31 Mar 2014

Technology (part 2)

I recently spent a fantastic weekend at a cottage in the middle of nowhere with some lovely mates, a collection of books, CDs, wii dance, half a dozen chick flicks and enough food to feed twice as many of us that were there. It was perfect.

Aside from the lack of ability to contact anyone in the outside world.

The holiday cottage backed onto the house of the proprietor, who because of recent storms had temporarily lost her landline, which BT were in the process of fixing.

Between the 5 of us we were customers of 3 different network providers- none of which gave coverage at the house. (Everything Everywhere? Really EE? Have you ever been to Ingleton?)

The closest place to get a signal was over the ridge of a large hill about 2 miles away. We drove out there a couple of times to check on the whereabouts of the last friend to arrive, talk to our respective husbands and kids before bedtime and (me only) forward on half a dozen work related emails to my line manager / husband because I'm on holiday thank you very much I love you.

No internet.
No phone line.
No interruptions.
Just friends.
Eating and talking and laughing and being reminded about what made us friends in the first place.

This may sound idyllic to some, and for the most part it totally was, but I am practical and think about things like being able to alert the emergency services in the event of one of us waking at 3 in the morning with crushing chest pain, which given that more than half of us are now over the age of 40 is becoming more of a statistical possibility.

Thankfully this didn't happen and no such assistance was needed. But it did make me think how reliant I am on technology, how I am online a little more often than is probably healthy and the hypocrisy involved in trying to police my adolescent son's dependence on Minecraft when I don't cope too well without email over a long weekend.

WooWooWoo: When does security and sense of self become unhealthily linked to the presence of wifi? And is the answer to this in any way related to missing the sound of Siri's proper voice since the last upgrade?

Am testing this out by leaving the house today for 5 days WITHOUT my lap top. Like on purpose- I didn't just forget it.

I am not strong enough to do this cold turkey thing alone though, so am going with my husband and kids and 2 other families and their kids and my phone (with international calls, texts and data roaming for £4.99/day).

Baby steps.

17 Mar 2014


Have recently started this Bible in a year plan, as I've never read through the whole book before. I've attempted it on a few occasions but always got bogged down among bloody animals or a minor prophet.

Am really enjoying it this time. The readings are divided up into chunks from different sections so we hop around a bit. There's stuff in there that I'm reading for the very first time, things I vaguely remember from ages ago but have forgotten the details of, stories I am very familiar with and enjoy reading again and again and other things that confuse me so I end up googling them - like laws about compulsory side burns or avoiding sex during menstruation.

It's an eclectic book, really.

Anyway... from a few days ago:

Psalm 24:1-10
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

Clean hands and a pure heart.
Who can live like this?!
Really and honestly?
No one will be on their feet in God's presence.
NO one.
We'll all be hitting the deck.
Face down.
Completely humbled and overwhelmed in the proximity of holiness that hurts the eyes.

Will it be like the scene in Goldfinger where the plane flies overhead releasing nerve gas and all the soldiers below collapse to the ground as one?

Or the fainting goats - who don't actually faint but their muscles lock up when startled and they keel over and become temporarily paralysed.

I picture the whole of humanity collapsing like narcoleptics. All of us dropping like startled goats or poisoned soldiers.

Some intentionally- the ones who have loved Jesus on earth. Those who are excited and welcome his return. Sheep who know and love the shepherd.

There will be others though- who are hard of heart and refuse to acknowledge his authority- or maybe even any higher power beyond what our limited senses can know and touch and see. 

It doesn't matter- physiologically we are all the same: our muscles will seize in his presence and we will HAVE to fall to the ground and assume a position of worship anyway. Facedown, we will all look the same.

Oh dear God. Then you will separate the sheep who follow you willingly from the paralysed goats who are only bowing because their created muscles and tendons honour your presence even if the goats themselves don't.

This is sobering, frightening and thrilling all at the same time.

And makes me question all the time I waste blogging...

11 Mar 2014


When a group of friends get together for food, drink and jigsaw building, the conversation can become somewhat nonsensical- primarily due to the lack of consensus re vocabulary. 

I have tried googling the correct anatomical terms for commonly shaped jigsaw pieces but can't find any. So either there are none, or they do exist but are not shared outside some secret jigsaw builders society- you know like Freemasonary or Mormonism- but for jigsaws.