Friday, 30 December 2011

Aims for 2012

Its New Year resolution time and here are my plans.

1, Get fitter and healthier - In a number of ways.
a, Walk / run - aiming to do a 5k run for charity by the end of the year,
b, Do more exercise in general - mainly on the wii as well as walking.
c, Have a better daily routine - including eating breakfast more often.
2, Blog more - I'm not saying how regularly, but more often!
3, Worry less about the future!!! 2012 is gonna be scary but worrying helps no one!
4, Stop being so obsessed with marriage.
5, Be more fair trade:
a, Only buy clothes that are fair trade or second hand
b, Give up non-fair trade chocolate.(Now that is the really difficult one and I've already failed once as I forgot - will ask Brother for tips!!)
6, Be wiser with money.
a, Reviewing giving - not give less but do more with what I give.
b, Review my spending.
c, Make more sandwiches / packed lunches rather than buying them.
7, Pray More! Lancashire district are having a year of prayer I'm hoping to get involved in a number of ways! First plan is to say grace more often before meals. Maybe find a spiritual director.

So here goes!

The top 10 of 2011

Inspired by Bx - I thought I would blog about my top 10 experiences / memories of 2011. Been meaning to do something reflective as December always seems to make people think of the past year - so here are my top 10 –maybe not in the right order – and maybe there are others I’ve forgotten (like Greenbelt, Spring Harvest and Gem’s birthday)

1.South Africa.
For more details of my amazing journey the blog has everything. Truly incredible experience!
2.Setting up my own home
I moved in to my own little house on New Year’s Eve. I spent that day starting to unpack. A year later I’m still not totally unpacked, but it’s my home and it’s been a great year making small memories. I even got a bin for my birthday!
That leads nicely to my Birthday and Party, which was also a House warming party only 11 months late. My lovely old housemates came and made the event possible and my lovely friends and their kids filled my house.
4.4 weddings and a funeral
This feels like the joke of the year. I would like to say thanks to the Oates’ Mortimers, Watsons and Harrisons for some great days and only asked 10 times if we are next – the answer is still no as we have 5 more weddings next year. But in all things there is balance and I did attend a funeral this year too – Rest in peace Mike, what an incredible man and amazing village turn out for his funeral.
5.MWiB in general.
This time last year Methodist Women in Britain didn’t officially exist, but it has greatly shaped my year, with swanwick, forum, the launch, another forum, Children Unite task group, and this is only going to get bigger in 2012, watch this space.
6.Mummy and Daddy’s 25th Anniversary Party.
In October something big happened! My parents finally met Matt’s parents! This was at the lovely party celebrating 25 years of marriage for my parents and my aunty and uncle. Was nice to see the family and get all 8 cousins together – been years since we last did –and Yes I am the shortest now. Had fun dancing and eating.
After reading hundreds of pages of text off I went to Southport. Was great to engage with the topics, going to an ordination, meeting with friends, get to know people better and have a nice nap at the cinema. Looking forward to going again.
8.Connecting disciples.
I love Lay employees! Was a great chance to meet with others and swap fancy job titles. The great thing about working in the church is the vast number of colleagues I actually have, and the random phone calls I sometimes I get from them!
As of the 2nd January I have been leading services all by myself – also known as on Trial. I love preaching. Normal services, prayer nights and of course this last week Christmas day.
10.Work events.
I’ve had a great year, and my first whole year working fulltime. Some of the highlights must be the children’s and youth work ideas fayre, Inspire 5 and getting my baby name book!

I would just like to add what great friends and boyfriend I have that have made 2011 special. The little ones I’ve been watching grow up, the ones who have came to visit and stay over at my house, the ones who have been there for me electronically, and the ones who can finish my sentences for me. But also the ones who weren’t there all year, ones I made and ones I lost and what I learnt from them all.

So bring on 2012!

Friday, 9 December 2011


look at this, 3 blog posts in 3 days! I nearly blogged yesterday about Thursdays and work, but got distracted, and so here is another blog in my series of blogs not about my job!


I was woken up this morning as I get Tweets that mention me are texted to my phone between 6am and midnight each day and at 8am this morning - though 9am her time my friend decided to reply to a tweet sent to her yesterday. Since then I've had conversations on 2 of my 3 different phone numbers, texted of 2, talked to people on MSN, facebook chat, twitter, replied to people who have written on my wall, write on others walls and even old fashioned email! and Current am talking to someone on facebook chat because of a comment they wrote on a group we are both in and that I responded to - during our conversation this person then posted the website I mentioned the campaign of onto my wall. I have also this morning been to a coffee morning at my local church and bought stamps to send the christmas cards I wrote over a week ago now which still don't have addresses on! To get addresses I've texted and facebooked people.

Last night on the new episode of How I met your Mother - on at 9pm on E4 - though I watched it at 10 due to Rev and BBC not having a +1 channel. Ted sets up a date with a girl at the bar and the agree not to look each other up online before the date. This leads them to a first date where they aren't sure what to talk about as they don't have an idea about the other person - which is what would have happened only a few years ago. I've been on facebook 5 years now and have 2 accounts. I'm careful with what I share online, but I'm also very nosey.

This blog isn't finished! But facebook has just brought me more interesting stuff to deal with so I better go!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

How am I?

The tagline to my blog is - a journey into what it really is that changes us, and what working as a professional youth worker can really do.

I wrote that almost 3 years ago when I decided to blog about my new job. You may know that youth work jobs are only 3 years long and therefore I'm getting ready to move on - maybe. So I obviously did bad at blogging the journey!

I've been reflecting after news of another person leaving their job, after many others recently moving on, about what difference things make. How different am I since I started this job? since I arrived at University? Since I joined exec? (maybe that's for another post!)

I often wonder what life would have been like if one thing was different, and I usually go back to the conversation on my front door step in the summer when I was 17 that made me decide to go to MYC in the first place.

This leads on to what makes me me. I'm going to a retreat in January and one thing we will do there (I'm on the planning team so I know!) is writing my life in 10 chapter titles. There are the obvious big things that made me who I am, my brother being born! spending time with relatives, moving house, becoming a ministers daughter, certain friendships I've made along the way - and the games we've played, the memories I have. The high school years, the options I took, my work experiences, the award schemes, my first boyfriend, my first kiss, the interviews for uni's, MYC and MYE, my uni friends, chaplaincy, my placements, the YPS -which did more for me personally before it even existed, Breakout, Greenbelt, competition, working in London, Matt, Aber, Nay, call to preach, living with LB, church family, MWiB. (I realise that's more than 10!)

Slight tangent warning! Then there are the things that happened - like as Vicky Beeching blogged about the internet -

Who would I be if none of them had happened...? maybe I'd be a better person, I'd certainly be different, I wouldn't know many of the people I do particularly if one or two were changed.

I guess this isn't Who am I? but How am I?

Last full day, the last goodbyes and the journey home

Sunday morning started with me joining Rachel and the translator guy for breakfast. He like many other people got the two of us confused, asking if she was the one who was the youth worker – as he had translated my story (now made famous in the Meth rec 15.9.11) during the song the night before. That morning we had breakfast in our favourite restaurant and like every morning after the first when i’d only eaten cereal I’d had scrambled eggs, and I think bacon, and pastries.
We then had the Sunday morning worship service. Dr Fulato Mayo spoke brilliantly about love, marriage, sex, discipleship and meaningful relationships. The whole talk can be found on the WFMUCW website.
Then as the main assembly had business where everyone decided on the aims and action plans that came out of the workshops of the past 2 days the HKMS went off to our room for one last time. We started with what felt like an exam, writing down our comments / evaluations about the week, then as a group we shared with each other what we had enjoyed, learnt. We had really bonded as a group and this was a lovely ending (well ish). And people shared gifts.
After lunch – which I must admit I have forgotten – most of the meals rolled into one really, I caught up with Kathleen and Alison. We chatted about the week, and the process to get there. I found out what Kathleen is up to next and we assured Alison she would be a fabulous Area President. I then went a little late into the Asia Areas presentations. Which were again something totally different, and Kennis, Mu Gay and Ryna did brilliantly.
Then we started the very long closing worship and installation of new world officers and area officers and communion. As always we started late, but there wasn’t quite enough time for Alison Adam to tell us how all the songs went – so some where a bit hairy. I’m very glad I have the whole service in the worship booklet as I don’t remember a lot, I know I was sitting next to Rachel and I think Niki was with us. I know I popped out to get headache tablets and I know there were presents given to all the speakers as I’d been roped in to help put them in order while talking to the new world presidents daughter who was a past HKMS. Lise did a great job representing us!
After that was tea time which I had with some of the other HKMS.
I then had to meet with Britain and some European ladies for a final catch up and talk about our time there. During this the World President came up to me and gave me an Australian ‘I wear black on Thursdays’ Tshirt, a couple of sizes to big but probably my favourite gift of the whole week!
After this I went back to the HKMS – see it wasn’t an ending earlier and after going to Rachel and Ryna’s room in normal clothes I got sent back to my room to put my PJs on. There was lots of food – most of which we had liberated from the restaurant. There are also many photos of this evening. And as women of our time we had 3 laptops out so that the ones who weren’t on facebook were brought into the world of photos groups and status’ To be fair one of the women didn’t have an email address at the start of the week.
As Kennis my roommate went to bed she told Rachel to tell me something... This transpired to be one of the nights earlier in the week I had scared her by rolling over to her side of the bed!
So finally we all left the party and went to bed, assuring each other we would see everyone at breakfast. However I overslept and missed the time we had all arranged to go to breakfast. It then transpired that some had sneaked into the other restaurant as well so it would never had worked! So the rest of the morning was spent running round trying to say goodbye one last time, being given gifts by strangers – including some lovely green earrings. Lise had issues trying to get to another hotel, and Rachel was moving rooms so I went to help her move her stuff and in doing so finally found the swimming pool which is the photo on the hotels website and has been the background to my laptop for the 10 months running up to the assembly. We logged onto the internet one last time – to tell people I was leaving for another 24 hour journey! Then it was finally time to say goodbye. I got my bag, got on the coach and went to the airport. There was hail on the journey and we were told that in Durban there was snow! Not what you expect in SA in August – but then they did!
We had arrived early at the airport – to save paying for a coach which meant we still had money for shopping and food. I had a burger after deciding against monkey juice on it! And had lovely chats with the Leeds Ladies, particularly the one who is also on the forum. Went shopping and got Dad a tie, and Matt salad thingys – it looked like a welsh love spoon but African. Then it was time to queue for the plane and I had a chat with a guy who had many flights to get back to uni in America, and had to use FF points to get the seat so was upgraded!
The flight back was fine, was a bit surreal at one point to look at the map and see that we were above the Sahara Desert. I watched The Way, which is an incredible film that I highly recommend and I’m thankful that Alison suggested it. I also watch west/east ridings – I forget now, but that was really good too. Breakfast on the plane was good, but very early!
I’d arranged to travel back with Chris from stoke. So we sat around at the airport and I drank juice before going forwards and backwards trying to sort a bus/train ticket to get me back to Mum and Dad’s house. Finally sorted it and we got on a bus to reading were we again sat for over an hour till Chris could travel (after 10) watching rush hour people come and do, drinking coffee and eating baguettes – it felt like lunch time! Then our train was slightly delayed but we eventually were back on our way, sitting with a lovely lady and her granddaughter. Chris left me at Stoke then I just had the final bit of the journey left, to get from Centre of Manchester to be picked up by mum and dad. A lovely guy helped me get my suitcase off the train but I stopped him before he went up the stairs as mum, dad and Duncan were all on the platform. And we then went home to holiday club land – were I even stayed longer than planned cos I love Holiday clubs so much. Then Sunday was a shock as I had to preach! But that was when Em came to hear me and we went to booths for breakfast and I met Alex and Patrick, but that’s another story for another day.