Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Vote for Katie

My younger daughter, Katie, is a keen traveller and photographer. She’s entered a competition that brings the two together and would love it if you watched her video and voted for her. It’s all at: http://www.worldtravellerintern.co.uk/member/katie-wright/

If you have a spare couple of minutes please take a look and vote as well. If several people need to vote from a shared computer you can do that in Internet Explorer by pressing Ctrl + Shift + P to start an “InPrivate” browsing session. In Google Chrome press Ctrl + Shift + N to start an “Incognito” session.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Eddie Izzard

I watched part of a TV program about Eddie Izzard’s 43 marathon’s in 51 days (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8256589.stm).

He ran over 1,100 miles.

And he’s 47 … and not an athlete.

Eddie is a transvestite but didn’t run in heels.

Wow though … he did great!

Physics, Chemistry, Cosmetics, Doctrine and Cats

A few weeks ago I watched part of a TV program about the solar system.

A very enthusiastic young man used nothing but an umbrella, a tin can full of water and a thermometer to work out how much energy is generated by the sun.

Being able to do this was why he loved physics.

Of course, he also needed to get to Death Valley, know how far it was from the sun to the Earth, know how to work out the surface area of a sphere, know that the Earth rotates around the sun, be able … and so on and on and on.

I always preferred chemistry.

Once upon a time I did a teacher training course and spent a while teaching a class of 13 and 14 year olds all about cosmetics. It was … shall we say … challenging.

I also taught Religious Education for a while. A similar age group studying the Apostles Creed. I’d mad the pint that it was all about doctrine. Towards the end of the lesson I thought I’d better check on their understanding.

“Can you tell me what is meant by the word doctrine?”

A boy raises his hand.

“Is it what you do to cats?”

He is serious. No one is smirking.

Somehow I feel that I may have given these impressionable young minds an erroneous kind of picture of what the early church spent its time doing.

I think that it’s never safe to assume that people that seem to be listening are actually hearing what you are intending to say.

Cholesterol and Hell

I’ve booked tickets at Party on the Lawn (http://www.partyonthelawn.co.uk/) and so will get a chance to see Chris While and Julie Matthews play live. Sally and my elder daughter (now, doesn’t that sound a little over-formal?) are coming along as well. It’s a noon until midnight affair and it looks good to me. The more I listen to their music, the more I like it.

Over the past few weeks there’s been a Surrey Swans get-together, a buffet at Kathie & Billie’s and a trip out shopping and dining in Windsor.

I timed things not-too-well for the buffet. Cutting a long story short … I ended up with my annual-ish blood cholesterol test sample needing to be taken from my arm the morning after the buffet … and I had to fast for fourteen hours. So Andrea had to sit and watch everyone else eating the wonderful food and just take an occasional sip of water.

When I got to see Nurse Nicky the next morning … as I rolled up my sleeve I said I’d be looking the other way … the sight of my own blood makes me faint. She quipped back … that’s fine … I’ll look the other way as well.

The trip to Windsor was with Billie. It was the usual kinda thing. In and out of shops and lunch at Cafe Rouge. I bought some food at Marks and Spencer’s and some nail polish and moisturiser at Boots.

The election is approaching and a lady handed me a Labour party leaflet. I had a little chat with a man that was selling … or maybe giving away books about some kind of spirituality and meditation. He seemed nice enough, but it was one of those conversations that opened with the question “Have you thought about what happens after we die?”.

Well, I have. Quite a lot over the years.

I’ve journeyed from childhood faith through atheism, born again Christian and then to agnostic and now … a part of me would like to believe … but mostly I’m not able to. It all doesn’t make sense to me.

As I was chatting with the man, Billie explained that she was a totally committed atheist.

I’m not at all sure what I am … but if there is a God I hope that he or she is different that the one that I used to believe in. I believed in the all loving and all forgiving kind of God that evangelical Christians believe in. But in the final analysis it also meant that I believed that it was likely that the vast majority of people that had ever lived would spend eternity in hell.

Whatever is true … I hope that it’s something different than that.

That first ever shopping trip as Andrea seems along time ago now.

It’s nice that to step outside as a feminine me seems more and more natural as time passes.