Monday, 24 September 2012

someone parked in my space!

I know I've said before that I'm a bit of a control freak, but I'm also a creature of habit. You also need to know that I live in a place where the houses are in one part and the parking spaces are in another part. There are more spaces than houses and every house has one parking space.

I was driving home on this very wet night from my youth club and arrived back at home, but as I drove up the drive I noticed someone parked in my space. This unnerved me. And at first I wondered who was visiting me. I normally just go straight into my space, but am glad I wasn't so much on autopilot that I drove into them.

Now its not the end of the world, there was somewhere else to park, but it felt strange, walking to my house from a different side, and thinking that someone else's car is in my space. I know I rent this house and its furniture, but it does feel like mine, my house, my stuff, my parking space.

I'm not sure why it unsettled me so much, but I know I think things through by driving or by blogging, and as driving wasn't an option the latter became my plan.
Maybe it's just cos it wasn't what I was expecting, and it was out of my routine, but Someone parked in my space!!!!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

impulsive or indecisive

I’ve always had issues making decisions. Mostly because I am indecisive, but also because I’ve grown up in a society where I can have it all – or at least one of a number of options. However when I have made a decision I stick to it, and then generally make it happen straight away.

Let me give you an example. When shopping for food I like to know in advance what I’m going to be eating, and over time I’ve got favourites and regular meals, so now it’s really easy to pick up what I need. When shopping with Boyfriend the other week it took longer as he kept adding options – usually to make it cheaper, but it meant I had to rethink and re-decide.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to have half term off – as there is currently nothing in my diary (which I know as I plotted my wall planner over a week ago now) and that I was going to go to Sweden. After being a bit jealous that I wasn’t taking him with me Boyfriend commented that I was impulsive. Now I don’t think that I am, he just hasn’t seen my thought process over the past year. Ever since I got back from South Africa I’ve been working out where I can fly to next. I love flying as it’s the only form of transport that I don’t get sick on. I also enjoyed going to the Paralympics as I got to go through the airport style security. And now I have a passport I am ready to go! Also about a year ago Best Friend moved to Sweden for University, and I’ve been saying that I’d like to visit her – add to that the fact I missed her in the summer when she was in the UK cos I was shattered and ill. So really it makes logical sense, it’s just that someone who hasn’t been through the year long thought process and just saw me yesterday where I decided to book flights to Sweden and did.

It is because I am rubbish at making decisions that when I do I run with it and make it happen. So maybe I am impulsive, but I think it’s just cos I’m indecisive first.

Monday, 17 September 2012

So far so good

I apologise before I even start that this may be a bit of a soppy post.

Driving home from work tonight I was thinking about the past two weeks of living with Boyfriend. He’s working late in Preston at one of the projects connected to the charity he’s working for, and we decided I wouldn’t pick him up as he could get a bus and it would be miles out of my way. It’s just strange, I’m now worrying about him, what if something happens on his way to the bus station, or on the bus. It struck me as I was driving the route his bus will go about 2 hours later, that his safety and happiness is very important in my happiness.

When people ask me how living in the same house as Boyfriend has been I answer “so far so good.” He put it best in his blog “I like having someone to make me breakfast, and someone to do the washing up for.” I’ve learnt a number of things, for one, I’m more of a morning person than he is – and therefore he’s not going to make me breakfast, but he will take the bins out. We’ve always had a number of rules in our relationship, from the prescribed ones about what to do if we get disconnected while on the phone (the person who made the original phone call calls back) to the unwritten rules like the way we have taken it in turns to read a chapter of the book we are reading each night at the moment. Living together has led to more rules, who does what, what needs to be done by when. My housemates at University struggled with living with me at times, I know this was cos we were all expecting to be on the same page with how a house runs, but we weren’t until we actually talked about it, rotas were set up and instructions were written out, we still had our arguments, but rules made life easier.

Living together isn’t really the plan, but I’m enjoying having someone in my spare room again, someone to do the washing up and someone to eat tea with. Mine and Boyfriend’s skills are also quite compatible, for instance he is ace at finding bargains and packing bags while I choose what we have to eat, and have done much of the cooking – though Boyfriend can and will when I’m busy. I think my favourite moment is the day he brought me sandwiches – cut into triangles to my room when I was busy working.

Boyfriend should be on the bus now so I better go get moving, I did the washing up earlier, but I might as well put the stuff on the drying board away and put the oven on so he can have some tea as he’s been feeding homeless people all evening, and then have a look for the plasters as he injured his finger this evening. As I said his happiness is important to mine, which may sound selfish when written that way, but that is the joy of loving and being loved and I know I’d do it even if he didn’t do all the things back (that's not reason to stop though Boyfriend). It’s not often I do this much house work – so it must be love!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Is this the real life?

One of my typical lines that my friends get is, when will my life get back to normal? (alongside grr printer) or my life isn’t this mad normally!

I mentioned in my blog the other day that the day before Greenbelt I had a bit of a disaster. I’d been house sitting with many many animals and popped home to find the boiler that had been emptied the day before, while we (me and Rob the plumber who I know well now) waited for the important heating / electrics part to arrive, had filled up over night and then leaked out of the gap where the new part would do, and my hallway was raining when I walked through the door. So I rang the letting agent, and then my Mum! I sat while water dripped into my pots and pans. It took some time, but was all fixed by 4pm! Me and Mum sucked the water out of the carpet with a carpet cleaner and then Letting Agent came to have a look at the damage and decided to bring in a dehumidifier.

Lets jump ahead, past Greenbelt, and the car accident ‘bump’ to Thursday and Friday of last week (so just over a week ago now) when I went with Boyfriend, Mum, Dad and Brother to London. There were two things that we did while in London. On a windy day much earlier in the year Dad and I decided we wanted to go to the Paralympics so he booked the five of us tickets to athletics. It was a great morning. Cheering members of Paralympics GB, including watching someone win a Bronze medal. I’ve seen it tweeted that it makes us rethink the term 'dis-abled'. What an incredible group of people. Inspiring the next generation, and reminding us all that nothing is impossible. I’m also so glad to have said I’ve been there, and got the water bottle.

The night before the four of us went to see ‘We Will Rock You.’ A powerful musical set in the future where everyone lives on the internet and music is banned – which is a little silly as they all sing all the time. It talked about how High School Musical and Simon Cowell wrecked the music industry. The moving song about musicians who died young was my highlight. They obviously used ‘is this the real life’ to challenge the perceptions of the internet culture. This reminded me of one of the talks I went to at GB – the one by Vicky Beeching. She very cleverly linked social media and worship, the point that struck me most was about authenticity and the Fall – how Adam and Eve shared everything, and then hid things and re-designed themselves after the gift of knowledge. Also how we use the internet to be like God, our search to be all knowing, or hope to be omnipresent – the way we can be with all our friends all the time and never turn our phones off. Not that social media is a bad thing, but is a very interesting insight.

So maybe this is normal, it’s busy, it’s hectic, it throws or rains all sorts of surprises at me but this is real life!

Monday, 3 September 2012

after bump thoughts - control, perception and lying

Firstly and most importantly I am fine.

Here are just some of my thoughts – possibly three blogs worth but I’ll see where I get to – from being in a car accident.

I’ve had a phone call today saying that my car is being stripped down to check for internal damage, and if its bad they could be writing my car off – so maybe bump was an understatement.

I’ve spent much of the past few days telling people I’m not injured, companies ringing me up asking me about my claim. If I’ve told them once I’ve told them at least seven times now. I’ve been taught not to lie. We live in a culture that is all about blame. I’ve been told many times that the other driver has taken the blame – which as I was stationary and he went into the back of me isn’t really disputable, and that it is good he is to blame. Funny you can find good things about the guy who drove into me. Though, to be honest he was a lovely guy and was very nice, though think my shaking scared him a little bit.

After the bump, I found a road around the corner and waiting there for my parents to arrive, while I rang the insurers and started the process. Then we drove, with Brother now in my car with me back to theirs. Most of the journey Mum and Dad followed me in their car, just to check the back wasn’t about to fall off my car, or something like that! When they weren’t and as I drove to the garage the next day I was very aware of what others might think of my car, and therefore of me – will they think I’m a bad driver. I’ve been thinking about make up recently (don’t worry there is a link). Make up is something generally girl wear, and it’s not really about how they see themselves, as they can’t see it, its similar with hair styles, though of course with longer hair it is easier to see – and I know I like it when I can see the blue in my hair as my hair is a decent length. So its not about how we look, but how we are seen and therefore perceived. We use words in a similar way, I talk about Boyfriend ‘moving into my spare room,’ rather than saying we are going to be ‘living together.’ If you followed me some weeks you’d think all I did was have coffee with different men – but that’s just working for the church for you.

My 3rd main thought about the bump is about control. I know I’ve said before I’m a bit of a control freak. My first thought as the van went into my car was, oh the car is moving, I need to stop that. When Boyfriend and I got train to London on Thursday morning we were sat in the ‘entertainment carriage’ which means you get a tv screen on the back of the seat infront of you – like on a plane and so I spent much of the journey watching were we are on the map, this was something that I loved on the plane to and from South Africa, especially the moment middle of the night when we were over the Sahara Desert. Spending time in London my parents seem to prefer the bus to the tube – and walking along the Thames most of all! I prefer the tube, you can follow where you are on the map, I know how it works. Buses are a bit more unpredictable. Boyfriend and I were talking to someone over the past few days about living in London. Boyfriend would love to, though I think he is also looking forward to being able to walk in the beautiful countryside around me, whereas I’m more of a ‘towny’ who is coping with rural life.

The bump shock me cos I was out of control in the one place I feel most in control. Similarly on Wednesday when I picked up my shiny hire car I felt slightly out of control, the corsa being that bit different to my Getz. And now waiting to hear how my little car is, I'm out of control.

So I’m vainer that I think. As always I’m a control freak, but I’m no liar. Let’s just see what the next step is and pray they don’t write my car off.

Added - 14:27 on 3.9.12 - just had a phone call, car is fixable. Prayer works!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Back to Earth with a Bump!

There are sometimes in life when something happens and everything else has to revolve around that. It’s usually something major, and generally life changing – but sometimes it’s just a small thing. My next few blogs are going to be about one thing that happened. The ideas are written down the side of a Sudoku book and might be five blogs, or might just be two or three if I condense them.

But this blog is just the start, setting the scene so to speak.

Last Thursday night despite everything that Thursday threw at me (and that story will be in another blog in this series – you’re getting interested now aren’t you) I managed to drive over to my parents’ house to do the final prep and pick up the important things – like my brother and the camping stove, ready to drive to Greenbelt in the morning.

For those of you who don’t know Greenbelt is a Christian Arts and Justice Festival, held at Cheltenham Race Course on August Bank Holiday weekend. This was my 4th year there.

I go for a number of reasons:

Friends! Firstly it’s an event that I get to see many of my Methodist friends at. I also bought tickets for a group of 12 and most of us camped together which was really nice. As well as randomly bumping into people (interesting use of word there – totally different bump to that in the title, it’s my blog so I get to reflect as I go along ok?) It is always nice for the prearranged hot chocolate, and orange juices with people, catching up and three times meeting friends’ new girlfriends.

Worship – Now I know I’ve said before that I go to a number of different festivals throughout the year and worship isn’t the first thing I think of usually when planning my greenbelt, however this year had two worship highlights for me. Firstly communion, I love sharing bread and wine with family, friends and strangers alike, as well as blowing bubbles, doing silly action songs and reflecting on seeds. As well as the challenge to ‘Bring ‘em all in to my heart’ when singing about the lost and the least. Secondly was Andy Flan and his powerful worship, for which Boyfriend felt a bit unprepared as I cried over him for quite a while. Sometimes life is sad, I was having one of those evenings last night too. I love being a part of the sisterhood that is MWiB, but as you get when you bring people and in this case women together life happens and pain is there. The leadership in our movement are generally having a rough (understatement) time. I’ve struggled recently to get my head around death, struggled with God, I struggled at Soul Survivor with some of the imagery often used in regards to the Holy Spirit. So after the story of the woman at the well, who was so hurt yet loved by Jesus I knew I had to let God in, and I wept. Crying for a future that will never happen, a family travelling the hard road of grief, and for myself, to enter back into God’s loving arms, to be held and loved as the Child of God I am.

Talks. GB has some brilliant speakers, some I agreed with, some I disagreed with, some who I thought were just brave to turn up. I was challenged in my opinion on the Press and Leverson. I learnt about ethical weddings – and not only did Boyfriend suggest I attend that one, he also came with me! (think when I do eventually get married then the ethicalness of my wedding will appear in a blog them – that will be another time when my whole life will revolve around something) I enjoyed Vicky Beeching’s talk about social media and worship, and will come back to that in another blog. It was also great to see Boyfriend being interviewed about his trip to Israel/Palestine.

Music. Apart from Paul Bell who I love a lot there wasn’t much music I had intended to go out of my way to see. I did however enjoy The Proclaimers, Bellowhead, Fischy music and of course Folk On.

Film. Now this is Brother’s fave part of greenbelt I think. I joined him for the Film Review of the Year which I enjoyed last year too, and having only seen about five or so films this year and Gareth Higgins liked most of them I think I did well. With Cousin 5, her Boyfriend, Brother’s friend (why are we playing around me?)and Cousin 5’s friend from Spring Harvest, we entered the film quiz, under the name ‘The Lord of the Quizes’ and came about middle which was good as we guessed most and refused to take part in the singing round. Brother and his friend (Wawpam) were also busy helping the people from the BBC with some of their film events and even saved the day with Brother’s Mac when other technology failed. This all lead to something very exciting that I will tell you about in the next paragraph – so not so long to wait.

Comedy and poetry. I’ve clumped these together. Harry Baker and other poets did a brilliant job, I particularly liked the female poets at the Woken Spured event. This year I’ve been to less comedy than other years. I did start this year with Paul Kerensa talking about Climate Change, in a informational and funny way. Then every day ended with Last Orders, it was mostly funny though ‘as the actress said to the bishop’ was just awful! Each night was different but my highlight has to be Sunday night when Brother and Wawpam got to go on stage and explain about the film competition. After saving 18 seats, and going back to find the memory card for the camera and Mum even staying up late to watch it, Brother, Wawpam and their Hawaiian shirts talked to about 3200 people! Very Proud Big Sister Moment! Having said that when we were walking back to the tents after that my piggy backpack got more comments that Brother did, but that’s the fickleness of fame for you!

Camping and mud. I love camping, I could have done without so much of the mud and rain that caused it, or the leaky tents by the end of the weekend. But all in all it was a fab time.

So after leaving Paradise – the theme of the weekend, I dropped Cousin 5 off at the train station and started to drive to Chepstow. And that’s when a van went into the back of my car. BUMP!