Thursday, March 27, 2008

Endless Airport Expansion

This morning saw the first flights arrive and take-off from Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport - the latest addition to that particular monstrosity. I went over to have a look this morning and I might just happened to have put on my bright red "Stop Airport Expansion" t-shirt as I got dressed. And I might of felt like taking my coat off at 11 am when loads of other people around me did too (who had also happened to have put on an identical t-shirt to mine). The sea of red in the Arrivals Hall looked quite impressive. The assorted police, BAA staff, and media seemed to think so too!

Most everything is illegal according to Heathrow bylaws, including singing, but at least wearing a t-shirt is still allowed and thus a flashmob (NOT a demonstration) was formed. I bumped into a few local people I knew there and I just generally enjoyed the whole experience. It's been a while since I've been involved in such a direct action and they can be such fun and it is heartening to see other people taking action and believing in the good cause. Despite the massive police presence there was a calmness about the whole event which was lovely.

The arrivals area of T5 is rather boring and the departure area is far nicer and lighter. However there were problems with the baggage while we were there and the tube was 20 minutes late leaving from T5 towards central London. Once it did come, it was fun going back with all these people in the tube wearing red t-shirts. A nice sense of solidarity. Until the next time folks!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Easter Weekend

Since Friday morning it has been:

Food - Church - food - Church - food - sleep - food - walk - food - Church - food - (3 hours sleep) - Church - food - food - (walk) - food - Church - food - sleep.

No wonder next Sunday is called low Sunday and no one goes to Church! We're all knackered...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Almost the end of Lent

It's almost the end of Lent and the end of our Lenten experiment. When we started it felt like we'd never get this far but there are only a few more days to go until a double dose of Easter Vigils to truly end in style. Very similarly to last year we'll be going to an Easter vigil on Saturday evening followed by wine and chocolate at the Rector's house and then the hardy among us will get up for the dawn service too:) HM2 has already adamently said he's not getting up for that one, but he is happy to organise our champagne breakfast for slightly later...

As a household we have agreed that it's slightly against the point of what we've been doing if we've all got a long shopping list written down for Tuesday, although I have a sneaking suspicion we've already got a small mental list going! I've heard talk of new sofas and fireplaces, and I've been meditating on bicycle helmets... On the whole I think we've all survived pretty well and, more than that, managed to use this time to change a few habits and spend time reflecting. It might even be difficult to go back to having to monitor all my own money use. Towards the end this has just become more naturalised and it has felt perfectly normal and reasonable to go to a common pot for some money. I think I'm also going to miss my pocket money! At first it did take me back to being a small child but I have valued the money just to look after myself in a small but fun way and have a bit of money earmarked for myself that doesn't get swallowed by worthy causes (as good and necessary as they are).

Tonight a friend of ours who sings in the London Concert Choir is performing Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at the Barbican so Botanist and I are heading over. It's been ages since I've been to London, and I have only ever been to the cinema at the Barbican so I'm looking forward to it. It has been ages since I've been to a classical concert and part of me is slightly nervous that it'll be "too difficult" or whatever classical music is supposed to be, but I do hope not! I guess I can always pretend that I'm bettering myself.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A chance to ask questions

Today I found somebody who qualified as a drama teacher and he knows a dance teacher who is starting to do some work with the Special Educational Needs department at a local school that I could get in touch with. I am so happy!! Any ideas and thoughts and anything really is welcome at the moment as I try to make sense of the Something To Say project in my head. If everything goes alright I guess I'll have lots of opportunities to ask interesting people who do interesting things all about what they do - which is actually quite an exciting prospect!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The things I say "yes" to...

...are numerous and sometimes rather odd.

Like, for instance, agreeing to lead a dance and drama group for people with learning disabilities.

Not entirely sure how that happened! But it did. And I've led my very first session of the drama group this afternoon. I know nothing about drama so the whole thing was rather stressful and I am rather euphoric now that it all seemed to go well (nobody's dead at any rate!). The group is called "Something to Say" and today was it's first meeting with me as the person facilitating the experience. The group as such has been going for over a year with a slightly different membership although it felt a bit like starting from scratch as there was only one volunteer who had actually been part of the group before. The rest of us were newbies. I decided playing a fair amount of games was a good idea - and thankfully that is something I can do after all this youth worker training I've done. And in all fairness I even enjoyed myself - although I'm still recovering from the shock of having done it. (And trying not to think about next week's dance group...)

We are concentrating on the theme of relationships so when I opened the floor up I got given the idea of East Enders. In some ways I guess that is a pretty good idea as what are soaps if nothing but full of relationship drama. I can already see the potential areas to explore. However, I'm also hoping there is a good Wikipedia entry on the said EE as I really haven't a clue of what goes on in it!:)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

There's an elephant in the way...

This is amazing!

Curry Night

HM1 is taking a group of young people, about 15, to India this August and so we had a curry night last night as a fundraiser. A church hall was booked, tickets sold, lots of curry made, and 80 people showed up for good food and a chance to get to know each other. It was a really successful fundraiser too as the group managed to raise over £1,000! Not bad for some curry... I think it was a valuable event too as people got a chance to see the young people who are actually going and so they aren't a vague concept anymore but living breathing people off to India for a fortnight. They will be going to a charity in Puna called Deep Griha where HM1 spent six months teaching English so she does know the charity quite well.

We've had some other pretty innovative fundraising ideas including distributing (full) Pringles tubes to people and asking them to eat the Pringles and then bring back the tube with money in it! That worked too:) And in a couple of months time there is going to be a Grand Auction and I am wracking my brains to figure out something to offer for it. Somehow I don't think I can quite compete with the offer to stay in someone's holiday home in the south of France for a week, but I haven't quite given up on producing something.

We've got a random assortment of leftovers in our fridge now although there really isn't as much curry left over as I feared there might be. And I also have a lovely henna tattoo on my left hand which was a pleasant surprise this morning (I had fogotten about it completely when I went to sleep). I used to do a lot more playing around with henna at the Red Cafe youth club in Swansea so it was kind of fun to decorate my friend's hand. I had a very obliging guest stay this weekend (she's on her monthly course in London although she lives back in Swansea) who, bless her, kindly agreed to be dragged along to a fundraising dinner and pay for her food.

Anyway, it feels like the concentration on India has gone up a notch. I'm trying not to get too jealous!