Tuesday, January 31, 2006

tuesday over

The event went really well. Loads of people turned up, we had to turn a few away. The speaker was great, the food was OK and there was just about enough of it, although more wouldn't have hurt.

And I've just finished my essay. Going home now, I'm very hungry.

Monday, January 30, 2006

maybe it's just mondays I don't like

I would happily run back to bed right now, but I'm at work and there are things to do.

Quick post and then I'll be good.

I did go and see Narnia on Saturday (on my own, which I rather like) and I liked it a lot. Yes, there were lots of little changes from the book, but that's what happens when you make a film. Books and films are different animals. The scene leading up to Aslan's death got as near to making me cry as anything ever does. (Unlike my mother who cries at ANYTHING vaguely sad, I never cry at films. Books very occasionally.) There's one line "But let him first be shaved!" that always makes me squirm with horror and sadness at the humiliation of it.

Tilda Swinton's Jadis is a huge improvement on the pantomime villain of the BBC version (although I really don't understand why she wears such oddly shaped dresses. In one she looks positively deformed.) There's something very chilling about her offhand nastiness and the way she changes abruptly from soft-voiced flattery to anger.

I have an essay to write, which is at least half done. More than that if you're counting words, but it needs some pummelling into shape.

Tomorrow is the first work event for which I'm partly responsible. I think I've checked everything which can be checked. The one thing I can't check is how many people are going to turn up. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

escape to Narnia

narnia, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I'm posting this photo because I'm fed up with Monday's slightly self-pitying post still being at the top when mostly I'm OK really. And as a reminder to myself that I STILL haven't been to see the Narnia film. I'm supposed to be going with Debbie at some point, but since she's gone home to be ill, that might not happen.

Monday, January 23, 2006

not a good day

Today has not been a good day and I can't really put my finger on a reason why. I have things to do, but I'm not really getting anywhere with them. My first actual event is in a week and a day. I don't seem to be doing anything towards making it happen. I probably should. I've sent out lots of posters, so presumably some people will see them and come. The room is booked, the food is probably booked. Perhaps I should look into this a bit more.

I think I'm missing a sense of purpose. I turn up at work not really have much sense of my goals for the day, the week, the next few weeks. This is partly because everything is so new. I need to do some planning.

This is turning into a really boring post isn't it. Sorry, just me working stuff out by writing it down. It sometimes helps.

Anything exciting happen this weekend? I went shopping, bought a suitcase, a grey jumper (I can't quite believe I managed to buy something that isn't pink red or purple. Still, it is for work.) some CDs (Franz Ferdinand, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, haven't listened to them yet). Saturday night was a Burns Night concert in Debbie's village, which was fun, very silly but well-sung.

Sunday was church, lunch at a work colleague's house and lots of knitting. I spent the coffee time after church talking to lots of students, which was lovely, but did make me feel old. (That's City Church btw. In the end I decided it felt like home and since I don't really want to go back to being an Anglican, there wasn't anywhere else I fancied going, so I'll stick with it) I don't yet seem to have met anyone of my age bracket yet, i.e. post-student, working, single. Early days. Church never seems long enough to get to know people. There's no general gathering of people to go off to lunch somewhere. I am not patient. I want everything to happen right now, but friendships take time and effort. Time to start inviting people over to lunch. It would be good to have a reason to cook properly. I don't often seem to have time, especially not in the week, and this weekend I got cooked for on Saturday and Sunday, so didn't really get chance to cook anything interesting.

Shall I bike home or get the bus? It was very cold on my way in, which is probably a good reason to bike. Cycling is cold, but standing at the bus stop is colder.

There you go, some of the contents of my brain at this moment. Is it too boring? Will anyone comment? Go on, say hello.

Friday, January 20, 2006

lost in the city

Apparently, a whale was seen swimming through London today. Poor thing, it must have been very lost.

the long clay noses

It's nearly the end of week three of my new job. This week has been a busy one, both in and outside work. I've done lots of things for the first time - met up with other knitters, been to a new choir, been to a new church small group, put an advert in a major science journal, cycled along 60mph roads (I wasn't going that fast, obviously).

I'm tired, but happy with how things are going. I'm not what you'd call settled, I still get lonely and am only just starting to make some friends. I hope as days turn into weeks turn into months, Cambridge will become home.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I went to a practice of the choir in the village for the first time last night. It was brilliant! I haven't sung in a decent choir in ages, not really since my chapel choir is Oxford. There have been choirs since then, but not very taxing ones. This feels like a proper choir that will stretch my singing. We're doing parts 2 and 3 of Handel's Messiah for a concert at the end of March. The first thing we sang last night was the Hallelujah chorus, which I've sung before, it's the bit everyone knows really and then the rehearsal zipped along through lots of unfamiliar sections. Loads of high fast semi-quavers to learn. Hooray! I'm hoping it'll literally strecth my range and I'll get my high notes back. I can't do really stratospheric, but I used to be able to get a high A fairly reliably, maybe a Bflat on a good day. Without practice, I've got rusty.

Cycling home last night, I realised how much I like living within cycling distance of so many things. I can cycle to work, into town, to choir practice, to the Co-op and a mini Tescos. Cycling to church is a little bit beyond me. Actually, I just looked it up and it's only 4.4 miles, so might be do-able soon, although some of those roads are pretty big and scary. Yay for villages and yay for Cambridge and its cycle lanes!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Read some Byron, Shelley and Keats

Actually just some Byron, but some lyrics stick in your head. No prizes for identifying it, just the glory.


I have been reading Byron, the 1st Canto of Don Juan to be precise and it's very, very funny. Although only the dedication and 1st Canto are set texts for my course, I think I might have to read the rest too. Byron's world-weary narrator is pretty cynical, though on the whole not cruel. The way it's written is brilliant. The tone is so fresh and conversational, yet the rhymes are obviously carefully chosen. This stanza from Canto 1 (a description of Juan's mother, Donna Inez) made me laugh out loud with its audacity.

Her favourite science was the mathematical,
Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity,
Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was Attic all,
Her serious sayings darken'd to sublimity;
In short, in all things she was fairly what I call
A prodigy -- her morning dress was dimity,
Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin,
And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling.

So, to all (Well maybe not quite all, it's also quite rude.) I say, go and read some Byron. It'll make you laugh.

Or alternatively, go and read Tristram Shandy. My course notes draw a comparison between the two since both constantly wander away from the narrative on digressions. I'm looking forward to Michael Winterbottom's film, A Cock and Bull Story which comes out this week. There was a review on Front Row last night and it sounds fun, if you can put up with Steve Coogan. The only worry I have is that it'll just be Coogan doing the same sort of unreliable narrator thing he did in 24 Party People (same director, lots of the same actors too). But to make a film from an unfilmable book is an achievement and worth a look if, like me, you love the book in question.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Windhover

The first lines of this have been buzzing around in my head for a few days, so I had to look up the rest. It's an amazing poem, absolutely breath-taking.

The Windhover
To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, - the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous. O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thursday, January 12, 2006

blue sky thinking

wall, sea, sky, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I'm feeling tired.

Yesterday I came into work and then felt so awful I went home again. I slept for a while and then lay in bed and looked at the sky. When lying in bed, all I can see through the bedroom window is sky. The day had begun cloudy, but by the time I woke up for the second time, it was sunny and bright. I felt energised after my sleep and took my bike out for a while, to get myself used to the idea. The sun shone, the sky was blue.

Today I'm in work again and feeling tired and a little floaty. The sky is blue again, pale winter blue. Blue with possibility, bright with warmth in the sun.

Why is blue hope and despair? Blue is freshness, daylight. Blue is cold water. Blue is depression. Blue is cornflowers. Blue is frostbite. Blue is the sea. Blue is loneliness. Blue is bridal. Blue is sky.

I'm tired. I'm lonely, a little. I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

who are you?

Various people have been declaring this National De-Lurking week, so I shall join them. It's been very quiet here and I want to know who's reading this blog. Leave a comment, say hello and maybe if you ask me a question, I'll answer it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

church hunting

Cambridge, it seems, is blessed with many brilliant churches. The problem? How to decide where to go. My obvious choice is City Church. It's where my sister goes, it's a New Frontiers church, it's full of families and students and older people and single people, it's a lot like Jubilee in lots of ways, but obviously different, being in a different area and having its own building. I'd be happy to go there. I just don't want to feel I haven't give anywhere else a chance. I want to get involved in a church and start making new friends, but I want to make sure it's the right place.

I've been looking at church websites to get a few ideas of other places I could go. I wouldn't chose a church on the basis of their website alone, but it does give you a feel for their style and often there's a good statement of the vision of the church. Trouble is, I think I'm finding reasons not to go places, rather than looking for places to go. For instance, one church has cell groups that are only made up of one sort of person, eg women's cells, couples' cells. I'd rather be somewhere that has a mixture of people in cell groups. True, I have been leading a group that was mainly geared to the 18-30ish (very ish in some cases) age group, but even within that there were men and women, single people and couples, students and workers. Other places I didn't like the sound of their worship style, too old-fashioned or too slick.

But then, firstly as I've already said, a webpage is not a good basis for choosing a church. Secondly, I need to visit some places and see what they're like. Thirdly, I need to pray about it and ask God to guide me to the right church.

Anyone got any tips on church-hunting?

pig wot flies' moving day

On Saturday I moved into my new abode. It's lovely. I hadn't seen the room properly before I moved in since last time I saw it, it had no furniture and the walls and ceiling were dark blue. Now it's a beautiful shade of lavender and has furniture, including a big metal frame double bed. Luxury! I'm getting on well with my landlady (the word doesn't go with the person, but I suppose if I'm her lodger, she must be my landlady) and I don't think it'll be long before it feels like home. It just needs a radio in the kitchen so I can cook and listen to Radio 4!

There are still things I need to bring from home, not least my bike lights which seem to have disappeared. I'm planning to cycle to work, but without lights, that's not going to happen. I drove in this morning, which I never want to do again. I don't mind sitting in a traffic jam on a bus because I can do something else like knit or read, but sitting in a car in a traffic jam, even with the Today programme for company, is not my idea of fun. I'll try the bus tomorrow. Hopefully my lights will turn up next weekend. I'm planning to do another raid home on Saturday to pick up a few last bits and tidy up the mess I left behind me.

Saturday was also my one year blogoversary. Yes, I've been at this blogging lark for a year now. I started rather slowly. January 2005 doesn't have many posts, but I like to think I've improved since then, in frequency and I hope in quality.

I've been trying to work out how to blog about work. I've come to the conclusion I don't want to mention where I work by name, but I am excited about it. People who know me in real life know where I work, obviously. I think I'll have to see how it goes. I certainly won't be naming my place of work, or naming people who work there, but I suspect there might be things that happen here that I want to blog about. We'll see. So far, it's good. The people I work with are friendly, the job is exciting, if a little daunting at times and I'm settling in gradually.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

another newbie

I've just discovered Adrian's been spawning blog-children again. Dave Routledge has a blog. It's small so far, but I expect it will grow and hopefully he'll post some more of his brilliant photos too.

There are now several bloggers from Jubilee church. How exciting! But so far the boys are outnumbering the girls, as they seem to in the wider blogosphere. Why is that? Come on girls, you've got things to say too!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

day one

Bother. Wrote a long post and then lost it because I couldn't spell temporarily. You can take that sentence either way.

My more observant readers will be noticed that my location is now Cambridge. I started my new job today, it's great. Lovely people. Office is gradually getting unpacked and set up. No email or internet yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Over the weekend I went to Wales to see la famille Perkins, Nathan, Nayf and Sian. HP came too and a good time was had by all except Turk, who broke down on the way there and the way home. He's currently in a garage being fixed. I hope he'll be well again soon so I can bring him to Cambridge.

I'm temporarily (is that spelt right? I really can't tell.) living with Debs and moving into my new abode on Saturday. I think it might a few weeks to move completely since there's lots to move.

I am very tired, so I'm going to have a bath and go to bed very soon. A belated Happy New Year!