faildoh.jpgI’ve just tried to pre-walk the route I mapped out for a stroll for the upcoming ID weekend. All started jollily enough with well marked footpaths meandering through the Autumnal loveliness; a leaf-kicking, hymn-humming stomp that matched the map turn for turn.
But then the rain lashed in, the map started to dissolve and the marked paths became less clear. Kicking myself for not bringing a compass I bashed on trying to complete the circle but it became increasingly unclear in the woodland the bearing I needed to be taking.
Further to the inclement weather, the soluble map and the absent compass, I needed to be somewhere else by 1pm and was rapidly running out of time.
Eventually a rapid jog retracing the route was the only option and was duly taken.
A humbling experience given that I hold a BELA, “expedition leader” award. I will now have to attack the circle from the other side early on Saturday morning and check that it is navigable.
Does go to show though why it is a good idea to pre-walk (or try to) routes you plan to take a group on.

Halloween games, ideas and themes

Huge thanks to Urban Saints and their excellent ENERGIZE material for some ideas and resources for Halloween stuff. I know you’ve got it all sorted (mostly) but just in case, here’s the link!
I’m uber villian number 1 in our household as I’m not allowing the youngest offspring out to ‘Trick or Treat.’ We will be decorating the drive with happy pumpkins though and giving out sweets. Hoping the house doesn’t get egged again this year ….. very weird that was, when we were giving out sweets and the like but still got got! Hey Ho

A sticky challenge

Having bought a rather wonderful picnic chest for the Camper Van, the plan had been to get a sticker from each place that we went (or had been) and to assemble a souvenir montage.
Like a lot of my ‘brilliant’ plans, it did not work as well as planned. Finding stickers was nigh on impossible, fridge magnets … yes, coasters … yes, stickers …. No!
Nowhere was this weirder than the New Forest where despite numerous shops and towns, no stickerage. It was only in Swanage (after an unsuccessful search) that I learned that the company that used to do them for the various towns and places had ceased trading, whilst the company that took over only respond to orders for a minimum of 10,000.
But not one to give up, I trawled the internet for pictures of posters, images, logos, emblems and the like for all the destinations, then printed, laminated and glued. And tada …….

The Picnic Chest of Destiny

Including the sides we have:
Bournemoth, Swanage, Moors Valley, Derbyshire Dales, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Paris, New Forest, France, Germany, Belguim, Isle of Wight, Malvern, Western-super-Mare and the Wye Valley. There’s also the Mystery Machine “That’s so Dub” and a VW parts sticker and the souvenir Sheriffs Badge from this years T4 Forum get together.

A P0303 fault!

Having had to fix the teeth, the van and the dog this month I was glad to make it to pay day. Immediately thereafter though, the dishwasher died, then my car started displaying the engine warning light which is situated naggingly and clearly, right in the middle of the display panel. (Can’t be ignored by turning the radio up)
SNLPG Astra.jpg
But the interesting thing is (Well, well I say interesting, that may just be to me?) how clever even 8 year old cars are, especially seeing as cars are just built around a long sequence of messy but controlled explosions. So here’s the thing: It’s all very well having a fault light but it would be helpful to know whether it is of ‘imminent destruction’ type severity or just that the pollen filter is struggling. So, on a Vauxhall if you push down the accelerator and brake down (and hold them down) then turn ignition to position i, then click to ii, the fault light flashes out a code indicating what is wrong. I got 10 flashes, then 3, then 10 then 3, a PO303*, which (apparently) translates as,
“I’m misfiring on cylinder 3 …… h e l p m e!”
Maybe this could be a great metaphor for some current ecclesiology ……..
actually, not really!
* There are some really great way more geeky faults, current fav’ is a PO443

Blinking Monday

Mondayblink angels.jpg
Mondays, it feels to me, are a bit like the weeping angels in Dr Who, blink and another one moves right in on you. I’m now staring at Monday right now …. and trying not to blink.
Life though continues to be an adventure in faith, life, youth-ministry and parenting, with enough going on to keep me out of mischief.
This weekend coming is the ID weekend (a discipleship weekend for young people) that is going to be great BUT has been a real battle to get buy-in from Churches. Being one step removed from the young people means that events are very much in the hands of the gatekeepers.
I’m writing a paper for the conference in Sweden and trying to learn a little Swedish as well. There are several other pieces of writing too that I need to complete. Sadly no response from the V-dub magazine to my ‘pitch’ so I’m going to try hawking the piece elsewhere.
On with the Monday …. and no blinking!

Let the week beginneth

I’ll be glad to see the back of October as it has witnessed the perfect (financial) storm as three elements combined; the van, my teeth and the dog all needed fixing. Arrghghghhgh!
Happily though the van chuggeth, the dog moveth (although she still limpeth slightly) and I biteth. So all good really. (Archaiac verb endings are great …… methnks!).
I’ve been to three youth groups in four days, great fun! One of the young people I was chatting to on Thursday is off to China today, on a school trip!!! I think we went on a farm visit and a forest walk during my school days. Very impressed though, what an adventure!!
The main reason for me doing a grand tour (apart from it being fun) has been to plug the ID Weekend. I was telling them that one of the things I love about teenagers is their high level of spontaneity BUT one of the nightmares about trying to organise events was, their “high level of spontaneity!”
A good weekend though which involved some great family time (we watched Mirror Mirror for ‘family film night’) and was also the right mix of working and mellowing. I did quite a bit of work on the vehicles and the sheddage. (Apologies if there is a faint smell of creosote wherever I am today).
Monday: Bring it on!