Poulenc in silly mood.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I asked him how things are and May has been very hard.
"Mais le Français quitte les restos et achète des sandwichs !"
Not quite true. He's quitting the restaurants and not buying sandwiches either.
Apparently MacDonalds is doing well but nobody else is.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
We find that our students need grounding in baic Christian doctrines like the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, etc. A catechism with scripture proofs is a good way of doing this.
I may have to produce a desktop published Heidelberg catechism.
Arranged and played by Brian Diehl.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If you receive an email from the 'National Institutes of Health' saying not to eat tinned chopped ham with pork because of swine flu, just ignore it.....
Monday, May 25, 2009
"Hallo. I'm afraid Roger isn't here but I can take a message." Thomas appears at the door ready to rescue me but :
"Is that Alan Davey ? This is Andrew Page."
Andrew is the author of The Mark Experiment and has worked with students and in pastoral work in Austria for many years. He's also met Aurelien in Dublin so we have lots of links. He now works with Above Bar church in Southampton. I know of him through the Mark Experiment though we had never met.
We chatted and regretted a little that we would not meet this time. Then about 20 minutes later the phone rang again and Thomas answered it, but it was Andrew again inviting me up to the Bentley-Taylors for coffee and a face to face encounter.
We shared anecdotes and experiences and had a wonderfully helpful time together.
It's a bank holiday in Bath and the senior Henwoods have gone to a wedding far far away. In theory the juniors and I will collaborate on meals, though this is a source of some trepidation to me as young folks have exacting standards when it comes to food and I am far from sure of delivering something which would be edible to the fellows. As I type we have our first casualty - a thumb sliced on a unsheathed breadknife. So in a moment I shall pass through the bathroom and into the town.
Incidentally, I have been reading "The elegance of the hedgehog" (L'elegance du herisson in translation) and really enjoyed it.
This is the trombonist who played with the Maceo Parker band last night. He's from Birmingham and studied at Doncaster.
This is the last Maceo Parker I will post, I promise.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
They made it funky.
A long and tedious journey to Bath was followed by a rare treat - I got taken to a jazz-funk concert. I'll post a link to one of the songs that the group, the Maceo Parker Band, played. I tell you, they made it funky. We had a funk fiesta.
Now I feel tired and hot and I would like to be a lert for tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me.
I not with some concern a general strike organised for Tuesday and hope that the Air Traffic Controllers will still be working !
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
This afternoon I think I'll make a quick pilgrimage to Borders. It was my bolt hole in times of sadness (after funerals, for example). I seldom bought anything. I doubt if I will today. But it's good to browse.
Tomorrow I "hold court" in Bethany Books. One wag suggested I sign books there. Could do ! Bethany Books do a cracking coffee so it'll be good to lurk there and talk with the folks who come in.
Then Saturday down to Bath to spend Sunday at Widcombe. Tuesday I catch the plane.
The hire car : I booked a Ka and got a diesel Fiesta. I like it a lot more than I liked the Corsa I had last year. It's a nippy little thing and seems very economical.
I am working on the September visit. There are two weekends set up with churches new to me but where we have friends and I have a shortlist of other churches where we are known. I am wondering whether to focus on the area around Gloucester / Wiltshire / Monmoutshire - apart from a brief foray into Montgomeryshire (Newtown) and to have a go at doing it without a hire car. After all it's a lot of money to hire the thing and you can't read or catch up on sleep like you can in a train !
Je me trouve a Hawarden au Pays de Galles. Ce matin je rends visite a l'etude biblique de jeudi matin de notre ancienne eglise ici. Demain je vais prendre un cafe a la librairie chretienne. Hier soir j'etais a Wrexham a l'eglise Borras Park. Je preche dimanche a Bath a l'eglise baptiste Widcombe. Mardi je prends l'avion.
Partout je partage ce que Dieu est en train de faire a Bordeaux parmi les etudiants et dans l'eglise et notre espoir pour l'avenir - d'etre un eglise qui rayonne dans la CUB, le departement et la region. Partout les gens prient pour nous et s'interessent au projet.
En meme temps je sais que Ben Griffin visite d'autres eglises pour communiquer les possibilites et les defis qui sont devant eux et nous.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Le paysage du Pays de Galles profond etait magnifique aujourd'hui mais franchement j'ai marre de tout ce va et venir et j'ai trop envie de rentrer en France !
Quand meme, il me reste qu'une semaine. A bientot !
Then after a super cup of coffee in Bethany Books down to Aberystwyth and my first ever pastor, Geoff Thomas. Aber is as gorgeous and grotesque as ever.
Today down to Cardiff and thence to Cwmbran where more old friends awaited me.
I stopped off at the designer outlet place to use the free wifi (thanks MacDonalds) and found some important emails awaiting me AND my old friend and partner in crime Pneil Pfeiffer. I haven't seen Neil for years, since he moved from Coedpoeth down to Llansamlet, but we slipped back into our easy, happy relationship. He's such a fine chap.
As for me I am starting to wilt a little, so woe betide anyone who asks a stupid question tonight... No, I think I'll be OK, but I'll be glad to get tomorrow over with !
And this time next week I will be restored to the bosom of my family in la belle France.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Coffee shops EVERYWHERE - even upstairs in W H Smith.
The Castle - some things never change.
Rowlands - oh no ! Where's Rowlands ? Aha - moved to the other side of the arcade. Aha - music stocks somewhat reduced. So THAT'S why everyone buys music on the net. SO glad it's still going though.
Wally's deli. Oh yes ! Happy memories of Rye bread with caraway seeds and very fibrous muesli.
Christian bookshop - ah yes, no Potts, Robert etc... Time moves on.
Oh look ! A Borders !
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Then to the Bay Church, which meets in a school . It was great to see so many old friends who are working hard to establish this church in the heart of a needy part of Cardiff.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Northern Ireland was amazing. It's a small area, with just 1,500,000 people. About 500,000 live in Belfast. A large percentage of Christians and lots of churches, many of whom are evangelical. So a small community, but one that God has blessed and used over the years.
Some memorable quotes :
on cakes - "We don't like to take a cup of tea with nothing."
on Scotland - "The Scots are getting nearly as godless as the English". (I told them that sadly the Welsh are more godless than either.)
Colin took us on a tour of the Falls / Shankhill Road areas. The murals are quite disturbing and to see so many union flags and tricolors. But much of the "peace wall" has been demolished and the old checkpoint gates we drove through are no longer used. Maybe it's good that they remain as a reminder of how bad things can be. One lady at the last lunch spoke of how her husband, a farmer, was in the UDR and of how every time he drove up in his car she was aware that others had been ambushed and assassinated as they went from their car to their house.
We flew over Cardiff on the way to Bristol - the barrage, Penarth pier, Flat Holm and Steep Holm, Weston, then into Bristol airport. This morning I spent getting my phone unlocked and getting a Pay as you Go sim card to enable people to contact me if they need. I was very tempted by the 3 Skype phone pay as you go thing! Excellent deals in the UK on mobile phones. Let's hope France follows suit very soon.
Tomorrow into Cardiff city centre - I want to visit Rowlands and the EMW bookshop. The Bay Church in the evening and my dear old friend, Ian Parry, whom I have not seen for too many YEARS.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Come on !
Get up !
It's Sunday !
Chewing gum : mint choc.
Northern Ireland is fed on cakes and traybakes, some I had never encountered before, such as a "15". Thinks - traybakes may go down well in France for church lunch desserts.
However the biggest surprise so far : we needed to stop to buy a sandwich en route to Newcastle and a 6" (15cm) ham subway is £1.50. Bargain!
Friday, May 08, 2009
Very nice indeed.
Bristol airport is not bad. I bought an adapter for French to British sockets. The man before me in the queue was saying 'for French ? for French ?' and when I looked at him I was surprised nto to see Inspector Clouseau. So I told him that I had the same model and that it should be what he needs. Later I saw him with his companion trying to ask where his car rental office was, so I went up and explained where to go. He and his companion were from Toulouse and over for the Badminton horse trials.
A Brazilian tried to sell me a £20 ticket to cross the ball and win a Porsche. He's in the country working to send money home to his mother in Brazil. A really nice guy but he could see that there was no way I was going to buy his ticket ! We talked in between punters !
It was a surprisingly friendly and lively place.
Victory in Europe. Bank Holiday.
The school of music is playing the Marseillaise at the Place de la République in Pessac. This is Roberto Alagna singing Berlioz' understated arrangement.
Meanwhile I am in Lisburn near Belfast for the UFM Ireland Conference.
Ireland is great and I am sure the weekend will be corker.
I will experience the unique plenitude of the Ulster Fry tomorrow, I am told.
I am also looking forward to seeing the gang and hearing all that goes on.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Par for the course, International Roaming is not working on my mobile phone. I have checked on the website if it is set on, and it is, but my phone isn't allowed access to any networks.
Wifi on the mini laptop is working though. Hence this message.
Ho Hum. In a moment I shall eat a Subway sandwich while waiting for my onward flight. I wonder if they do le sub du jour.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Anyway there was nobody in the office she directed us to (it was dead on two) so we waited till somebody came and then went in. I explained the scenario and we were told "Here's the form, you visit the 6 agencies first then when you have your departmental number you submit the form."
So somewhat daunted by the prospect of visiting 5 more offices we scuttled off to see what could be done by internet. We got four done, for the fifth the website form didn't work so they're sending a paper form to fill in and the sixth only has flats way out of town.
Voilà. Mission accomplished.
In the far east it is.
Yes, but this is France.
Yes, I agree entirely but this student has limited means.
Yes, but the government will help - he can get a decent flat with his housing allowance.
The lady was very helpful and this afternoon we'll visit la Mairie de Pessac to request housing there, too.
HLM = social housing.
Still, I'l be on the plane, ready or not.
Three major tasks this afternoon :
1) visit the town hall with a student to submit a request for housing
2) prepare for the English Class
3) ensure there's enough money in the bank to keep the family fed until May 25th when we get paid ! (after paying for the air fare and car hire we may need to raid our savings to get through the month)
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
However the weather is cold, grey and menacing. We had considered having a picnic lunch together (the kids are off school) but it's too cold. Instead we'll huddle together and drink soup and eat toast.
Tomorrow is the International Homegroup and I am hoping for good weather so we can barbecue. However, even if it rains we can still barbecue on the covered patio thing and if it is cold people can stay inside and huddle together or crowd round the barbecue.
Thinking to look at John 3 tomorrow evening. Also writing articles and preparing Powerpoint for church visits.