Monthly Archives: August 2012

Festival Fun

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I’ve just been to Greenbelt. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a Christian music festival, camping for four days in atrocious weather, listening to bands no one has heard of and an entire long weekend in the absence of a shower but in all honesty, it was brilliant. There really was something for everyone; music, comedy, art right to Egyptian belly dancing.
However, up in Cheltenham I did start to wonder if God was going back on our little deal about the flood. Ankle deep in mud across the whole race course, up to the top of the old wellies in some places. By Tuesday morning, there wasn’t a clean or dry individual to be seen. In the end, people gave up and gave in to the power of the mud and just went bare foot and faced the consequences when it just got too much. Some people went all out and ended up looking like morph on a bad day. But, now if there’s something we all know is wrong it’s crocks and socks. We all see it. We all look at them with that feeling of curiosity as to how they can think this is possibly a good idea and if you don’t, well, you’re them. And it’s wrong. But, Tuesday morning when the site is covered in it’s own lake, and people were swimming to their cars, it is worse than wrong. Even with giant holes in each of my wellies after taking my own personal puddles round the festival throughout the weekend, I would never contemplate socks and crocks. They’re made of holes!
And I have to say, Greenbelt must be one of the nicest, friendliest festivals. So if you’ve ever had a bad church experience, don’t let it put you off because, believe it or not, you can do worse than a bunch of happy, hippy Christians. There aren’t many festivals where you can just put your phone on charge and leave it there while you go off and and listen to a talk or some music somewhere else. Or even walk around in one wellie, wearing a cape or excessively extravagant hats without people thinking you’re weird. Even just leaving your tent in the morning safe in the knowledge it will be exactly as you left it when you get back, (well except the unexpected flooding). With smiles all round, it’s such a great atmosphere.
And, if after all this, you’re interested, there really is something for you. If you’re interested in comedy, James Acaster is the one to watch, poetry/rapping? Check out Harry Baker. Music wise if you like chilled singer songwriters, then Luke Leighfield and Jose Vanders would appreciate your support, but if your more of a band/rock person then Yes Sir Boss are the band for you. These were just a few of my highlights but if you ever find yourself with nothing to do, check them out, you might find something you like. 🙂

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Perfectly Political

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So the Olympics are over and aside from a few minor blips I’m sure they were greatly enjoyed by many, so I guess now it’s just roll on the Paralympics. Except, it seems very weird to me that at times of celebration and unity, it’s not like that everywhere and it struck me as I was watching the closing ceremony last night. Why is it that we can all come together from every corner of the world to one place to celebreate how great we all are and our achievements and how we’re really not all that different after all and yet, on the other side of the world, during these celebrations, that these very same countries are at war with each other? The Olympics were great and I would like to congratulate everyone who took part, how you do it I’m not quite sure, but it seems ironic to me that even after all this friendly sportsmanship, we’re still fighting each other. It is because of this that I would like to share a few lyrics from a band that, well, you can see what you think…

“Now if by chance, you’re a world leader…anyone?                                                                                                                                                                              Tryin’ to sort out global peace,                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All those pesky boarder conflicts,                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Somewhere in the middle East,                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It’s time to try new tactics

The argument’s gone on too long,                                                                                                                                                                                                               Take advice from my Auntie Cath

Have a custard cream ‘n’ put the kettle on,

Think, hey now, hold on, there’s a better way to solve this conflict,
Hey now, hold on, there’s a better way than this…
Hug it out, hug it out, open up you arms and Hug it out,
If people are a problem and you find them hard to please,
Just throw your arms around them and give a little squeeze,

So, if you do have a problem or find that one person just a little too much to deal with then take our friends advice. Forget counting to ten, taking your anger out on other things or wasting time talking it through, if everyone just opened up their arms in times of trouble and just hugged it all out, the world would be a lot nicer place 🙂

Welcome to the Wizarding World

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For all you Potter freaks out there, a friend and I just spent eighteen hours and fifty nine miutes watching our old friend Harry grow from the cute little baby he started off as to the great Dad he grew up to be. Yes, we just watched all eight Harry Potter films consecutively. Call us sad but I don’t care.
And, naturally watching any sort of action movie, we both felt we knew better than the people in the movie and actually, if they only listened to us, they would be a lot safer. The amount of times I thought if I were them I’d…
“If I were them I’d just run away…” “If I were them I’d use this spell…” “If I were them I wouldn’t open that…” But realistically, if I was them, I’d be well and truely dead a long time ago, because the day Hogwarts meets risk assessment will be a long one, so they must be doing something right.
However, it’s not just down to them. For all those that know the Harry Potter films, I would just like to take a minute to congratulate Firenze the centaur who stood between Harry and Voldemort in the beginning, to Fawkes the pheonix who healed Harry from the Basalisk and let him escape, to Buckbeak the Hippogriff who saved Harry from the werewolf and to Dobby, the much loved house elf, who, after countless attempts to save Harry ended up taking a knife for him. What a martyr. Aside from Harry and friends, these are the ones that deserve true recognition.
But it’s true, they grow up so fast. It seems only yesterday Harry was on the Hogwarts express for the very first time. In fact, we found ourselves saying “I can’t believe he’s using the ‘lumos’ spell, he’s not allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts”. A simple spell to create light in order to do his homework. Then just hours later saying “I can’t beleive he’s using the ‘imperius’ curse”. An unforgivable curse used to control your enemy. I could hardly believe he was the same little 11-year-old boy from the day before.
I did though, through my time watching them, find out some interesting Potter trivia, if you’re interested. Like, for example, apparently J K Rowling has revealed that when Lily Potter was killed, she was actually pregnant and Snape was to be the Godfather. Or did you know that the original actor of Proffessor Dumbledore wasn’t going to take the role because of his health but his then 11-year-old granddaughter threatened never to speak to him again if he didn’t? And his predecessor after he died was going to be the actor who played “Gandalf” in Lord of the Rings but the original Dumbledore had described him as a “deadful actor” so he felt he couldn’t take the role? The things you find out.
But either way, a day enjoyed wasted is a day well spent and so if you ever find yourself with absolutely nothing to do do for a couple of days, I would reccomend it. Although, I would say, make sure you’ve got enough snacks and aren’t too tired because with practically no sleep, and an awful lot of digestible rubbish I’m quite surprised I’m still standing and haven’t puked once.
So, happy watching to all those fellow Potter friends who are sad enough to also take on the challenge 🙂

Was it all Fun and Games?

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Seeing as yesterday was by far my most popular blog in terms of viewers, here’s another Bible camp update.
It’s true, we had a lot of fun and games, not just on site but also venturing out and going on trips. Wednesday, off to Splashdown and Moors Valley country park. Literally amazing. Having never been to splashdown, I was thoroughly impressed and would definitely recommend it. Not for swimming as such, but the flumes are great. Now Moors Valley. A place of such natural beauty and great outdoors. But it was raining. At first I thought this was pretty much going to ruin the day and that there wasn’t much going for a trip to the country park in the rain. However, it was because of this rain, I was introduced to a game called jungle speed. Now this game is basically just a glorified snap, but if you ever get the chance to play it, take it. A game of immense speed, quick thinking and friendly competition. So we sat in the cafe and cracked out the game, I guess everything has a silver lining as I have since then gone onto ordering the game and am now waiting in anticipation for it’s arrival.
Thursday we went into Basingstoke ice skating. Usually it’s fair to say that when ice skating, I don’t spend much time on my own two feet, however, much to my surprise and delight, I managed to get through the entire session without falling over, rather than acting like a human Bambi.

But, was it all fun and games? Discipline was taken very seriously up at Bible camp. If you were caught annoying people on the bus, the response was “you will hold my hand round the whole of Salisbury and look like a four-year-old girl, then shout ‘weeeee’ while your other leader and I continue to swing you between our arms”. But best of all, I’m not even sure what was done to deserve this punishment but one lad was told by a responsible leader that they would “dig up that tree over there to beat him with it”, “dig a large hole to bury him alive”, “put him in a bush and leave him there for the rest of his ‘silly little life'” and “concrete him to the roof”. After questioning discipline, I was told “we’ve tried the Christian approach, it didn’t work” so there’s a message to everyone, punishments will be taken seriously, you don’t want to get on their bad side.

I would also like to add that no one was actually harmed through discipline at Bible camp 🙂

A Bit of Bubbly Bible Bashing

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So, I’ve just got back from Bible camp and in all honesty, I don’t think Iv’e laughed so much in one week for a very long time. Sorry it’s such a long one today, but I’ve got a whole week’s worth of fun to fit in! To give you the background, we were split into eight “tents” or cabins and each was given a country name. We were then split into four continents, a boys cabin and a girls cabin in each continent. I was in Hawaii, paired up with Jamaica, to form the America’s. Not to mention, out of about seventy campers, about twenty of them were Spanish, which made things a little more interesting.

I think it’s fair to say that from day one our team was never going to win. Hawaii had the biggest Spanish to English ratio being half and half (four Spanish, four English) and to put it bluntly, there’s not much you could say in defense of Jamaica. Either way, I had an amazing week and here are just a few highlights…

Jamaica. When I said there’s no real way to defend them, here’s why: rather than concentrating their efforts in playing the games and attempting challenges, they hid their leaders flip flops and filled their beds with sugar puffs. In the assault course, instead of crawling under the chairs, they walked round them but at such a speed that they were’t even disqualified because there was still no chance of getting close to winning. “Say what you see”? This game was a crossbreed between pictionary, consequences and Chinese whispers where you draw a word, guess what the person before has drawn and then the next person must draw it again, aiming to end up with the same word as started with. Well, I’m not quite sure how but Jamaica’s team went from smile-ball-fish and chips-peas and chips-shark infested waters and then from cooked breakfast-chopping board-glasses-mustache-Hitler. Enough said. And then, the intelligent little tricksters decided to play a little joke. Looking so proud of themselves on the last day, they came up to us explaining they had left a prank for the juniors. When we asked, they said, “we’ve left a cup of tea in a bucket”. It was literally a cup of tea in a bucket. I’m not quite sure what they were planning to get out of this “prank” but when told to wash it out, they exclaimed that it had taken them three days to come up with the “prank” and get the tea that cold. That’s quite special. Every time we saw their leaders, they were insulting their campers and I would say we spent a significant amount of time making fun of them, but to be honest, just going about their daily activities, they pretty much just made fun of themselves. Now, I’m not saying they’re stupid, just that they didn’t have much luck when it came to thinking. Then again, this was the leader who forgot you gained a year in age at every birthday and described their bread at breakfast as “a little toasty” so they didn’t really have much hope…

Then there were our Spanish friends. Our loud, over-excited, make-themselves-heard Spanish friends. One of which was sleeping on the bunk above me and felt the need to inform me every night that I wouldn’t survive if she fell, or more “my bed kataboom, you die”. One of them then screamed at the top of her voice then continued to shout “a scorpion! A scorpion!” And physically pushed me out of the cabin until she could be sure I had successfully removed the little earwig crawling on her towel. This was the same girl that shouted “I am a Spanish girl” to every stranger all round Salisbury though, so we can’t be surprised. They also had a lot of fun in the water games. They didn’t quite understand the rules of one of the games and so instead of throwing wet sponges at the leaders, they turned on their own team and ended up just chucking buckets of water on their team mates, including me. Then there was the apple bobbing, we played a big game of apple bobbing in a large trough filled with water, and again, not really understanding, our Spanish friends thought the best tactic would be to jump into the trough and go for a swim. Oh how I will miss them.

Finally, there were all the times of fun and fellowship spent in worship and prayer and just being together. We sung together (in more than one language may I add) and danced together (if a few failed attempts at the “funky chicken” can really be classed as dancing) and we prayed together. Everyone was always there for each other and it was so powerful to see everyone praying for each other when they were down, just to show they were thinking of them. My favorite of which being “Oh Lord Jesus, I would like to start by praying for Sam’s face. It’s just not that funny, the joke’s over now Lord…” As I said always there for each other. But for everyone there, be consoled that Jesus loves you exactly how you are, even when no one else does.

I would just like to say such a big thank you to everyone there for such an amazing week and for all of you that have been bothered to read all this, and bring on inter 2013! 😀