Tuesday, September 6


Long time no post.
However, I am alive!!
I have has a busy few weeks. I set out on a train to Liverpool Lime St station where I met up with my friend becky from Iona last year. I stayed a few days with her - we went into Chester in the rain and also into Liverpool to look around some museums. We even had a meal at the famous (well locally anyway) Mr Chow's Chinese restaraunt! We had the full banquet, it was great!
From there on Saturday I went back to my friend Jonathan's place to stay a night before Merseyfest began the next day. We went to church on Sunday and afterwards spent a while at 'the Bank' which is the village youth project - comfy place with a pool table, bar area, table tennis etc which is a drop in centre after school in the week and venue for other bits and pieces, all run by St Mary's Church. That night and the rest of the week was spent camping in Croxteth Park in Liverpool. The general format for each day was waking up (sometimes a struggle!) then a little Bible study with our group from the bank, then heading over to the 'big top' for some music and talks. There were some good bits. Then the 1800 of us there all headed out on buses to the train stations to get various places all over Liverpool for an afternoon of work of various sorts. Most of our group went to Upton - where their church is, along with some people who'd come from near London. Another 5 of us went to a nearby project in Bidston to help clear out some paths - with a lot of rubbish along them! On the Tuesday they said the needed a volunteer to go yet another different project as a 1 off from our already separated 5 - so as one of the 2 over 18s I went. I got to go a church where they were running an even for elderly people to raise awareness of bogus house callers - accompanied by an hour of English folk music, and then serving tea and coffee and cakes! It was quite fun really - and the hardest bit was staying awake through the music! Then some old lady was trying to set me up with the good looking policeman despite me protests!!
The week went really well and it was great to spend more time with my friend Jonathan and his friends doing things for God by doing practical work for people in their communities. We got a couple of keen kids who joined in and helped us pick up rubbish over the week and had fun chatting to them and other people passing by.

From there I went straight to the Lake District to lead on a camp in Windermere. There were a few leaders I remembered from last year as well as some new ones I got to know better as the week went on. There was much better weather than last year - ie wind and sun at the same time for most of the week which was amazing!! 1 afternoon and the next morning were rained out mid week but that provided a good opportunity to go into the village of Bowness, catch up on some sailing theory and have a very funny pub quiz! It was a great week - and even though I was teaching the beginner sailing group, I had a few good sails as well. I even got to wear the stunning shiny red shirt of shame when I went out sailing without a buoancy aid on!!! But hey... red suits me!!!!

As if I wasn't already exhausted, I no sooner left Sail and Surf (actually I left Friday night instead of Saturday) than I arrived a couple of trains later in Cheltenham for Greenbelt. Not really knowing what to expect, it was great. Jonathan picked me up from the station and we went back to the race course where the whole thing was held - basically its a big Christian festival with a mixture of arts and music and good festival vibe! We had a camp site about 15 minutes walk from everything. I had already organised to do some work there - so i had about 5 hours each day working in an internet cafe on site - serving drinks, charging phones as fast as we could and organising queues of people to use the internet. It was actually quite good fun - and got me a free ticket and some meal vouchers!!! Mostly there were bands I'd never heard of which were quite good, but we also saw a bit of the Proclaimers! They were actually quite good tho unfortunately i worked through most of it, but i could hear it through the door! Jonathan and I also went to a Taize service which was great - and really full. While I was there I recognised someone - it was Sue who was the leader of the group i sort of adopted at Iona last year! A nice co-incidence to see her (especially as she's now moved to Vancouver in the past week).

After Greenbelt, Jonathan, his friend Robin and I drove back to Liverpol the scenic way to avoid the motorway. It was a pleasant journey, although we added to it slightly with an accidental 15 mile detour when we turned south instead of north on the A49!! But hey... Since then I had a few days with Jonathan and his family in Liverpool, mostly catching up on sleep, but also it was Jonathan's 19th birhtday so he had a formal dinner with about 19 people! We also went to the Bank again where a crazy irish guy who'd been working there 3 years had his last day and got coated in water, flour, tomato sauce, chocolate sauce and mustard as a farewell... gesture!!

Now I'm back in Rushden. I had a rather too eventful trip yesterday - first the train parked for half an hour at no particular stop because a freight train broke down ahead of us, then I missed the next connection and the one after that was cancelled! Eventually the train company put the 25 or so of us wanting to go to Leicester all in taxis... so we arrived there and I got the next train to Wellingborough, arriving 20:40ish rather than 19:18 like I'd hoped - but it could have been worse!! And despite all that I'm planning to go back to see Jonathan in Liverpool in about 2 weeks time but that will be another story! In the mean time I'm beginning looking for work around Rushden, and there is a rememberance service for my great uncle David this Sunday.

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