Iron Man 2

Finally got to see Iron Man 2 and it was every bit as good a superhero adventure outing as you’d want to see, building brilliantly on and from Iron Man in 2008.
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My synopsis: We join the film to find Tony Stark has achieved much in his now very public guise as ‘Iron Man’; still very much the genius, the self publicist and the maverick. Iron man is a public phenomenen! However Tony Stark is battling to come to terms with the fact that his chest implanted reactor is killing him, whilst simultaneously facing military demands for the technology, an embittered high tech’ equipped enemy and the corrupt boss and resources of a wealthy weapons company.
But Iron Man is not the solo act he thinks he is and friends old and friends unknown rally round, including the wonderful ‘Black Widow’ (Scarlet Johannson) to win the day.

All in all, a larger than life witty and faced paced action movie and visual feast, fab!

Top 50!

Rather chuffed to find that ‘my other office‘ is recognised as one of the top 50 independent coffee shops in the country!
Personally I’d put it in the top one; GREAT coffee, warm welcome, cool vibe AND all breakfasts cooked individually to order. (oh and very importantly, you don’t have to do that annoying CostBucksEro thing where you have to stand around by the counter like a lemon waiting to collect your coffee!!)
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Did I mention it’s a fab place πŸ˜‰

How would you describe your churchmanship?

I hate to be pigeon-holed but if you are really going to push me on this πŸ˜‰ then I guess broadly I am a neo Anglican post evangelical contemplative sacremental charismatic with celtic leanings, whose spirituality looks post modern but is in fact a re-imagined Monastic orthodoxy trying to live in keeping with the dangerous memory and presence of Jesus.
I guess now you know!
(Although I’m not sure my descriptor is the same two days running)
Filed under: Apropos of nothing

Uni tasking

I read a great article in the Guardian on Saturday by A J Jacobs as he attempted to become a ‘uni-tasker’ in response to the inefficient overload of multitasking.
Jacobs pic from article.jpg“Our hopscotching brains make us more depressed (it’s harder to focus on the positive), less able to connect with people and form a conscience. And it’s an insane delusion. Multitasking makes us feel efficient, but it actually slows down our thinking. Our brains can’t handle more than one higher cognitive function at a time. We may think we’re multitasking, but in fact we’re switchtasking, toggling between one task and another. The phone, the email, the phone, back to the email. And each time you switch, there’s a few milliseconds of start-up cost. The neurons need time to rev up”
It’s a great piece, very funny BUT seriously exploring the cultural norm’ of multitasking. What is really surprising is that the forays into ‘unitasking’ seem to have a spiritual balance about them, the experiment has something to say about the contemplative life even though it’s not written in that vein.
It left me with both a smile and a sense of ‘ouch’, as well as a huge challenge about the arenas where I multitask, and a feeling of how much ‘multitasking’ is at odds with, or at least in tension with, a spiritual life.
The article is here (do have a read BUT not while you are doing something else!)

A FREE Gap year

I get lots of Gap Year adverts BUT I thought this was especially cool (and I don’t mean the steam trains)
“Isle of Man we have an amazing partnership with the island’s churches and Scripture Union Trust to provide a year of training and practice in youth work. It runs from September to July. The scheme is sponsored by the churches (5 Anglican, 2 Baptist, 2 community) and provides a year in community at Mallmore Hotel on the sea-front at Port St. Mary. The worker is based with a church, but is involved in schools work as well. There is training given in a range of areas, included a unit of personal choice. (eg. learn to drive, video production, dance academy) The only cost to the young person is for spending money and return fares.
Last year was our first full year and it was a storming success. There will be 11 places – 6 are already filled. Video Link for taster of last year.
Diocese of Sodor and Man (Yes this where Rev Awdry based Thomas the Tank Engine, and the steam trains still run daily)”

Let me know if you want to contact details

Showing drive and determination

The two subjects that always seem to generate the most conversation from the blog are sheds and my eldest boy, H. The Youth Ministry stuff keeps everything ticking along nicely and is, I’m told, useful from time to time. However within the eclectic universe of Youthblogism, it is the above two topics that seem to grab people the most.
driving lesson.jpgSo, for those who have followed my sons’ ongoing battle with Cerebral Palsy and the challenges that can present in all arenas … but especially in relation to his desire to drive, you will enjoy this. Today *drum roll* he had his first driving lesson!!
I manged to borrow an automatic car and a chunk of private land and he was able to pilot his way around whilst I sat in the passenger seat. He did much better than I expected and although it has shown the need to work on his steering technique (currently effective but sloppy), his mastery of the brake and accelerator was spot on.
He is only 15 (and a half) but we are enormously privileged to receive mobility funding for him which the Charity Motability turn into a lease car. The lease car is due to change in November and we need to pick a car/modifications suitable for when H hits 17. We are going to an assessment centre in June hence the need for him to get some live experience.
For someone whose motor control, movement and speech is so affected, todays’ achievement was quite something.
What really impressed me though was that after the lesson he borrowed the land owners Ride-on Mower and practised his steering technique. That’s my boy πŸ™‚

uninformed about uniformed

My work at the moment on a ‘Youth Strategy’ to help Churches stay connected with, or reconnect to, adolescents is occupying much of my musing, praying, reading and research. One of the key pieces of work I am doing is identifying the ‘hot spots’ (and then learning why the Church is effective in relationship with teenagers) and the ‘not spots’ (to find out why not).
One of the ‘hot spots’ that if I am honest, surprised me, was too see that two of our villages started Boys Brigade units (completely ex nihlo) and built a vibrant and engaging piece of childrens’ and youth work.
Tuesday night therefore saw me at a BB road show (Engage a generation) in which they were ‘selling’ their vision and what they can do for/with Churches. Thoroughly good evening (NICE buffet) but more importantly a passionate organisation that is well equipped to engage young people, build relationships, do good youth work which includes faith and spiritual identity.
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The recent resurgence of Scouting and the growth of BB has definitely demonstrated that Uniformed work is attractive and thriving, which I am happy to salute (obviously)