Back in the mix and dipping my toes again

Due to ill health, I have taken a short break from the blog. However, I am contemplating jumping back in but realise that my background, experience and areas of interest mean that a clear focus is difficult to sustain. Is this ok? My posts have a range from youthwork, church, leadership, organisation, photography and bland thoughts. It is quite a diverse mix.
In truth, I have decided that this is ok! Why? Because I blog for myself and put it out to the masses as, Just occasionally, there may be something that resonates or helps others. This blog is my playground and you are more than welcome to join with me – I won’t be offended if you choose not to, but if you join in, lets just enjoy the ride… will be fun.

be original – try something new on the 4th May

Tomorrow is an annoying day in the calendar and, until recently, it went unnoticed.  That was when some bright spark related May the Fourth with Star Wars.  The result are the never ending comments and smiles as people act as if the joke is new or that they are the first people to think of the connection.

The same issue happens in life – people spot something and the rest follow.  The trick is to be original, be the first, to begin the trend.

Go on, give it a try, be original – try something new on the 4th May

conference thoughts

Conferences are interesting beasts – Christian conferences are even more intriguing.  I am sat in a conference centre now, enjoying the 2 hour afternoon window before the next sessions begin again.  Thought I would use the time to sum up the conference merry go round rules – whilst very tongue in cheek, there is an element of truth, this is a summary of many conferences and must not assume that this is my present experience.

As people arrive at the start of any conference, there are the nervous smiles of new participants, the loud confident laughs & welcomes from the ‘annual attenders’ and the usual folk trying to look confident whilst they are inwardly struggling with how to carry their bags to an unknown place with keys and literature balancing precariously from their fingertips.

Those who are involved in the organising are desperate that everyone is ‘happy beyond belief’ as this justifies their labours and the on-going trivial banter is a minefield of Alpha egos attempting to outdo other attendees.

Once pecking orders are set, the conference can begin proper.  The initial welcomes include the in-house jokes from old as people observe who sits with who, the people to avoid and those that will need to be engaged with as soon as the first session ends.  The AV system has its usual hiccups when the courteous chuckles are allowed full voice, the microphones will need tampering with on more than one occasion and lip service is paid to those who have travelled the furthest distance.

As the sessions end, there will always be one person (often more) who home in like an exocet missile on the speaker, in order that they can either heap bounteous praise or demonstrate why they know better.  They will ensure that they milk as much time as possible so that others have to wait their place and suffer being lower down the pecking order.

Outside, in the coffee queue, the real warfare is happening.  The knowledge sharers have to share their encyclopedic understandings with anyone who will listen, others share their historical gleanings with the rest and almost everyone shares their contacts (well their 6 degrees of separation contact base) so that their voice may ‘carry weight’.

And to think…..this is just the start…..gotta love conferences…..the good news is, you can still learn a great deal from them, the good, the bad and the ugly!




a great idea is developing on twitter. The #ff (follow friday) has grown but has little content, #lovemonday actually means you have to say something about the individual that you are following.
It is a positive thing and encourages people. Having been on the receiving end this morning it has proved most uplifting.
If you are on twitter then it can be heartily recommended

The Underground

Was traveling on the underground from Cockfosters to Heathrow

but was diverted to the magistrates who wanted me at Bow

I tried to get to Brixton to a friend I used to know

but went in the wrong direction and arrived in Walthamstow

Next I tried the cinema and thought of Leicester Square

but ended up in Hangar Lane and discovered nothing there

Baker Street promised food and I thought of a feast

but missed the change completely and turned up in Mill Hill East

Then I found a preacher who told me of King’s Cross

and promised the White City if I would only pay the cost

I started singing Abba songs as I came to Waterloo

then I changed to Chesham with the rich selected few

Living on the underground was a total fascination

as I stumbled on strange old feelings in every local station.

where has the fun gone?

snowman Was aghast to hear so many complaints yesterday from parents and others about children having a day off school because of the snow.  We have a “once in a childhood” event and there seems to be concern voiced over schools not opening, parents having to have a day off work and …….etc.

Surely there needs to be room for enjoyment of this unusual event, a bit of space and some recognition that many children will learn and engage more by exploring the unusually high volume of snow than they would by a few hours in the classroom.  There need to be times where we choose to have fun and relax a little.  I was overwhelmed by how many people spoke to me in the street, when normally they walk past silently.  How much sharing of possessions happened in our local park when normally there is selfishness.  This is an event to be savoured not scorned – bring back some fun into the childrens lives, show a little willingness to “break the rules” and go live a little!

As a kid we were forced to school – (well, staff and pupils all lived within walking distance back then!) but when we were there we were on the playing fields having mass snowball fights (with the teachers and some parents) building things and having great fun.  If someone was hurt, it was dealt with, there was no fear of litigation but a general camaraderie that enabled lessons to go more smoothly after the snow had melted.  Today, that freedom is not necessarily available – so keep the schools closed for a couple of days and have a bit of fun!  Please?