Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Christmas picture

Here is a picture of our Christmas Cake.

I think Joseph is saying to Mary "I hope that knife is for the turkey"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Highlights of my Christmas day

Playing my last Carol (Unto us a child is born). I reckon that I have played about 400 carols this December.

Matthew, Grandad, Nana and a Whoopy Cushion

Dozing off while the Queens speech is on, and Heather reminding my that the settee I was sitting on reclined.

Beating somebody at Internet Checkers

Christmas lunch at my mum and dads, I had a roast potato shaped like a bottom (see below).


Friday, December 15, 2006

Matthew school Christmas play

I have been to Matthews Christmas play at school. I must admit, this is the first one I have been to of both my boys school plays. But I was seriously impressed. In this play Matthew had a major part, we new he had a talking part, but we didn't know he had two solos to sing.

Matthew is on the left.
The climax of the play is when the little boy (Matthew) is asked to give his present to the baby Jesus, which turns out to be a kiss. Matthew, at this point, stood behind the manger bolt upright and put his head into the manger as if he was bobbing for apples on Bon Fire Night.
Of course, everyone burst out laughing. (That's my boy)

Sarah and Mary are home

Just been round to see Mary, Peter, Rosie and Sarah at home. Sarah seems quite pleased with the new place to live. In fact, she spent the whole time asleep.
There was a house full of people and both sets of grand parents where in attendance when the four of use turned up. Sarah remained unimpressed.
Despite everybody having a cuddle Sarah remained asleep. Getting ready for a busy night ahead, no doubt.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New pictures of Sarah

Well I have been to the hospital this afternoon to see Mary and Sarah but my cameras battery died when I was there. But I have managed to take two pictures and here they are.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My favourite scene from our Christmas play

For pictures of Pete, Mary and Rosies baby see below:

The wise men enter from the back of the hall chasing the star (Rosie) around the hall. They are wearing curtains and cardboard crowns. They sing a Wise man song (obviously in a minor key). Just before they reach the stable and manger, they catch up with the star (Rosie) and she manages to knock off the first Wisemans crown and poke him in the eye with the star.

They meet the Inn Keeper who invites them to see the baby Jesus (Katie) in song. The Wisemen accept the invitation and move onto the stage or stable, behind the star.

Wisemen 2 (Dave M): I bring you Gold! [delivered like Charlton Heston bringing the ten commandments down from the mountain]

Mary (Rachel): Thank you very much [as if thanking someone for passing the sugar]

Wiseman 2 (Dave S): I bring you Frankinsense! [delivered with awe and reverence]

Mary (Rachel): Thank you very much [delivered yesterday when I was at Asda and I had interrupted the girl at the till with my money when she was having a conversation with her colleague]

Wiseman 3 (Steve): I bring you Myrrh! [delivered with awe and reverence]

Mary (Rachel) Thank you very much [I don't know what I am going to use Myrrh for?]

Great day, hundreds of people there, play was fabulous, everybody did a great job. (By the way I exaggerate above, but Rosie did knock off the wise mans hat and poke him in the eye)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Welcome to our world

Here is my new niece called "Baby", for the time being.

Arrived today at 2:40pm

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas house decorations

I plan to take photos of "tastefully" christmas decorated houses and post them on this blog for comment. If anybody sees any local ones that should be published let me know and I will try and get them on.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas plays

Thanks Will for the idea.
We are practising for our Christmas play which is to be performed on Sunday at our Civic Carol Concert. I must point out that we do not have all the following elements in our production, but we have a few.
Christmas plays must have some of the following elements:
1. an orchestra that play too loud (from the singers percpective)
2. singers that don't sing loud enough (from the orchestra percpective)
3. a little boy or girl who will steal the show
4. adults who don't know their words, or will make them up on the "night"
5. custumes made from curtains or table cloths
6. it will end in tears (usually the director)
7. microphones that don't work
8. or actors that don't hold the microphone near enough to their mouth for it to work
9. the performance will have some long pauses while something is supposed to happen
10. like child birth, we will forget all the heartache and pain and in a few months be thinking about the one for next year
11. a small one at the front of the stage staring at the audience
12. all the small girls want to be angels
13. all the small boys want to be shepherds, not Joseph because you need to hold Marys hand
14. one of the children waves to their parents, thus shattering the illusion that they are in a stable in Palestine 2000 years ago. (harsh I know, but true)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas starts here

The start of Christmas carolling. Two bands, (SA Bands) one in Kirkby and one in Ormskirk. Its always a worry that people know where to go and when to be there. But its seems everything worked out OK. Only three more Saturdays and three more Thursdays to go.

We got home and we remembered we had booked Matthew into a party in the Gym at 2 o'clock. So I dashed out with my stuff and went to the Gym.

I got home between 4 and 5 and fell straight to sleep.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gym Music 2

A summary of the rules so far:
Rule 1. Gym music must be loud enough to drown the music piped into the gym.
Rule 2. Gym music mustn't make me want to engage too much, singing along or anything else is not advised.
Rule 3. Gym music must motivate me to run.
Rule 4. Gym music needs to keep me interested for at least 45 mins.
Rule 5. Gym music must be interesting enough to stop me watching: The Price is Right with Joe Pescuali (Fortunately there is no sound so I don't have to listen); The New Paul O'Grady Show (He is from Birkenhead); I'm A Celebrity I'm So Desperate To Be Here Show.

New music
Breakout (Electrolyte)
Excellent in every way. Good loud tracks (when I worked out how to turn off the setting to protect my eardrums on my iPod). Picked me up at the half hour mark whe I started to flag. Change in styles all the way through kept me interested right to the end. And kept me smiling when I was running.

OK computer (Radiohead)
Not bad. As each track started to play it kept me interested in what was going on but eventually I forgot I was listening as each track was a bit monotonous and a bit the same. Also a bit sad, reminded me a bit of being a teenager, I think.

Blue Light Red Light (Harry Connick Jnr)
I like this album anyway and have had it for a while. Obviously the first track woke me up. But I think I am too familiar with this music to keep me interested for the duration. But I haven't heard the last tracks for a while and I had forgotten that they where really sad so probably not good for the gym.

Next Faures Requiem and any other suggestions (Might try Dans suggestions, nothing in 3/4, thanks John)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gym music 1

I haven't posted for a while and I started this post a couple of weeks ago. So sorry its late.

I have been trialing some music for while I am at the Gym. I need to create some rules for gym music. So I'll start here and give some feedback on music used so far.
Rule 1. Gym music must be loud enough to drawn the music piped into the gym.
Rule 2. Gym music mustn't make me want to engage too much, singing along or anything else is not advised.
Rule 3. Gym music must motivate me to run.
Rule 4. Gym music needs to keep me interested for at least 45 mins.
The Best of Divine Comedy
Meets all the criteria above. Although I occasionally find myself singing along (Rule 2). Gets off to a good start with National Express, it has a good tempo for the cycle warm up. It has enough different styles to keep interest going. I recommend this track on your iPod.
Mozart Requiem
Surprisingly, meets all the above criteria, this is probably the best music to use. It has a slow, quiet start, that is OK, but quickly moves onto good loud stuff. Keeps me interested all the way through. In all a good use of time to make yourself fit and listen to some staggeringly good music. I can't sing along.

I have some more to follow. I may revise my rules. Any suggestions for trials would be gratefully recieved.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Busy few days

Went out in the morning to buy the firworks for the firework party at the Army on Sunday night. In Liverpool there are a few shops that have opened to sell just fireworks and there are signs for fireworks being sold from pub car parks. I decided to follow the safe option and went to Asda.
I bought two big fireworks and 24 rockets. I discussed an idea with guys at the hall to raise money, somebody wanted to do a baloon race, but we decided against it on gambling and environmental grounds. Our idea was in a similiar vein, the rockets we bought where quite big and we thought we could tie a Junior Solder to a series of rockets and set them off. The one who went furthest would win.
Went to the gym and did some running etc.
Went to Rays house to watch the second half of Fulham verses Everton. We lost 1-0. Enough said.
Heather spent the rest of the day planning morning meeting at Army.
Alistair went to see Divine Comedy in Liverpool. I did fancy going, but I suspect I would have been the oldest bloke there so Alistair went with his friend.
Good Sunday services, Heather did the morning meeting, really good, full hall. Went down to the hall for the evening meeting, it was a firework party. A short worship session followed by food in the community hall then fireworks in the car park. We didn't know how many people would turn up but loads a new people came. There must have been 20 or 30 people who had not been in the church before so we had a great time. Neil, Dave, Will, Simon and myself did the firework display, nobody got hurt or blown up so it was a great success.
Really long day at work, I was teaching all day, quite dry subjects so it was a challenge to keep everybody interested. I finished off the teaching day giving two lads verbal warnings. I went home really tired.
I had just enough time to make Alistair and Matthew their tea and then go back to the Army for the Corps and CAP prayer meeting. Not too many people there, but it was really good. I forgot that Heather had asked me to finish the night, but it worked out really well.
Got out to the car and some rough lads had put in our drivers side window, Lyns and Will helped clear up the mess but the drive home was really cold.
Heather off early to London. I got Matthew ready for school and dropped him off on the way to work . Cold journey with the window missing. Another day teaching all day, health and safety at work. Another long day, missed my dinner (my own fault). Torwards the end of the day at work I started to feel unwell, left for home and felt cold and sick.
It is band practise tonight but I fell asleep in bed and didn't go. Pete did band practise hope it went well.
Morning phoned in sick stayed in bed and wrote this.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Eastham Woods

Today I have been on a walk in Eastham woods, this is just behind our college. In the 19th Century Eastham woods was called the Richmond of the Mersey and a Pleasure Gardens was built. The site is now almost completely overgrown and there is little left of the gardens. You can still see some of the more permanent features in the undergrowth, there is a large fountain and a bear pit where they used to have animal fights. There was also a zoo in their somewhere, I'll look out for it next time I go for a walk. I'll post a picture of the bear pit, I'll try and take my camera to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guilty pleasures?!

I have been reflecting on Sunday nights meeting/service. It was imaginative and thought provoking. (For those not Sallys its probably worth stopping here, as it gets a bit irrelevent). At our corps the Sunday meetings are being "done" by different people at the moment. So Geoff did Sunday night.

We meeting was based around a journey over Morecambe Bay Geoff did a couple of weeks ago. We got a good idea of what happened as Geoff had taken some great pictures.

I have been thinking about the music and songs that we used. They all followed the theme of a journey. We have not sung some of them for an long time. We had "We'll Sing in the Morning the Songs of Salvation". Some very old song called "Over the Sea", even some of the more mature Salvationists did not know this one. Fortunately my 100 year old Grandma did, so we where treated to a solo (She needs no encouragement).

We used the band arrangement for "We'll Sing in the Morning" and it certainly rattles along(good old N.B. for good arrangement). I was left wandering what we where singing about,

We'll sing in the morning the songs of Salvation
We'll sing in the noon time the songs of his love
And when we arrive at the end of our journey

We'll sing the songs of Zion in the courts above

We will be doing a lot of singing if the song is correct. Its an awful lot about what we will be doing not lot about what God is, or what he can do. Will we sing in the courts above, because we sing in the morning and at mid day? (Sophistry). I suppose it's OK once in a while though

The other one was "Travel Along In The Sunshine", which I don't understand at all.

Travel along in the sunshine
On the Kings highway
Travel along, singing a song
Follow Jesus day by day,
Never mind what lies before you
Never mind what others do
Just travel along in the sunshine
On the Kings highway

It has synchopation which makes it more modern than the other one, I suppose. Imust have sung this countless times and not really thought about what I was singing.

If we filled our services with this kind of worship every week, I'm not sure too many new people would understand what it being sung, or how it relates to them.

Are they best locked up in the song book cupboard or is it good to bring them out onto the digital projector and display them to the world/congregation once in a while? I am not sure.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gym etiquette

  1. When in the gym always walk around purposefully. Look like you know what you are doing even if you don't. Anyone who looks lost in a gym is a "newby".
  2. Never use the free weights. They are for serious very advanced users or stupid people.
  3. Never use the weights on the first few days, always make sure you know how they work.
  4. If you feel like an advanced user and you are using the weight equipment, always check the weights before getting onto the machine. At my first gym I was shown a particularly complicated machine at my induction. You had to stand inside the machine, unlock the bar and squat with the weights on your shoulders. I of course didn't check the weights on the machine, unlock the bar, went into a quick squat and found I couldn't stand up. I had to ask for help, quietly at first because I didn't want anybody to hear but more loudly as I bacome more desparate. I left the gym that day with the laughter of two muscle bound men still in my ears (I didn't both with the sauna, I was hot enough).
  5. Never put your head in front of the water fountain before turning it on. It will always end up in your eye.
  6. If you go for a swim make sure you have your swimming hat on the right way. In our gym the swimming caps (yes, you have to wear one) have a band going from the back to the front. "Newby's" always wear them with the band going from ear to ear. It looks more stupid and they seem to be swimming slower.
  7. Don't play "He's fatter than me" in the Hydrotherapy pool.
  8. If you brush against another bloke in the pool, always reply "excuse me" in a very manly voice.
  9. Don't stare and point (or laugh).
  10. Check your shorts before getting out of the hydrotherapy pool. Those water jets are very powerful and the water is very warm, you might not notice....
  11. When you are in the Sauna, try not to enter into conversation with somebody. (See me for bad example, I can't publish it here.)
  12. When you are getting changed, make sure your underwear is ready. It's not good to walk around the changing room "in the snip" (as Windy Millers uncle Guber).

For those that do trut round the changing room ... it's not clever.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


In going to the gym I have been giving thought to the treadmill.

Medievel times saw the treadmill operative as work, powering pumps, grinding corn etc.

In the Victorian age the treadmill was used as punishment, men where put on the treadmill to do work with no outcome at all, I don't think they even produced anything.

Now, we pay to use a treadmill, we even pay for someone to show us how to use them. The treadmill today does not produce energy, it uses energy as it needs to be plugged into something, so someone, somewhere is creating energy to make this one work.

My treadmill will tell me how many calories I am expending per hour, how many calories I have spent so far, how far I haven't run so far. I wish it would tell me something useful, like calories measured in terms of fractions of a Mars bars (or other popular confection).

Whilst using my treadmill I have tried to use the time even more productivily (other than losing weight) by listening to Rob Bell sermons (downloaded by my lovely wife, and uploaded to my iPod). But I find myself losing concentration and reading the sub titles to Neighbours on the telly screens in front of the treadmills (I must be really shallow).
I bet they didn't have tellys on the Medievel or Victorian treadmills.(or Neighbours)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Getting slimmer already

We have just joined a Gym. I have been for my induction yesterday and I am keen enough now to go again tonight. Some of my friends have said that I look slimmer already, but I think they are pulling my leg. But I am prepared to ignore the sarcasm.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More of an investment than gambling

I got back to work on Monday to find I had won a raffle, I hadn't entered. My friend put my name into the draw, it was free. So I won a new red football (second prize, first prize was a Coca Cola mountain bike). My friends at work obviously know the Sally Army stance on this, but it was ok because "we didn't pay for the ticket".
Earlier today our learners (I work in a college) did some fund raising for McMillan Cancer. So of course the course tutor has to buy a ticket. I did my best to avoid buying a ticket, because I feel really awkward in these situations.
Well my friend bought one for me, and again I won. This time I won some "tasteful" men smelly stuff.
I'm off to do the National Lottery, if I can get someone else to pay!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Its Grim up t'North

Apparently, on average, people living in the South of England live two years longer than in the North.
Sadly people in the South spend these two years on the M25.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Car crash telly

I am on holiday this week. I got up in time to take Matthew to school and I was getting ready to go into Liverpool to do see my brother-in-law at work. I rarely see day time telly, but I turned it on as a accompaniment to doing the dishwasher. I was watching a programme called "The Jeremy Kyle Show" - with my mouth open. It was all very confusing, but they were not actors and they needed bodyguards on set to keep them apart, and they spoke in "beeps".

This is obviously not intellectual telly, the adverts came on and most of the adverts where for finance companies. The one that attracted my attention was an advert which interviewed suspiciously coherent people about how they couldn't get any sort of loans. They all stood in the rain whilst talking to the camera, but the public behind them did not seem to be bothered by the same rain (funny that).

There was a lot of talk about consolidating loans and securing your loan (which seems to be a good thing, but actually means they can take your house if you can't pay)

At our Army (Salvation Army/Church) we have just started a CAP programme. (see link for more details). The wonderful Gemma is our representative and she visits many people in debt. From my point of view it seems that the banks and financial institutions need to take a more responsible attitude to what they are doing to people lives.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A blog about blogging

I managed to put a visitor counter on this blog (see below). I think bloggers all need encouragement.

It looks like I am advertising some sort of diet web site, can't I do chocolate, don't I get a choice. Chocolate or some sort of fatty substance would be so much more appropiate.

Here is a picture of my biscuits to compensate.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 4

Our team all sat down the other day and discussed our experience of Annual Appeal. War stories if you like, below are some of the highlights. These all happened this year.

My Dad knocked on a door and was made to make the dog sit before they would give him some money. For those who know my dad, this is extra funny, in fact I would have paid to watch this.

My Dad was also asked if he was a musician. He replied, rather nervously, that he was, he got an extra pound for playing the cornet.

Heather got chased from a house by a bat. (She got all unecessary).

Ray knocked on a house where a little girl opened the front door. Ray asked if her mummy or daddy where in and she said "yes". She went to a door at the end of the hallway and opened the door to reveal her dad in the bath.

Ray also helped a woman who was having a hypo-glycaemic attack (I would like to thank my doctor friend for the spelling here). Ray himself is diabetic and new exactly what to do. Sadly, it was the woman having the attack and the bloke in the bath.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I have a great job ...

As part of the programme I run, I went with a group of students up Moel Famau. Great view from the top but it was extremely windy.

On the way down looking at the fantastic view my colleague said "We get paid to do this!!!OpenDocument

I'm off collecting tonight, if my legs stop shaking.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 3

Thanks John for the suggestion of looking at the rebuffs. I have come across some misunderstandings mainly:

Firstly there was the typical misunderstanding. "Sorry, I thought you had come to read the meter". Funny thing here is that I did was not wearing my uniform, just chinos and army polo shirt. Perhaps she was waiting for the gas or electicity man.

Secondly there was the unusual misunderstanding. "No I won't contribute, I support a lot of charities. You can't join the lot can you?". I didn't ask him to join the band or sing of the songsters just some of his small change. The level of his committment is implicit in the question "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their annual appeal". Perhaps I should need to make sure the question is more explicit. "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their annual appeal by putting your lose change in this money box." Perhaps I could add "Although we do have an opening on B flat Bass if you fancy a blow."

Thirdly there was the lady who said "Oh! can I give it a miss today, thanks". It appears that she thinks the Salvation Army will be knocking at her door every day until she gives in and donates some money. Sadly I won't be able to do this as tomorrow I am out in another area - doing door to door collecting.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 2

Last night whilst out collecting I have been challenged with the following questions:

What words do I use to ask strangers for money?
If I did not give this any thought the following words would come out of my mouth, "Umm, money, erhhh, put in box, No? OK Bye"

So, I have settled on the following "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal?", smile and wait for the answer. The thought here is that its a closed question which prompts the answer yes or no, so either way I am away quickly from the door or someone can start a conversation if they want.

The problem is that as the evening goes on, "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal?" becomes more and more indistinct, especially when it becomes cold (it was worse in February).

The other big question raised in door to door collection is how long do you wait outside a door after you have knocked and rung the bell. Especially when you know the occupants have seen you approach the house and are ignoring you. Well I have been giving this some thought.

The obvious approach is to sing on the doorstep (out loud or in your head). You could get through a couple of verses of:

  • Guide me O thou great Jehovah

  • Shine Jesus Shine

  • or When the music fades

Depending on your age etc.

Although this has its draw backs. I have found myself surprised by someone answering the door (why that should be, especially as it has been me who has rung the bell and knocked on the door, is strange) and am not ready with "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal" and it comes out as "Oh! would you like to help the Pilgrim through this barren land, No! Sorry, Doh!".

Play a game on your mobile phone (No, not a good idea)

So I recommend the follow approach, Don't go near music, too dangerous:

  1. Approach the door

  2. Knock and ring the bell as already discussed

  3. Notice how the door could do with a lick of paint

  4. Oh! I really don't like simulated wood effect double glazing

  5. Where is the spider in that cobweb

  6. Is Arteta best placed on the right or left of that diamond formation or is his best position in the centre of the pitch where he bosses the game, but they do get good results with that formaiton and Andy (sorry Andrew) Johnson does well on his own especially support by Cahill coming late into the box. We have spent a lot of money for Beattie and he does try really hard......

  7. Oh my goodness how long have I been here, where is Gill is she back at home eating my chocolate biscuits.

  8. Time to go to the next house.

I assure you the time goes so much quicker this way.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 1

I have changed the title of this blog to Annual Appeal since I found out that I am stupid.

September is always a busy month as us Sallys find ourselves raising money for the "Annual Salvation Army Appeal". If you are not a Sally then this will not make any sense, but if you are, here is some guidance.

Do and Do nots


  1. Smile and say "Thank you very much, Good night" even if you do not get any money.

  2. Wonder why so many families are called "Friedland"

  3. Knock on the door and ring the bell.

  4. Always ignore stickers on the door that say "We don't buy anything from salesmen"

  5. Be careful when knocking on glass doors (mind you, I have not broken one yet)

  6. Try and beat the Littlewoods Pools or the milk man when he is on the same "round".

  7. When collecting with a partner on the same side of the road, try and make sure that they get to the house with a) the person cleaning the car b) the gang of lads smoking at the front door c) the house with the Fiesta rather than the BMW or Mercedes.

  8. If collecting in a uniform always smile politely when mistaken for a policeman.

  9. If they drop their money, always let them pick it up.

  10. Address the man of the house as "Sir", if he is wearing a shirt and tie.
Do not

  1. Leave the gate open or kick the milk bottles if your request for money is denied.

  2. Leave the house by one garden gate go to the next garden gate and end up back at the same house (did that yesterday).

  3. Get stuck miles from the car when it starts to throw it down with rain (did that on Tuesday).

  4. Run away from the house cheering or doing "high fives" when you get given twenty quid.

  5. Get caught picking you nose when the house holder answers the door.

  6. Fall into garden pond.

  7. Try to keep a count of how much you have so far.

  8. Walk across a prize lawn.

  9. Scale a garden wall to get to the next house

  10. Don't say "Cheers!" when you leave.
The best house

  1. Christian literature in the hallway.

  2. Doors answered by older people.
The worst house

  1. Knock on the door, a light comes on, nobody comes to the door

  2. The householder watches you come up the drive whilst they are watching television and refuses to open the door.

  3. Houses with dogs (no matter the size).

  4. When the children answer the door.

  5. When you have to do those intercom things at the gate before you get to the front door.

  6. No lights on at all in the house.

  7. The house when the man answers the door with no trousers on (happened yesterday).

  8. When the occupier says they can't give because they are eating their dinner. Usually we have come straight from work and missed dinner.

Worst response

  1. Sorry the is nobody in

  2. Sorry my wife is out

  3. My Dad said there is nobody in

  4. Do the Salvation Army save fallen women? Save one for me (Always laugh politely)

  5. If someone asks you to sing a song for a donation, make sure you know the amount before starting to "Shall We Gather" (Gill)
Games to play

  1. Guess the age of the house holder, based on the type of car, type of house, number of small toys lying around the garden.

  2. Chasing your partner collector down the street when he does not wait long enough for people to answer the doors.

  3. Don't walk in the cracks in the pavement.

  4. Create a blog entry whilst collecting.

  5. Wonder how much time some people must have by the extraordinary tidiness of their garden.

  6. Admire double glazing.

  7. Watch bits of Eastenders, The Bill, Emmerdale as you go round.

  8. Guess what people are having for dinner.

  9. Guess what the appeal is going to be called next year (Self Denial, Red Sheild, Annual Appeal)

I plan on creating an exhaustive list above if you have any additions please let me know and I will update.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Your results:
You are Superman

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Signs and Notices

"We really need to get a chartered accountant"

I have a thing about public signs and notices. We often have a laugh in the car on the way home. As we go round a corner near home, there is a sign on the wall which is lit with a light that changes from blue to green slowly. The sign is for a chartered accountancy company, which prompts the question, what do they want to achieve by doing this sort of marketing? Are they looking for passing trade or is it subliminal advertising.

In our local chippy, underneath the menu there was a sign which said "Sorry, No Dogs!". This is ambigous in several ways. Did they serve sweet and sour dog, and they are sorry they have to let customers down. Or do they not serve dogs as customers so dogs need to go to the slightly more seedy chippy across the road.

I have also noticed that Asda now say they are a member of the Wall Mart family of companies. Did mister and misses Wall Mart have a baby Asda?

Friday, August 25, 2006

It must be a boy thing

Last Saturday morning Will and I drove down to Deeside to meet with more mates for Daves pre marriage morning out (formally stag do, in the morning without the staying out late and drinking lot's of alcohol, then leaving Dave naked in a field in Scotland. We have not been invited to that one).

The morning involved karting, great time was had by all. I spent the first practise laps trying to expell my "Drive to Survive course" (run by Cheshire Police) out of my head. I did manage to pursuade myself that a cement wagon wasn't likely to crash into me around the next blind bend. This is not an excuse for not winning. In fact I played my bit to let Dave (the groom) win but sadly Will, Wes, Steve, Paul, Chris etc didn't (Well done Stuart for coming last).

When I got home I tried to explain what fun we had to Heather but I noticed the same "interested" face she has when I come home from playing or watching football and so I decided....

it must be a boy thing.

I'll try and post a picture when I get home

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Being a Dad

I have often wandered what it was like to be a Dad. I suppose traditionally it is proud dad with new son or daughter (see Will at,but there are other times as well. I have two boys, tens years apart and its eldest sons GCSE day.

2 Bs in Music (hurrah!) and Graphics
4 Cs in Science, IT and English Lit
2 Ds in Maths and English (have to do those again)

Well done, mate.

Do we have to do this again in 10 years time!!!???

Your turn in 16 years Will.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Start of the new season ...

Friends beware....

Don't talk to me on Saturday afternoon if we have lost. Check the score first.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Do you feel strongly about random things?

I was on a car journey the other day/week/month, talking with some friends, when we came across some strong views held by Dan on some fairly random topics. For instance, he thinks that fruit or nuts have no place in any sort of chocolate. So, Marathon bars are bad but Mars bars are good, Topics are bad but Twirls are good and so on.

Even more specific, there are wrong a right ways to eat chocolate. It is not allowed to nibble the chocolate off Mars bars then the bottom, leaving the sticky gooey bit to finish last. You need to enjoy the bar as it is meant biting through the whole bar and enjoying all the elements in the mouth at the same time.

[I tried to load a Mars Bar image here but failed.]

Thinking about that I do have some firm views on some things, for instance white uPVC windows are OK on the right house (mine for instance), but there is no place for brown uPVC windows with a wood effect, its just wrong (I'm sorry if you have spent a lot of money on yours, but its just wrong).

I don't like stickers in my car "My other cars a Fiesta", etc, unless it came with the car (dealers name etc).

I get annoyed with other drivers when we are in a 40mph area and they slow down to 30 when they pass a camera, they are not paying attention.

I like mint and I like lamb. But, I don't like mint on lamb.

I dislike front doors without a letter box in September. (other SAers will get that one)

I am not particular about where physical things are stored around my house, but I am particular about where stuff is stored on the computers at home, they have to be in the right place (so I can find them). I can spend a while sorting out the file structure on the computer whilst sitting amongst chaos in the real world/living room. I don't know what this says about me?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Have we scored, Dad

I took the oppurtunity on Saturday to take my 6 year old son to his first football match. I was really excited (I don't know if he was). The game was Everton versus Athletic Bilbao (The Howard Kendall testimonial). The idea was to cement his support for ever and to thwart the plans of the evil uncle Murray who is trying to turn him to the dark/red side.

I don't think he is going to be too bothered when it comes to football (is it something I did, it must his mothers fault).

After the first few minutes excitement of being inside a football stadium it wore off. Every few minutes, I had the annoying question "have we scored, yet". "No" was the first reply eventually getting to "NO!!!!!!".

He slept most of the second half. And we still didn't score.

(This posting is left with no depreciating humour relating to supporting Everton, because I know that if anyone reads this they are sure to do better than I can possibly manage)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Confidence building

I have recently changed job and I now work for a large local college. As part of the course we encourage the teenagers to go on the high ropes. This week I decided that I could not ask the learners do something which I had not done.

So, I volunteered to have a go. It sounded a good idea to start with. And it does not seem very high from the floor. But when you have climbed to the top and asked to walk along the top, I remembered how much I disliked heights. But with a fellow tutor and 8 students watching there was not much else to do but to complete the tasks. Surprisingly enough, the most difficult part was to trust the other person at the end of the rope when I jumped off the top.

The last task was to jump of the pole in the middle of the picture and hit the orange ball. Jumping off was easy, the difficult bit was climbing up the pole and standing on the top. Of course when I jumped off, the tutor holding the rope left the ground also. Must lose some weight.

Fortunately I saw the caution about serious injurt note after I did the jumps

Friday, August 11, 2006

Moving on..

Youth Alpha has finished for a while, but seeing as I have this blog space a feel a responsibility to use it.

I don't think I shall do anything too profound. But I have been reading Wills, Heathers, Matt Leeders and links from their sites and feel bad for posting on theirs when I don't contribute myself. Don't know if anybody will read this.

But here goes.

(Sorry Lynsey for highjacking this)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Its been a while

The Youth Alpha is still on going. How does God guide you? this week. So they have been around the church blind folded guided by each other in different ways. Which is the most efficient? Not guided by Lynsey (perhaps). Personal injury in her haste to get around the quickest.


Well, can I just note I didn't injure on purpose...we've recently finished our thoughts on Prayer, resulting in the group preparing and leading the prayer time during our service. Expressing different ways in which we can communicate with God and ways in which we can worship him. Hopefully they'll be able to take something from these next few sessions on looking at the Holy Spirit and share them wiht memebers of the church again - as well as others they may meet.

So, we're looking at being guided - how God does it and why we need it (a lot, some of us!)

More next week.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

More Prayer

Didn't get much done this week.

The challenge for the week is to say a two sentence prayer everyday and then wait for some period of time. We'll see how it goes, and the feedback next week.

Maybe we'll have more to report next week! (if we all do our homework!!)