Blogging getting a bit rusty

Apologies for the tardy approach to blogging over the last few days, my wind down to the annual August blog sabbatical seems to have kicked in a little too early. Having set that though there is a real dip in blog readership in July as holidays and preparation for camps kicks-in big time! Facebook has been the source of the most interaction at the moment, and in fact silliness. Yesterday a sort of a hum emerged in my mind (ht to Winnie the Pooh) relating to the camper van and I posted it. I was most amused to have a similarly lyrically framed response …. that inevitably led to further ripostes. As it amused me, I’ll post them here (my scribblings in ‘normal’, responses from Stu (der autostuhlmeister) in italic!
Owning an old V dub van’s no vacation
It’s a battle … with oxidisation
and tackling the rust
is an absolute must
That’s the dawning realisation!
Owning a VeeDub you see
Is no excuse for poetry
so don’t go on and on
about the problem its become
and enjoy how free you can be!

My brief rumination in verse
was not a moan nor anything worse
a mere mental note
to re-undercoat.
(The van is fantastic, of course)
Now when you are needing a rhyme
Be careful and do take your time
What rhymes with worse
Is of course ‘curse’
Which is not good at the end of a line

A liberal approach to Rhyme’s best
as Lear at el will attest
two linking lines
is blinkingly fine
But the last can have more random-ness
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2011 Diocesan Dates

For the diaries, some key dates for 2011 if you are within the Diocese of Oxford:
DEPTH 4, the retreat for employed Youth and Children’s workers. 29,30th (31st) March
The big equipping, encouraging and enabling day for youth and children’s work June 18th
Yellow Braces: July 8th-10th
Diocesan Taize trip: July 23rd – Aug 1st

Meet Charlie

Facebook friends knew I was flirting with the idea of buying a Type 2 Camper Van and had flagged up this one as kind of the dream, the colour scheme producing a love-it or hate-it reaction (I thought the pink was fab!).
Emotion was eventually joined on the decision making board by reason and I started to look for something I could actually afford, and that better fitted the five of us in terms of on board space. Finding a pop top standard size van that had five proper seat belts though proved quite difficult as most small vans are designed for four and hence no good for my tribe.
Anyway on Tuesday we stumbled upon Charlie, a nineteen year old VW bus that had been converted by Bilbo’s into the fine example of Dub Camper coolness that you can see below.

Charlie is powered by a 1900 diesel and lacks nearly everything in terms of modern automotive gadgetry. However who needs central locking when you have a sink, a cooker and a van, that in a blink, turns from a bus into a bijou mobile hotel room eh? Five of us will be quite cosy but Charlie also has a tow bar so our wonderful (even older) trailer tent will still accompany us if we are away for more than one or two nights.
Mid life crisis? possibly.
Family adventure? definitely!
Anyway, see you at Greenbelt or Vanfest 🙂
Captain’s log Supplemental: Charlie succesfully made it to the New Forest and back with the tribe therein. Thought I’d post a snap of the mid way picnic:
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New CRB form

I’m looking at the new CRB form, which is a brave thing to do as the lilac, purple and yellow colour scheme is a bit of a visual assault. On the whole though it is an improvement though and if you ignore the irony that, “are you applying for ISA registration?” is a mandatory field, it should be easier to fill in (especially the evidence section).
The biggest change that will be relevant to Christian youth work I’ve spotted is box 66 which wants to know:
“does the position involve working with young people in the applicant’s home?”

This will trigger a check on other members of the household as well as the applicant themselves. Although this has been common for childminders I believe, this is new for Youth and Children’s work.
My understanding is also that we will now be CRB-ing 16 and 17 year olds who are leading beacuse of the regulated activity definition.

Further evidence of my mid life crisis

I have noticed that Camper Vans have suddenly become something I am quite excited about. It’s a worrying trend but thank fully I still shudder if anyone even mentions a caravan, so there may still be hope.
My new favourite words are Westfalia, Bilbo and splitty!

10:10 Campaign

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Plans are on to make Sunday 10th October a global day of doing, with thousands of practical carbon-cutting activities all over the world.
The 10:10 campaign has teamed up with 350.org to co-ordinate 10:10:10 to be the biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change. The aim is to see, “thousands of individuals, families, schools, businesses and other organisations taking simple steps to save energy and reduce emissions. These ordinary actions, combined with a series of bold, iconic stunts, will make an extraordinary difference. Not only will they cut carbon directly; they will also send a powerful message to world leaders that people and organisations everywhere are ready to tackle climate change. Here’s the info
Oh and while we are talking about creation and environmental concern, here’s a great thing that you could do with the youth group. Check out Inspired on the Diocesan “Earthing Faith” site and submit a creation moment that inspires you or your group.
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Wired but tired

What a weird week! I’m still buzzing from the incredibly wonderful Diocesan camp and still more than a little tired (I know the comments will offer the diagnosis, “It’s your age Ian!”). But I’ve also been on steroids this week (for a medical problem, not aspirations of pecs and six-packs) and it’s left me feeling kind of wired. I’ve been having trouble sleeping but feel really quite energised (although tired at the same time?) and it’s an odd effect. Yesterday morning I was in the office at Oxford before six in the morning and ploughed through a ‘shed’ load of work but was, as the office will tell you, a bit rubbish at concentrating in the afternoon 😉
Last day of the medication though and I’m not working on Saturday and Sunday so hopefully back to ‘normal’ by Monday.
The Youth worker at our church has been giving me some good natured gibing about being tired after just a weekend of youth work. It all feeds in to one of my beliefs though that you are NEVER too old for youth work BUT it does take a little longer to recover.
(Futher evidence of my gradual slide into middle age emerged the previous weekend when I got to pilot a canal barge for the first time and LOVED it)
canal pilot.jpg