eaten breakfast before midday; I was proud of myself.

I went to the Chiro, which helped, but, not surprisingly I was very sleepy when I got home.

I made myself ham and cheese omelette for lunch and had lots of fruit after wards 🙂

The afternoon was spent chatting to friends, playing Scrabble and composing a difficult email.

I then went and played my Cello, practicing for a performance of Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 I love it. Although it brings back memories of the immense Cello concert in the Quire at Southwell Minster about 3 years ago, the November of my first year at LST, when I first played this piece.

I love how Mum has the energy to come up two flights of stairs to question me about the disappearance of specific chocolate, but doesn’t bother coming upstairs when I’m feeling ill/most need her. I also find it amusing that if she was so desperate for chocolate in general, what is wrong with the Milk Tray we opened the other day? Or a Picnic bar, or Mini Eggs, or a whole host of other chocolate things under the stairs! But no, she wanted a Toblerone. Phil’s response was:

As your confessor, I hereby decree that as an act of penitence you must go out and buy her the BIGGEST bar of Toblerone on the planet. I will then grant you absolution.

Thanks Phil, very kind of you!

I am still in pain and stuff, and despite wavering this morning, I’m holding in there 🙂

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Protected: Today’s questions

August 24, 2009

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