Archive for the ‘stuff’ Category

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memories

October 3, 2008

And when it comes to our feelings, those who have been left behind discover a vast ocean. Sometimes the ocean seems calm and still, and yet the next minute, for no apparent reason, a wave comes crashing over us. At other times the loss is so intense it is like being at sea, out of the sight of land and simply tossed around; and then, sometimes there are moments of quiet and serene beauty as a new truth dawns, and sometimes the grief is so overwhelming that it’s like drowning, and there’s no one to hear our cries (Christopher Herbert).

I’ve been thinking about a baby called Iona this week.

Even though many of us had never seen Iona we got to know her through her uncle Chris and couldn’t help but be amazed at her fight for survival. She was just weeks old. We prayed and waited for news of her progress and thanked God for the occasional glimmers of hope. But it wasn’t to be.

It’s been deeply moving and inspiring to read her uncle’s story and I’m hoping he continues for a short time at least. We won’t forget.  Her funeral will be tomorrow and although she may be gone, in the short time she’s been here, little Iona has made quite an impact. And for that we give thanks.

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Tess of the D’Urbervilles

September 20, 2008

Looks like the BBC’s on to another winner with this adaptation of the Thomas Hardy classic.  Thoroughly engrossing!  Episode 2 tomorrow night.

Having said all that … Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy are still top of my list though!  (sigh)

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final year

September 17, 2008

Starting tomorrow at 9am through till 4pm. Wonder what’s in tomorrow’s timetable?

When I decided to give up my job two years ago to go back to full-time study and a nursing degree I’m sure there were those who wondered what the heck I was doing. But here we are, two years down the line, all exams and placements passed and with less than a year to go it still seems a little unreal and unnerving. It scares me sometimes when I think how quickly it’s all gone and the learning expected during that time.

A joy? Everything I’d hoped for? Wonderful people doing wonderful things? There have been moments … let’s see what tomorrow and thereafter brings before I come to any conclusion.

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time flies

September 16, 2008

Since Youth Assembly I’ve been on a bit of a roll with the old blog so today I’m pondering the possibility of a post. Or maybe I’m just faffing.

I was reading about procrastination on another blog yesterday and the word seems especially fitting for me at the minute but I find that my ways of putting off the inevitable are changing, evolving to suit the latest fad.

My usual approach in avoiding essay writing in particular involves three things: housework; staring out the window looking for squirrels; spending hours on end reading material related to the most recent assignment which, at the beginning, makes me feel quite self-righteous in a conscientious kind of a way but inevitably leads to over saturation and numbness. Always good.

I’ve noticed this week a new pattern is emerging and there are now some additions to my repertoire. It appears I have developed a new and far more entertaining set of avoidance tactics that include Facebook (the word games can put you into a trance like state if you stick with them long enough), Twitter (providing your friends update regularly you can see what they’re doing at any given point in time) and of course the ultimate is mulling over other people’s interesting/not interesting thoughts in bloggers world (even the random stuff).

With the final academic session and final placements on the horizon as of Thursday I’m feeling a bit guilty that I’ve been so unproductive these last two weeks. It’s not as if I’ve had nothing to be getting on with. So in an attempt to combat this guilt I’m planning on planning my research proposal and visiting Athens. I’ll put the kettle on first and take the washing out the machine and remember to take my lemon balm herbal remedy for stress and anxiety and … oh it’s almost lunchtime and then I’m seeing someone at two.

Where does the time go for goodness sake!?

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seeing God in one another

September 13, 2008

It was my intention to use a particular story last weekend at youth assembly and I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t because it is perfect. In all the hustle and bustle and recreating it went out of my head.

Like others, I have continued to reflect on the weekend and there were times when we didn’t get it right but that happens, we learn and move on. It’s a new format and there were always going to be teething problems.

In a couple of the sessions we desperately wanted to encourage people to look beyond the labels and stereotypes to see people as they are in their particular circumstances. We wanted to explore the impact of those circumstances on their relationships but also the perceptions that people hold. We wanted to challenge and, to a degree, that’s what we did. But I’m left feeling dissatisfied. I wish we’d done so many things differently that would have allowed a flow of conversation from one session to the other. We lost sight of that when deliverances became our focus.

This story says what we may not have achieved in saying last weekend. It’s about relationships, seeing God in one another and finding God in unexpected places. It’s a beautiful story which I hope you enjoy even if you’ve heard it before.

There was once an old monastery which had lost its inspiration. The same routines were performed as they had always been, but there were no new novices and little enthusiasm for the rites of prayer.

The Abbot saw all this and he grieved. At a loss as to how to change things, he paid a visit to an old hermit who lived in the woods. The hermit welcomed him in and spread the table with bread and cheese and wine. After they had eaten together the recluse addressed the Abbot.

You and your brothers have lost the fire of God. You come seeking wisdom from me. I will tell you a secret, but you can only repeat it once. After that no one must say it aloud again. The hermit then looked deep into the eyes of the Abbot and said, ‘The Messiah lives among you.’

They were both silent as the Abbot considered the import of this saying. ‘Now you must leave’ the hermit said.

Returning to the monastery, the Abbot called all the monks together and told them that he had a teaching which he had been given by God. He added that the teaching was never to be repeated out loud again. Then the Abbot looked at each of his brothers and said, ‘The Hermit says that one of us is the Messiah.’

The monks were startled. ‘What could this mean?’ they wondered silently. ‘Is John with the big nose the Messiah? Or Father Matthew who keeps falling asleep at prayer? Am I the Messiah? But puzzled as they were they never repeated the saying again

As time went by, the monks began to treat one another with a special love and reverence. There was a gentle, whole-hearted, human quality about them now which was hard to describe but easy to see. They lived with each other as those who had finally found something of significance. Their words were careful, considered and gentle. Who could tell when they might be speaking to the Messiah?

Before long, the vitality of the monastery attracted many visitors and young men began asking to join the community. The old hermit died without revealing any more and the Abbot sometimes wondered if he had understood correctly.

From ‘alt.spirit@metro.m3’ by Mike Riddell

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the great outdoors

July 30, 2008

Monday was such a beautiful day. When we set off for camping in Keswick we were hopeful that the next day would be much the same. A good day for walking was what we wanted and I was so looking forward to returning to Cat Bells. Alas, the British weather let us down and so we packed up yesterday morning in the rain and headed for a cup of tea and a scone (resisted temptation of big fat cake!) followed by a roam around the shops. Ah the excitement of it all was almost too much! But seriously, I love Keswick, it’s one of my favourite places and even in the rain I’m never disappointed.

The only downside for me was the usual onset of insomnia around midnight, the endless trips to the toilet, someone in the next tent snoring and then to top it all a particularly bad hair day which kept getting worse!!!

Can’t wait till Saturday when we’ll be going back for more of the same! Ah the great outdoors … ye cannae beat it!

Lake Derwentwater … exquisite.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Day

July 1, 2008

It seems comedy is the Community Psychiatric Nurse’s companion and for that I’m truly grateful otherwise the time with my mentor would have been far less entertaining! My adventure today involved chasing a patient’s dog around the street trying to get it back into the house because the dog likes adventure you see and sometimes if it gets out it stays out all night and it really needs to come in because I’m going out and what will it do if it comes back and I’m not in (the patient says). Immediately I feel sorry for (a) the elderly patient because she’s getting distressed and the dog’s too fast for her (actually the dog’s too fast for me too) and (b) the dog who’ll be left wandering around all day because no-one’s home. I was thinking this could all end in tears. Probably mine if I catch it and it bites me!

From the window I spotted the slippery menace and darted back outside … a woman with a mission! But we all know what dogs are like. They wait till you’re almost beside them then run away again. I lost count of how many times it did that. The man up the road started to chase it too and the Council refuse collectors seemed to enjoy the show.

I saw the dog was running out of steam and shouted one last time. Maybe he heard the desperation in my voice because he came bounding up to me. This dog whose name had been changed recently (long story), a friendly wee thing who realised he was in for the sharp end of his owner’s tongue. With his tail between his legs he made his way into the house and I was the heroine of the day!

Back inside we heard stories about the bingo (that made me smile), going for walks, hearing aids, dial a bus, the naughty dog eating sausages, learning to read and write at 70, her auntie (who must be about a 100) and a wee trip to the seaside. Nice lady!