God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Christmas has been great - lots of time spent with friends and family. I have just returned from a brief trip to visit my family in Norfolk and I have enjoyed looking around my home town seeing what has and hasn't changed.

Neil and I have spent some time thinking about the last year and I will probably post some more stuff soon. Just a couple of things before I forget, though... I really need to get cracking on my next essay and I am going to have a look at the way media influences life expectations of young people. I want to have a look at the impact of films, specifically films with a theme of redemption and hope. It would be cool if anyone could let me know any useful websites that review films from a Christian perspective... or any books that may be useful. One thing I want to look at is how immediate the media is and whether it gives us time to properly and theologically reflect on the things that we see. That is why I am particularly interested in websites as it is a much quicker way of publishing thoughts, ideas, reviews and reflections... any thoughts would be good.

One last thing - although we don't have children, me and Neil often talk about ways that we would parent our children if we were to have any and we were talking about how to deal with all of the stuff and presents that are accumulated at Christmas and whether it is helpful for children to be bombarded with so much all in one go. Although I don't want children to be surrounded by possessions, I like the idea of giving them experiences and creating memories and I wondered whether we could get people to buy vouchers or give money toward trips and events that could happen later in the year, so they don't get loads of stuff at once and get treats throughout the year. Just wanted to record the idea really, but any thoughts from others would be great....

Saturday, December 24, 2005


I had some cool stuff to write about drinks with the nieighbours, iceskating and hoards of other stuff but I have run out of time and it will all have to wait! All that is left to say is.. merry Christmas!

...and he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) May these words bring you light and life this Christmas xx

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A couple of links...

Thanks to Helen for the link to the JCB song. It brought a tear to my eye - not sure if this is normal... let's hope it is Christmas number one. 'I'm 5 years old and my dad's a giant sitting beside me... And we;re holding up the bypass Me and my dad having a top laugh'.

Also, should have mentioned this a while ago - Dave's Cartoon Advent Blog is great. I love it I love it I love it.

Update - oops - forgot to add the link. The Advent Blog is here

My weekend in websites

Me and Neil had a great weekend, and had a whole day and ahalf off! Woo hoo. We headed off to Brighton on Friday afternoon. I love it there as it is near the sea which is always pretty special and also has loads of inidividual bars and shops. Every time I go I find something new and my visits there are always much to brief. Anyway, we stayed at the Queens Hotel (excuse the dodgy music accompanying the website). This was a great hotle situated on the sea front. Our room was gorgeous and contemporary. We didn't have a sea view as such but I could see the pier from the window! The gym and pool were a little disappointing, but other than that, it was a great place to stay. Despite the fact that it has been booked up most evenings since appearing on TV, me and Neil manged to wander in and eat at Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack. I was very pleased as it is a great place to eat. The place is tiny but the music is great - apart from av dodgy R Kelly song. It says something about my life that I heard about this place not from the TV programme and Gordon Ramsay but from Sarah's blog! As they were so busy, the only item they were serving was Soul in a Bowl; the name just sounds great. It was basically American soul food tapas and we had loads of bowls of food giving us a taste of everything, including jambalaya, catfish goujons, the best macaroni cheese ever, sweet potatoes, fiery chicken wings and drum sticks... it is making hungry just thinking about it now. Seriously, if you get the chance, go there - the food was great!

We then headed off to the Dome Theatre to see Ben Elton. I know people have mixed opinions about him, but me and Neil found him v funny. I thought a couple of his jokes were fairly tired, but much of what he said was thought provoking and brilliantly presented. One of the things he said was that people believe everything and trust nothing, which was quite interesting. He had a stab at fundamentalists but also questioned individualism and focus on the self, allowing them to beleive whet ever they want without thinking things through. He also attacked Trinny and Susannah and Sharon Osbourne, which although quite funny, I thought he went a little too far. The Dome Theatre was a beautiful venue and was only refurbed a couple of years back. Coupled with having great seats, this made the night even better.

We finished off the night with a couple of drinks at the Greene Room. The following morning, we spent some time with an old friend of Neil's and I got over excited in Fopp while only buying one Christmas present and nothing for myself. Quite restrained, I feel....

Our coastal tour then continued as we headed back around the M25 to Southend, as Neil's aunt and uncle were getting married. This was a lovely evening and a great chance to chat to family. However, the DJ was surely the worst DJ in the world - seriously, he was awful. He played most tracks 3 times and talked over all of the good ones. It all added to the fun, though.

I was leading the gift and carol service the following morning, so headed back to Enfield Saturday night. The service was lovely and it was great to see so many of the children involved and excited. An incredible woman in the church had made a giant picture of the nativity with parts of the picture missing. The missing pieces were shaped as bells, lanterns, presents etc and hidden around the church. As the morning progressed and different parts of the story were told by different groups of children and young people, the different parts of the puzzle were added to the picture. The concept really worked and there was good feedback afterwards. The best comment I heard was that someone said that the whole thing felt like worship - sometimes it is hard to get this feeling when so many people are involved. It was a lovely day.

The 'weekend' finished last night with a curry that I cooked for Mark and Marie. We had a great time chatting and discussing. We love having people round and are always pleased when someone says 'is that really the time?'... lovely.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Money Matters

We were looking tonight at one of the groups at the Rich Young Ruler and we talked a lot about money and consumerism and why as a nation we buy so much and get into som much debt. Good, up to date stats in the subject of money and debt can be found on Credit Action's website. You can sign up for monthly updates... I found it really helpful to discuss stuff off the back of some of these stats... worth keeping an eye on.

Swimming Pool Dilemma

I dunno, you wait ages for a post and then 3 come at once...

Been meaning to write this one for a while. I am a member at David Lloyd, a very lovely gym just round the corner. I use it a lot and love the clasees that I go to. It is fairly expensive and therefore quite exclusive but really nice. One of the great things about it is that it has an outdoor pool which is open all year round. One of my favourite ways to relax is to swim in the dark outside with the steam rising from the tastefully lighted pool... and herein lies the dilemma. I am really trying to live ethically and not waste the resources God has provided for us. I am trying to become a more energy efficient person and tread lightly on the earth. So, how does swimming in an outdoor pool in Britain in December fit with this? It must cost a bomb to heat that pool and is such a waste of energy. So, what should I do? Stop swimming outside in winter? Request that they make it more energy efficient? Give up my membership at the posh exclusive gym, use my bike more and give the membership fee to charity? Or just enjoy the experience and stop thinking so much? Seriously, comments would be appreciated as I am in a quandry about this. Although I do really like it there...

New Music

After getting my new stereo, I have been thinking a lot about music recently. A few months ago, I wrote about Athlete and Nostalgia and I commented that I don't have the time or inclination to listen to music in the way that I used to. Well, I reckon that as I work from home, I actually do get a chance to listen to a fair bit of music and I also am keen to listen to some of the more interesting stuff that is out there. When I was waitressing as a student, I would sometimes go and buy a CD if I had got good tips that day and would sometimes buy stuff that I wasn't sure of just to find out about new groups. This often worked out well, cos I came across some great artists like Rae and Christian and Bent. Lately, though, as I don't buy so much, tend to go for safer options and I miss out on some of the more interesting new music out there. I don't want to start buying loads more music as it is all just more stuff and possessions, but I want to make sure that when I buy albums, they are diverse and well, interesting, really. As it was my birthday recently, I have got a plethora of CDs! Here's what I am currently listening to (or will do when they arrive from CD-Wow!

DJ Shadow - The Private Press. I have been a fan of Josh Davis and I have got the essential album Endtroducing, as well as his collaborative stuff with UNKLE and Quannum Spectrum. And a cool compilation of funk tracks called Funk Spectrum. However, I have only just got this album from 2002 and after a few listens, I do like it, although there is an acid- inspired track that I am not totally convinced by. It is good though. Thanks Dave and Sally...
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun. I feel cool just saying that I have this album - it is their first and best, apparently. The first listen has been good but I definitely think it needs a little more attention to fully appreciate its genius. Thanks Lewis and Jo
John Legend -Get Lifted. This is still on order, but is meant to be fantastic. I love the song Ordinary People.
Magic Numbers - Magic Numbers. Yeah - this is a bit of a chance buy as I have hear d a couple of tracks that I liked but don't really know much about them. Will have to wait and see as this hasn't arrived yet...

So, a few CDs to listen to and with Christmas just round the corner, who knows what else may turn up? Considering my indie/skinny white boys with guitars bias, does anyone have suggestions for good albums from 2005??

The Christmas Mystery

Well... I have finished my essay - hoorah! One of the comments after I sent it to my tutor was that my writing style was quite verbose... moi?... never!

Anyway, the completion of my essay is allowing me to get into the Christmas spirit. In a fortnight's time, my day will be full of iceskating, film watching, Schloer drinking and dressing up posh for dinner all in the name of my job! Aaaah there are times when I really love my job! we are buying our Christmas tree on Tuesday and Sunday morning is the gift and carol service, where each of the Sunday morning children and youth groups present a part of the Christmas story. I am planning to do something on the theme of Christingle at the midweek groups next week - thanks for the tip Lewis Christmas is here - yay!

One of the things that gets me into the Christmas spirit is reading a rather lovely book by Jostein Gaarder called the Christmas Mystery. It is a story about a boy and his advent calendar and is a truly lovely account of Christmas and the affect of Jesus' birth through the ages. I am a great fan of Jostein Gaarder and this is really a children's book but is great for adults as well. If you don't read it this year, get hold of a copy for advent next year...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Aaahh... Happy Birthday!

Well, I had a great birthday weekend and am now v happy to be one year older. I had a lovely lunch with Neil on Friday, followed by a party in the evening. I was a tad disappointed that some people couldn't make it but it turned out to be a really good evening, with a steady flow of people coming and going. The last guest arrived at 1.15am approx, which was cool. Neil bought me a lovely stereo for our bedroom, which is ace as 3 of our CD players have broken in the last couple of months. How many CD players do we have, you may well ask...

Of course, birthdays aren't just about the presents but I did get some fantastic fluffy slippers, which absolutely rock. (Note to self - much too old to use words like 'rock' - just read Youthblog's post about overusing the word cool...) This reminds me of yesterday cos it was my nephew Adam's bday party. It was hilarious as he was so honest about his presents. Theer were a couple that he really liked and as soon as he opened all the others, he kept asking and looking at the ones he liked. It was quite humbling as our art box really didn't compete with the Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lego - I admired him for his honesty actually!

On Sat, I had lunch with some people from uni and I have worked out that it was 2 years since I saw people last. Shocking - sorry everyone! But it was great to see people and have a good chat. The youth club was excellent on Sat, loads of people and a good atmosphere. The weekend was finished off with going out for a drink with some friends after church last night, including an ill timed trip to Pizza Express. All in all, a lovely birthday weekend. Just need to finish the essay now...