Saturday, 31 March 2012

A Little Perfection

Picture this, twenty people gathered around two burning fires, silently watching the girl with a guitar singing her heart out. Cold beer, mixed with a little lime sits in hand, and someone leans their head on a friends shoulder. The fires spit embers and smoke into the air and everyone shares that wistful moment, wondering if things could ever get more beautiful.

Harrow is a long way from where I live, it involves a ridiculous tube journey, and as we discovered this evening some running if you ever want to return from the outback that is zone five.

Despite this however, I have just enjoyed one of the best evenings possible. Some friends of mine live out that way, and the guys invited us over for a BBQ evening, with fire pits, huge amounts of food, and a whole lot of music and chat. It was the perfect start to the Easter holidays, for today I finished all of my lectures and seminars for first year. That's right, I seem to have survived.

It's time for this content child to head to bed, ready for an adventure with some friends tomorrow involving the Natural History Museum and a French Cafe.

Oh gosh, I love the blessings of my life.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Essay Procrastination

I love this song a lot a lot. Ben Howard, Bones.

Oh go, far from this small town bar we know
Yeah go, frolic in the lights that brought you here
So very long

And hold, hold your lips so tightly
That the shadows may go
Cause I know, I know, I know I know
You can never be alone
Cause it's just the bones you're made of

And you laugh like you've never been lonely
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you laugh like there's hope in the story
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you laugh like I'll be there to hold you always
Always here
I'm always here, always here

And go silent as death on the first day of the snow
Oh go leave these fires burning
A house of embers and coal
And cover cover all those boys that search for love
In your room
Cause lust is just a child's game
And you, oh you were always late to bloom

And you laugh like you've never been lonely
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you laugh like there's hope in the story
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you laugh like I'll be there to hold you always
Always here
Always honey, always here

And you love like you've always been lonely
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you love him with all of your body
That's alright honey
That's alright with me
Oh you love him like he'll be there for always
Always honey yeah, always near
Always honey, always near
Always honey, always near

Oh go far from this small town bar we know
Oh go, leave me with this burning soul
Out here in the cold
Cause it's just the bones you're made of

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Weddings by the Sea

This weekend I ventured back to the coast to see two friends from home get married. As you might've noticed if you're a Brit, the sun has been doing some serious shining the past few days and Saturday was no exception. Considering it's still March, it was an incredibly beautiful day, full of glossy photos and bare legs. (Yeah that's right, I braved no tights for the first time this year!)

Dave and Karen (the wedded couple) have been dating for what feels like an absolute age, and their wedding day had a real sense of expectation, as we all pondered where they'd come from and what God has in store for them ahead. It was a beautiful day, Karen really did look radiant and I'm fairly sure the beam on her face must've given her jaw ache. They'd thought of so much, with pots of bubbles in the church under chairs, and cute favours with quotes upon the reception tables. 
Here's a few photos of all the excitement!

The evening reception was a masquerade ball with a big swing band which left plenty of us dancing around like crazy people. There is a small possibility this was sugar inspired madness after the billion puddings that were displayed for the buffet began to be gobbled by hordes of guests. Still, who doesn't love an excuse to boogie!

The weekend also meant the opportunity to catch up with some of my best friends, and the family. I've been moved into the cupboard room so I'm tempted to take up Harry Potter as a nickname. I arrived back home on Friday night to discover a giant box of books taking up the only available floor space, and decided I was not okay with the new arrangements. Still, it was very lovely to see everyone, and I was somewhat disappointed to have to come back to Uni for another week; it felt about time for a holiday.

Sunday I went to church, and then had a family shindig on the cliff-tops, swapping copious birthday presents and  mother's day cards (I having managed to miss every recent family celebration of any kind!). Afterwards we took a stroll along the beach, soaking up the early evening rays before returning home for some salad, wine, and a bit of TV. 

I arrived back in London around lunchtime and spent the day catching up with friends and going to a double-length seminar. All things considered, it's been a rather good day. Unfortunately my intention of reading lots of Shakespeare, planning and assignment and being asleep by midnight has most definitely failed.

So on that note, it's time to say good night, and sweet dreams.

Lots of love, the newly named Harry.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Primroses and Picnics

The first picnic of the year! Today it was gloriously sunny, and London was lit up with summer glow. So, armed with the works of Shakespeare, several bags of food and a blanket, I headed to Primrose Hill with some friends for a bit of a 'working lunch'.

We've got a deadline looming so we didn't feel we could take the entire day off of work, and yet carrying the entire 4,000 page anthology of Shakespeare to north London was perhaps a little unnecessary as we instead spent our time eating, taking photos and rolling Babybels down the hill as in the advert.. Ba, ba, ba, baaa, babybel!

Another day of enjoying the city, and another reason I am so sad I'm not here through summer. I'm not saying life is perfect in London, but there is something about catching a glimpse of how huge and beautiful the capitol is that just makes me want to run around and enjoy it all. 

For now, I'll make do with photos such as this one, to keep me entertained.

And so it is time for bed for me. One of the bessies and I are shopping tomorrow as she's in London. I desperately need to get hold of a dress for a wedding on Saturday! Oh golly. Anyway, rest calls.

Good night chickens :)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Breakthrough and Everything

It's been a packed weekend, the first in a while.

Yesterday, church ran a conference called Everything, looking at how God wants to be involved in every sphere of life, from education, to sport, to art, to media and politics. It was an amazing day, I acquired a bright pink t.shirt, free lunch and a couple of lanyards. More important though was the wisdom that oozed from the speakers and the inspiration and vision for what the future could look like if we all worked together for the global good. 

The day left me knackered though, and with a head full of a billion thoughts, so it was good to get an early night, and spend this morning chilling in bed with my battered yet loved copy of The Hobbit. I often find that my thoughts don't make much sense, or there are too many of them to be able to form them into anything coherent. Reading things helps to quieten the racket that the ideas are making, and give me the peace to begin writing and attempting to deal with them. Sounds ridiculous but it seems to work. Anyway, by the time I got to church this afternoon I was feeling sort of frustrated and irritated for no real reason, just because I was confused.

I found myself grinding my teeth a little, and then, well God showed up. Now, it's not always like this, those moments of release where you're reminded so strongly that He's with you, that He knows everything and holds everything in hand and He won't let go of the desires He's put with in you. But, today it was. Today He just told me. And showed me. And was just with me, and it was amazing. No other words for it. 

And so this weekend saw a little of everything, and a little of breakthrough. It doesn't mean my situation has changed but it does mean my outlook has. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 declares these incredible truths...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

And so this is what my week is beginning with, the promises that God wants to be involved in everything and He'll absolutely, most definitely, accomplish his purposes. That's a pretty great foundation for things if you ask me. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012


The past few days a friend's been staying, which, amongst lectures, Uni stuff and the usual habits of my week, has led to a fairly busy couple of days. We've been out most nights and with someone crashing in your flat there's not much time to be alone, or to chill.

Saying that, it was totally worth it. We had a fantastic last day together yesterday, going to Rules Restaurant and then shopping in Covent Garden. It was one of those days that you'll be telling stories about for years to come. Probably because I don't think I could ever afford to eat in that place again. It was incredible. I found myself at midday drinking a cocktail made of green tea liquor, and eating a starter of crab, followed by the best beef I have ever had the pleasure to look at let alone put in my mouth. 

The restaurant had that old school English charm. I'm talking red velvet chairs, dark wood, whisky cabinets and a fireplace. There were antlers on the walls and hundreds of paintings and satirical cartoons filling any available space. I felt I needed to be in possession of a top hat, or at least a pair of shoes that didn't come from Primark.
Amongst a restaurant packed with rich businessman, it was hard not to feel like an outsider but the whole thing was such a treat, with the most incredible food and service. It was fun to pretend to be sophisticated. The fact we took photos of our cocktails though somewhat proved we weren't really meant for the world of high-class dining.

Following dinner we wandered about Covent Garden market, poking in the shops, enjoying the beauties of some classical music and soaking up the sunshine. We discovered a few fantastic little shops full of decorative hearts and roses, bird cages and cupcake tins...all in all I could've happily spent more time wandering about but a trip to Sainsburys to prepare for the Alpha course I'm running was in order.

After my monstrous lunch I wasn't so in need of dinner but the rest of the Alpha course guests needed to be fed and watered. The benefit of this was visiting Whitechapel market and picking up some tulips for a £1! I've put them in a mug that we collected from a bar on Monday night. I think they look pretty cool.

Anyway, enough rambling. I've had just four hours sleep and need to read The Tempest today. I've got cravings for Trafalgar Square so I'm thinking I'm going to take my Shakespeare beast of a book and hit Central London.

Happy Sunshiney Day Amigos!


Monday, 12 March 2012

Derrida, Creepham and Cherry Blossom

It's late Sunday night and therefore perfect time to blog away the general things I've done this weekend.

First though, I was rather surprised by some of the reading I've been given for lectures tomorrow. I'm used to some weird stuff, it is English Literature after all, but this just leapt out at me. Now I don't know the rest of the paper, but the extract we've been given from Derrida's Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness is just jaw-droppingly good.

"Forgiveness forgives only the unforgivable"

I'm often struck by the enigma that is forgiveness. As a Christian it's pretty core to who I am and all that I believe, and whilst I've grasped the concept, so often the depth of it eludes me. Derrida's words hit home though. When Christians talk about being forgiven by Jesus, it's not to say that all of our rubbish, our sin, has been swept under the rug because He's a pretty nice guy. Quite the opposite. In fact, Jesus has chosen to forgive the unforgivable. That which is repulsive, disgusting, vile, and offensive has been dealt with on the cross and I don't face judgement for any of it. Forgiveness changes everything. And, when it comes to me forgiving others, it's not brushing things under the carpet either, it's knowing that they've done the unforgivable. That it is awful or cruel. But also that it is possible to choose to forgive. Wow. 

So, that little nugget of gold was a nice surprise in otherwise dull Uni work. Still, it's been a great weekend. Nellie, my American friend is here, so we had a great time catching up and shopping yesterday. I managed to get to this incredible jumble sale down Mile End Road yesterday, where I picked up a huge pile of vintage clothes.

I must confess I have that fear that I'm never going to wear it, but it only cost me £10 for 8 or 9 things so it's not the end of the world. A belt and some confidence might make them into miraculously cool outfits. Well, one can hope. 

Last night we went out for drinks and dancing in Clapham, which is a fair trek from our neck of the woods. It was a weird group of people but as we eventually found an O'Neill's with a live band playing, we managed to have a great night moving and shaking to some 90s classics. Quite ridiculous but very fun. There were creepy guys in abundance however, which led to some great photos such as this one, and renaming Clapham, Creepham. Excellent. 

Today I went to church and had dinner with loads of friends after which was great. A friend that works in Whittards bought me TEA which was very exciting. It's cherry blossom yummy stuff and smells like cherry sweets. I've yet to make any so that's a job for tomorrow.

On that note it's time for me to sleep. We're out in Shoreditch tomorrow evening and so it's about time I got a bit of rest.

So, in honour of the american with the crazy drawl, g'night y'aaaaall!

Love and such xo

Saturday, 10 March 2012


So, as you may have noticed, I've been a little absent. 

I turned to the dark side and investigated Tumblr for a while and whilst I rather like the hipster photos and quotes, it doesn't involve much skill or actual writing. SO, I'm back. I miss having a public place to ramble and keep things in order (or attempt to order the collage of madness that is my head!)

The past few months have literally whizzed by. I now have just three weeks left of teaching for my first year at uni and this is seriously scary pyjamas. Being in London is incredible and feels so utterly right but every so often I have pangs of homesickness for the countryside and the sea air and the sight of stars in the night sky instead of the flash of blue ambulances that defines life in East London.

It's been a while since I've seen my home friends, and I miss them lots. There's just something about being around people that know you inside out. Years doesn't quite compare to the months of London friendships. Saying that, friends came over tonight and we chilled and drank wine and ate cake and it was SO very very lovely just to lounge around together. I know I'm in halls and I know some of it's grotty but it's also home and I love it.

It's super late and I need to go to bed but the beautiful tones of Justin Vernon are charming me into babbling a little more. Currently my american friend Nellie is in the air, on her way to England. I've not seen her since before Christmas when she went back to the USA and although she's only here for a couple of days, I can't wait to hang out. I think we're going to a big vintage jumble sale tomorrow and maybe some other shopping.

But yes, life is good, I apologise for not filling your reading lists with the posts of Miss Rambles but she's back and loving the writing. 

Much love kiddies