Back from some advanced retreating

Thoroughly enjoyed my 26 hours at the Depth retreat with a wonderful bunch of people, two thirds of whom are staying on for another night. It was a beautiful couple of days to be at Douai Abbey enjoying the place, space and ….. great food!
douai abbey small.jpg
If you were on the reatreat: Thank you for your collective and individual engagement with 2nd Peter 1 1-11, I learnt a lot from our conversations.
If you wanted to track down the film, it was Lars and the Real Girl.
The two children’s books were:
Some dogs do
Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day.
some dogs fly.jpg
The session we had on ‘Potholes that can wreck a ministry’ was from the creative wisdom of Duffy Robins from this book. (Chris Darnell has blogged his notes from the Potholes talk here which are great but note that #2 should instead read “Professional Holiness” if I recall correctly).
If you have any feedback then please e-mail (or any ideas for DEPTH V)


I will be incommunicado after 11am today for 24 hours as my Michael Jackson intolerant colleague and myself are leading the Depth retreat. (Where, apparently ” I really have to stop” humming the tune ‘Ben’)
Really looking forward to the space, the worship and the quiet. It’ll also be good fun to spend time with a fab bunch of children’s and youth workers. Praying that it will be a great ‘place’ for them to retreat, refresh and recharge
Ooh, I’m thinking, “theme tune” for the retreat 😉
“If you ever look behind
and don’t like what you find
There’s something you should know
you’ve got a place to go”

Nice bodywork

charlie reg.jpg
I went to visit Charlie Van at the ‘Hospital’ today and he’s looking good. The windows are all out, the rust is treated and the replacement sections welded in, the doors, bumpers, windows and bonnet are all neatly stacked and treated. Almost ready to go to the paint shop.
I dropped up a couple of new number plates. No, they aren’t really personalised Number Plates. But his great online shop allowed me to design the plates around the actual ‘J’ reg pate it is adding the VW logo …. and have in small lettering under the registration, “A tribe called Macdonald
charlie sans doors.jpg
Charlie also has a new sun canopy! I saw some rather nice ones on line BUT have managed instead to make one for £8.99 thanks to a great trick from this web site. I’ve got some salvaged poles to which I have added a rather funky shower curtain (£3.99) and a packet of rare earth magnets (£5). Job done 🙂

Being the Christian you are

I was preaching at the informal 6:30 service last night, continuing the series, “Heroes of the Faith”
Each of the characters has an accompanying video made by the Youth Group. The one on Esther last night was phenomenal … but sadly not on Youtube as I’d love to point you to it.
I was given chapter 4 of Esther as the focus and it was Mordecai’s line, “and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” that really stood out to me.
I explored what Esther had to teach us but particularly the aspect of doing the right thing even when it’s not as clear cut as knowing exactly where God is and what he is doing.
The theme that emerged was, Being the christian you are in the places you find yourself.

Arctos Wristwatch

dads watch.jpg
My dad only ever had one watch as far as I’m aware, it’s this Arctos German watch that he bought while on national service in Germany sometime between 1950 – 1952. I’ve been wearing it quite a bit as it feels like a great link with my dad and his life. I spent a bit of time tonight trying to track down some info about it reckoning that it must be quite good if, as a mechanical action watch, it has been going strong for 60 years. (Dad wore it every day for at least 58 years I reckon)
Very cool to find that the Germany company still exists. Arctos started in 1923 although it was destroyed in the 2nd world war, it resumed production in 1947 and dads watch was a relatively early example from post war production. I’ve found some other Arctos watches from the 1950’s on the internet but not this particular one that has the words, “Arctos Parat Waterproof” below the ’12’ and “hubis” above the small dial. I also know that dad had to have the winder replaced at some stage as he had worn it completely smooth over the many thousands of daily winds.
Definitely making me happy to wear it … and if i ever need to replace it, I reckons it will have to be with another Arctos.

New Chitty Chitty Bang Bang books

Frank Cottrell Boyce is writing a trilogy of sequels that follow on from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” This is causing some debate as to it’s merits, but you can’t argue with the choice of vehicle:
“The new story is about a family where the father has been made redundant and sets about trying to reconstruct a VW Camper Van. He unwittingly uses the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang engine for the camper van, which has its own agenda, to restore itself. The trilogy follows the car’s adventures during its restoration and is illustrated with black-and-white line drawings by Joe Berger”
Story here
chitty new.jpg

* Technically I’m impressed. Shoehorning the presumambly large engine from Chitty into a Type 2 would be quite a feat, but at least there seems to be a radiator added to the front to cool the beast. Oh yes, looked again properly, the exhausts suggest a V8 centrally mounted, clever (unless you want to have any where to sit in the back, lol)