Posts Tagged ‘Seasons’


Free to be me

March 29, 2011

Here’s (yet) another poem on the subject of M.E.:

Free to be me

Once upon a time,
I could think of a rhyme
that was not about M.E.
rather, me.

Caught up in the fog,
left me stuck in a bog.
And I’m trapped,
trapped by the walls of M.E.

Sleepless nights
will bring me no more frights,
because of my identity
(and that’s not in M.E.)

Fighting the fatigue
that did not belong to me.

I have a retreat,
where I can hear the birds tweet,
in the sanctuary
of rest.

I’m not defined by the rain,
even when I’m dancing,
and in pain.

My identity is free;
free from M.E.
free to be me.

Free to be
the woman God called me to be;

In my weakness,
the weakness of M.E.,
I had no choice
but to rely on The One you despise.

You can tear me apart,
you can wound my heart.
But you may hold me no longer;
this fight has only made me stronger.

Because He died,
He died for me.
He died so that I,
could be free.

Free, from the pain,
the rain,
of this world.
From the things that bound me
to M.E.

And Iā€™m
Free to be
the woman God called me to be;


Blue Monday(s)

January 24, 2011

Beat Blue Mondays


A few reasons I find living in central London hard

November 30, 2010

Finally, we have some snow falling. But the ground is wet and it’s not settling. Yet we have the freezing cold temperatures that go with snow. Not fair. My friends in both Northwood and Finchley have good, settling snow.

As I ventured out into Zone 4 on Sunday, I nearly cried.

There were leaves on the ground. Autumn Leaves that crunch underfoot. I enjoyed kicking them as I walked along the paths. In central London, the leaves that we did have here were swept up into plastic bags and taken away for being composted.

I saw frost on cars in the middle of the afternoon. I had seen that in the afternoon, but what I saw next I realised how much I missed; the grass on the verges of road was frozen solid and looked so pretty. I miss seeing that. And hearing the crunch underfoot.

I miss the countryside.



October 24, 2010

I love Autumn. Not just because it contains my birthday and bonfire night. But because of the beauty that is revealed to is in the created world. I feel so blessed with my new camera, that I can capture moments, and enjoy them for moments to come. Here’s some of what I saw this weekend around London:

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Keswickian Adventures

July 24, 2010

I headed up North, on my way to Keswick via Newcastle, to stay the night at Cam’s wonderful house, in order to break up the travelling. Before heading over for the Keswick Convention and the Kids work that we would be doing. Here are a few things I want to share with you:

I caught the train from Newark on the old GNER route, and, whilst in Doncaster, there was an announcement made: ‘we apologise for the delay to our service, this is due to a new windscreen wiper being fitted to the front cabin.’ That has to be one of the most genuinely brilliant reasons for a train to be 8minutes late! Or, it’s just me?

When I arrived at Durham station (where Cam had arranged to meet me), we got in the car, and Cam got out two plastic cups and a bottle of Sprite, as Champagne to congratulate me on my new job! Wonderful. Absolutely amazing. I love Cam.

The journey back to his house was fully of laughter and giggles, I was so glad to be with him, to have been made happy by his presence! I discovered a large trampoline in his back garden, which, obviously, I had to go on! I can’t really wonder why I was tired after that… la la la

We arrived to a dull and drizzly Keswick, but this would not prevent us from having fun!

On the Tuesday (I think), Keswick had both a Hose-Pipe ban AND a Flood Warning in place!

Bearing in mind it was somewhat of a miracle that we were able to use the building we used last year, as in the November Floods, Rawnsley Hall was under water! Ironically, the only room not to be flooded was the basement, the anti-flood pumps were working, pumping all the water up, into the main hall, sigh.
We have a brand new industrial kitchen, with industrial cooker and dishwasher, a vast improvement on the old domestic ones. We had temporary floors, a new girls dorm which, in my opinion, was much better than being upstairs in the old creaky science lab! And we had porta-cabin loos outside… as the downstairs loos were somewhat unusable! It was all an exciting adventure anyway šŸ™‚

Because of the school holidays being slightly earlier than usual this year, we had about twice as many kids in the 5-7’s tent as we normally get, which was exciting, but manic! I spent the whole of the first morning doing registration and admin! It was my role for the remainder of the week to be on the door as the kids arrived and showed them their groups, by the time this was finished, it’d be time for drinks and biscuits, and loo runs…! So, I didn’t actually get that much hands on time with the kids this year. But it was all good, we all worked well as a team šŸ™‚ But, I was really surprised when one of the kids brought me a leaving present and thank you card on the last day! It is a little blue bracelet šŸ™‚

This year was also exciting because their we’re three new additions to the team, all born within 6 weeks of each other. Fun times šŸ™‚

We had a visit from Simon, from Scripture Union on the first day! But I didn’t mind, as I got to play with SU’s DSLR Camera and show Simon how to use it in the process, teehee.

When I was at my interview last week, Monty mentioned that Oscar Selfridge, who would be another Church Assistant alongside me next year, was also at Keswick, but he didn’t know what he was doing in Keswick! I asked around a few folks, and found him in the Skiddaw Street Stewards team. We exchanged numbers and met up later in the week in Costa, which was lovely.

I got a message from Monty at All Souls, saying that he’d need me there from the beginning of the contract, so I can’t go on the Guiding Tall Ships Trip, which I am gutted about, but my new job is important. I was more disappointed when I got home to discover that Guiding wont give me my money back, so I’m down Ā£475. Rubbish.

I wound up heading home from Keswick 18 hours early. I was ill, tired and stressed. I know my priority is to start my new job fit and well, not ill, so I didn’t mind. It was strange to think that this year I did not go to the Lake, I didn’t go on a boat trip, I didn’t play crazy golf, I didn’t go to Java and eat Chocolate Fondu, I didn’t climb a hill. But, I was content with what I did do šŸ™‚


Stepping out into the unknown

June 23, 2010

Stepping out into the unknown

Breaking free
from the bonds
that have bound me.

Bound me
to the place
which will no longer be for me.

Stepping out into the unknown

I cannot see
what is in front of me.

I have never been so sure
of the ground beneath me.

Stepping out into the unknown

I have hopes,
I have fears.

I have never been so sure
of the light which will guide me.

Stepping out into the unknown

I step in faith.
Into his hands
I give him my plans.

Stepping out into the unknown

I lay my life
in the Potter’s hands.
My life, my heart, my all.

Stepping out into the unknown

I want to be made new,
I want to live for You.

Stepping out into the unknown

Where the journey may lead me
let prayer be my guide


Manic weekends and decision making

May 4, 2010

This weekend has been crazy, especially as I still hadn’t recovered from Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t seen the photos, they can now be found here, thanks to the wonderfully talented David Marriott.

On Friday evening, Steve, a fellow W3 class mate had his Jazz dissertation concert at Fairfield Church. I’ll be honest, and confess that I went more out of duty than will. But it was good to get out for a bit! I had to make a swift exit, as I knew I needed to get to bed early-ish to survive the weekend!

Fortunately the 10-6 rehearsal with All Souls Orchestra on Saturday, was reduced to just the afternoon (as on Thursday it was decided we didn’t need the Strings only morning rehearsal). I drove to Finchley in the morning, due to some interesting logistics! I got into London and met friends for lunch on All Souls steps.

Again, as soon as we started playing, I just felt so different, so natural, so enjoyable, so in love with music. I picked up 25 FREE tickets for the Arena on Saturday, to give to LST folks.

I had to leave the rehearsal at just gone 4pm in order to meet Dave at Euston for him to ‘cello sit for the weekend… and let him have the tickets, too, to offer to folks from his church, which ended up being much more popular than he thought they would!

I got the train from Euston to Wilmslow, during which time I battled with God over this job; since last Wednesday I don’t want it, really! But if God wants me there, then… I also called Dad and Ed, (the NSGSO cello tutor in Birmingham) to catch up, as I haven’t filled him in since November, when I was really ill!

I was met by Simon, the Vicar when I arrived at Wilmslow station. He seemed nice enough, but I was initially intimidated by him. I had dinner with him and his wife, Dede, we chatted about various things, they seemed more interested in my parents narrowboat than my musical interests! Later that evening, I met Sarah, their daughter, she is currently working in her gap year before going to Cambridge uni, she’s lovely!

The vicarage was so cold, I was glad I’d had to pack my only clean PJ’s, which were my ‘winter’ ones! When I woke up on Sunday morning, I wanted to go home, I don’t want the job! How could I get through the day like that?

I must have dreamed that Simon said that the Bible used in their church was the New Kings James Version and that their main source of music was the English Hymnal! So, I was somewhat relieved to find they use the NIV and Mission Praise!

The morning service aided the idea of the job to grow on me. I met another candidate and his fiencee who were lovely. The church are thinking of having two Ministry Trainees this year, so we weren’t in competition with each other :o)

I went to a couple’s house for lunch, which was a little strange as the husband would interject a natural conversation with slightly awkward questions! I was explaining my testimony and he was jumping ahead the whole time! When we got onto the subject of female preaching we had some nice awkward silences! They explained how as a church, they believe that women have different, not lesser, roles in the church, and that this is very clear in Scripture. To which I thought maybe they should update their NIV’s to TNIV’s!
They were very enthusiastic about the North West Ministry Course, explaining how in the mornings the course goes through the Bible, puts everything in context in the ‘big picture’ to which I thought, ‘so, first term at LST, then!’ The afternoons are more practically orientated, giving opportunity to preach (I need to check where they stand on the women thing!) and how to lead small groups and deal with pastoral issues. All of these things I would gain from, as doing the Music course at LST I have missed that side of it…

I then met with the two church wardens, which was a much more natural conversation. I asked them about the role of women thing, they affirmed what the other couple had said, but insisted that I would be able to teach the woman’s groups and suchlike, it’s just that I wouldn’t be allowed to preach to the whole church family.

It was then time for my official interview with the Vicar. 10 minutes in, he asked me about the 4 theories of Atonement! My mind went blank and I somehow managed to waffle about not having come to a firm conclusion yet myself… but I do remember thinking ‘eek, potentially another hour and a half of this!’ It wasn’t all bad, we chatted more about my degree, about worship, about sexuality and how the church can respond to these issues. We talked about music and although he confessed he isn’t a musician, he encouraged me that I would be able to have time for cello lessons and maybe an orchestra. We too talked again about the women in ministry issue!
He explained to me how the training would work, and although it’s not an accredited course as such, he recommends it. The current Ministry Assistant is an Oak Hill graduate, and he gained a lot from this course, even though he’d been to Oak Hill (to which Dave Marriott reminded me that Oak Hill isn’t LST… so…!)

I then had chance to chat with the current Ministry Assistant, Paul, and his wife, who was very heavily pregnant, due last week! It was nice to see the flat, but if the church decide to have two Ministry Assistants for next year, it’d automatically be given to the guy and his wife-to-be! Which, in all fairness would be better for me personally to be lodging with people, rather than being in a flat on my own! Paul said how excited the church were when they found out a female was interested in the post, as it would mean that I could potentially mentor some of the girls in the youth, which Paul has been doing with the guys…

The evening service was more relaxed than the morning. There was a larger music group, including a cellist and a violin player. I feel the music group has much potential!

Wilmslow is beautiful, I cannot deny that. And it’s position in relation to the Peak District, and even North Wales and the Lakes is desirable. It only takes 30 minutes to get into Manchester, where I am sure I’d be able to find a cello teacher.

My attitude towards the job actually made the day bearable, in that I wasn’t really nervous, or checking everything in my head, I was just myself!

Interviews are just as much for the interviewee to see the place, as to be interrogated by the interviewers!

I want to play the Cello.
It’s not London.
I have no connections in Manchester, bar one.
I don’t know how hard I’d find their view on women in Ministry?
Do I want to be their first female Ministry Trainee?
If the other guy didn’t come, would I be happy living in a flat on my own?
I wouldn’t be paid enough to save towards pursuing Music College later, especially if I were to have cello lessons and still be on the amount of Nutritional Therapy supplements I’m on now!
I want to go to Music College, or do a performance masters.
There aren’t many people in the church in the 20-30’s age group, but I’d probably get over that.

I feel so incredibly torn. If they do offer me the position, I’m going to have to do some serious thinking.

On the train home on Monday morning, I began to get a migraine, which was horrible. By the time I got into Finchley, where Dave met me at the station, I was feeling rubbish and needed to sleep! Dave is incredible, he let me sleep on his bed again, and woke me up to eat food. I cried; I felt so crap. I am so torn about the future. I’m so scared about the next few weeks at LST; how am I going to survive them? He held me and let me cry. I felt bad as I couldn’t stomach a bacon sandwich which he’d just made me, so he made me soup and ate the bacon sandwich himself! And then he sent me on my way home to Northwood, after going via the church to pick up my cello, at which point he complemented my driving, which was lovely!

I received a phone call on Wednesday from Simon, informing me that they want to take up my references before making a final decision, which I guess is a good sign?

I just want closure on it, though.