Sunday, 25 December 2005

tidings of good cheer

merry Christmas everyone, for another 10 minutes!

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us."

Matthew 1:21-23

we had a really quiet Christmas this year. usually we have a full house, with family and people who didn't have anywhere to go along for lunch. this year it was just me, mum and nic and somehow we didn't really calibrate the amount of food that needed to be cooked. we had heaps and heaps of lovely roast turkey and vegetables, a little bit of pudding. tomorrow we're catching up with linda and she said she didn't mind Christmas leftovers so i'm sure it's going to taste wonderful the day after.

it was a good day actually. church was great, as it usually is on Christmas day. john and i sang a colin buchanan song as an item (an elvis-style ditty called 'angels singing glory') - a lot of fun but a little sad, as it's the last time i'm ever going to sing or play with john at church (he leaves for gunnedah later this week). we ate lunch quite late in the day (nic had slept in, as is his wont), played scrabble (i finished first but mum had the most points, as usual), watched when harry met sally, and generally lay around listening to harry connick jnr and michael buble.

present-wise, i totally cleaned up this year - i'm so lucky. i don't ever remember getting such a huge pile of Christmas presents. it's amazing and totally unexpected. thank you everyone!!!

(i tried to get a photo of the beautiful earrings kieran made for me, but my camera is so unbelievably crap and i can't be bothered fiddling to make it work. you'll just have to take my word for it - they're gorgeous, like icicles or really delicate Christmas decorations.)

and this is the one that made me whoop with laughter:

ironmanmeet my ironing board.

it says he's called ironman on the box, but i shall have to think of a better name for him. isn't it great? i think this is possibly the only time in my life i'm ever going to get excited about being given an ironing board for Christmas. but, as you well know, i do like my whimsy and mum got it just right.

nic made some crack about finally having a man in my life...well, he helps with the ironing and makes me laugh, so that's already a bonus. (heath - what does this add to your bit about 'next boyfriends'?)

so merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. i hope you all had a great Christmas with friends and/or family, that you were comfortable and well-fed, and that you were able to think about the amazing miracle of Jesus being born to save us.

oh, but before i go, in case you happen to run into him on the street:

ironman in disguise
ironman in disguise.

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

eat jonah!

here is a still from the highly anticipated Kids Plus rap video, jonah, which had its premiere screening on sunday night at the Carols by Glowstick at St Martin's. the crowd loved it.

this was legoman's first underwater shoot, and he said although the shoots were complicated and tiring, he always had a smile on his face and loved working with stuntfish 1 (pictured). "he was always a professional and i feel that i have learned so much from him."

(let me know if you want to see the video, it's lots of fun)

Monday, 12 December 2005


i have no idea where this hippo came from originally, but he sings 'the lion sleeps tonight', and i got it from jonathan who has been with the AFES mission team at our church over the last week.

it makes me laugh. don't know if it's just because I'm tired, or for the general whimsy of it, but i keep watching it over and over and i never seem to get sick of it. i think it's important to have things that just make you laugh for no reason.

edit - okay, i had a look on google, which was sad enough, but there are people out there who got really quite obsessed about this thing (and it's been around for the last couple of years). the hippo (and accompanying dog) are called pat and stanley and are the creations of a french animator called pierre coffin. so there ya go.

Monday, 14 November 2005

goin to the chapel

there is a sign outside the local st vincent's op shop here at kingsford that reads:

Getting married?
We have wedding dresses instore
sizes 8 to 16

i've been wondering why that sign makes me feel so sad. is it that someone would have to get married in a second hand dress she bought from vinnie's? that someone would put their wedding dress in a vinnie's collection bin? (i mean, i know you're not going to need it again, but that just seems so...unsentimental) of course, if you can't afford to buy a wedding dress at all, i guess a secondhand one is better than nothing. but with the premium that our society puts on weddings (not marriage, mind you), it just seems sad that someone would have to get married in a dress that someone else had been married in, that is probably not her taste, and probably doesn't fit.

i'm a snob. but i hate kingsford, because it does have this underlying tone of desperation, covered in a veneer of lower-middle class respectability. everything's cheap and nasty. because the main street is anzac parade, there is no sense of the shops being any sort of village or community. just a lot of unhappy people rushing here and there. amid the traffic noise there is usually someone screaming obscenities at someone else, emergency sirens blaring, groups of grey faced people blocking the footpath at the bus stop and getting aggressive if you try to circumnavigate them.

the general mood of kingsford can be summed up by this: one time when i was walking along behind a family - mother, father, two kids. the father was hassling the mother, yelling at her and pushing her. she was yelling back at him. the eldest son, who would have only been around 8 or 9, suddenly said "don't talk to her like that, you bastard." and the father smacked him in the head and yelled "don't you f***ing talking to me like that! where did you f***ing learn to talk like that?"

so people buying their wedding dresses at vinnie's shouldn't bother me. but somehow it does.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

the cathedral perspective

i'm grabbing a moment while i wait for the database to finish what it's doing to say ahoy and hello.

the reason for my recent online quietness? you know those times in life that are super-stressful and it feels like everything is going wrong? and it couldn't possibly get any worse but every day something else happens to further raise the stress bar? that's how life has been for the last couple of months.

if you're the praying type, please pray for me over the next few weeks as the stress levels increasingly rise. october - december is always a huge time of year both at work and church, and this year it's been made huger by a variety of things. it's starting to feel like there is no space in which to breathe or even just to stop, unless it's crashing into bed at the end of the day. last night was probably the second time in two months that i was able to spend a whole night at home with my flatmate, eating together and watching TV. so i hope there are more pockets of time like that in the near future...

anyway, i'll leave you with the quote i've got on my corkboard at the moment:

The story is told of a man (in the pre-mechanization era) who, while taking a walk down a country lane, came across a stone quarry in which a number of men were working. He questioned several of them about what they were doing.

The first replied irritably, "Can't you see? I'm hewing stone."

The second answered without looking up, "I'm earning 100 quid a week."

But when the same question was put to the third man, he stopped, put his pick down, stood up, stuck out his chest and said, "If you want to know what I'm doing, I'm building a cathedral."

John Stott, New Issues Facing Christians Today (3rd ed), London, Marshall Pickering, 1999, p195

Sunday, 9 October 2005

the alien coffee machine

the coffee machine needs a post all of it's own. it's a bodum granos and looks like it landed from outer space in a 50s TV show. so as well as getting to drive the ute and operate the chainsaw to cut logs for our fire, john is the official master of the coffee machine (i kept doing things like forgetting to put any actual coffee in the thing because i was so excited about all the flashing buttons. oh, not all the time, it just happened the once...but it's always nicer when someone else makes it for you anyway).

adventures in pavlova

we made a pavlova through the strange genius of the pavlova magic plastic egg thingy. i got to use the kenwood chef, which is a kickass mixer, and the resultant pavlova batter was absolutely beautiful. amazing how artificial stuff can look so, well, perfect (ok, ok, not really that amazing i know).

we watched fellowship of the ring on the huge plasma screen while the pav cooked. when it was done, we heaped a whole bunch of stuff on there.

sadly, however, although it looked amazing, it wasn't quite how i like pavlova. i prefer the base to be quite chewy with a lot of shattery merengue, but this one was really sort of foamy in the middle. so, lesson is (which we already knew): artificial looks perfect, but made-from-scratch tastes a million times better.

Saturday, 8 October 2005

dispatches from the menagerie

staying the weekend with bek and john at a property in woodford in the blue mountains. it's delightfully peaceful, i have a waterbed, and as you can see from the picture, today i got to feed campari the horse with sarafina and shea, bek's niece and almost-niece.

there are also dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats and alpacas. they all have names, except the three brown ducks which are known as 'little duck's girlfriends' (little duck is a belligerent white duck who wags his tail a lot).

it is so nice to finally have a couple of days' space. my head has needed clearing for quite some time...a couple of weeks would be nice, but as that won't happen until Christmastime, a few days here and there will do nicely.

we have to find one of the cats now. then we are going to go cook a stir fry, drink some schnapps and perhaps watch firefly, or maybe house of flying daggers.

life is so hard.

Thursday, 29 September 2005

ah, serenity

just saw serenity with the baddeleys at fox studios la premiere. how lovely to have friends who treat you to the movies in such style!

such a good movie. makes all other recent sci-fi pale into comparison, and shows it is possible to make a sci-fi movie where you actually care about the characters, where you're not entirely sure what's going to happen, and where the special effects don't dominate. it's well-written, has excellent characters, is perfectly paced, and the setting is very plausibly realised. typical joss whedon with sudden plot twists and jolts. it's gritty and dark and funny and was one of those movies i didn't quite want to leave. i can't quite tell what it would be like for someone who hadn't watched (and loved) the series firefly, but i'm pretty sure it doesn't lose anything in the transition. go and see it!

also, in non-serenity related news, i have a flatmate! i now have another friends addict in the house, so the torch has been ably passed from camilla to ali.

(heath chooses seinfeld as the sitcom to base life on. not saying friends is a life-choice by any means, but it's disturbing how after watching a lot of it in one go, it seems strangely normal and you start saying things like "I KNOW!" really emphatically in response to everything like monica does...i've had to start watching more scrubs to kind of balance it. i could always just not watch anything, but...nah)

so welcome ali. it's nice to have someone else around, and someone who wasn't a complete stranger (her cousin goes to my church and she recently started coming to the evening service). so my melodrama from a few posts ago has dissipated, a solution found, and a new friend has been made! hurrah!

Friday, 9 September 2005


i just watched dirty dancing at mum's place with mum and dave. i said, with a kind of shameful pride, "you don't know how many times i've seen this movie", to which mum replied "dave just said he's seen it more."

i like that. a young man who can admit he has seen and enjoyed dirty dancing. we had fun bagging jennifer grey and patrick swayze and the implausibility of the whole thing, all the while tacitly loving every second of it.

also, the quote of the night would have to be mum saying "I don't remember this! I don't remember them having sex!" i questioned her wisdom at having let me watch it so many times at an impressionable age. she later admitted she probably had blocked a lot of it out. :)

Friday, 2 September 2005

some things that don't make it so bad, in no particular order

  • the freesias i bought this morning that smell amazing, and are all mottled and look like a painting. i don't think the teapot i'm using as a vase does them justice, although there is something vaguely margaret olley-ish about it (even though i don't think she ever painted freesias)

  • firefly. i absolutely love this and have become a gushy nerd about it. but only in like-minded company, you'll be pleased to know :)

  • having a great kids plus this afternoon, and having time to pray as a group afterwards

  • ben folds' songs for silverman which is delightful in many ways, not least the backing vocals and harmonies. i still can't decide what my favourite song on this is, and am so glad i got to see him live a few months back.

  • teaching scripture at kenso public

  • discovering i can still cook

  • being reminded of God's grace

  • oddly enough, a glass of kriek beer. cherries. who'da thought it?

  • discussing Christianity with my brother and not letting his cynicism defeat me

  • hearing from a friend that my MA co-supervisor said i was "such a good writer"

  • psalm 51

  • watching bethany play basketball

  • hugs from my goddaughter

  • my study - realised since cam moved out i had left the spare room empty. amazing how much better i felt when i moved my desk and all that stuff back into the study.

  • having an easy, relaxed conversation with a friend who i thought i might have lost.

  • getting out of the ezekiel readings and into john (using encounter with God SU notes).

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

a little whinge about pretending to be self sufficient

i can't decide whether i like living alone or not. i love having my own space, filling it with my own things, eating what i want, doing what i want. i like not having to share a bathroom with anyone. i like coming home and everything being just how i left it. i like the quiet but i like to be able to make noise when i want. i like being able to have people over anytime. i like to be able to play the piano without anyone listening.

but sometimes i get bored. and lonely. it's horrible when you're sad or sick because there's no one around to know or care about it. i love cooking but i end up eating all kinds of crap because i forget to start cooking until i'm way past hungry and then just need to eat anything (why is it easier to remember to cook when someone else is around?). sometimes i wonder why i need all this space. i never have any money. then i start to wonder what the point of living on my own is. am i just trying to prove i can do it?

i don't want to get a flatmate who is a friend because i end up resenting them for stupid, petty things. i don't want to get a boarder because i don't want to share my space with a complete stranger. so i kind of want people around but not living in my space.

i have become a selfish hermit. i'm not good at staying in touch with people either, even when i miss them. not sure why that is. i always wanted the kind of place that people would just drop into, come round for a cup of tea on a whim, that sort of thing. but i don't think people really do that; you seem to have to plan everything six months in advance.

and i seem to be getting agoraphobic or something - i find it really hard to go out these days. it's also turning up places on your own, i've always found that really hard. and also i get really tired so fast that i worry about going out on my own and not being able to get home if i conk out (lack of money means i can't just jump in a taxi like i used to). usually when i do go out i have a good time, but actually leaving the house has become a problem.

so come round sometime. i have lots of tea and space. :)

Friday, 19 August 2005

more custard

But the richness of Mr Loewe's score makes My Fair Lady romantic despite Shaw's anti-romantic disclaimer. In an epilogue to Pygmalion he said that Eliza is too strong minded a girl to fetch Henry Higgins' slippers for the rest of her life. She will marry someone - Freddy - who will wait on her.

Brooks Atkinson, from the liner notes of the soundtrack

"Marry Freddy! Ha!"

i threw a custard in her face

i've had 'i've grown accustomed to her face' from my fair lady going through my head for the last few days (mainly because i downloaded a sermon by mike raiter called 'i've grown accustomed to his grace') - just remembered i had the soundtrack on CD, so have been listening to it this morning.

i know the ending of pygmalion is different, and eliza marries freddy, but the film/musical has her going back to professor higgins. he has just been ranting and reflecting on her absence, in the song i mentioned above - it's a great song. mum said (and i agree) that it reflects something of the way relationships really can be, where you love the person but can be incredibly frustrated by them, where you want them around but they can drive you insanse, etc. so you think, oh henry's been boorish and unpleasant but he actually does love her! (so much better than freddy, who hangs around on the street outside her house singing 'on the street where you live'...that's just a few steps away from stalking, buddy)

and then eliza returns. she goes back to this man who, even though he has just realised he loves her, greets her with "where the devil are my slippers?"

and the music soars. and everyone smiles. yet imagine the sort of relationship eliza and henry would have had - it would have been dreadful!

it makes me wonder - when you get to the end of watching, what do you actually want for eliza? what is the musical saying? with her upbringing, daughter of a working class drunkard, should she expect more than to be picked up by whatever man chooses her? thanks to henry, she theoretically has more options than she did before her education. and she still has a strength and resilience about her, having had to cope with less than ideal circumstances her whole life. so do you want her to be with the obnoxious, arrogant professor higgins, with the drippy freddy eynsford-hill, or on her own? (and hey, you might not care at all, but this is my blog, ha)

those old musicals are very manipulative. with a few major chords and soaring strings over the final scene, they make you think it's a happy ending with everything resolved, have to wonder how much these things subconsciously warp one's expectations of life.

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Christian hedonism

i started reading Desiring God by John Piper last night (was supposed to read ch 1 & 2 for my ethics class tonight and managed the preface and introduction...d'oh). the book opens with the line "This is a serious book about being happy in God". i like that, and the way he ties together joy and worship and suffering and perseverance and makes his argument for Christian hedonism very convincing (okay, so i've not read that much of it, but so far i'm hooked...and if you're intrigued by the term 'Christian hedonism' which might seem like an oxymoron to you, get the book and read the explanation). i also like the fact that he quotes CS Lewis a lot. :)

i love it when you start a book and it just clicks with you, and the anticipation of reading the rest of the book makes you want to stop doing everything else until you're finished. don't remember getting many set readings in uni courses that made me feel that way.

i've read it before somewhere, but Piper quotes CS Lewis from The Weight of Glory (and I love this quote):
...if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

CS Lewis quoted in Piper, John, Desiring God, IVP, Leicester, p 20

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

let's TWIST again

Last weekend, although exhausting was just brilliant. Mum and I went to the TWIST music ministry conference - i just posted the following on the Sydney Anglicans website, thought i may as well put it here too:

I went to TWIST and found it incredibly uplifting and challenging. As always, it was just wonderful to be in a room with so many other people who were there to be moved by God, to worship him, and to give him thanks for the gifts he has given us. I think no matter what else you think of Emu (and that has been discussed in great detail elsewhere), you have to concede there is great value in running an event like TWIST, aimed at building up those in music ministry to serve God's people in as godly a manner as possible.

Bryson Smith gave some very confronting and yet encouraging talks on 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. A couple of things that stuck with me from the talks were that although music ministry is very important, it is not the most important ministry or gift, and us musos can sometimes get this out of perspective. We need to remember why we are serving in this manner and remember that it is indeed service, not self-promoting performance. We also reflected on 1 Cor 13, and how we need to serve in love - we can play the most brilliant music, write the most amazing songs, but if we do not have love all of that is just the sound of a clanging cymbal in God's ears.

We learned and recorded some excellent new songs for the next Emu live CD, which is due out in a couple of months. The recording itself was great fun, but the structure of the evening meant that it was a really valuable praise and reflection time. A definite foretaste of heaven (which made it really hard to leave at the end of the evening and cope with Sydney traffic on the way home!).

The workshops were helpful, although as the conference has grown so much it has lost some of the 'hands on' feel that there was in previous years (though this seems like a good problem to have!). Even so, one really good thing was being able to talk to people from all different kinds of churches - various denominations, big churches, small churches, places that have 5 services and 10 music teams and others that just have a piano and a euphonium - and to pray for one another and be aware that we can draw on the wealth of such varied experiences.

I come from a church where we have a fairly small, overworked music team, and it's really easy to get discouraged and tired. So it was just great to be able to go away, drink in God's word, have my spiritual and musical tools resharpened and my vision refocused, and to feel that I couldn't wait to get back into it when I went back to church on Sunday night!

You could say I had a good time. :)

Sunday, 24 July 2005


i'm feeling kind of inadequate. like i fell asleep and forgot what i was doing and suddenly i woke up to realise that everything has moved along so fast and i have been moving so slowly that nothing i knew is even familiar and i don't know anyone at all anymore.

it's a blip then it's gone. thankfully.

Thursday, 21 July 2005

micro vs macro

Hebrews 11:8-16
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

why do i worry about what i have or don't have? God has prepared a city for us! somewhere we will belong, where we won't be "aliens and strangers" anymore (some days I feel more like an alien than others... :) ) the things of this world "grow strangely dim" when you start to think even for a moment about where you'll be for eternity.

we're working through a sermon series on John at church, and last week Jeremy was going over the point that Jesus is the only way to God, that there is no other name by which we can be saved. he said something along the lines of "any road will do if you don't know where you're going".

i'm going to the city God has prepared, i know which road to take. the challenge is to keep that huge goal in sight and not to get distracted by things at my micro level that might cause me to wander. in some ways it seems incredible that anyone could get distracted from that goal, but us humans have the habit of being rather self-obsessed, prone to paranoia and doubt. and as i have to keep remembering, God's plan in all of creation is not to make me happy, and yet by following him and living in the light of his promises, I find he cares for me and provides for me in ways much better than i could have devised for myself.

Friday, 15 July 2005

blast from the past

i went to aoise's website for a little look around and found this pic of gavin, me and heath in the programme shots for Ophelia's Hamlet. from 1998!!! that was so much fun, aoise's plays were always mad and everyone was unslept and a little crazy. i have a great fondness for Ophelia's Hamlet and Black Saturday...i wish i was better acquainted with aoise's stuff since then.

although i'm still disappointed that despite that card-game-obsessed company i still can't play a decent game of 500.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

the neutralising effects of comfort food

mmm. peppermint slice makes it all okay.

i was going to start a big rant about life in general and sadnesses and frustrations but i just had two pieces of the absolutely perfect peppermint slice camilla made last night and i feel a lot less ranty. (i was supposed to help make it but ended up lying in the foetal position on my bed. i have promised to be more involved when we make cheese scones, which is the next thing on our list to do)

i dropped a glass of orange juice on the floor this morning. i was quite amazed at the enthusiasm with which it exploded, leaving juice all up the doorposts and fridge and tiny little slivers of glass everywhere. it was not a good start to the day, which involved a lot of similarly frustrating things, including a blocked kitchen sink and lots of horrible data entry.

now, however, soothed by the peppermint and chocolate, i am taking my robin hobb book (which i have been desperate to read, but unable to because i have been so busy and sleep-deprived of late), and some coconut bubble bath and am going to my mother's house to have a long hot bath. and then probably a glass of wine and mum's asparagus and chicken risotto for dinner, which is some of the best comfort food i know. it also has mushrooms and white wine and pine nuts in it. mmm.

maybe i should have another bit of peppermint slice before i go.

Saturday, 9 July 2005

coming down

KASM is over and we survived - hurrah! having exclaimed thusly, i also feel quite sad that it's done with now. not sure if there will ever be another one - i hope there will be, but john may not be around next year so running it without would be a problem. or extremely different, at the very least. but the kids were all so great and we had such fun, i agree with john when he says he could easily do another week of it - "not physically, though".

i seem, however, to have lost the ability to sleep in. and that's even when i'm really really tired. i stayed up reading last night till 2.00 and the longest i could stay in bed this morning was 9am. it's very disappointing - sleeping in used to be my favourite thing. but when a beautiful sunny day unfolds like this one, i want to be out in it.

maybe i'll do a compromise - open the window to let the fresh air in, make some coffee, get back into bed and read a bit more. mmm.

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

end the insanity

it's KASM at church this week (Kids at St Martin's for those who weren't around last year). Last year it was me, john, mims and bek as full time leaders with a few volunteers popping in here and there. this year it's me and john. and the volunteers so far have all been younger than 13. they are excellent helpers but i feel bad giving them so much to do when there are able bodied adults who could easily help us in this ministry. anyway.

it's only tuesday and i'm already worn out! i have no real problem with it being understaffed except for the fact that you just can't stop. i don't mind being around the kids all day, and i don't mind interacting with them all day, i just get annoyed that you can't even have five minutes to go to the bathroom or have a cup of tea or anything. 8.30 - 5.30 is rawther a long day.

having said that, it's a brilliant bunch of kids. they all get on really well and they're easy to teach and have fun with. they pick up and remember the concepts really well and most of them are quite familiar with the concepts of sin and salvation, which is amazing.

i just hope john and i don't kill each other by the end of the week. we both get quite grumpy when we're tired...

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

family and matrimony

well here we are, my dad, me, my brother and my mother at kate and iain's wedding. nic scrubs up pretty well (he ought to, the suit cost a fortune).

it's kind of funny going places as a family, especially to events like that one where there were lots of people who have known us all for years but haven't really had much to do with us since my parents divorced. people are never quite sure how to behave around us, in a don't-mention-the-war kind of way. like one woman, notorious for letting the words tumble out before thinking:

"Victor! I had to come up and say how beautiful your children are! I hope you're taking good care of your lovely family! Your beautiful children! And your beautiful..." pause, as she looked at my mother and the penny dropped. "...Rachel!" and then she turned tail and ran.

still we had a relatively good night. kate is an old friend from childhood and we're all a bit like cousins. she was thrilled to have us there and i was more choked up seeing her come down the aisle than i was at any of my actual cousins' weddings. iain is from manchester, and they've gone back there for a few years to live. he seems like a lovely guy.

it gets stranger as i get older and people much younger than me are getting married. and having children! it seems a situation that's quite far away from me really, whether i want to be in it or not. i wonder how people know they're ready for that phase of life. have they suddenly become responsible adults with savings and insurance and all that wordly stuff? or do they just jump in together 'for better or worse' and see what happens? if and when i get married, that's how it's going to have to be for me; i'll be waiting forever if i have to grow up first! :)

as long as my brother keeps dragging me up to dance, though, i'll be happy going to weddings with him.

Monday, 27 June 2005

scientifically proven

she's got the look, and science can prove it

and so, apparently, have i.

In the first study of its kind, Caucasians and Asians rated average Eurasian faces as more attractive than average faces of either race. They also judged Eurasian faces to be healthier, giving credence to theory that beauty is not solely determined by culture and the media, but has biological origins.

(i found this most amusing, and so did both my parents. i ran around all weekend going "it's scientifically proven!!!")

Thursday, 23 June 2005

a latent star

i love singing. just had a rehearsal with cam, john and nina for winterfest at our church this saturday and i just love singing 3 part harmonies and the like. i wish i had more confidence to sing solo; i can belt it out on my own but i kind of hide behind the music stand when i'm in front of a crowd.

which is really weird, given my theatrical experience and my love of being onstage as much as being backstage - i suspect i was always a better stage manager than actor but i can't deny i enjoyed acting. my favourite roles (mainly because they didn't cast me as the disapproving matronly type, which is all i ever seemed to get for a while because i think a) i looked older than mostly everyone else at uni, and b) i wasn't a size 6 Pretty Girl):

  • Ophelia in Aoise Stratford's Ophelia's Hamlet, because she was cranky and sarcastic and not at all waify and or insane

  • the spirit of the island in Bek's Tempests because I got to wear the most fantastic blue corseted gown with a huge skirt, and I got to sing a gorgeous song solo

  • the chick in me and my friend (can't believe I've forgotten her name...was it robyn?) because anthea took a chance on me and gave me a really meaty role, even if i did get really sick from overdoing it. also i got to act with bryoni, neil and ben and they were a brilliant cast.

i reckon most of the people who know me now would be surprised to think i had ever done any of that stuff. as i've said many times before, if given the chance (and if i had the time) i'd love to do more theatre again.

and back to the music thing i'd also love to be in a band, not necessarily a band that got any real gigs or anything, just a bunch of decent musos who loved to jam and who i felt comfortable jamming with. i've always felt just a little intimidated by people who can play really well. i'm starting to feel like the bunch of musos at church could do that, but we're very scatty and our focus does not stay on any one thing. and i hate being the person who has to pull stuff together, i'd like to be in a band with a strong leader but who let everyone have enough space to play.

just small requests.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

go go gadget widget

i am an apple nerd! i love dashboard! i now have a blogging widget and a widget that does fridge poetry and and and... i love dashboard.

the reason computers were created: to generate endless numbers of trivial procrastinatory tools.

(this is for Heath...nobody else will understand it, most likely)

Brick: I love... carpet.
Brick: I love... desk.
Ron Burgundy: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
Brick: I love lamp.
Ron: Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?
Brick: I love lamp! I love lamp.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

restlessness and contentment

it's probably the weather and the time of year and all that stuff, but i get the strange feeling that i'm approaching a crossroads again. what am i doing, why am i living in sydney, why aren't i writing, should i switch tracks, am i getting too comfortable? i've put down roots in sydney, in kensington, and i don't know if that is necessarily wise, and if it's just because i'm unadventurous or lazy.

having grown up in sydney, port moresby and singapore, and regularly visiting family in malaysia, i never really felt a burning desire to go on a gap year after school, or even go backpacking. yet i have friends who grew up as missionary kids (MKs to the uninitiated) who assume they will end up living somewhere overseas, whether as missionaries or not. i'm not saying i'm tied to australia; if opportunities came up elsewhere and it was clear i should take them, then i'd go. but i don't make plans with the thought that i could move even out of sydney, let alone interstate or overseas.

our church has always had a fairly transitory congregation. there is a core bunch, but many people come and go every couple of years. even the very nature of ministry can be quite transitory - every two years or so we get a new student minister, but it also means we lose the last one and his/her family. and the minister can move on too, which is always a big upheaval, and worse if you're good friends. at the end of this year i know a few of my close friends will be moving on (finishing uni, going overseas, etc) and that's quite confronting really. aside from the fact that i'll miss them dreadfully, it makes me question why i stay.

same as uni - when uni finished, a lot of my friends scattered. they went interstate to drama schools, or overseas for work. i moved to the inner west...not exactly the other side of the world.

i don't think this is a huge dilemma. but sometimes i feel like i don't fit here and i wonder why i have attached myself so tightly to this place and whether, by looking at the close-up view of life as i live it, i'm closing myself off to other things that might be visible in a wide-angle lens, so to speak.

but then, equally, i have to balance that questing with being content and effective in ministry where i am now, not always thinking about being somewhere else.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

two steps forward, one step back

it's been a difficult week so far. not really sure what's going on, but my mood has been sliding around all over the place. been getting sad about nothing much, getting easily upset by stupid things, finding it hard to get along with people, finding it really hard to play the piano properly, finding it very hard to get out of bed in the morning (okay, that's nothing new).

i have a suspicion this is because i had a great day on saturday at the equip women's conference.

it was at darling harbour, and there were 2300 women all there to hear talks on the topic 'life actually'. i was initially daunted by the number of women - i'm not good with crowds - and was already stressed about it as i had personally typed in about 75% of their rego forms, but when i arrived i was just blown away by the enthusiasm and the passion of these women for learning more about God and being in fellowship with one another. also, i love singing with that many people, it's just a wonderful experience.

di warren's talk on james 1:1-18 was really encouraging, moving and challenging.

James 1:2-8
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

she talked about the joy james describes in verse 2 and how confronting a statement that is. is this impossible? how on earth could you find joy in suffering? she talked about trials being painful but not pointless, that they lead to strength and maturity. God gives us the understanding we need when life gets hard, even though we doubt this promise. he is preparing us to wear our crown of life (v12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him).

another thing di said that stuck with me is that the danger of trials is not that they spoil our lives, but that they reveal our sin. ie, you hurt me, i hurt you and i think i'm justified in behaving that way. that is quite a hard thing to remember, a hard thing to avoid, as i am tempted so often to just lash out or repay hurt with hurt.

jane tooher spoke on james 1:19-27.

james 1:19-25
...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

not listening to someone rejects relationship with them, and it's impossible to learn anything about one another if we're totally focused on ourselves and in love with the sound of our own voice. i feel like i have completely ignored that exhortation to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. i babble constantly about nothing in particular, i say hurtful things to people, i have fights with my friends in front of people i hardly know. it's not wise and it's not loving and it makes me feel hollow and foolish.

miriam chan pointed out in her short talk on proverbs 18:20-21 that we remember poisonous words spoken to us and the damaging effect they can have, but we struggle to remember those we have spoken to others.

i went to jenny salt's elective on 'contentment' (along with 900 other women seeking contentment!). jenny's insights were things i had heard or learned before, but she was very honest and open about her own life and her own discontent and in a weird way it is always encouraging to know that someone you admire, someone you think has it all together, goes through the same things as you do. it is always good to have a reminder that although we won't always understand what is going on in our lives or why things are happening to us, God is never other than wise in everything he does. even the smallest detail of our lives is under his control, and the depth of his love for us is such that we cannot even comprehend it. so why wouldn't i trust that he will give me everything i need in any situation? (there is a difference between what i need and what i want! that's something else to grapple with)

so possibly having all that incredible spiritual feeding on saturday and being confronted with things and recommitting everything to God means that i'm going to find life a bit of a challenge. i just have to remember what i've learned and put it into practice. i don't want to have walked away from the mirror and forgotten what i look like.

philippians 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Monday, 16 May 2005


to go with the last post, here's a pic of the kids plus team. bec r was in melbourne so she's making her special appearance this week.

aren't we a cheerful bunch?!

back row L-R: bethany, andrew, john, greg
front row L-R: jeremy, jono, me, meeelya, stef, kieran

Saturday, 14 May 2005


yesterday was the launch of our weekly kids club and it was brilliant! we had 25 kids turn up, most from kensington public, and only 3 of them already come to our church. some of them were familiar from KASM, the holiday kids club we ran last year, and all of them were from john or jeremy's scripture classes. and we all had a ball!

the team we have is a really good one, a mix of older leaders (i'm the eldest) and some people from youth group, and i think the mix of personalities is just right. we have a few ideas people and a few who are willing to just get in there and do it and a few who are happy to be far so good. and the best part is we're all really focused on the fact that we're doing God's work and the excitement of teaching these kids about Jesus. there is so much that i take for granted from my upbringing, from Sunday School, from reading Bible stories at home, from a weekly club that my 'godmother' ran - "oh everyone knows that!" - and it's easy to forget that many people have never even opened a Bible, let alone learned about what it says.

the time went so fast yesterday. i'm still used to KASM, where we'd have the kids for up to nine hours a day - kids plus is only 2 hours a day (we have to call it kids plus because we're using that material from youthworks...the name is growing on me). it seems like we spent the whole day setting up and getting things ready and then it was over. i like this pace, much better than having to fill in time like we often did in KASM, but i also need to get used to its rhythm because i feel like i didn't have any time to actually chat to any of the kids or play the games because i was collecting money, and helping set up afternoon tea and all that kind of stuff.

as an aside, we have great t-shirts - what is it about Christian groups, uni theatre groups and revue performers that we get so excited about the t-shirts? easily identifiable tribes i guess.

anyway...hopefully the numbers will continue to grow, our enthusiasm won't diminish, the kids will really love finding out more about Jesus and we will form some lasting relationships with them and their families. praise God!

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

a good use of black

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster

Have only just started reading but so far this is my favourite bit:

On a more banal note something has gone wrong with my left leg. For the time being I have avoided limping by overriding the control circuitry with the power of the force, but this is needlessly draining. I have called for a repair droid, but it has been over an hour and there is still no sign.

Later, I will find the man responsible for dispatching the repair droids and crush his trachea with my mind. I also have tentative lunch plans with General Krelcon and his people, possibly in the Corellian quarter.

Thursday, 5 May 2005

the web is a scary place

i'm not going to link to the sites individually because...well, i'm not. but i was reading a story about petition websites for schapelle corby. heath and i were talking about this the other day, how people seem to think adding their name to an electronic petition is actually Doing Something (you know, along the lines of "well at least I'm doing something, what are you doing?"). but worse is what some people on one of those sites have written. abusive, derogatory and racist slander - how is this going to help anyone? aside from the fact that whoever worded the petition has a lot to learn about spelling and grammar, and that some people seem to have 'signed' the petition more than once, or repeatedly used the same abusive message under another name... i'm not entirely sure what the point of it is.

i personally find the whole situation the woman is in horrifying, but the nasty elements of human behaviour being revealed on both sides as a result of it aren't much better.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

very merry unbirthdays

it's been a brilliant birthday week. i had 5 days off and it was like a holiday. i got to go to the mountains for an afternoon, and it was cool and clear and i watched the sun set at echo point. i got to read a whole novel from cover to cover. i ate far too much delightful food, often involving chocolate and/or sprinkles. i drank lots of sparkling wine and some delicious baileys. i was given many lovely presents - photographic evidence accompanies this post. material stuff aside, i was reminded how much my family and friends love me, and that's a wonderful thing.

it's also been great catching up with various people i haven't seen for ages, and finding out that how many people i can fit in my living room all at once. jen said it was a handy thing to know - "i'm not sure why, but i'm sure that it is something like knowing your blood type, or the kind animal you would be if you could be any animal, or the exact location of your liver..." i don't know the answer to any of those questions - but i do know i can fit 18 people in my living room!

[actually, now grasping that tangent firmly, i have no idea what kind of animal i would be. the first thing that springs to mind is 'horse' but i don't know why - i wasn't even really a horsey kind of girl, and am too old for the saddle club (thank goodness). i like birds but they're kind of twits as a rule (well the ones i like, anyway) and i don't think i'd last long as one.]

mum wants to know how i'm going to top this birthday next year, for my 30th. i have a while to plan it...

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

washed and shiny and deceptively youthful

it's raining. i am SO glad it's raining.

so. almost 29. in 25 hours and 7 minutes. one thing i thought was kind of funny was being introduced to mel, the chef at tabou last night, and her exclaiming that she thought nic was my older brother and i didn't look a day over 23. still not sure that i believe her, but amusing all the same. (i am such a bad judge of age, i hate it when people ask me to guess how old they are because i'll invariably offend them.)

we'll just say mid-to-late-20s and leave it at that. :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

mon frere

just had a lovely dinner at tabou with my brother. it was a strange night though. he got quite inebriated, as is his wont, and was spouting all sorts of stuff about our parents' divorce, our parents' current situations, my singleness, my past boyfriends, and the fact that i'm a 'good girl' (because that's a bad thing apparently), his string of 'girlfriends', etc. we argued a bit, but much of the night i had to just sit back and listen to his crude jokes and explicit language and hear about the nastiness of his life - but all framed in a way as if i should be envious of his lifestyle, with the implication that me trying to live a godly life is all a bit of a joke, because he knows what i'm really like, deep down inside.

the thing is, no he doesn't. and even he would probably be shocked to know how sinful i am. but we all are, aren't we? and the only person who can redeem us is Jesus and i for one am unbelievably grateful. that there is so much more to life than the hollow depravity so many of us take as normal, and that this redemption is freely available to everyone. it doesn't mean that life is perfect and trouble-free, and it sure doesn't mean that you suddenly stop sinning, but it is a great relief to know that i have been saved from this mess and that i am loved as much as it is possible to be loved.

nic and i parted on the surry hills street with a big hug and mutual 'i love you's (not youse), but it's left me feeling a little rattled and very sad. it's so hard to break into his perceived coolness and self-assuredness on one level, and yet he is so broken and in need of a relationship with Christ that i can't even begin to work out how to approach that. i always want to reflect Christ's love to him and to be a good example to him, but i find it quite hard sometimes to resist the pull of his worldliness. it suddenly becomes much easier to swear and put people down and to fall back into 'old' ways of behaving when i'm with him and i hate it!

but i do love him. my little brother.

Monday, 18 April 2005

don't patronise me

GUH. Just had the most irritating conversation with a woman who was calling from what sounded like the other side of the universe who officiously announced she wanted to speak to the business manager (first warning bell), then wouldn't say what it was about (second warning bell) and then when i wouldn't put her through until she told me what it was about she said very rudely "I've already told you, it's about a business proposal, so just put me through to him, okay?" (incessant clamouring of bells and a rising red rage) I CAN'T STAND PEOPLE WHO TREAT ME LIKE AN IDIOT JUST BECAUSE I ANSWERED THE PHONE. even if i was the receptionist (which i'm not, we don't have one) doesn't give her the right to speak to me like that, particularly when she's just spruiking for business that we don't need and trying to imply that she has a close business relationship with my boss when i know full well that she's just a time waster.

had great delight in hearing howard tell her to get lost. (well he was much more polite than that, but very firm)

Sunday, 17 April 2005

the birthday week

it's my birthday on thursday and because last year i forgot to tell anyone and so consequently everyone forgot to mark it (nobody to blame but myself, but i still felt a little miffed), this year i'm having a dinner on my actual birthday, an afternoon tea thingy on saturday and a movie night (with baileys...yum) after church on sunday night.

but seeing as i've already gotten two birthday presents and today i had cake i feel i can safely say i've started a ridiculous week-and-a-bit-long celebration and i'm probably the only person who has ever spent that long celebrating turning 29, which isn't a particularly noteworthy birthday as far as i can see.

my mum bought me an italk attachment for my ipod which means i can go and bother people and record their musings for posterity and publication. so if you see me approaching with a small white object and a strange look on my face, you're probably on the record. (mum wanted to buy me a 'proper' birthday present like shoes or indulgent clothing but the italk was 'necessary' for an interview i was doing and it seemed more practical. that is, until my two most-worn pairs of shoes suddenly got holes in the soles and now i have nothing but high heels and sandals to wear and considering i usually get around in sneakers or boots, i probably should have opted for the shoe present...(but i'm such a gadget head i couldn't help it))

and i came home tonight to find the new ben folds album 'songs for silverman' (deluxe edition no less!) hanging on my front door handle... thanks heath!!! it's brilliant.

and today i did the bronte-bondi coastal walk with johanna w and we went to the gelato bar on campbell parade and had strong coffee and dobos torte (one of my favourite cakes, at a restaurant that mum and i used to go to all the time), so everything feels all celebratory and kind of exciting, like birthdays used to.

(before i became an old woman and started going to bed early because i actually wanted to, before i started complaining about my back, before i turned on the tv on a saturday morning and had never heard any of the songs in the top 10...

grampa simpson: "i used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' what's 'it' seems strange and scary to'll happen to you!"
homer: "no way man, i'm gonna keep rocking forever... forever... forever... for..ever...that's it! i've gotta get out of this rut and back into the groove!")

Monday, 4 April 2005

wet jeans and bookworms

took me forever to wake up today - something i absolutely love is lying in bed on a rainy morning, with the option to go back to sleep if so desired. but, despite my body whingeing about it, i forced myself to get up and get dressed. i did my bible reading as i ate my toast and kept gazing out the window at the rain - so was distracted both from galatians and getting to work at a decent time - but eventually i got my act together and left the house. i don't mind walking through the rain, in fact i quite like being out in the elements. but after about twenty minutes i was starting to get over it...about the time when my socks started to feel wet. so i sat at work with wet jeans cuffs and bare feet, hoping my sneakers would soon dry out. i'm just glad i don't work in a place where i have to wear a suit, high heels and stockings.

i've been mulling over the following for a few's from karen and requires much thought and consideration (sounds like karen's regretting ever releasing it into the wild ... i love this sort of thing and can't help perpetuating it). it's taken me a while to formulate the answers, but here goes (i'll probably change my mind later).

1. If you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?
this took me a while to answer; i just can't decide. but really i think for the moment i'm settling on eloise in eloise at christmastime by kay thompson. she is 6 years old, is wild, ratty, endearing, energetic, sings loudly, is completely precocious and has a pug dog named weenie and a pet turtle named skipperdee. these may not seem like desirable attributes, but when i wish i could indulge my 'inner child', i think she looks a lot like eloise.

(i have a 1958 first edition of this book that was given to my mother when she was a child. apparently, according to the eloise website
A first edition of Eloise at Christmastime can go for as much as $500.00.
probably not this one, given its well-loved state and besides which, i would never part with it.)

2. Which book do you wish you had written and why?
neverwhere by neil gaiman. because...i love the characters, i love the settings, i love the slight twisting of the familiar, i love the dialogue, i love the black humour, i love the grandness of scale and the intimacy of richard's and door's stories. i think you could say that i quite like this book.

3. What book(s) have you wanted to change the ending of?
i tried to think of an example but generally i don't want to change the endings of books...i just have to put them down respectfully (or throw them across the room) and agree that we will go our separate ways. this is possibly also linked to the fact that i find it really hard, almost impossible, to throw a book away, even if i hated it.

4. What is most important to you in a book and why?
* Story/Plot?
* Character?
* Language?
* Ideas?
* Other?

i have to come back to 4. i haven't decided yet.

5. In your opinion, who is the writer who is best at:
  • story/plot?
    phillip pullman in the his dark materials trilogy

  • character?

  • ruth park's and tim winton's characters can be pretty amazing - they somehow get into your brain without much effort yet they are very hard to get rid of
  • language?

  • margaret atwood in her fiction, helen garner in her non-fiction - both appear to use language very simply but as any writer will know it's hard work to make it look that simple.
  • ideas?
    at the moment i'm enjoying jasper fforde's ideas, just because he seems to be galloping along on the edge of the ridiculous but manages to create a world that is real enough and delightful in its implausibility.

6. Which book(s) have you most wanted to burn/obliterate the memory of off the face of the planet?
love and vertigo by hsu ming teo (and not just because i wrote about it in my thesis)
billy by pamela stephenson (SO self indulgent)
how to be good by nick hornby, which shocked me because i loved high fidelity and about a boy
dead air by iain banks, which also surprised me because i loved the business, whit and espedair street

7. Describe your favourite place to read (plus essential accompaniments, etc. tea).
late at night in bed in winter, curled up in piles of blankets, with stacks of pillows, a pot of peppermint tea and possibly some chocolate biscuits. simple and predictable tastes, really.

8. Which books are your “comfort” books? (ie. the ones you keep coming back to to read over and over again because you enjoy them so much each time)?
nothing at all noble here. but in the interests of honesty...
bridget jones's diary (1 and 2) by helen fielding (because sometimes i need to know that other people are as hopeless as i feel)
anything by terry pratchett but especially thief of time (because susan sto helit rocks)
the harry potter books (because they're easy and satisfying)
and if i'm feeling really sooky, the adventures of milly molly mandy by joyce lancaster brisley (because she is just the loveliest child (not at all like eloise) and her family is so sweet and brisley's little illustrations are marvellous) :)

there are 3 more questions but that's enough for now (also i can't settle on answers to them yet and this post has been sitting in draft stage for too long...). more questions and answers soon.

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

pictorial reminiscences

i've been going through boxes of old photos. i have so many, mainly due to the late adolescence / early twenties photography phase, where anything and everything was incredibly fascinating and worth capturing on film and i was rarely seen without my SLR in hand (i think it needs a service; the last few rolls i took recently were all shockers and of course this has nothing to do with the photographer whatsoever).

if i had a decent digital camera you could bet i would have found fresh inspiration and my harddrive would be stuffed full of random pictures of doorways and back fences and slightly out of focus interesting people on the street. i think i may, however, have grown out of the cemetary phase...not sure, but i'm pretty certain (it's like when i rediscover my gothicky clothes in my old suitcases and try them on - i feel happy parading around the house in them but i think i'm beyond the age when i could convincingly carry off wearing them in public unless it was for a masquerade ball or similar. and yet i can't bear to throw them away...).

it's weird looking at fifteen years of your life in photos. there are some from earlier childhood, but they were mainly taken by other people. seeing the photos i took myself shoves me instantly back into other states of mind, other ways of being, other ways of thinking and i laugh when i remember some of those arrogant, naive opinions i once had (the arrogant and naive ones i have now will embarrass me in a few years too, don't worry). familiar faces crop up again and again, some incredibly familiar but without names in my memory. it elicits a little flicker of guilt but then i think those people probably don't remember me either, so we're even.

Friday, 11 March 2005

so much stuff

i'm going to see the lion king tonight...tee hee. it's also cam's 21st tonight in the church hall, so will see if i can get there afterwards.

having yum cha with dad tomorrow.

singing in faure's requiem at the opera house on sunday.

the last of paul barnett's lenten bible studies at st paul's south coogee on wednesday.

a buffy night with the baddeleys on friday.

emely's birthday next saturday night.

bek's party next sunday night.

my exam for doctrine 1 the tuesday after that.

then easter!

i think i need to get more sleep.

Monday, 7 March 2005

peevish grizzle

it's funny what things start to irritate you, working in an office. they are the most trivial, pointless things to get irritating about, but they're there all the same. today my irritation is with people who, when sending in a cheque with a form, feel the need to attach the cheque with staples or sticky tape, as if they don't trust the ability of the envelope to keep the two bits of paper together. it's irritating! don't do it! (okay, once is forgivable, but when you're processing a stack of mail and have to keep undoing staples again and again it starts to get annoying and i find myself favouring those people who don't use staples (paper clips are ok, as they just slide off) and that isn't fair because i'm sure the staple people meant well, it's just a completely misguided intention).

i am unwell. can you tell? i think i'm finally succumbing to whatever thing my mum had last week. or perhaps it's coinciding with the weather getting slightly cooler, which is great (the cooler bit, not the sick bit). i tried to go to bed early last night and ended up lying there for two and a half hours, listening to the waves of laughter coming from the people who have just moved in downstairs - i guess they were having a housewarming. thankfully there was no music, but it sounded like there were about a hundred people down there. so i didn't get any more sleep than usual. i wanted to do some writing but didn't because i was valiantly trying to get an Early Night, so it's doubly annoying because i didn't get any writing done and i didn't get any more sleep.

bah. i think i need coffee.

Sunday, 27 February 2005

a thought for Sunday

i needed to fill my mind with some inspiring thoughts today. i read rutledge's sermon 'the bottomless glass' and it just seemed to give me what i needed.

Whenever you find yourself asking, "is that all there is?" remember: no, it is not all. There is the promise of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and that is everything. And please understand this: the promise of Jesus does not refer only to some far-off future day. He gives his life to us now, not a life of partying and drinking and conspicuous consumption ending in emptiness, but a life of service to others and to God's suffering world, a life that is built not on chasing dreams and fantasies, but being built by the Holy Spirit into a fellowship of love that gathers even now at the Lord's table. He, the only-begotten, the Messiah of Israel, is the One, the only One who is able to give purification, the only One who is able to wipe away regret forever, the only One in whose name we find ourselves redeemed and restored and brought into an eternal future where there will be no need to search for dreams, because the dream of all humanity is summed up in the Cross and in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He goes to prepare a place for us at his own unending banquet. May he confirm this truth in your hearts, today and for ever.


from 'The Bottomless Glass' in The Bible and the New York Times by Fleming Rutledge [William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, Michigan, p73]

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

goldfish brain

some days are harder to get going than others. at the moment my bed seems like the place i want to be the most.

i had to make a Real Effort this morning, but then decided it was all or nothing. so i put on a skirt and nice shoes (i usually wear jeans or shorts and sneakers), blow dried my hair and even put make up on. amazing how much better it made me feel! it seems like a traitorous conceit in some ways - i hate the idea of self-worth being tied up in appearance, but then i suppose sometimes everyone needs costume and artifice. i must look different because my boss asked whether i'd had a haircut - he doesn't normally comment on appearance at all.

i think today it is better to be at work than at home on my own (never thought i'd say that). my mind is doing irritating things when i'm on my own, like trawling over situations that i feel like i've already sorted out, and upsetting me all over again. when i'm at work those thoughts flit around the edge of my consciousness but i don't have the opportunity to dwell on them.

i'm starting to feel like i might be getting better and stronger, bit by bit. or at least the peaks and troughs of melodrama are getting smaller, so the recovery time between mood swings is shorter. :) the whole situation of my emotional state in the last couple of months just proves to me how flimsy our own constructs are, how we think we have built ourselves little emotional fortresses with impregnable walls and super-pointy defences, but it can take only one (fairly swift) blow to reduce the whole thing to rubble. more and more i understand what it means to commit everything to God, to trust him and to know that he is not letting me go, no matter what i do or how much i blunder through life. it's a lesson i have to learn again and again, but every time i come back to it i see a new facet of God's grace and feel such gratitude and peace, i am amazed i could ever forget it.

Thursday, 17 February 2005

beautiful machines and absolute willoughbies

we're upgrading our database at work to a whole new system. it's a lovely new design and i have confidence that it is all going to work well in the end, but at the moment we're doing double entry and trying to understand the new logic and the way our database designer thinks. it makes sense (eventually) but i think our brains are all a bit full. i've even bowed to pressure and had an instant coffee because i was desperate and the plunger disappeared to a staff retreat last weekend (we didn't even get a postcard!).

but the thing that makes it all alright for me is the fact that i am doing it all on my new iMac. it maketh me glad.

which is just as well, because i have been extremely angry and am having to smooth down my violent tendencies, so it's nice to have something white and soothing to look at all day. the reason? a truth has been revealed in the days since doing the jane austen quiz from the last post. i have been lately involved (and spectacularly uninvolved) with a willoughby. how could this happen? how could a girl who has such a captivating singing voice and who plays the pianoforte so beautifully allow herself to get involved with such a...such a...such a willoughby?

ask ms austen. it's all her fault. and if you don't know what a willoughby is, rent sense and sensibility, watch it, and then tell me what you think.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

i really shouldn't read karen's blog

it makes for excellent procrastination.

but this quiz is excessively diverting. here is what my results show:

:: M A R I A N N E ::

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a little too vocal in your honesty. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

how did they know? :)

(i did say i would have jennifer ehle play me, but i could cope with kate winslet...)

view from the garret

here i am on another work-sanctioned day at home, and it's a good place to be. i still love my lovely art deco flat and the space and solitude. at times i have felt a little lonely, but there are friends and family within a block of me so i haven't got any excuse for wallowing. also useful for when i haven't got enough money or energy to make a decent meal because none of them like to see me go hungry. :)

kensington is pretty green so i have lots of lush trees to look at. i seem to be living in the catholic precinct, with st joseph's primary school, our lady of the sacred heart girls' high school, a convent and a monastery all in my street. the convent and monastery are beautiful buildings, with arches and gables, set on the hill. they light them up at night sometimes. my mother always thought it was funny that the most romantic buildings around here are where the nuns and monks live.

i just saw some people i know walk past my window. they looked up at my window and i don't think they could see me with the glare from outside, but it gave me the strangest feeling, like everything had gone out of kilter for a second. so weird when you see people out of context. i remember when i was working in child care and saw one of the kindy kids in coles with his mum and he just stood in the middle of the aisle, his mouth wide open, staring at me, completely unable to speak or move. his mum and i thought it was pretty funny, but i do get it.


ha. i survived valentine's day without getting too grumpy or violent, despite the sky writer writing 'happy V Day' across the blank blue sky as i walked to work. even more than valentine's day itself, i hate the practice of calling it 'V Day', which to me sounds like the celebration of an STD.

Friday, 4 February 2005

lost souls

what happens when you lose people?

when it's a death, well, that's final obviously. there's not much you can do about it, except to go through the grieving process and that leaves residue that you can never get rid of. my mum says she still misses her friend barry, still cries every now and again for him, and he died nine years ago. she still misses her mum and she died twenty six years ago. hey, i still miss both of them too.

but what happens when people just wander out of your life, people that you thought you were bonded so tightly to? i think about friends that i've had over the years, people i've loved intensely, who i don't even see anymore. every so often something will remind me of them, i'll drive past a place we went together, i'll hear a song we used to sing. sometimes i'll even pass them in the street or the supermarket and it's like i never knew them.

it's also horrible when you can feel someone slipping away. when something happens and you know that nothing will ever be the same again and perhaps life in the future will not include that person. it's a weird sort of perspicacity, unsettling and in some ways unwelcome. but the only encouraging thing i can take from that is seeing that although you lose some friends, you find others along the way. and some become so tightly woven into your fabric that you can never rip them out or have them fall away. i like those ones.

Wednesday, 2 February 2005


i have started working from home one day a week (this week it's two days, yahoo). this is to give me time and space to do 'creative' things, unhindered by the phone or processing mail. it's been great so far, in fact strangely enough i find it easier to work longer hours (which is good, as i usually flake out very quickly in the office). have been redeveloping our website, and the next task is to condense a 18000 word thesis into 4000 words for an article in our new journal. hmm...someone likened it to turning lead into gold...i think i'm up for the challenge!

i've started doing an evening course at moore college with my mum. it leads to the diploma of biblical studies, but as i'm only doing one subject a term it will take some time to get there. besides which, i'm not doing it for the diploma - even after only one class (last night), it feels so good to have my brain stretched a bit. the subject this term is doctrine 1. last night we looked at what we base our concept of God on, the authority and reliability of Scripture, Biblical inspiration and its implications...etc.

Then, in a lovely moment of co-ordination, this morning I read 'the new form of speech' in the fleming rutledge book the bible and the new york times and it was all about the importance and significance of God's Word and the preaching of his Word and that "God does not exist in unbroken silence. He has communicated. He has gone out from himself in self-expression. But this expression is not through vision; it is through audition."

she's a cool writer/preacher, even if her name does sound like a jk rowling character. check her out if you can.

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

this is getting to be a problem

i've become so trivia obsessed now there's a whole column devoted to it, on the right.

it means i can avoid writing about anything important...

Monday, 24 January 2005

son of listmania

okay so now i'm home, here is what my home iTunes shuffle unearthed:

you only - tree63 [the answer to the question]
candy - the presidents of the usa [the presidents of the usa]
psalm 96 - emu music [you alone live]
hi-lili hi-lo - rickie lee jones [pop pop]
four seasons in one day - crowded house [woodface]
another flavour - the sundays [static and silence]
sinking - jars of clay [jars of clay]
how will you go - crowded house [woodface]
jesu, joy of man's desiring - JS bach [contented rest]
isobel - bjork [post]
human nature - miles davis [mellow miles]

much overlap? crowded house seems to pop up a lot. and why not, eh? but in a library of 1041 songs, you'd think the shuffle could have looked further afield...

should find a way of doing it with books and movies too. trivia! trivia! i love it!


well, ben b got me started on this (you can follow all the links back from his blog to see who got him started if you're so inclined), but now we're all doing the shuffle. this is where you select your music collection and hit shuffle, then confess what the list says with no substitutions or censorships :) (i have different things on iTunes at work than i do at home, so i'll do it again when i get home, just for trivia's sake).

smoke - ben folds five [whatever and ever amen]
the ring goes south - NZSO [LOTR - fellowship soundtrack]
isengard unleashed - NZSO [LOTR - two towers soundtrack]
not the girl you think you are - crowded house [recurring dream]
never do anything - barenaked ladies [maroon]
shiny happy people - REM [out of time]
all the kings horses - vince jones [live]
largo (arioso) from flute concerto in g minor, bwv 1056 - JS Bach (well, he didn't play it obviously, but i don't have the liner notes with me) [contented rest]
let your love grow - paul colman trio [new map of the world]
straight to my heart - sting [nothing like the sun]
lucky trumble - nancy wilson [almost famous soundtrack]

how random! interesting to see what the overlap with my home list will be. or maybe not. well i like this kind of thing...the random flipping through familiar things. and i like looking at other people's lists too, i don't know what i think it reveals about them, but perhaps some common ground, some quirkiness, some surprises.

feel free to add your own!

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

radio silence

it seems to have been a lot longer since my last post than a month-and-a-bit. december was so full-on i can't even think of it without getting a bit of a headache. january so far has been spent trying to catch up with myself from december.

last night i had the unalloyed pleasure of having bek and georgia over. i haven't caught up with either of these two for months and months, so it was just great to lie around, listening to music (norah jones, joni mitchell, chet baker, ricki lee jones, jeff buckley, tori was that kind of a night), drinking red wine, eating rich food, laughing and talking. makes me realise how much i'd missed it.

i hadn't made any new year's resolutions because i never do, so when the girls asked me what mine were i had to think for a minute. i decided that my resolution would be "to let go". there are things i have no control over, all i can control is my response. so i'm going to try to let go. which is actually very very very hard to do.

the other thing is writing. georgia said "what is your goal with writing this year?"

"to finish a short story," i said, hiding my face in the curtains.

"what, writing or publishing?"

that elicited a further groan from me. we decided upon publishing. surely it can't be that hard, surely my creative reserves have replenished at least a little bit? surely in the intervening months since i've written anything there has been enough grist for the mill and enough angst to get me going again?