Thursday 30 October 2008

goodbye III

Sean led us out of the church playing the bagpipes. two of my beautiful sisters followed him with white roses in their hands and the rest of us solemnly filed behind, stepping out of the small village chapel into the sunny, well-kept graveyard. the colour of the sky and the grass and the flowers appeared particularly vibrant. the scottish melody filled the air and suddenly it all seemed rather royal, and rather beautiful and yet still natural with the smell of the sea in the air and the green fields stretching out behind the stone wall. just rather fitting, really, for such a lady.

anthropology seminars

" more...long...words...and...we...don't...really...have...any...answers..."


He drew me out of deep waters [and He is also DEEP]

He brought me out into a spacious place [and also shelters me]

He rescued me because He delighted in me [i am learning to believe this]

Tuesday 28 October 2008

me underneath

life is many layered. as are we. when everything is stripped away, what is left?

maybe i don't want to know.

scared that joy is a mask and confidence clothes and underneath all you would find are hues of blue and grey.
hold me tight so i don't fall apart
hold me gently so i don't break
don't let me slip through your fingers

Saturday 25 October 2008

independence day

happy belated birthday to Zambia. it was 44 yesterday...

i was thinking of going to london tonight to celebrate with friends. but instead, i went on a bike ride with my beautiful younger sister and we went on the big ride at the end of the pier. it was GREAT :-) and tonight there are exciting going ons in brighton which i'm sure i shall report about in due course.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

God as gardener

Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener after he'd risen from the dead. Maybe she was not so mistaken.

Gardener: one who works in a garden.

Garden: where life began and ended (Eden) and ended in order for it to begin again (Gethsemane) ... the seed first has to die in order to bear fruit.

The gardener DELIGHTS in seeing things grow. the garden is his joy. sees potential in bare soil. kneels on the ground and gets his hands dirty. cannot force growth but does all he can to prepare and encourage and maintain

"...while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" ---

[those who do not garden may not understand the seemingly harsh necessary measures taken]

BUT "if you knew I was GOOD... then while you might not always understand what i am doing, you would trust me"

(i know i've used this quote before but i love it!)

"this garden is your soul. this mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive...

quotes from the new testament and 'the shack'.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

london (again)

as well as going to 'Epic worship' this weekend, i met up with my friend Yinka, who i see nearly everytime i go to london and we always meet in a different place and walk and talk about just about anything and everything and then go our separate ways again!

(waiting for Yinka at russell square)

i also went to Camden (first time!) to hang out with 2 beautiful friends of mine. we had a lovely day. :-)

Monday 20 October 2008


"Pilgrim was taken to a large upper room that faced the sunrise. And the name of the room was Peace." (Pilgrim's progress)

sunrise over brighton


... is a night put on by my friend Nick who loves trance music and loves God and combines the two... in a basement in old street... and a random selection of beautiful people who came to express their worship and prayers in dance and paint and words and more...

Thursday 16 October 2008

erasmus snapshots

i've just entered an erasmus competition for which i had to submit 6 photos that summed up my "erasmus experience". i've posted some of them here. it's great to be able to look back and remember the good times and trips and people. I just focused them on the first 6 months abroad as my time in Badajoz was pretty far from typical! and yesterday i spoke at the 'year abroad fair' which is for the second years who are in the process of chosing their year abroad destination. I can't believe that was us TWO YEARS ago! I hope i didn't come across too negatively. Everyone will tell them that they'll have an amazing time, which they will, but i guess the three of us that spoke wanted to give more of a realistic picture; a bit of a warning that it won't all be easy, and that that's ok. because i think i wished that someone had said that to me before i went. but afterwards i worried a bit that we'd scared them all! Ah well.... :-)

it all seems very distant now. especially Sevilla. but i am seeing in bits and pieces how i have grown through it, especially in confidence (SOME of the time!!) and the privilege it was to be able to go.

sea and salsa

so i six-stepped, crumped and salsa-ed my way through monday and tuesday, then my body hurt and i had to stop. :-S yep tuesday i decided to try out a salsa night with some friends. i've done a bit before so the beginner's class was quite easy but very enjoyable. although i did have to 'be the man' (always a lack of males!) and got stabbed by some seriously big heels (crowded dance floor!). again it's something i see people do (dancing salsa, not stabbing people with their heels) and would so love to be good at it. but at least with salsa even if you know just a little bit you still feel like you can join in. and then we 'freestyled' to some latin-flavoured tunes, got those hips going and dodged away from crazy-waistcoat-man, and then spilled out onto the beach when we got too sweaty. love brighton! :-) in classic style amber and i then ran down to the sea (no small feat in heels i tell you!) and just as we caught our breath and paused to admire the moon and the waves and "this is so beautiful" was on our lips, a pebble-ridden wave came from nowhere and blasted past us, soaking us up to our thighs. HILARIOUS!

in other news, the fourth and final piece of sea urchin has finally departed from my foot, only about 2 months after it first entered that fateful day in Ibiza!!

Monday 13 October 2008

study vs dance

the moon looks good tonight. just so you know.

last week i felt uni seemed manageable. today sitting in a lecture was the last place in the world i wanted to be. and afterwards i felt more tired and drained than i have for a long time. i am sneezing like crazy these days. maybe i'm allergic to academia? ...

tonight i went to breakdancing then cycled across town to a street dance class. and afterwards i felt so full of energy and so GOOD... despite the bruised shoulders from shoulder-stands and blistered hands (hardcore!haha!). i wish i was a bit more 'natural' at these styles of dancing, but that's just the impatient/lazy side of me wanting to avoid all the practise that i know is necessary. it's a bit like learning a new language but with your body. when music comes on i so want to dance but feel inhibited by the lack of means (moves) i possess to express myself fully. hence the classes...

so my body wants to learn but my brain does not. this could present some difficulty in the coming months...

oh and check out this blog. i like it a lot.

Saturday 11 October 2008

"do not say that the sun has burned out, just because a cloud has hidden it. No, it is still there, planning a summer for you; for when it shines again, it will have caused those clouds to have dropped their April showers, each of them a mother to a sweet mayflower"
(streams in the desert, oct 9)

goodbye II

the colours seemed to be extra vivid today. just like you.

Friday 10 October 2008

random bits

to begin on a random note (although i will continue on a random note throughout): who would have thought there'd be 46,427 members of this group on facebook: I'm Saving Myself For Wild, Passionate, Awkward Honeymoon Sex
hilarious . am i permitted to wonder what nationality most of them would be...? :-D

on that vein (kind of), this week i've discovered 3 more people who i went to secondary school with are going to be mummies/daddies. CRAYZEE. i think it scares me more than anything. being in your 'twenties' is just... BIG. or, precisely, does not feel big, as in old, yet we/some are doing and chosing things that still seem too big to get my head around for who we (I?) are/am and where we're (i'm?) at.

and pretty much totally unrelated. WHYYYYY do boys and skinny jeans think it's a good idea to mix??? brighton can't seem to get enough of it. i'd say "no offense"... but it offends me. jajaja (spanish version of 'hahaha' seemed more appropriate)

ALSO. i like my house :-) it's arty (paintings on the walls... although i wonder how many people realise that one of the canvases downstairs is actually a dare-i-say-it vagina? spillover from various friends being involved in productions of the 'vagina monologues', which i'd actually really recommend seeing if you haven't before). and music pours out the windows on sunny days and bikes/people spill out the doors (our house isn't very big!). and there are 3, well 4 at the moment, beautiful ladies living here with me. with a very definite french theme going on. i may even have learnt some by the end of the year!

last night, in this house of love and art and bikes and music i had some wonderful friends round for a belated birthday celebration. it was just lovely. fairy lights and food and red wine and smoothies and background music and everyone fitted in the living room for catching-up and making new friends and enjoying being together again. yey :-) ooh that sounds really soppy having just read it back. AH WELL. get over it.

and lastly, an article on europe and the church. which i found HOPE-ful. especially in light of the seminar i had this week for my 'religion and ritual' course for anthropology...

Thursday 9 October 2008


life seems to be a constant interchange of hellos and goodbyes goodbyes and hellos

places faces names games accents tones homes

and we (i? you?) become accustomed. which is sweet and sour. we feel less. we become a bit more stretchy, more flexible. so it's easier to fit into new spaces or return to old ones. each time we adjust sooner. until one day one continent the next day another and it doesn't feel like we are falling apart inside like it might have done once upon a time.

but in a way i miss that pain. i hate the numbness. the way i can walk out the door not knowing if/when i'll next see someone and not shed a tear, not be moved. somehow in a goodbye we expect to summarise everything that has been and is and all that we'll miss and all that the person/place has meant. which is impossible. yet we always seem to try. so i guess it's ok that i didn't have the profound words or the tears or the welling up inside; at that precise moment that i looked into your eyes before i turned away. because i had hours and days and months and maybe even years of moments and words and laughter and tears and feelings and sharing and learning and loving and being loved and 'being with'. and it doesn't mean that i don't miss you. i've just got used to not being with the ones i love. so maybe it'll be a while before your absence strikes a minor chord in this crazy life's tune. a tune that is all the richer for you.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Isaias 38:5

"yo he escuchado tu oracion y he visto tus lagrimas"

back here

i'm back at university. back on campus. back in a lecture hall. back in the dhaba, everyone's favourite cafe. back in the meeting house for 20p coffee. back to 25 minute bike ride to campus. back to the library. back to brighton hills. back to being defined as student and not much more. back to reading packs. back to wearing clothes i'd never wear anywhere else. back to breakdancing (woop!). back to old friends.

back to sussex-ness... argh.... E.G. "so, what would you say is the most anarchic food?"

back to anthropology (where they teach you how to speak bull**** and sound like you know something????!)

and... fourth year. not recognising hardly anyone around campus. feeling old and a little 'prickly' towards 'those freshers'. overwhelmed by new people and not feeling too motivated to get to know them. rusty brained and forgotten my spanish.

BUT. overall. OK. today anyways. today i feel like it's possible. and am SO thankful for the wonderful friends who are BACK too. or still here. :-) makes all the difference in the world.

Sunday 5 October 2008

new views of Brighton

i went for a long bike ride the other day, making the most of the sunshine which has now disappeared and having free time, which will also disappear shortly. i went all the way to Rottingdean along the top of the cliffs and then back along by the sea. it was beautiful. it really is a privilege to live here, i hope i keep making the most of it this year.

Saturday 4 October 2008


Lots of people have been talking about this book by William P. Young so when i saw my sister had it i borrowed it straight away. It's not a book that's easy to summarise and i think different things will stand out to different people, depending on the beliefs and conceptions they already hold with regard with to God ... and not just God but everything, because everything finds it's place in Him. And this is mainly a conversation with Him, but in forms that we may not usually imagine.

so i just reccommend you read it.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

"you rarely see or experience relationship apart from power. Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you... Authority, as you usually think about it, is merely the excuse the strong use to make others conform to what they want"

"And if there is no reality of good that is absolute, then you have lost any basis for judging. IT IS JUST LANGUAGE, and one might as well exchange the word good for the word evil" (p.135)

"This garden is you soul. This mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive..." (p.138)
"with [wisdom], everything is normal and elegantly simple. because you are so lost and independent you bring to her many complications and as a result you find even her simplicity profound" (p.172)
"it is true that relationships are a whole lot messier than rules but rules will never give you answers to the deep questions of the heart and they will never love you". (p.198)

Thursday 2 October 2008

a deep breath before fourth year begins (in a park in nottingham with 2 ladies i love)

(that was on Sunday, now i'm back in Brighton). Fresher's week, new house, old friends [THE FOURTH YEARS. We feel old...], new people. making most of NOT having to be anywhere in specific. and NOT studying. all that begins next week.