My week off, by Youthblog bloke

diymag.jpgI’m having a week off this week. It’s a chance to get my head together, have a little R&R with the family and catch up with some jobs around the house. The first two days have been dominated by DIY, specifically (and frustratingly) one job!
On my list there was one job that was one of those “quick wins” and would involve (or so I thought) half an hour of fettling then the chance to satisfyingly cross it off the list. However, never work with Children, animals or cupboard doors!
My list said, “Re-hang airing cupboard sliding doors!” (they kept jamming)
No problem, just whip off the doors, adjust the wheel mounts, apply a dab of grease, re-hang and all done!
However, this is progress to date:
1. Remove doors, adjust and re-hang but find they still don’t work
2. Remove doors again, adjust, rehang, test and they still don’t work
3. Remove doors, remove wheel mounts, relocate, re-hang and find they still don’t work
4. Several more attempts before realising that the track the wheels run on was beyond repair and the actual source of the problem!
5. Remove all the tracking, then go and buy hinges to convert airing cupboard to conventionally hinged doors.
6. Realise that the doors are designed to overlap and thus hinging them will mean they cannot close, doh!
7. Locate smaller doors, fit with hinges, NICE! However as they do not meet in the middle I need to find a piece of wood EXACTLY 6.5 inches in width that will fill gap.
8. Go to builders merchants, obviously I cannot find a piece of wood that size so spend an hour planing a piece to the correct width! Clear up insane amounts of wood shavings, discover than my planing is not all that even, doh!
9. Fit the piece of wood between the doors
10. As the doors I now have are full of holes, fill holes and start painting them.
11. Build new fascia for above the doors as the old one would prevent the hinged doors opening.
12. Fit new handles and magnetic catches.
Aaaarrghghghghghghgh! And to make it worse my planned sea kayaking trip tomorrow looks doomed, not just ‘cos I NOW have painting to do BUT because there is a 35mph breeze forecast and I suspect the Lifeboat people will take a dim view of an amateur paddler in entirely the wrong equipment taking to the ocean!

Captains Log Supplemental: My daughter appears to be wandering round the house singing an ammended version of "My Boomerang won’t come back," her lyrical improvisation of the last verse is rendered as,

"Dad I know the trick and to you I’m going to show it
If you want your plane-ing to be straight, then first you have to mark it!

Ten Commandments of blogging

moseslaptop2.jpgPresumably the HTML was etched directly onto the Memory Stick carried by Moses and can now be revealed, The Ten Commandments (of blogging). They are:
Ten commandments for bloggers
1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity
2 You shall not make an idol of your blog
3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
6 You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings
7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
8 You shall not steal another person’s content
9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
10 You shall not covet your neighbour’s blog ranking. Be content with your own content

A useful aide memoir I thought, however it’s WELL worth reading what the Skinny has to say with much fuller take on the ethics and priorities of christian blogging. The full Times article is here and my thanks to Miz for the link.
Oh, and do keep me accountable!

Steven Wright

stevenwright.jpgAt the consultation on Wednesday Simo (the Rural Yoofwurk Meister) was wearing a ‘T’ Shirt with a Steven Wright quote on, “Anywhere is walking distance ….. if you’ve got the time!
I hadn’t listened to Steven Wright in years and so I hit Youtube last night to catch up with his surreal sideways observations on life and his odd persona, fab! So operation “Make a Youth worker laugh on Friday” would involve you watching this … or reading some of his classic lines:
“I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time”
“I wrote a song, but I can’t read music so I don’t know what it is. Every once in a while I’ll be listening to the radio and I say, “I think I might have written that.”
“In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number”
“All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand”
“I have an answering machine in my car. It says, “Sorry I can’t answer the phone because I’m home now. But leave a message and I’ll call when I’m out.”
“Today I… No, that wasn’t me”
“You know how it is when you’re walking up the stairs, and you get to the top, and you think there’s one more step, but there isn’t? That’s how I feel all the time”

John Calvins news round

jcalv.jpg This just in ……
Guildford, October 21stYoung People and Spirituality
Wherever you are, nowChristian Aid Tea Party
Reading, October 8th … Bob Hartman, an evening with the story teller. bob poster.doc
Oxford, December 6thVertigo Youth Event
Oxford, November 5th … Taize promotional meeting with Bishop John and Brother Paulo (free lunch!) TAIZEnov5thflyer.doc
Other Dates that could be useful:
November 7th, 11 Million Take Over day
November 14th, Children in Need day
December 1st, Next Network day for Youth Ministers/workers in the Diocese

Youth and Children’s Strategy Consulation

My colleague Yvonne and I had the privilige of leading a consultation today that will feed into the writing of the new Youth and Children’s strategy. Eleven practicioners got together (thanks everyone) and we were asked (I actually caught myself using the word ‘tasked’ today *shudder*) to look at the five marks of mission, namely:

To Proclaim, the good news of the kingdom
To Teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To Respond, to human need by loving service
To Seek, to transform the unjust structures of society
To Strive, to safeguard the integrity of creation & sustain & renew the life of the earth.

We then flagged up (on stick-it notes) examples of mission and young people that we had experienced or seen in each of these five arenas.
We then seperated them into three columns of ‘To/for’ or ‘With’ or ‘By’
The group then added to these columns (on different coloured stick-its) other opportunities along the lines of, things we should be doing and things we could be doing.
Finally each participant was given 5 stickers* to indicate which examples or ideas were the priorities as they perceived them.
It was a good process and garnered some good discussion, as well as demonstrating that the group represented a range of theologies and practices. It was also the first outing for the “Throw and Tell Ball”

* Amusingly we only had stars that would require glue so we switched to Plan B and used the only available stickers we could find ….. which were animals. The Oxford consultation therefore is presenting it’s priorities with slugs, cats, fish and Octopi! (made me laugh)

consultattion sheet 2.jpg