Monday, March 31, 2008


Stu Smith testimonial concert Saturday nite at the Indigo2 was incredible. 90 mins of Delirious? at their best with a mix of classics and new tracks in the intimate 3000 seat state of the art theatre that is the Indigo2. But after 90 minutes instead of coming back out for an encore the stage hands moved the drum set (it was on a wheeled platform) right to the front of the stage where Stu came out and began to play again. The rest of the band joined him and they played some more. Then to finish they played History Maker (of course!!) then they got Stu to say some words and presented him with a gift--a blue scooter! They left the stage and we thought it was all over and started to leave when they came out again and played Investigate. A brilliant 2 hours of music, worship and inspiration. Thanks Stu and I hope the new drummer can keep the energy up!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Chateau Chombard
this spiral staircase was amazing--2 separate staircases spiralling around the same column and never meeting!!
and the view over my kingdom

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter in Toury

Wow! What a great weekend! After my king for a day blog I realized it was going to be more like a king for 3 days!! Monday was a similar procedure but after lunch Laure, Melanie and I went to a town named Chartres which has perhaps the most famous cathedral in all of France and it is listed as a World Heritage Site. As it was Easter weekend there happened to be a Easter Festival on in the town consisting of a market and various stages set up around the town with performers and bands etc playing. It was cold and a litte drizzly but I got a cup of mulled wine from the market and we entered the huge Cathedral which seems to dwarf the rest of the town. Once inside it was a pleasant surprise to find it buzzing with people--obviously the festival had brought people out. So often when a tourist goes into these huge churches they seem empty and dead and feel very unused and I think how much a part of the communities life the Christian faith must have been when they built these buildings. It was soo cool to see a group of young people on the stage- a couple of girls singing into mics, and a guy lightly strumming a guitar and another playing the bongo drums. The girls voices filled the whole cathedral thru the PA system and with the natural acoustics it sounded awesome!! mostly the words were French but I could see that this wasnt a normal part of the Catholic cathedrals services!! A special for the Easter Festival but so brilliant that it was opeend to them to do that. And then the last song they sang was Here I Am To Worship in French--awesome!! I had this crazy idea of how cool it would be to see all the old cathedrals of Europe and indeed all over the world, taken over by young people with guitars and drums and voices praising their God and drawing dead and dying congregations and communities back into life!! Back out in the market we saw a new dance craze called Tectonik which is for white boys that cant play football or dance normally. It seems girls dont do this dance and most of the time it involves some very weird coordinations of ones hands and arms waving around very quickly in the air. Feet and legs do some moves too!! Got a crepe and it was off for tea and cake in a little French village at Laure's grandmothers. Today we checked out one of the many giant wind harvesters that are all over the landscape near Toury. Then it was time for the train journey home. A great relaxing weekend--thanks Toury and thanks the Fauconnier family!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

King for a day!

So today I decided to be king for a day!! I was king David as a guest of a French family. My day went something like this: woke very late, had to wash myself as the servants were all busy. Went downstairs and ate French bread (brioche) with quince jelly and drank orange juice. Watched some French football highlights, drank some champagne and ate nibbles and then it was lunch time. Or I should say dinner! First we ate a salad with foie gras (duck pate) and walnuts, 2nd course was rosbeef and gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes). 3rd was cheese platter with bread, 4th was gateau à la bechamel (very yummy desert) and then I was presented with a box of locally made chocolate in the shape of very detailed rooster, hollow with chocolates inside it!! Of course there was fine French wines accompanying it all. After we had eaten although I was feeling sleepy I got into a French car (citroen) and we drove south about 80 mins to the Chateau of Chambord (my new continental residence). This is a huge and very impressive castle where many French kings have lived in past centuries. (construction began in 1519 by King Francis I) We walked right thru the castle visiting many of the rooms, I was most impressed with the double level spiral staircase (which I plan to replicate in my main castle one day). Then back to Toury (where I am a guest of the city) where dinner was awaiting! Soup and bread followed by Tourte (beef mince and vegetables in a pie crust) followed by cheeses and yoghurt and accompanied by red wine. Now I relax and digest-however being king for a day has reminded me of another King who died for His people (thats what Easter is really about) and today is the day we celebrate Him coming alive again-He is no longer dead! Only the Creator of the Universe could possibly have the power to do such a thing-I believe it all-do you? HE sure gives my life meaning when the holidays and chocolates and fun times are over.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Church setup for banquet
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Thursday in 3D-craziest day ever? or just a normal day in my job!!

Ok so its 12:42 am Friday morning but I have to write about Thursday before I try to sleep some! I arrived at work normal time--9:32. Queens College are rehearsing as I expect but find the PA isnt working. Troubleshoot that over the phone with PA guy and sort the problem. Put up church closed signs as the school will soon be doing a service and ask a guy to leave who is sitting in the church. As he starts to swear at me, I realise he is drunk and not wanting to do what I ask. I pull my phone out and threaten to call the police-he gets up and moves out of the main church but I still have to coerce him to leave completely. Go to my desk to check emails and messages. A guy arrives to sort some keys for us and make the office door shut properly so talk to him about that and then call Canon to get an engineer out to fix the photocopier which is jamming 3 days after being serviced!! Go back to check on the school and oversee their guests arriving. Am told of a leak in the toilets so arrange the caretaker to sort that out. Plumber has to be called. partway thru school service colleague comes out from office to tell me the key guy needs to see me. Right then church clown guy (name suppressed here!!) walks in the main doors. Colleague sees him at same time as me and says she'll ask the key guy to wait with a knowing laugh that I need to intercept the clown guy and send him on his way. He is in full dressup so I intercept and ask him to leave-I am successful but it takes about 15 mins as I make a phonecall on his behalf and listen to him preach to me. Finally get back to my office to see the key guy. Work at desk for a bit. 11:30 and back into main church where the service is all over. Begin to stack chairs, and move some up from downstairs. We have to move all 430 chairs downstairs and then 190 different chairs back up plus some tables. But we cant move them down until after 2pm as there is an event on downstairs!! by 2pm all chairs are stacked and most of the church is vacuumed. Volunteers arrive but then the lift stops working!! Call the buildings manager who calls the engineer out. So we move all the chairs via the stairs-takes about 4o minutes. Spend all afternoon overseeing volunteers setting various things up and moving things about. The photocopier gets fixed, then the lift gets fixed too--have no idea if the plumber came and fixed the leak!! Finally the guests arrive--the church looks amazing by this stage- very cool lighting and candles everywhere! A live band and the long tables so well laid out. I try to enjoy the night but am very tired. The lift stops working again but manage to jiggle it and get it working. Clean up a large spill of berry coulis on the church carpet!! Sit and drink wine and just watch whats going on, then its all over and have to organise people and things again as we pack up. Have to be stroppy and tell Dimity and Grace they can't vacuum tonite and must go home. Most people leave and then I get a ride home with Rico who is taking Lucy and Kendra (event organisers) home. We are all so amped up we go clubbing on the way home (nah not really but we could have!!). Now its time for sleep as tomorrow we do it all again-well not quite but it will be another long fun day!!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

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IKEA virgin

My weekend hadn't been dull and yet Sunday morning came and with it a decision to really lift the weekend to new heights-a trip to IKEA! (Friday night was a great evening spent with 2nd cousins Rob and Lizzie Greenberg and Robs girlfriend Claire. We went to a Thai restuarant and then had great conversation till the early hours back at Rob and Claires flat. Saturday was touch rugby, watching Six Nations rugby and then to an African worship concert to raise money for 1 million Bibles for Ghanas youth. It was an interesting evening as there were only a handful of white people and so the singing and dancing was intense and invigorating!! Most importantly tho we learnt that less than half of the worlds languages have the written Bible. We must make Bible poverty history!!) So Dave Sinclair and I took the train to Stonebridge Park, then an IKEA shuttle bus to IKEA! I had heard much about IKEA and yes it was a large store! We followed the myriads of sheep thru the lines for the IKEA lunch (2.50 GBP) and then commandeered a trolley and proceeded around the well marked out line around the store. It is designed to make you go thru every part of the store in order to get out which sucked for us because we didnt realise there was a 2nd level which was mostly the stuff we wanted so we spent forever looking for stuff on the first level and were dissappointed not to find what we wanted and then found the 2nd level and by then had only 30 mins before we had to leave. We did leave on time to catch the shuttle just and all I had managed to buy was a 99p scented candle!! I'm sure I'll be back sometime but I still miss Wallmart and the Warehouse for those great bargains!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wings Nite!!

Tonight was wings nite. That meant meeting at the Maple Leaf Pub in Camden Garden with some other wings lovers and eating wings and chatting. Its a Canadian place that specialises in wings, and does hot wings named suicidals. They weren't that hot really tho but still good. An interesting point in the evening came after we had been given food we hadn't ordered but ate anyway and the manager came over and asked us to pay for the food. We argued a little saying the waitress had said it was for our table but he kept insisting he was being nice and we needed to pay for it. Helen (whom had stayed quiet througout) then spoke up and told the man it was his problem as they had made a mistake and he couldn't ask us to pay for it. He said "so are you telling me you are not going to pay for the food you just ate?" Helen replied "Absolutely!!" and at that he said fine and left us alone!! I was quite shocked that this seemingly normal English lass got so feisty, but then she informed me shes not really a normal English lass!! Was quite cool to see some spunk in an English girl!! Well done Helen!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Beach Volleyball in Brighton!

Today I journeyed to my father's birthplace to find my favourite sport Beach Volleyball. The Yellowave Centre had its 1st birthday and I plan to come back here often to coach and play. Was pretty windy and cold today tho--kinda like Wellington is on the NZ pro tour!
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