Thursday, 7 February 2013

Murder at the Manor

Tonight I led a games night. I know it doesn't sound very holy, but you tell me ...
What is holier than coming together as a community and bonding and laughing and creating in-jokes that will knit you together through the good times and the bad? Worshipping Jesus by coming together as a unit and enjoying one anothers company?

It was really awesome, though my musical choices may have left a lot to be desired - we played a casual game of pass the parcel (which I had to explain time and time again to several Americans! What do they even play at kids parties?!), marshmallow castle, musical chairs and musical statues, an attempt at wink murder - though I thought you moved around in wink murder someone else said that you just stand in a circle, it got a little confusing - and lastly, a classic, Mafia.

WHO DOESN'T LOVE MAFIA? (unless of course you're killed off first.)

Problem was that the narrator (Morrison) is an exceptional story-teller and has potentially seen one too many horror movies. Thus the deaths in the game were fairly gruesome and more often than not, very detailed. A great (not so gruesome) moment? "Marlene was dead, she was so dead that in fact even the doctors were impressed at how dead she was. She was dead.

There were moments of high embarrassment that will hopefully live on for a long time - specifically people pretending to be monkeys or swapping socks with their neighbour, drawing a moustache on a friends face or cheating at musical chairs ... but mostly, it was just a time for getting together and having a laugh and remembering that in the midst of it all - jokes really are funny, ergo, God must have a sense of humour to create such a funny people.

Hope you're all well .. I'm on "weekend watch" this weekend with the funniest guy - Nico the Swiss Man; basically, it means driving the trainees to their various places, doctors/town wherever - and then cooking tea - whilst welcoming any visitors and remembering to pick the trainees up from their various places! Should be fun. It's all going to be a little mental however, in a weeks time when the outreaches that are currently in S. Africa and Norway return, to a full house!!

My love and sincerest regards. X

Sunday, 3 February 2013

You know what I love? Post! and Fire!


I am writing from the warmth of the fire, it's roaring and crackling away beside me as I type. My dear friend Laura is playing the 'Juno soundtrack', so I'm sure you can imagine that the atmosphere in here is rather jolly.

'If you were the winter I know I'd be the snow, as long as you were with me when the cold winds blow'

You may or may not know, I love Juno. She's mental. I like mental.

This last week has been a blur.
I'm now part of the worship team here - we have base worship every Monday morning which is ... (as the name says) where everyone on base comes together to worship. We had the best worship session on Thursday night, it was 'mind-blowing' (someone just described it as that) - so much freedom and joy.
Every other morning we pray - so prayer requests are welcome, and Wednesday we have intercession prayer for wider world (it's usually creative - I love it).

I have been getting alongside the new DTS trainees - they are so lush. 14 trainees and I 'man' the work-duties (every afternoon). I work alongside them / manage them / encourage them when they are hating on plunging toiletes / tell them to do a better job if it's not very good ... you get the drift. I sort of really like it, but no-one has done a bad job yet - so they are sort of making my job a little easy. Wait till time gets on and they get tired. Nah, seriously though, they are such a nice group.Though need to keep on top of what is hoovered and polished!!

I've been working on some stuff for a thing that's happening here in summer -
Check it out - see if you can recommend it to anyone. I'll be taking a team out to Poland anyway - whatever that ends up looking like :) still mid-plans. Check out the website!

The weather warmed.
The rain fell.
The snow melted.
The skies are blue and the grass is green.

I love you all ... send me post. It's the best, the BEST, to receive post.
Big shout out to Mrs D Bostock who sends the most exciting post! And Mama P and Mummy Carol (delicious post!) <3 br="">

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What I'm doing here ...

So - you may want to know a little more about what I'm actually doing here?

My role as part of the Holmsted Staff team will be:
There is a DTS beginning in just over a week - so there is a lot to do in general, both on the base and in preparation for the trainees arriving.
I will be working alongside the DTS staff, being an encouragement to them and the trainees in everything. This may be spending time with the DTS small groups; discussing with the trainees about what they are learning; local outreach in Crawley/Cuckfield/Brighton (looking at homeless outreach and hopefully, if we can
organise it, club ministry) and worship.
As part of the base staff I will have a 'Jack of all Trades' sort of role:
  • Manning reception - organisation and sorting!
  • Hospitality - this involves preparing rooms for cold and hungry travellers - or anyone that stays, guests and the like. This might also mean interacting with guest speakers to make sure that their stay here is blessed and comfortable. 
  • Kitchen - I will learn to cook. Or I will feed everyone cheese on toast. Whichever happens first!
  • Local Outreach - this is in the pipeline - but ideas that the basestaff are thinking up to go out into our local community and have an actual presence here in West Sussex. 
  • Driving. That's fairly self explanatory - but as one of the few that are of the legal age requirements and driving talent ;) I am able to drive a base vehicle. It's either a little red car or what they call the silver bullet (7 seater maybe). This is good news as I sincerely love a good drive.
    Good plan, thanks.
That is my varied role here on the base.
I am hoping that God will bring more and more to light as time goes on!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

High visability was one of fashions more exciting moves.

So. As you may have already heard / assumed, I have arrived safely at Holmsted Manor (which for those who don't know is a YWAM base) and as I arrived there were minor misunderstandings ... but nothing that God isn't bigger than. The house is very big and so quite chilly even though it's not freezing outside.
My new bed (long live the 'tree bed') is 'the cave'. I have made the best cave to live in.I have an indian flag and a rainbow flag to decorate and distract me from the mundane nature of the wood itself - there are scarves hanging down and the presence of a hot water bottle to keep my bed warm like a little lovely warm cave.

Staff Training

Was interesting; being thrown into a scenario where I didn't know anyone was fairly difficult for me. I'm the sort who has to find ones feet before feeling confident. The good thing is, staff training, sort of forces you to be friends - to talk with everyone and to share experiences that are funny or serious together. So that was pretty good.


The Jolly Tanner is a good 20 mins down the road.
In fact I just android mapped it - it's actually a 1.3 mile and 27 minute walk.
We walked down last night, donned the high vis jackets and wellies. We created a walking in high vis jackets song and left with only one torch (schoolboy error). So there were 7 of us at the pub and there wasn't any space inside, so given that we were all pretty warm from the walk, we sat outside in the garden and enjoyed a delicious glass of red wine.
Then walked back. Which seemed quicker than walking there. So is the way of the world.

Sunday Funities

This morning I went with Jordan, Nicole and Amanda to 'The Point' where we worshipped the Lord. Standard. Cake and Kingdom coffee (coffee with a conscience). 
This evening we had a little get to know each other gathering by the fire -  where we played a casual game of 'CATCHPHRASE' and shared funny wee/poo/vomit stories; not that I had any of course...especially any vomit stories. None of those. 
*I was literally wearing a lashmina* pahahahaha

That's all kids. 
Goodnight from me here in West Sussex, I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Climbing to the skies - and then off to the Manor.

Here I am, on the cusp of leaving my Manchester life behind (if only for a while).

Hold on whilst I light some candles - prime atmosphere for blogging.
*lights candles*
Sorted. Now, where am I up to with leaving?

Today we got rid of my bed.
The tree bed will be sorely missed, some fond memories of clambering up into the vast skylike ceiling of my room to curl up for a quick daytime nap. One 'great' moment when a rather LARGE moth entrapped itself in my room, this obviously led to much screaming and panicking from me. It was flapping and making terrifying moth noises right next to what felt like my head, so, I called a usually supportive friend, they kindly began to calm me down and asked if it look like the type that might bite, the vampire moth. Which led to more screaming and panicking from me. Thanks Pete.

Anyway, I'm here till the 2nd of Jan. Without a bed.

I am just packing all my things together and it's not remotely logical.
There are clothes in each bag I'm taking - even the bag of shoes (because I will unDOUBTedly need more than one pair of shoes right?!) and then there's everything else. What else? Everything.
I just DON'T KNOW what I'm going to need - so I've got hoodies, jeans, t-shirts, dresses, trackies, jumpers - literally, what do I even need?

Either way, given that I've only got another couple of days - interspersed with New Years Celebrations ... so I should probably decide.

Whatever happens I'm sure it will be fine and I will have lots of great tales to tell you this time next week when I will have been at the Holmsted for a week!! (you want to check out the Holmsted - it is stun.)

Holmsted Manor. Austen: bite me.

Onwards, upwards and be strong in the strength of His might.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

'That's one really big cake!'

Just thinking about how smashing this group was.
What a genuine blessing to be surrounded by such characters. Great questions, great opinions, great quotes.

So much love.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Marriage, Beatboxing, Tequila and Poached Fish

What a weekend.

Under the large Oak tree at Holmsted Manor, Sussex, I witnessed my wonderful friend Adam marry his beautiful bride Victoria. It was a stunning wedding and the weather held up it's side of things by remaining dry and bright, on the occasion a little chilly.
Beautifully presented cream tea awaited the eager guests after a variety of photographic manoeuvres - women, heels and grass.

This was also an excellent evening for GB's Athletics team. In between Athletics, I definitely dipped into a casual episode of Miss Marple and had a cheeky debate with the lad in the chippy about battered sausages (that sounds rude, but it wasn't).
A most excellent evening.

Woods, Dens, Mask-making, Tree Houses and flat tyres.
So Mel's boi is a proper lad. He builds dens and sleeps in the forest and runs adventure days in the woods. It's pretty awesome / exciting / wish I'd had something like that when I was young ...
Mel and I gave Tom a hand with a group of young people that came along - we made masks out of green/brown/orange paints, ferns, sticks, pine cones (the conical fruit of the pine tree - thanks Dad) etc - things that the kids could find in the woods around them.
Then we went hunting for 'the nasty king' - Mel and I went 'blind' and the kids had to find us bilberries to help protect our sight. It was most wonderful.
New car - Frank.
Alloy Wheels.

Driving round the corner, Natasha Bedingfield blaring, Mel was faced with a stand off against another car - an Audi. The Audi refused to move.
Mel had to swerve up onto the kerb. The tyre could not handle it.

Thankfully, God sent a cheeky angelic presence in the form of a middle aged man called Nigel, who used to be a mechanic.
I mean, obviously, we could have handled it. But Nige was more than competent. Legend.

*Boom, Phe, Te, Boom, Boom, Phe, Khe, Chi* (It's not easy to beatbox in words)
On route to the Beatboxing Championships in Islington, we swung by Camden for some delicious Mexican food - which went all over my white dress. Thanks - great work.
Anyway, much dancing, beatboxing and showing off later - a massive group of people, both skilled with beats and not so, were hanging out around Spoons in Islington till around 12.20 in the morning.
When finally Mel and Tom realised we needed to leave so as not to miss the last train, we had definitely missed the last train. So got a train to Woking and then had to taxi. Home by 2. Mental.

Taxi driver, swine ... When Tom paid him, another note had snuck its way within the note he handed him. And he didn't say anything. Rude.

After the train mishap, we had what should have been a delightful lie-in, except for the living alarm-clock that belongs to the neighbours. Cockerel.
Garage, Town, Cream Tea, Sainsbury's ... HOME to BAKE cookies.

Turns out, although I know I can't cook, I've known for a long time. I, however, continue to believe that I will be able to at some point - and seek the wise teachings of others. Unhelpful to my cooking journey, Mel's ability to bake cookies is as shot as mine. I ended up with cherry and almond 'cookies' ... and sort of lemon cake/cookies. I mean, they tasted delish, obv. But turns out I need to do some work on my skills.
Hannah, Mel's housemate, introduced me to her blog and twitter - she is flipping hilarious: we debated about the quality of Rhyming poetry ... and told stories.
Pub Quiz - TEQUILA.

So, drove to Sam's for about 2 - where we chilled out with some Olympics and played some Basketball. I say we ... I definitely chilled out with some Olympics - but not so sure how much of the Basketball I actually took part in. I sort of stood there and caught the ball and passed it back ... tried to mark Sam, but I am 5'2 and he's 6'1 ... 'nuf said.
A dinner of poached fish, curried rice, raisins and egg ... it has a name apparently, I don't know what it was. It was the most unusual dish I might have ever eaten - and I've been around (lolz). Really nice though.
Casual stroll to the nearby pub where beer was drank and conversations were had.
Rain. I love the rain.

After a morning of great conversation and coffee - I stole Bon Iver's album, Sam moved the bird in my car (a  hilarious in-joke from Easter) and I drove home. WITHOUT NAVIGATION. Check me. I drove home. Without. Help.
Freaking YES.

I want to write about how lucky I am, what a great time I had, but these seem so cliche and not even close to how I would want to say it.
So, I will leave this post here. Happy and contented with my 4 day southern excursion.