Thursday, 24 December 2009

Today I realised I would see neither the end of the orange juice in the fridge, nor the disposal of the rubbish in my bin.

Monday is looming, and I still haven't quite accepted that I am leaving here for 12 months. Probably won't until I'm on the plane. Right now I'm feeling a mixture of anticipation, excitement and a little guilt. Not nervous or scared, quite possibly because it hasn't sunk in, but the guilt is related to the stress, worry and general frustration my mum has been dealing with over the past few months with her mother. As the only child left at home, I've been trying my hardest to be supportive and make it easy for her. It's been unnecessarily busy, and my parents and I have been like ships in the night, so I haven't had much quality time with them lately. It's very hard not to resent unforeseen circumstances for this, especially when they could have been avoidable and largely the result of whim, but the time has flown for whatever reasons and there is no going back.

I still live at home, a move I strongly advocate for anyone trying to save money, and I'm pretty close to my parents - I like living with them (usually...). We don't always see each other during the day, and the news is usually on during dinner, so our longest conversations are at night with them in bed, and me leaning against the doorframe at the foot of their bed. It's not unusual for Dad to put his pillow over his head in an attempt to tell me to shut up, but Mum and I keep going until one of us can't remember the words any more. Sometimes I'll get home at 10pm intending on going straight to bed, but not get there until 12:30 because I've just been debriefing with my parents, in the kitchen or their bedroom.

I'm telling you this so you can understand my sense of guilt at leaving them. I feel a little like I'm abandoning them when things are tough. This trip has been in the planning since well before stress arose, and my parents want me to go, but it's always hard to leave the people you support when they need it the most.

This trip is going to be great. Probably a little scary at times, but I can't think of anything that might realistically happen that I can't handle, although I'm intentionally not imagining too hard. I'm pretty certain I've got God's support for it, which is a huge blessing, and I can't wait for a proper winter with snow. Finding a new church, and fitting into a new community will be exciting, as will getting to know my flatmates. My biggest concern at the moment is finances - currently I don't have quite enough money, but I have several solutions for this, so it'll all be good. Who knows how I'll go with culture shock or homesickness, but my intention is to keep off instant communication (facebook, phone, skype) as much as possible especially in the beginning, because I know from experience these don't do anything to help. Letters, emails, blogs will be my communication of choice, so please post any comments here rather than on the facebook post of my blogs (I have it set up to automatically post my blogs as notes on fb).

If you're a praying person, please pray for youth group, as I leave it and it takes a new form of leadership - there is potential for it to crash and burn, but with prayer, support and dedication by the leaders it will be fine until a new youth worker comes along. Please pray for my parents and anyone else whom I support, entertain or distract. Please pray that I'll settle quickly, happily and without too much fuss, and that I won't worry about money. Please thank God for the opportunities I'm getting - studying overseas, working at Iona (7 weeks in the shop over the summer holidays), travelling around, meeting new people, and for the work God's doing in laying the foundations - phenomenally fast acceptances, unexpected money, random (yet very handy) connections.

And that's about all. I have 5 more sleeps until takeoff, an enormous amount of clothing to cut down on, and Christmas to survive. My bedroom is a pigsty, and I know that if I leave it messy, the mess will just wait 12 months. I still have presents to buy for Christmas, and baking to do. I have no idea if I've filled out all the correct utas forms, or if I'll get snotty letters. If I were told I had to leave tomorrow, I'd probably fail completely at taking anything useful, but who cares. I'm going to England for 12 months. I'm going to study medieval history surrounded by the stuff. I'll see my new niece, travel around Europe, make new life-long friends, and have an adventure with God by my side. Who can ask for anything more?

If you're reading this on facebook, add my actual blog ( to your rss feed - it will update quicker, and you'll be able to comment on my posts rather than my facebook notes (better for posterity and for my reminiscing in the future).

Friday, 11 December 2009

Quite frankly quite awesome

Check out these Star Wars Themed hoodies. Who wouldn't think you're the coolest person in the world when you're dressed as a Storm Trooper and still toasty?

Or cruising the streets dressed as an X-Wing Fighter Pilot?

Reminds me of those suits you get for little kids - the Spiderman costume,

or the monster suit

But really, they're just for our inner-nerds, and isn't it about time they were given a chance to shine. Although if you are a little embarrassed, maybe the Storm Trooper, with it's total face covering zip-up hood would be the most appropriate.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


It's been one of those days. You know. Those ones. They're neither amazing nor terrible. My evening was good fun, watching movies with some friends, but there was a recurring theme of waiting things out to see if they got any better, only for them not to. First I was watching a terribly sad doco on the Darrell Lea family. I think the family policy of 'whatever happens in the family, work comes first' summarises it all. The company is held in higher esteem than any family connections, including between brothers or father and son. It was incredibly disillusioning, and a powerful lesson about how destructive ambition can be. I kept watching because I didn't want to miss a potentially decent ending, and go away with the wrong impression. But there was no happy ending.

Then we watched He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, which was also a little disappointing at the end. We watched it out, wondering where it was going, and hoping for a happy ending. But once again there wasn't, and we were just confused about what had happened, and why we'd kept watching.

I'm sure there's some kind of anecdotal lesson in this, but I'll have to think about it to see what it is. It was a fun evening anyway, we also watched Flushed Away which I enjoy a lot, and just hanging out with friends is always fantastic, no matter what you're doing.