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summer fun August 30, 2010

Posted by Andy in Family.
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August draws to its close and the new school term is almost upon us. It’s been a good summer despite the drab greyness that has been pierced far too infrequently with sunshine. Here are some high points from the last month or so:

1. completing the 351 mile Bar Yar cycle challenge with Ste. Photos here. We have raised about £2,500!

2. Showstoppers Holiday club for primary age children at church.

3. Fortnightly book group discussing aspects of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. A reminder of the importance of fellowship and discipleship in any Christian community.  

4. Quality time with our families including visits to Harrogate &  Bracknell.

5. camping expedition to Bellingham in Northumberland. Visits to Alnwick, Embleton, Jedburgh, Hexham, Newcastle, Durham amongst others. Long live the North East!

6. summer reading has included Tim Severin’s The Brendan Voyage in honour of the Irish monk St Brendan who lived about 1,500 years ago and was quite possibly amongst the first Celtic Christian missionaries to cross the Atlantic to Newfoundland. Another fascinating book I read was The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, written by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Following a stroke in mid-1990s he suffered ‘lock-in syndrome’ meaning he was only able to communicate to the outside world by blinking his left eyelid. The book is a testimony to the power of the human mind, its memory, imagination and depth despite the limitations it is bound by. Shona and I also watched the film version which does not disappoint and is equally stunning for its simplicity and profundity. It is a clever retelling of how Bauby’s condition would have affected him, all the better with it coming from his unique perspective. Rather bias I know but in my opinion the film is right up there with the best I’ve ever seen, perhaps because it also contains the U2 song ‘Ultraviolet’ in its soundtrack! Does it get any better than that?!

7. oh and before I forget, how could I not include watching Emilia take those first few pedals on her bicycle without her stabilisers! Maybe she will be doing coast to coast cycle rides before long?

3 points ahead of EVERYONE! August 6, 2010

Posted by Andy in Uncategorized.
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What better way to welcome the start of a week’s holiday than to watch my beloved Watford FC in the opening Championship fixture of the new season, thanks to Sky Sports. This season the league looks wide open for the taking and although I doubt we’ll be mounting a serious challenge it’s still good to say after our first game that “We’re top of the league!” It might only be for another 18 hours but still “We’re top of the league!” due to the fact the game was played the day before all the other games. We deserved our victory over Norwich and put on a solid, attractive display in front of the TV cameras. Last season Emilia joined Uncle Steve and I for her first taste of live football when we drew 1-1 at home to Doncaster Rovers. A year on and she can still remember the opposition and the result! Let’s hope this season is altogether less of a relegation battle. Next up it’s Coventry, whose new boss Aidy Boothroyd will certainly add some spice to the game. But for now all I can say is “We’re top of the league!”