Windy days and tuck shops

One of the questions I regularly get asked* is about why younger youth groups are high as kites, twice as mad and fourteen times as noisy. Well assuming that it’s not a windy day (kids are always craaazzzyyy on windy days) then I generally ask about the tuck shop as this is the quickest way to an easy improvement. If the tuck shop is full of coloured sugar confectionery then the kids will generally be bouncing off the walls as a result of ingesting multifarious sugars and additives.
This however does pose a problem as to what to replace the tuck with? Fruit has limited appeal and goes off really fast. Toast works in some settings BUT generally it’s kind of difficult to replace the attractively hued sucrose with something that will actually appeal and sell.
However, coming out of the Motorway services on the M42 today a lady pressed a packet of “Mini Bearables” into my hand and claimed she was part of the Natural Confectionery Co. and that the proffered comestibles contained no artificial flavours or colours!
I planned to take them home to my 8 year old for a live taste and behaviour test BUT I began my own inquiries and my scientific experimentation accounted for the entire sample.
I checked out the web site though which was intriguing (and fun) but contained no useful information on sourcing them. Still, assuming it’s not a windy day …. they may be worth a try!
*The other question I get asked a lot is whether I could please stop singing

For-bidding portal

I am no longer an ebay virgin. I finally succumbed to it’s for-bidding portal and bid on the kayak of my dreams, specifically a Robson Waikiki that a fellow paddler was pedaling. Sadly I was beaten …. but ever the optimist I am sitting by my computer waiting for the e-mail that I feel sure will come telling me that the winning bidder turned out to be a time-waster and my bid wins, oh yes!

Stuff that is happening

Rural Youth Network Conference. ‘Young people making a difference – the social inclusion of rural youth’ a Rural Youth Network conference sponsored by the Commission for Rural Communities, is due to take place on the 25th September 2008 at the Novotel Hotel East Midlands. Further details are available on the Rural Youth Network website

The Federation for Detached Youth Work Annual Conference
and AGM 2008. The theme this year is ‘Detached Youth Work in a Multi-Agency integrated setting – a brave new World?’ It will take place at the Britannia Hotel in Standish, Wigan from Thursday 13th – Saturday 15th November. Cost £300 members, £350 non-members. If you are interested in this event please e-mail Acomo at [email protected]

Musical Mellowness

little dreamer200.jpgHaving heard Beth Rowley at GB and loved her voice/music I have invested in some of her work. You can buy individual tracks over at 7digital and I was delighted to find the on-stage cover she performed of Willie Nelson’s Angel Flying too close to the ground* is available ……. and it is achingly beautiful!
I also took the chance to buy ‘Noah and the Whale’ singing ‘5 years time‘ which is such a quirky, feel-good and fun track, fab!
(*The original is here)

Disability snap shot

This post was originally a story about an experience my son and I had recently where I felt that ‘health and safety’ was mis-used as a barrier to his participation, the issue ‘feeling’ more like it was about his disability than ‘health and safety.’ I also reflected on the fact that he was not included in the conversation.
Although I believe it was a useful illustrative story of important youth-work issues, on reflection however I recognize that I posted it too close to the event and included too much specific detail.
I have therefore removed the post and offer my apologies to the organisation involved.

4 years!!!

I’ve been blogging for 4 years! How weird is that? I don’t think that makes me a veteran blogger but maybe a mature blogger! (Ok, maybe not!). On the basis that an infinite number of monkeys given an infinite amount of time could randomly come up with the complete works of Shakespeare, I may inadvertently have been around long enough for something useful to accidentally get written!
youthblg c.jpg

Diocesan Youth Workers/Ministers

If you a woof-wurka in a Parish or Deanery role within the good ol’ Diocese of Oxford then please scribble Dec 1st in your diary!
The venue will be Church house Oxford for this terms network meeting and I look forward to welcoming you here for fun, chat, prayer, some input, FOOD and some time with Bishop John!
Dec 1st Church House 10:30 for 11am – 3pm! More details to follow

Greenbelt cometh and Greenbelt woosheth past

What was that?
That was Greenbelt!
I can’t believe how fast the festival goes BUT then again, time flies when you are having fun.
GB 2008 was fab! As ever a lot of the GB experience was in the being rather than the doing, investing time (and money) in the ‘Tiny Tea Tent’ or ‘The Jesus Arms’ (organic beer tent), chatting, meeting, laughing and telling stories.
There was a massive programme of stuff happening BUT as this years’ GB was a whole family outing it proved harder to get to events I would have been to was I festivaling solo. The stuff that I missed though was MORE than made up for by seeing how much my three gained from the festival and how much fun they generated in the process. Managing where they all were at any one time was hilarious and at one point involved retrieving my eldest (disabled) kid from lost property! (All credit to the stewards who were wonderful with him).
Musical Highlight: Beth Rowley
Performing Highlight: Tajikstan Break Dancers
Food Highlight: Thai chili Chicken Noodles
Venue Highlight: Tiny Tea Tent
On of todays projects is to buy some of the seminars on mp3 and catch up with what I would have been at if I wasn’t so occupied with my tribe!