Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yesterday my (female) collegues and I had a very stimulating conversation about women and modesty. This was promted by a Guardian article in Friday's G2 called "Chastity is chic" (by Jessica Valenti) and it was about the growing (?) chastity/modesty movement in the US.

What an interesting topic! And there are so many views just amongst us women we didn't really get round to asking the men around us (who were possibly quite relieved...). The modesty issue was not only about sexual behaviour but also about the clothes women wear. As someone who only fairly recently has discovered the liberation of wearing what I wish to wear and learning not to care what others think of my choices/style, I found the discussion on boundaries an interesting one. I freely admit to deploring the (lack of) clothing of women on the Kingsway/Wind Street in winter, but i still think that trying to dictate someone's wardrobe is a tricky situation to put yourself in. I resent the implication that men can't control themselves and the responsibility of their behaviour rests with us. It seems a bit much. I'd love to see the article about men dressing modestly...

Another interesting point in the article was the movement's idea that a woman's goal in life should be marriage. We sadly didn't get round totalking about this issue as we were caught up in comparing what we'd wear in various places, and feelings on make-up (I think it has been a good 6 or 7 years since I last wore any).

During my first year at Uni a girl who lived on the same floor as I did was almost solely at University to find a husband. She even considered moving to a different University because she didn't think there were enough suitable men around. So I'm not quite so quick to dismiss the marriage goal as I once was - it obviously can be an important one to some people. Personally, though, I cannot imagine basing my life around such a goal. I've got other things to do with my time/life, thank you very much!

I guess chastity is a fairly 'revolutionary' idea at the moment, and if this movement can offer support to women than all the better. I think I'm reacting more to the marketing strategies and the black-and-white view they, like so many advertisers, present. It did make a couple of hours go past quite quickly inbetween (and during) serving customers...

Friday, July 28, 2006

This is what I'm up to at the moment

This is what is currently keeping me busy. It is fun to see it working after 7 weeks of planning, although I can't quite shake off the feeling that I'm only "playing" cafe... If you are in the Mumbles, do come down and say hi!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You can never have too many cables...

I've spent a lovely weekend at this delightful little festival nestled among the hills in mid-Wales, despite the rain. Undercurrents were there so we ran the cinema on both Friday and Saturday night 10pm - 2am. Last year I was a mere punter at Small Nations so it was a very different experience working it. I saw/heard far less music this year but I did enjoy my role as roadie/techie/projectionist/stall holder. We were an all women group this weekend which was a laugh, and quite nice to see amongst all the other male technicians. Borrowing cables is a great way to make friends, bizarrely enough. And there was no shortage of tall young men to balance precariously on a chair on top of a table to get our screen up and down from the top of the marquee, or move the heavy stage around...

Saturday night I got to run the show as Helen went to have a dance. Typically as soon as she disappeared and D had gone to get something from the van the power went! Much to my surprise I managed to sort it all out (amidst the heckling from the crowd - I'm rather proud of that!) and soon was comfortably back into screening more stuff. Mark Thomas (the comedian) was a great pull and we got crowds of 50+ which I was so excited about:) He has got his head screwed on the right way, and is genuinely funny poking fun at the activist scene and making some serious points that keep you thinking even if you are laughing.

Monday, July 03, 2006


It was exciting finding a labyrinth in London. I find them intriguing, possibly because I don't know that much about them. The fact that they are not mazes, you don't get lost, I find very comforting.
Walking towards the centre means leaving our ordinary tasks, letting go of our preoccupations, quieting of our hearts and minds, and opening ourselves to God's presence.
Reaching the centre creates space for focusing on Jesus Christ, the centre of our lives.
Leaving the labyrith means retracing the path that brought us in. During this time we carry with us whatever we received at the centre.
The adoption of the labyrith by the Christian faith began during the Roman period. The first known pavement labyrinth with obvious Christian context is found in a basilica in Algeria. At first the labyrinth appeared mainly in manuscripts, but during the 12th century they began to appear in cathedrals and churches in Italy. During the 13th century they spread to France where many fine example were constructed. They soon became popular across Europe, but many were destroyed from the 17th century onwards as tastes changed.