Sunday, 28 May 2006

weddings, babies and pirates

I know it's only been just over a week since I last updated my blog, but it feels like a long time, and I've kind of missed writing about my musings. So even if no-one bothers to read this, I guess it's good just for my own catharsis!

The photo to your left was taken 2 weeks ago when some of us from church went and had a picnic at a quality place called Brandon Park, which is a bit of a haven in the middle of the city. We weren't intentionally posing for the photo, but were trying to figure out if the camera was actually going to take the photo - hence the slightly puzzled expressions on our faces. It was a lovely sunny day, which you can kind of see in the photo, and I think we haven't had a sunny day since then, which I'm finding a little sad. But hey, I'll be in Uganda soon, and every day will be sunny, which is going to be great.

The last couple of weeks have been spent working very hard on exam revision, kids cell and childminding. I've been feeling less and less like a student recently, despite being in the midst of exams. I've been aware that my experience of student life is quite different to my friends, largely because I haved a job which in a lot of ways doesn't feel like a job, and isn't really your typical student job. Also, because of my growing involvement with my church here, I spend a lot of time with Mums and people who aren't students, which I love, but I am feeling more and more detached from my uni friends, as I am unable to do a lot of the things they do because of childminding. I don't want to seem like I'm moaning, because obviously I make the choices over how I spend my time, but I'm just trying to figure out how I feel about becoming detached from some of my close friends here because of my choices...

Part of me feels totally fine about it, which kind of makes me feel that this is just the natural progression of my life, and not something to feel sad about, but there's another part which just doesn't quite understand it all. But then I guess that's the case with a lot of things, and so it makes even more sense that I just put my trust in God!!!

Last night, I went to a pirate party at the pub, which was a lot of fun - we even had our own gold, which was eddible!! Love it. Check us out in all our pirate finery!!! It was so cool to dress up - we only got heckled by 5 or so people. Not bad going, ay.

This week has been one of receiving lots of exciting news - 1 friend getting married and 2 sets of friends having babies, and of hearing from old school friends, who I've known since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Quite refreshing, yet also strange at the same time to see how everyone's lives seem to be taking rather massive progressions at the moment. Very exciting times, I have to say...

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

a bit of a scary moment

So this afternoon, I put my contact lenses in for today's adjust-the-eyes-to-contacts-sesh, and after about 40 minutes I found myself thinking that I couldn't read as well as I thought I should be able to, swiftly followed by the realization that my contacts felt incredibly comfy - so much so that I couldn't really feel them in my eyes, which, for hard lenses, is a rather unusual feeling...surely they couldn't have both fallen out without me realizing?! No way that's a ridiculous idea. I figured I'd try taking them out, just for peace of mind that I hadn't lost them, only to find that couldn't take them out. Either I was just being a bit incompetent, or they had fallen out, so I put my glasses on, and much to my horror, I could see, which meant that they must have come out.

So I proceeded to scour the hallway and my bedroom on hands and knees, hunting out two very tiny transparent lenses, all the while thinking how incredibly embarassing it will be to tell people that after 26 hours of having contact lenses, I've lost both of them....whilst on all fours, I started going through the conversation I'd have to have with the optician, and then suddenly remembered stories of contacts going behind people's eyeballs...surely not...surely I'd be able to feel them and be in considerable amounts of pain if that had happened?

I looked in the mirror, pulling down my lower eyelids to see what looked like a reflection of my eye on the lower white part of my eye..'I'm sure it's never looked like that before' I thought to myself...'wait a that my lens?' And sure enough, both my lenses were still in my eyes but had just slipped (probably from me rubbing the itchiness) right off my pupils - Thank the Lord!

So it turns out that actually it's quite easy to lose contact lenses while they're still in your eyes...

Last night I went to a Duke Special gig, which was mightily grand - a very intimate affair, due to the small size of the venue and the audience. There was hardly any seats so my friends and I sat right at the front, and I was right next to the speakers, so I felt like the drum rhythm was my heartbeat - quite a cool feeling. I'd never heard of Duke Special before - my Irish friend Maeve is into him, who is a fellow Irishman. His percussionish is a guy called chip, who plays the cheese grater with a whisk - a very creative musician.

The support act was a guy called Thomas Truax - you HAVE to check out his website to catch just a small glimpse of his style. Truly, I have never seen nor heard anyone like him. Please check out the instrument section on his webpage to see the hornicator and sister spinster, who are two of his trusty accompaniments.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

spot the difference

Now, I know it's been a while since many of you have seen me in person, so I thought I'd give you a little test. What is different about my appearance?

....................Not worked it out yet? I no longer have glasses! Quite a significant change considering I've been wearing them for almost 18 years. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it is now possible to get contact lenses so small that my rugby-ball shaped eyes can see through them. They are actually tiny - smaller than a fully dilated pupil. Legend.

Friday, 12 May 2006

another busy week

This week has been another busy one, with the realization dawning on me that I now actaully have to make firm decisions about my dissertation, and think about scary things like my research methods. I always knew I'd have to do a dissertation, but I always anticipated that when the time came to do it, I would feel much wiser and more capable of such a big project. And now it's got to that time, I most definitely feel that this is under my feet and in control!

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of childminding for a wonderful couple from church - Ros's sister was being awarded an OBE so they were going to London for the day and had lunch at the Ritz. So I looked after Phoebe, who's two. We had great fun, including a session at gymtots, which was very cool. I had to pick her two sons up from school, which was a slightly chaotic time - trying to keep a hold of a toddler and her beaker, and two book bags and two paintings. Mum's are amazing. That's all I can say. So many small things like keeping an eye on multiple children at once are seriously underestimated in their difficulty and value.

Yesterday, I cooked fajhitas for 30 people, with the help of two lovely lasses, which was good fun, and today has been productively spent soaking up the sun and revising - simultaneosly. Sarah (one of my flatmates) and I sat on the roof with the boys who live over the road. We thought the roof was hot enough to cook an egg on, so we tried, but it wasn't quite as successful as we'd hoped!

This weekend (tonight and all day tomorrow) Lizzie and I are going to be training our team in prepearation for Uganda, and planning with them the activities we are going to do. While we do have an idea of those things, we want the whole group to be involved in the planning. Lizzie's parents are coming tomorrow to talk to us about health issues and safety, and to tell us about worries parents have about their children going away to do something like this, so we can perhaps understand things slightly from their perspective. Exciting stuff.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

it's been a while

I've been a bit slack at blogging lately - not for lack of want, but busyness. It seems I'm gradually getting better at being disciplined with my work in that I haven't been as tempted to check everyone's blogs and update my own before studying, which I think is quite a valid reason for not having blogged as much over the last couple of weeks!

This is going to have to be brief as my eyes are starting to go awol. They've been well behaved recently, but as I'm spending a lot of my time with my head in a book or writing an essay, I think they're feeling the strain.

I had quite a busy weekend, with our kids cell discipleship group on Friday evening, which was quality. Such a great bunch of kids. This was followed by a lovely meal with some lovely friends, with the most ridiculous number of desserts. It seemed that all 10 people coming had been asked to bring something, but hey, it was good to have lots of choice!

On Saturday, I had the second of three training days in prophecy, which was very challenging but very good with a lot of exciting prophetic words coming out of it. In the evening, our flat, which is getting a bit of a reputation for being a party house, hosted a cheese and wine evening, which was lovely. It sounds classy, I know, but of course, we had to have some fun games like the cracker challenge - eating 3 crackers in one minute, and the downing water competition. I missed out on the last one, as I had been sensible and gone to bed early, but was woken to what sounded like the flat falling down, but was actully just a lot of draw slamming and bedroom ramsacking at 2am.

On Sunday evening, I provided the childcare at a wedding - looking after 22 children and a baby with the help of one of my flatmates. Was a little crazy at times, but the decorating biscuits with as much coloured icing and silver balls as possible kept them occupied for a surprisingly long time!

On Monday I had play training - yes folks, it is possible to get a qualification in 'play', and I'm going to have it!! As it was a bank holiday, we couldn't use the uni buildings, so went to an AMAZING place called the Children's Scrapstore. Oh wow - I actually can't remember the last time I got so excited - before my eyes was a big warehouse with art and craft resources of all varieties. I could have got the resources for every single creative idea I have ever had there. And what's even better is that you pay a fiver and get to fill a WHOLE massive shopping trolley with whatever you want!!! Now I just need to find a willing driver so I can indulge in this adventure!!! So exciting!

On Monday I had childminding, and Madeleine had learnt the actions to Incy-wincy-spider and the wheels on the bus, which is very cool. I'm trying to teach her how to say my name, but when I asked her if she could say 'Hannah' she just grinned and pointed at me. She won't even try! I reckon she can say it but she knows that I want her to, and so is pretending she can't.

I'd better leave it there as I had intended to keep it short, and I need to go to a lecture soon. ttfn.