Monday, June 26, 2006

Travelling again

This time I went down to London to meet my mum who had flown in from Finland. We hardly make conventional tourists: my mum's top places to visit are Paperchase, Boots, and the National Art Gallery; and we walked passed the London Eye after briefly toying with the idea of going up because the queues were far too long. However, I think we both got what we really wanted - time in the London Mennonite Centre and Highgate, a chance to join the service in the UK's only Mennonite church, and talk in Finnish which neither of us do on a regular basis it would seem.

LMC is my favourite place in London! As I took my pilgrimage down the bottom of the garden to visit the swing I discovered a labyrinth in the grass next to the prayer hut which was unexpected and delightful. Walking it was a lovely ten minutes of my life even as I was dodging fallen prickly holly leaves... I have visited that swing as long as I can remember, and it is an integral part of my image of LMC. However, I must have shrunk - I'm sure the swing is up higher than it used to be!!

I watched the Portugal and Holland match at the house we were staying at. It started off as a social activity with Daniel (mostly to be polite on my behalf) but how can you not get interested in a match where 16 yellow cards are handed out!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Hmmmm...but what does it mean?

I don't know what to think of my theological worldview now!:) [This is from What's your theological worldview?]

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 82%
Emergent/Postmodern 68%
Neo orthodox 64%
Roman Catholic 36%
Classical Liberal 32%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 25%
Modern Liberal 25%
Reformed Evangelical 14%
Fundamentalist 4%


What a place!! A carload of us arrived at 3am and walked down to the stones as light streaks were appearing and the moon and stars were starting to come out from behind the clouds. The 'Battle of the Beanfields' playing in my head I was actually surprised to be allowed to go right up and, dodging the dozy reveller, touch the giant stones. "This is so amasing!!" was repeated more times than I care to remember...

In the minutes before sunrise I was standing outside the circle by the Heel Stone alternatively looking at the sky in the east and also turning around to look at the lightning storm contained within the circle from all the camera flashes. There was an insane strobe effect going on. We had to wait until about 5am to see the sun come out from behind the clouds - but the field did errupt into whoops and cheers. What a way to see a day in!

Druids with mobile phones, hippies, tourists, party-goers, children...they were all there. Spending a lazy morning at Stonehenge provided ample opportunity for people watching. That is one of my favourite bits of festivals (and boring train journeys etc) so it was fun to have everyone in such a small concentrated place. People were generally happy/weird/funny/enjoying themselves and I do think that was the best possible way to visit Stonehenge - when there's a big party going on!

Traipsing back along fields of barley and gorgeous red poppies, driving through English countryside (with signs for tank crossings!) and by thatched cottages, stopping off for lunch in a pub with a scratchy CD to entertain us, and dashing round Swansea to find a banana rounded off the trip nicely. And then I went to the Red Cafe and managed to stay awake for another four hours before collapsing in my bed for a blessed 11 hour sleep.

The stones themselves were more than impressive, and definately had a presence. I like the fact we don't quite know for sure everything about them as it means we can bring our own celebration to it all. It was a special moment seeing the stone circle for the first time in the pre-dawn darkness. And I'm glad to celebrate the light. I am alive.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's solstice...again!

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year! Somehow that just feels wrong as summer has only just started. A few of us are taking a roadtrip to Stonehenge tonight. We leave in a couple of hours and are going to be there to see the sunrise (weather permitting) and then we'll drive back... Sounds like fun - and a great excuse to visit the place.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mobile phones

I recently lost mine... It was right before a trip to Lake Windermere so I spent the whole weekend out of contact. Once I had reconciled myself to the loss of my possession like a good Buddhist I quite enjoyed it all. When I returned to Swansea I found out that my phone had returned from its travels and had come through the letterbox! Clever phone! I then spent 40 minutes writing down all the phone numbers stored on my phone into my address book...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Plants are friends

Gardening is addictive... It all started off admiring my friends' hard work in their garden. Then we got excited about their allotment. Then Fred and I bought fusias and lined the pots up the stairs in our little bit of concrete. And now our landlord has given us a bit of his garden so Abi planted lots of seeds and this morning I planted in a courgette, some lettuce, two tomato plants and three mystery ones (I've forgotten what they are...). It was a brilliant way to start the day: digging around in the soil and planting things!! I have no real confindence in my ability to grow anything/keep anything alive but I am willing to have a go. Also it does seem less threatening than trying to look after a whole garden/allotment.

I've got until the end of August in this particular house and garden so that should be enough time to harvest some of the food providing it doesn't get desimated by slugs. And having compared notes with my grandparents over this weekend (they live on the east of England in the drought zone) I'm quite glad we're allowed to water our garden... Ooo. Listen to me!! Soon I'll be speaking about the differences in composts and gardening methods like a proper enthusiast! Like any interest area it does have it's very incomprehensible (to outsiders) language which I am slowly starting to understand - I think. I wonder if there is a dictionary around that does garderner-speak into English?