Friday, August 29, 2003

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's probably shouldn't have survived. Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint, which was promptly chewed and licked. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle - tasted the same.We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark.

No one was able to reach us all day and no-one minded. We did not have playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobilephones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing again. We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue - we learned to get over it. We walked to friend's homes. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever. We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you're one of them. Congratulations! Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I think I must be gettiing old. (I'll be 29 in October). Evidence for this is
1. I've been listening to Radio 4 for at least 3 years.
2. I was in a skate/surf type shop the other day and I was 'disgusted at the price of the t-shirts.
3. I can entirely relate to the following (above) :
'Take God seriously, but never take yourself seriously' - I liked this bit of advice (I think it was from Rick Warren, in a comment on emerging minister's blog) The problem is most of us do the exact opposite.
Serious lack of blogging for a while, so I'll try and catch up today. mmm, lets see, what have I been up to? Well I've been out cleaning chimneys with Colin twice now and I have to say I thoroughly enjoy it. It's nice to be out and about, meeting people and well, cleaning their chimneys. I've done about 8 so far and I'm going out all day tomorrow. After that I should be ok to go out on my own. Good honest work and the money's decent as well. Otherwise, I have been working in the bookshop the last couple of Saturdays and all last week, which I've also quite enjoyed (despite all the Jesus junk we have to sell). Read a 'Walk through the bible' by Leslie Newbiggen (note to self, read all of his work), an excellent overview of the whole biblical story, and also 'Responding to the challenge of evolution' by Kevin Logan, which was one of the best (short) introductions to the whole creation/evolution debate I have read.
I've even been doing some DIY (shock horror!). Managed to go to B&Q without getting depressed, and then replaced a drainpipe on the back of the house. It gave me a sense of enormous well-being. Next up, painting the downpipe, and replacing the roof on the lean-to. Man, I'm interesting.

Monday, August 04, 2003

What a cracking weekend. Another heatwave is upon us (must resist the temptation to grumble about the weather we had on holiday). Saturday, Su and I went for a bike ride to a village called Monk's Kirby, which turned out to be a lot further than we thought. Really nice to get away from the city. We stopped off at a pub in Brandon and read a chapter of Dallas Willard's 'Renovation of the Heart' over a pint. Tres cool.
Sunday morning we went down to Moods, for our 'chilled out church'. Met up with Will and Anna, Tom and Angie, Steve, Clare and baby Nathaniel and a lady called Marrione. Steve entertained us all by playing catch with Nathaniel (much to the consternation of his mother). Tom and Angie came back for lunch in the garden, then we prayed for about an hour about church stuff. Payed a visit to Will and Anna, then finished off the day in the garden.
Su is finding work really difficult at the moment. Lord, I pray that you will give her strength and encouragement today and give us wisdom regarding her job situation and my course. Amen.
I'm waiting for a phonecall to go out and get trained up in chimney sweeping! How bizzare is that? Chim-chiminee, chim-chiminee, chim chim cheree, a sweep is as lacky as lacky can be.