Sunday, 27 September 2009

Global worship

Had a very lively end of term concert with Global worship music from many nations. Our course on Ethnodoxology had prepared us to study the different heart music from many nations and we all got together to sing and dance with lots of styles led by Ian Colllinge of WEC's resonance project. The audience fully joined in and there were very few folk still in their seats at the end of the evening (in a good way, they were up dancing - I don't mean they had left). I shared a poem from John 15 in Orcadian and two Kiwis of Shetland descent came and introduced themselves. Turned out they were related but had never met before - small world!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Ruth hits 30!

Ruth was in good form for her Birthday on Saturday when we went up to Auckland to visit her at the YWAM base in Town. She shared her birthday with two other folk on the same course so a shared barbecue was arranged with delicious steaks, sausages salads and a cake each. About 50 folks were there and even Ruthie was above the average age. She is having a good time before going on mission to South Africa. Her friends had made a DVD all about her and her attributes, we were glad to be there for the world premier.
Meanwhile we have reached the end of term so went a walk in the gradens and saw some lovely orchids. Hamilton gardens are worth a visit if you come to see us,

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Bridge over the River "Why??"

Yet another "New" Zealand experience was Les's weekend tramp. This does not involve spending a few days with a gentleman of the road but is Kiwispeak for hillwalking or hiking. A group from college (with at least one who had a clue what they were doing) went walking up the Coromandel Pinnacles. The views were spectacular, the bush impenetrable and the pain indescribable but a good time was had by all. We drove for a couple of hours then walked until teatime before spending a night in the Pinnacles hut. Actually the "hut" is the size of a small hotel and was stuffed with 80 sweaty bodies most of whom konked out about 8.30 pm. Next morning we went up to the "very big top", managed not to fall off, took in the fantastic scenery and had a breather before heading back down. The route down followed the "Billy Goat Track" which tells you all you need to know about how steep it was. Now 2 days later Les is still asking for Fiona's chiropractor's home number but she is sticking to the "shape up or ship out" point of view. (Not really!)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Cool/Uncool Cars

It is really hard to keep your eyes on the road with all the Cool cars we pass on the way into town, guess that was what happened to the guy on the tree next the pond..

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Bridal Veil Falls

Well people we eventually broke away from land-locked Gordonton and headed for the coast. We have pretty much studied every weekend so far but on Sunday we went as far as Raglan on the west coast for the afternoon. On the way we saw a sign for the Bridal Veil Water Fall and had to stop for a look and a listen. Amazing height which maybe doesn't show on the photo but it was 55m high and being deserted we could enjoy listening to the roar of the waters. Again we were back in Revelation 1 - "the sound of his voice was like rushing waters". At Raglan we saw the sea for the first time in a month and sat with the surfing bums watching the sun go down. I had a BLAT and FLAT for my tea, sounds grim but it is just a BLT with added avocado and a 'flat white' coffee to wash it down. Good end to a great day.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Hairy Berry

We were please to meet with Mark Berry on his monumental sponsored cycle ride. He left Ruthie in Auckland and appeared here for coffee Friday afternoon. He appeared slightly more hirsuit than when we saw him in Orkney. This may be as a result of the lack of razors in South America or the fact that he no longer has to face Mrs Learmonth at Stromness Academy this term. (TBH he looked more like a pupil than a teacher, but that may be a reflection of our great age.) He pedalled off into the rain on Saturday and we hope to see him again for a celebratory ceilidh when it is all over.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

End of the New Testament (Class)

Well we have done it read right the way to Revelation (but only the letters not the Gospels yet). We finished today with a bit of light relief and we had to illustrate 3 chapters in 15 minutes on one sheet of paper. I won't show you mine but Les's is worth a look..see chapters 15-18 with the worshippers on the left of the water contrasted with the comercialisation on the right and the 7 bowls of Judgement pouring out on the right. Worth a read.

We don't understand it but thankfully we don't have an assignment on it so we can live with complexity and reccommend Eugene H. Peterson's book called Reversed Thunder which puts it all into a bit of context. Talking of context the sharp eyed folk will notice the Ship to Ship tanker in the picture - Scapa Flow in Armageddon?

Monday, 7 September 2009

Any colour as long as it's all black...

Les and I looked at this window display in downtown Cambridge for quite a while - we couldn't get it!

(To be fair I have worn my black long sleeve Gillian Morrison T shirt as a layer for 28 out of 36 days we have been here, 4 of those other days it has been in the wash and the remaining 4 days have been warm enough for short sleeves. )

Truth be told there isn't much in the way of fashion here so far - anything goes as long as it has a hole in it. A guy in the KFC queue had come in straight from a boar hunt with both fresh blood and mud on his breeks to prove it. The boar was strapped to the back of his car, tusks still attached. Bare feet are the order of the day though it is still winter. Folk even come to church bare footed or in flip flops if it is frosty - anybody got some drawing pins?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Haggis & Hangi Hangover

We awoke to hear Dan the man chopping up a tree for fuel. While he left it drying in the sun he got his hangi pit dug and then they started the fire underground. When the embers started to sink they put stones on top, covered them with pulped banana tree branches then filled the pit with a metal cage of meat (and two chickens) all wrapped in foil. Next came the leaves off the banana tree and to top it all two wet sacks and finally all the earth they had dug out of the pit. An hour before the food festival was ready they dug it all up and hey presto you could smell the roast pork, beef and chicken from our door.

Once we got tore into the meat, haggis and paella it was time for a Cultural feast of singing, dancing, drumming, karate, rap and of course Flower of Scotland on flute & sax.

So today we have a haggis and hangi hangover!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Grand day for messages, buey!

Bonny morning here as the sun peeps above the long white cloud or the Aotearoa which is the Maori name for the North Island. This is the view fae the kitchen window. The frost is less today and the sun is warm before we go to class.

We get off early and decide to go the messages. To Woolies which is very near and there are rumours they have Haggis which we need for a Cultural Extravaganza on Saturday. Well they have one can of Irn Bru (which says 39p on the tin but we pay $3.99 at the checkout) but no Haggi roam the aisles. 7 neeps are bought in faith of catching one elsewhere. Les buys stuff for Paella and other Kiwi treats: L&P (which is just spoot really) and Pineapples Bites which are chocolate sweeties sold by the Kilo. Every bar of Dairy milk we bought we won another one free until we had to change shops as it was embarrasing. The guys outside our flat have been digging a hole for a Hangi - the Maori way of cooking meat is to smoke it underground - can't wait for a taste! And now it is dark. As Lewis Burgon warned us "the darkness comes down like a bang" . He also told us to expect earthquakes every day but thankfully we haven't had much trouble there yet.