A thousand thanks

Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better…

Today I went to the Diocese to talk about my job for next year. I’m already managing their web site one day a week, so today we agreed to extend the contract to 12 months and to 2 days a week, and I’ll be doing some data entry on a short term basis just until January, and I’m gonna end up being paid at a rate equivalent to about 20K!! And after the data entry bit stops they’re hoping to substitute it with something more worthwhile! So all looking very good!! I’ll be living next year with an income about double what I’ve been earning this year, which is very cool

I also paid for my new car today! I’ll have to wait until the cheque clears before I can pick the car up, but to all intents and purposes I’ve got a car!!! Yey! It’s not a Mini, which is a shame, but it’ll see me through easily until I’ve got enough saved for a nice Mini! It’s a red Fiesta, very good condition, sunroof, CD player, 1.3 litre engine. Very nice. So I’ll be able to transport belongings to our new house next month, which I’m sure Anne-Marie and Esther will be thankful for!

I’m just so blown away at the moment about how much God seems to have placed in front of me in the last week. It’s like all those big prayers I’ve been praying have suddenly been answered all at once in ways that go far beyond what I was expecting! I’ve got a house, I’ve got a girlfriend, I’ve got a job, I’ve got a car. I really don’t deserve all of that! I certainly haven’t been working too hard to get them, God’s just placed them there for me to find! It’s amazing!! It’s made me realise just how much God’s love goes beyond my wildest dreams. I found this passage from the beginning of Psalm 9 really fitted in well –

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Life is like a jigsaw

Everything seems to be slotting nicely into place at the moment, it’s really cool!! God seems to have just placed a whole load of things at my feet in such a perfect way that I never thought possible! For starters, we’ve handed in our forms for the house for next year, and they haven’t phoned us asking for more details so I can only assume that the money side of things should be ok, which means we’ll be able to have the house!! It’s not confirmed yet, but it’s looking fairly certain at the moment. Then, on Sunday night, I asked Ellie out, and she accepted!!! Yey!!! So now I’ve got an Ellie to look after… woohoo!! And if that wasn’t enough, today I went and had a look at a car, which fits EXACTLY the criteria I roughly drew up about a week ago. I wanted something like a Fiesta or a Corsa, for about 800, in reasonable condition, to last me until I could find a Mini that I could afford. I’ve been and test-driven this evening a spotless red Fiesta, for sale for 800 – absolutely amazing! I haven’t said I’ll definitely buy it yet, but I have said I’m very interested and I’ll let them know tomorrow, which is all very exciting!! Just got to talk it through with my Dad and make sure everything’s ok, then sort out some insurance…

It would be so cool to have a car – it would make going to campus to see Ellie so much easier! And of course it would mean I could go and visit her during the holidays when she’s not here. God’s timing really is amazing. Odd, but amazing. Ellie’s going home in under a week, which doesn’t leave us much time together before she’s at home for three months… Not exactly ideal! God’s definitely got a sense of humour! Still, if God wants to provide me with a car so that I can go and visit, I’m happy with that! Also means I can go and see my family too, which I’m sooo looking forward to. Spoke to my brother on the phone earlier, first time in ages!

Current mood: over the moon and giddy as a schoolboy!

Getting closer

Well, I’m back from the second houseparty now. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting, given that it was so soon after the CU houseparty and that I didn’t really know many people there. I made lots of new friends while I was there, enjoyed lots of good sunshine and quiet countryside, had several nice chats about Jesus with folks who seemed genuinely interested (which was so refreshing!), and had lots of fun on the Go Karts! Yep, the place had its own Go Kart track!! It was so much fun! Not wide enough to overtake, but jolly fast karts so that made it interesting. We also had a talent show one evening; my group did what was effectively a musical, performing an updated version of the parable of the Good Samaritan with me providing musical accompaniment on the piano and some singing, and we finished off by all singing the Neighbours theme song! It went really well, and we won the talent show with that act. We also played silly party games til about 3am on two of the nights, which I think we all enjoyed!

Today has been fairly busy, so not much rest from the week. As Julian and I have both been away on conferences and stuff this week, all preparation for tomorrow’s morning service has had to be done today. It was my turn to give the sermon, so I had to write all of that today. I also had to sort out the music side of the service, as I’m not going to be able to play and preach at the same time! Thankfully Phil and Phill have stepped in, so many thanks to them! I also had to take a trip down to the letting agency to hand in my application form for the house for next year. Everything seems ok so far, the details will just be passed on to the right people and they’ll get back to us as soon as it’s all be confirmed. Hopefully there won’t be any problems there; time is pushing on and we need to be sure we are moving in. I also went for a drink with Ellie this afternoon, which was really lovely. We went to a place called “All Fired Up” in town, where you get to have drinks and stuff but also paint your own pottery too!! Ellie painted a moulded Eyeore, and I got creative with a big mug, which will no doubt come in useful for having BIG mugs of tea next year!

Glutton for punishment

Had a fairly easy-going day today, which was nice. In fact, I even had enough spare time to be able to play some computer games!! I remember past ChapAsses doing that quite a lot, but as far as I remember this is the first time all year that I have had time to waste like that.

However, that’s the last slice of peace I’ll have for the rest of the week. Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to another houseparty! This one is with Friends International, who are organising a few days away in Norfolk for international students, and I’m going along to lead some music and oversee a discussion group or two. And that’s having only just recovered from the last houseparty!! Doh!! Ah well, as I said to a friend the other day, “No rest for the wicked”; to which he aptly replied “And no rest for the pious either”!

(21 card) pic up

I’ve finally got round to putting my latest batch of photos online, from the Chaplaincy Water Fight Night, the BBQ & Bean Bath, and the CU Summer Houseparty. They’re all at www.minipix.co.uk/photos but I’ve decided to put password protection on the site now so that only people I know can see them. Why, I hear you ask? Well I figured if I was gonna take pictures of people when they weren’t looking the least I could do was make sure the whole world didn’t see them!! If you’re a friend of mine and I haven’t given you the password, e-mail me and I’ll let you know.

I’m also all alone here now. Katie and Henry have both gone home, Ian is in Ipswich I think, and Ezel is on campus. Bit lonely. On the other hand, it means I can turn my music up another notch or two without worrying about disturbing anyone!!

Update on the week

This week has been rather busy, being off at the CU Summer Houseparty at Thorrington Scout Camp. I had a great time, it was absolutely fantastic!! The weather wasn’t quite as good as previous years, but Chris did a superb job of organising the event down to the last detail, and I didn’t notice a single hitch or problem all week. So hats off to you, Chris – as an ex-VP I know what’s involved in planning a houseparty on this scale, and I think you coped with it very well!

I did do far more running around than I have done for a long time. We had a ‘wide game’ one afternoon, where we were split into three teams, each given some random objects and told to go and make a base somewhere in the woods. We than had to go and steal items from other people’s bases, with a complicated system of lives and attacks with bits of chalk! It was great fun, but exhausting!! I’ve not sprinted in years – it was quite liberating, but didn’t really do me much good!!! I was on the winning team though, which was good.

The talent show was good fun too! Ian and I did a drama sketch, a la Monty Python, about the Ministry of Silly Jokes. Seemed to go down very well, and everyone laughed a lot!!! Ian takes most credit for it, as it was his idea initially, though we both contributed about the same amount of material and had even amount of content. The hardest part for us both was not laughing while everyone else was!! I also did a few tribute items (though I didn’t make it clear who the tributes were to) – I sang some Jamie Cullum for Alice, I sang Deeper by Delerious (Andy C had sung it a few years ago at a houseparty talent show), and I sang Halleluia from Shrek (for anyone in the audience who enjoyed the childish side of life)! Andy H and Benji did a couple of films too, acting out the plot together in double-quick time – it was so funny!! There were some more sketches and some more musical items, all of which was fantastic. Just a shame I didn’t have my camera with me at the time!

And finally, last night I went to PhilB’s house for an end of term party. It was just a select few who made it in the end – other people were either already home or packing or had other things to do. Still, those of us who were there had a good time, just sat chatting and listening to music and eating popcorn until about 3am! I’m quite tired now, but at least the sun’s shining today so I’m in a good mood. Might go for a walk later, if I run out of things to do…

Formal Apology

This is a formal apology to Ellie for the events of Saturday 11th June, where I unfairly attacked her with squirty cream. This was a pre-emptive strike to counter her plotting to get me in a bath of beans on the 12th. However, thankfully I was not subjected to this fate, and as a result my revenge was without justification. I thus publically apologise and hope that she can see it in her heart not to kill me….

Made it… just about!

Well, I watched it get dark, and I watched it get light again. The Summer Ball is nearly over, officially, and I’m currently sitting in the chaplaincy pretending to be awake. I came down here about 3:30ish because my feet hurt, then had a couple of cups of tea and curled up on a chair and went to sleep! I’m now a little more awake. Maria is still sound asleep, and there are some other folks in Worship Area 1 singing worship songs together (they’ve been at it for the past couple of hours). All rather surreal… Not used to being awake so late (or early) as this.

Revenge is sweet… and frothy

I finally got my own back on Ellie today. After a year of her winding me up, teasing, playing jokes on me, I’ve finally managed to strike back! The main cause for revenge is the bean bath thing that she recommended and volunteered me for, and for which she has been putting lots of money on me to ensure I get the beans tomorrow. So today I told her very calmly that I had something for her; I told her to close her eyes, no peaking, told her to hold out her hands, then I put something in her hands which was completely unrelated, and then squirted squirty cream in her face!!! Mwa ha ha ha ha!!! Not sure she was too impressed, and I didn’t intend to get it in her hair, and I do love her really, but it was sooooooo worth it!!!! I was on a high all the way home…

Just got to try and think of something for Alex now. But he’s here next year too, so there’s plenty of time!

We’ve got the SU Summer Ball tonight, which I’m going to. Was getting ready just now, and discovered to my dismay that I haven’t actually got any white shirts that fit. Grrr. Both the shirts I’ve got with me are too long in the sleeve. Then again, they are both age 13. Just shows how little I grew when I was at school, and how little I’ve worn them since!!! Oh well, I’ll just have to stop off at Tesco on my way to uni this evening and pick a shirt up and hope it fits…

Colour schemes

A two-pronged title this time:

I’ve tweaked the colour scheme of my blog, as promised. I think it’s getting there, slowly but surely. I did try a white text on black background, but didn’t find it particularly easy to read so reverted back to black on white. I’ve also put the welcome in the top picture, just to be different. I’m also thinking of putting in a links bar at the top, linking to a few other pages that might be relvant.

We also went and had a look at a house today in Wivenhoe. It’s really nice!!! We like it a lot. Nice quiet cul-de-sac, good size garage plus parking space outside, nice big garden with two ponds and a greenhouse and a shed and a bbq and a patio and a bird-feeder (yey!!), a nice big lounge/diner which comes complete with a big dining table and six chairs (woohoo!), clean new kitchen with fan oven and gas hob, tumble drier (!!!!), two good sized bedrooms upstairs with lots of wardrobe space in each, and a smaller bedroom. And a loft.

The only down side to it all is the decor. Walking through the house I could just imagine the sort of person who would have lived there: an Essex couple with not a huge amount of money but liked to think they had lots, mid 50s, either a labrador or a small yappy dog, Rover in the garage, Barry Manilow playing on the tape deck, daytime tv on whether anyone was watching it or not. You get the picture! The master bedroom is purple. I mean REALLY purple. And the second bedroom is pink. The small bedroom is green I think, so I’ll probably end up there. Esther wasn’t too sure about the bright orange walls of the bathroom either. We might think about asking the landlords very nicely if we can have some of the walls painted in slightly lighter shades of their present colours, but we’ll have to see. And it really isn’t that much of a problem – once we have all our stuff in there I doubt we’ll really notice the colour of the walls. And it is a lovely house! We’ve already given the letting agency our holding fee, and we’ve got the forms to fill in, so it’s all rather exciting!!! Yey!! So we’re now looking forward to having lots of people round for a bbq party in our nice garden, watching the fish go by, and watching our tomatoes grow in the greenhouse… ooh, I can’t wait!!!