Monday, October 24, 2005
Blogging FriendsA couple of weeks ago we had some new friends over to lunch. Michael Pahl is finishing of a PhD at Birmingham University, he also has a New Testament sudies type blog here. He is also teaching the gospel of John at my old college, BCC, a bit like Michael Strickland, the first anglo-file, who now blogs here (yes, that is what he really looks like) and who introduced us. Michael came over to Coventry on the train with his wife Larissa and his kids Matthew, Michael and Amelia (they have an official family website here (and I find it hard to keep one blog up to date!). The Pahls are from Alberta, Canada which is one of my favourite places on earth (especially Banff, where I would give my right arm to live). Now, Canadians, like all North Americans, are easy to please. You just show them some old stuff. Like buildings that are 7 or 8 times older than their home town, stuff that we Brits walk past everyday without batting an eyelid. Anyway, Michael has written up his trip in a much more interesting and informative way than I ever could here. It was fun to have his family over for lunch and get to know them a bit. We are hoping to be able to take them to Oxford or somewhere at some point in November.
Not wishing to indulge in national stereotypes but I'm yet to meet an unpleasant Canadian. They're the Americans it's ok to like. (only kidding, Strickland). Michael (Strickland) speculated that they are 40% American(US variety), 30% English and 30% unique but I wouldn't dare say they are that high in US content. I definitely wouldn't say that they talk like Americans, spell like Brits and smell like nothing else, which Strickland also said (and told me to tell you, Michael P).
Another friend, Doug, has started blogging here. If it's anything like his real life verbal diarrhea he will be quite prolific but fairly insubstantial. So far it's been quite quiet though. He is, however, doing better than my brother-in-law, whose token effort at blogging was frankly pathetic.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
My iBirthdayOn the 1st October I celebrated my 31st birthday. How scary is that? Well, not as scary as I found my 30th. I seem to remember dreading the day and then going into a depression for at least 2 weeks after my party. Looking at the archives it looks like I didn't blog for about 2 months (ok, nothing unusual there). Well I've got used to the being old thing and this year was a lot easier to cope with (although Su did accuse me of going through a mid-life crisis when I bought a pink shirt for my birthday meal).
The blow of getting another year older was softened somewhat by the present I bought myself, a 60GB iPod. Now, before anyone accuses me of being an extravagent consumer, the only reason I was able to get one was due to some inheritance money I received when my Grandma died a couple of months ago. For about 5 minutes, a thought about doing something sensible with the money, like paying off some of the mortgage, but Dad told me to get something I really wanted. So I did...it's what she would have wanted! The opportunity of my sister going on a trip to New York was just to good to miss. I course, whenever you by an Apple product, they come out with a new version a couple of weeks later. Oh well, I'm chuffed to bits with mine. Most of my other birthday presents were related to this little white box of tricks. Su bought me a docking station, Rachel and Karl bought me a case and I bought an AV cable with some money from Mum and Dad - so I can bore people to death with slideshows on their own TVs. An extra special treat came courtesy of Su's mum and Geoff. Geoff phoned me a couple of days before my birthday to ask if I could pick him up an iSight camera for him. I was planning to go on my birthday anyway to pick up some accessories so it was no problem to get him one. When I took it to him, he wrote me a cheque and handed me back the iSight and said Happy Birthday! (a joint birthday present with su). I had no clue. Now I can have video iChats with my sister and anyone else who wants to see my ugly mug whilst talking to me, tres cool.
'Every good and perfect gift comes from above' James 1:17. Now all Apple products fall somewhere between good and perfect, the iPod is nearer the latter... so thankyou Father, and everyone else, for my pressies, sometimes I think I must be the most blessed person alive.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
bloggingI want to get back into blogging again. I say I want to, but everytime I think about sitting down and doing it I'm struck by a disabling sense of apathy. I usually have a list of things in my head that I'd like to blog about but often leave it until it's too late and the stuff seems irrelevant. I think part of the problem is I've lost sight of why I'm blogging. It was easy when I knew no-one read the blog, I'd just write about my day like -I'm going in the back garden now to eat my breakfast and read a book- but now I'm aware that people (ok, only a handful of people) read it, I think I feel the pressure to be interesting or funny or current in some way. This is why for ages I avoided trying to find out who read the blog, because I didn't want to become obsessed with statistics of who reads or subscribes to my blog. Don't get me wrong, I love it when people leave comments and enjoy the interaction that sometimes follows but I don't want to write with particular people in mind. I think from now on, I'll pretend that noone reads the blog and just write any old drivel as and when I feel like it. Which begs the question, why have a public blog, why not just keep a private journal? Good question. I think it's because I'm generally rubbish at journaling, and this blog is about as close as I get to keeping a record of my life. At least there is some insentive when friends give me a nudge and say why aren't you blogging? Anyhoo, I'm off to watch telly now.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Originally uploaded by Jon Taylor.
And we thought we invented footy. Here is a relief of an ancient Greek playing keepy-uppy. (I wonder how many he could do). No wonder the Greeks won Euro 2004, they've had up to 4000 years practice. (actually I think he's balancing a 'medicine ball' in a gymnasium, or is he?)