Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Pressie List... (because I have writer's block)

  1. New Reebok Trainers (at a ridiculously cheap price according to my mother)
  2. New patrick Trainer/Boot thingies (never had these before so am quite excited, but also according to my mother were ridiculously cheap, which is apparently why she bought me two pairs of footwear this year)
  3. 2 Pairs of Cargo Pants (never had these before very excited about these)
  4. 8 Pairs of new boxies
  5. 16 Pairs of new socks, 1/4 white, 1/4 black, 1/4 brown, and 1/4 cream
  6. 1 £10 virgin voucher (as in the store, not as in to buy a virgin unfortunately... - joke!)
  7. One long sleeved t-shirt top striped but in beige very light and nice an comfy
  8. One trendy brown t-shirt with army green khaki design on front
  9. 1 water pistol with target with suckers on to stick to bath!!
  10. 1 DVD boxset of 24 season 5. (yesssssssssssss!!!)
  11. 1 "The Anthems" double CD (yesssssssssssss!!!)
  12. 3 x bottles of flavoured syrups for coffee - irish, vanilla and hazlenut respectively
  13. 1 x James Patterson's latest Alex Cross novel, entitled "Cross" (yessssssssssss!!!)
  14. 1 scarf and beany (both by bench)
  15. 1 x Gillette shaving Gel
  16. 1 x Nivea for men face scrub
  17. 1 x Black leather wash bag
  18. 1 x Nike long coat, beige colour very nice (small size but still too big for me - gutted!!!)
  19. 1 x £30 HMV Voucher Gift Card (temporarily lost in the tip that is my room)
  20. The joy of seeing family members love what I got them.


Sancho's Service Announcement:

Due to various internet access problems and switching to google, and the busyness of the festive season, and various muscle spasms and other health nastiness, I have been unable to post for a while.

My apologies, normal service will be resumed shortly...


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Curse Of Christmas...

Get your own back here!!


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Painful Truth.

I've just read this book in one night!!

I didn't intend to, but the honesty, rawness and sheer awful beauty of it kept me connected to Cameron's unbearably painful story.

Written by a 27 year old committed christian it isn't one of those "nice" Christian books full of platitudes and steps to success; rather it's one mans painful account of his and his ex-wife's failure to have the marriage God wanted.

As I read this tonight (start to finish in three hours!) what came across was not a person who wrote a book to get back at his ex partner, but some one who wanted to share his painful journey of learning what it means to really follow Jesus in every situation. The book doesn't end with a nice happy hollywood ending, rather it ends with the tension of living with continuing pain and a deep sense of failure and brokeness of the author, whilst living in the hope that someday (though not yet) good will be brought out of it.

As I read this tonight it deeply affected me, and i felt a great sense of connection with someone who struggles with easy answers to complicated situations as much I do. I got a lot out of it, even though I've never been married or divorced, and my lasting impression was of the faithfulness and love of God in the authors life, even when he or his wife was neither to each other. Cameron is honest in his struggles, and after finishing it, I felt the same deep sense of sadness that he must feel, yet also the sense of peace at a God who is there with us in difficult times. This book doesn't say that Divorce is ok, in fact it sadly shows that it's a last alternative when no choices are left between two people.

When I read this I realised that God hates Divorce, but works through the people who go through it. Loss, Brokenness, Responsibility, Commitment and Honesty are all discussed, but in very real ways, not idealogical theological theories.

I read this because some of my friends are going through this at the moment, and I wanted to try and understand what they were going through. I'm gonna reccomend this book to all of them because it's based in reality.

Excellent book, though very, very sad yet filled with an earthy, pain-filled hope.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It's my day off today, and I was woken this morning by a text (I'm a light sleeper) from one of my colleagues who isn't coming in today because she's not well.

That means I've got to go in even though it's my day off, to cover lunches, as there's only two of them in now.

It's not my colleagues fault and I'm not annoyed with her, but I have a strange animosity towards the world today.

This week couldn't get any poo-er.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I hatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehate my job.

And very generally speaking, not being specific, I hate finicky christians who can't think for themselves when they're christmas shopping for their own relatives...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And The No. 1 Wierd Symptom Award Goes To...

'Facial Ticks'!

Yep, by that I don't mean strange veil looking insects crawling all over my face; (ewwwww) I mean muscle spasms in the left side of my face, the muscle group thats justunder your cheekbone, the one connected to the bottom of your nose and lip...

It's been driving me insane all day!!! It's not very noticeable thankfully, but it's been clenching and unclenching itself all day!!!

I am extremely irritable at the moment because of it.

I think I might go to bed now, get an early(ish!) nite. If it hasn't stopped by tommorrow, I may just saw my own head off in sheer frustration!!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Unexpected Visit... :-)

My little nephew Jacob came round tonight with his mummy and daddy!!

I'm so proud to be his uncle!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Time For Everything

I must be getting old.

I came home from a horrendous musical experience at church, (timing is not something our current drummer is always blessed with, and as the guitar player it usually falls to me to keep the rhythm, which would be fine except that even when I start songs, he doesn't listen to what I'm playing and just merrily carries on thumping away!) and decided that I felt a bit tired, as I have been feeling more and more over the last few weeks, so I decided to have a doze...

The doze turned into two hours of waaaaaay deep sleep, so deep that I woke up with a headache, realised I'd very attractively dribbled on my pillow, (!) and felt like someone had drugged me!! I must have really needed that sleep.

The reason I was so tired was because my brother (Peter) very kindly took me to see the new Bond film at the cinema. (Being as I am skint for the next year as I've determined to use ALL of my wage that is left over each month to get myself out of debt - that's another post for another time) I can only say one word to describe Casino Royale:


I really really enjoyed it, Daniel Craig, despite some criticism he's had about not looking the part did excellently. There is much more of a plot to the film, the cheesy evil villains and one liners are completely gone, and the action in the film is numerous, from death defying leaps, to heart-in-your-mouth car chases and crashes, to horrific torture! The new bond is much colder and more efficient, even though he's been re-invented to the status of a new agent. Even in the torture scene, they manage to make some of it funny without being cheesy, and I really liked the fact that in this one, Bond even at some points is dependant on other characters.

The only problem was that we went to the 10:10 showing, which combined with 25 mins of adverts at the beginning, (I kid you not!!) made us leave the cinema at 1 am, much later than I'd anticipated!! Hence the tiredness today. I'm playing again tonight at church, so will be heading off soon-ish so I can get there early and tune up. (I was a tad out this morning, none of the congregation would notice, but I'm a perfectionist briefly when it comes to being in tune)

I'm a bit frustrated at church at the moment. The sermon this morning was about joy, and I've never seen such a bunch of miserable people in my life that were sitting there this morning!! Oh well, I suppose I'm part of it too.

Right, have to go, will post again later I'm sure...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Cradle & The Credit Card..

They both represent a Kingdom.

One is the Kingdom of money, commerce, retail, budgets, profit, finance, and consuming.

One is the Kingdom of service, sacrifice, love and giving.

As the shop gets busier, and I find life getting more manic by the day in the build up to Christmas, I wonder every year which Kingdom exactly we're representing. Something knaws at me deep inside year after year that this isn't the way to celebrate Jesus' birth. If you're a Jesus follower, Christmas has to be about Him and not what you're buying, but we get so, so caught up in it. Not just that, but I as a shop-worker am actively promoting the idea that Christmas is about buying presents for people, with the offers I put on, the special discounts I make, the scanning through budgets and forecasting I do.

I was listening yesterday to a Pastor who has decided that he and his church are not going mad this year; they're only buying presents for people they're close to, and they're buying presents that will encourage time spent with each other in community. The presents they buy wont encourage their kids to go off on their own for hours, but will be chosen thoughtfully and carefully, almost being aware that what they buy and give is because of what Jesus did in coming into this world.

They've covenanted with each other that they won't spend as much as last year, that none of them will go into debt to buy presents, and that the money they normally would have spent, and they will no doubt save this year, they are donating into a fund with four other churches in the area to go directly to building wells in Africa for people who need clean drinking water.

If I'm honest I love the build-up to Christmas as I'm an old romantic, I love the carols, the christmas songs, the cold nights, the candles, being with family, the whole shebang... But very little of it has to do with the birth of a middle-eastern refugee baby born two thousand years ago. Maybe that's because to celebrate all those things rather than the call this baby has on my life, the way he wants me to live now, is easier to ignore. Maybe Jesus and His call is too radical for me, maybe he asks too much, and it's easier to bury myself in lists of things to buy, to consume for myself and my little circle, rather than think of the God who had everything but became nothing for me.

I'm not trying to be a party pooper, or super spiritual, but really, seriously, think for a minute...

Did God come into our world so that we could spend stupid amounts of money once a year on ourselves and our family?

Surely He came to make a difference to people's lives, to give them that most precious of commodities that can't be bought: Hope.

So why don't I?


Thursday, November 16, 2006


I'm back to work.

I wish I wasn't.

That's it really.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

NO Work Today...

Following my day off yesterday, this morning's alarm was promptly switched off and a decision was swiftly made as I struggled to get out from under the duvet and pain started down my arms and legs.

Today was NOT going to be a work day. So, this being the age of technology, I texted one of my co-workers to say I wouldn't be in today and what exactly to put on the sickness form. At other times, I've struggled in to work anyway, but today I just couldn't face a day of standing up all day in the shop, so decided to conserve my energy for one more day before heading back to the grind tommorrow.

I informed my boss (who's in head office today) and also told him I would be back in tommorrow, just so he wouldn't get paranoid that I'd be off for the week. (you never know the thoughts that go through your Boss's head). I figured it was ok not to be in today, since there were two other experenced staff in, and wednesdays aren't usually too busy. Grrrr I'm still self-justifying myself again. I've gotta stop this. Anyway, most of today has been spent reading, as I find that the most relaxing thing for me to do. No plans as usual tonight, tommorrow I'm going to a meeting at my dad's church, as the chinese fellowship that uses their building wants to plan the carol service, and my Dad wants me to take part. Should be interesting.

Friday night I'm hoping to visit my brother and his family, and my new nephew who is now, I think 8 weeks old? I'm meant to be leading worship on sunday morning, so in faith, (ha!) I've sent an email to our Pastor asking if he knows what the theme is so I can pick songs early. If he knows a theme, I'll be stunned lol That should be interesting since I haven't lead for over a year, since I pulled out for lack of energy and motivation reasons... We'll have to wait and see how it goes, to see whether I go back to it.

Well, that's my uninteresting life so far, gonna go and watch a dvd now, I finally found a hmv gift card that my colleagues got me for my birthday in the summer, (!) and got a great deal on four dvds for £20, The Machinist, Troy, Schindler's List, and Goodfellas.

I think I will have to see if I can get that deal for Christmas pressies, though I don't have any money till my wages go in on the 28th... Ah well.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pics Of Our Team's Work!!

The photo's look dark but I forgot my automatic flash was on, on the camera, really it was well-lighted!!

How To Put A Temporary Shop/Bookstall Up... Volume One!

  1. Make sure you're there at an hour of the day that you weren't aware existed in a morning, to meet the truck carrying the stock and shelving.
  2. Start helping the lorry driver unload the nine pallets of stock and equipment off the truck with two other people.
  3. Place said pallets at the entrance to the hall where the bookstall/shop is to be located.
  4. Search for the box thingies with wheels (technical term!) so you can unload pallets safely and transport boxes efficiently to the right product area of the shop.
  5. Locate the box thingies with wheels on top of one of the pallets, sealed with cling film so you have to unpack a pallet to get at them.
  6. Wonder at the stupidity of warehouse pallet packers.
  7. Set up tables in the different product areas of the "shop" and also put together the shelving piece by piece along the left hand side wall for bestsellers and recommended titles and featured speakers. Make sure you note down that the warehouse have sent too many actual shelves, and not enough supporting beams and cross pieces. Again wonder at the incompetence of some people and shrug violently in an italian fashion, as there's nothing you can do about it now.
  8. Make sure all empty pallets are removed to the storage room and stacked neatly.
  9. Run round the tables already set up, placing a label with each product invoice number on it, so people know where to take each relevant box to. Make sure before you do that, that each table is covered with a large tablecloth.
  10. Proceed unpacking the pallets with the seven other people that have now arrived.
  11. Seeing that they have arrived and are getting on setting up their delegated areas, make sure the original three of you get a break and go and get some breakfast, which MUST contain a barm filled with AT LEAST as much bacon, egg and mushrooms as you can fit in it.
  12. Eat said barm full of cooked breakfast goodness as smugly and noisily as possible in front of the other workers, remindng them that they weren't here at an unearthly hour of the morning to unpack the lorry.
  13. Proceed to drink coffee, and then once finished, get back to work, specifically setting up the till areas and the credit card machines, which will involve locating the two phone line sockets, and very lengthy mobile phone conversations with the credit card machine suppliers to make sure they are set up on the correct line and are ready to poll over night and download all the correct hot card security information.
  14. After 40 minute phonecall to credit card machine setup line, thank the Lord that you don't have to do this everyday.
  15. Proceed in setting up the three tills and find that one of them is so old it adds the number three digit to every transaction when you tap it acceidentally. Also discover that one of the other tills is missing a thread for the journal roll to weave round. Notice also that there are no thermal rolls for the credit card machines packed in the box from accounts.
  16. Thank the Lord that you and your boss had the foresight to bring thermal rolls from your shop "just in case", and proceed to insert them.
  17. Ring the shops' Events Manager and point out all the things that are missing that should be there at the event. This may take a while. Always be polite, keeping in mind he isn't the one who actually packed the pallets.
  18. Finish till area setup and see that all your other colleagues are gtting on with their areas very nicely.
  19. Decide to stop for a brief lunch. Along with your boss, cleverly bargain with your seven other colleagues that if they agree to only stop for fifteen mins, you can let them go earlier as the shop will be set up earlier if they keep working.
  20. Stuff sandwhiches down ur gob and crisps, and sit down for ten minutes and then start again.
  21. Tidy up all the packaging material and flatten boxes to be used later at packdown on Sunday. Remove to the storage room, or under tables.
  22. Leave staff to get on with putting product on shelves, as it is all mainly priced up now. Curse the warehouse for leaving product unpriced.
  23. At 3-30, stop workers for a drink break, and scan area for Health & Safety restrictions. Breathe a sigh of relief as you remember you'd already automatically removed anything remotely dangerous to the public or staff to trip over or stumble on.
  24. Prepare the shop to be opened and get all staff to check all product on offer is stickered up with the relevant stickers.
  25. It is now 4:00pm. Open shop and send volunteers home to leave just the three of you!!
  26. Collapse behind the till area and thank God this only happens once a year!


Ahhhhh.... peace!!

It's my day off, and it's now 1:20 pm and I've had a relaxing morning and am feeling much better.

I've completed my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) form online, and after my parents have looked over it tonight, I will submit it into the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions).

Wow, was that an ordeal!! Lol! Pages and pages of sentences and scenarios that have to be read very carefully and answered that way too!! I just want my parents to look over it to check that I'm not saying anything I shouldn't, e.g. exaggerating my condition, claiming for things I shouldn't. Ok, ok I know there are thousands of people who do cheat the benefits system here in the UK, but I don't want to be one of them. I'm not looking for vast sums of money, all I want is a small sum of extra money each month so instead of walking to the train station to get to work, on days when I'm tired I can have the choice of getting a taxi in. That's all.

I know I'm nowhere near as bad as some people are with m.s, and my symptoms are mild compared to some people's, but if I am elligble for something, then it would help to get it. I'm laughing to myself as I'm typing this, because having just read over what I've written, I sound like I'm trying to justify myself. Well... maybe I am. I still feel a bit guilty about vlaiming for this, and I'm not expecting to get the high or middle rate of benefit, but any extra money to give me some extra options each month would be great.

I was meant to be going to a meeting at church last night, but I decided to leave it, and stay in and watch a dvd with mum and dad. We opted for the Davinci Code, and thoruoghly enjoyed it, despite some of the obvious flaws in Dan's arguments!! What a great storyline and a brilliant imagination!! I was impressed with the way the film ended, where faith was something even one of the cynical central characters had, right to the end.

I think I'm gonna have to get some of his books. One of my colleagues is reading Angels & Demons at the moment and is raving about it non-stop, so I think I am encouraged that it'll be a great escape read. Not one of the lasting classics perhaps, but a good thriller read. (lol not that I'm great with the classics anyway, I've been struggling to get through the old language version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for about 6 months lol)

Ah well, I'll never be an academic, or english major!

Today I shall read I think, I'll blog about the current book I'm reading in another post, it'll come as no surprise that it's a theological book!!

Anyway, off for lunch, I mite post again later...

Monday, November 13, 2006

I know it's my own fault, but...

Well, the weekend's over.

And boy, can I tell!!

After working seven full days on the run, I'm more than ready for a day off tommorrow. Today I experienced the "I'm back baby!" symptoms that usually tell me I've done too much:

  • the excruciating stabbing neural pain down my left arm and leg, so bad that it makes me inhale sharply
  • my left leg feeling very weak and like a lead weight, making walking interesting and very very slow, feeling as if I can't put any weight on it because it will crumble like a feather
  • a general lethargy and tiredness that seems to wrap itself around me like a cloak, both physically and mentally
  • my eyesight going blurred, forcing me to squint at objects to make them stay in focus
  • A general feeling of unese and nervous energy that has me on edge all day

So, not that bad compared with wheelchairs and disability in limbs, I agree, but quite hard to cope with when you're in work, and off to the bank carrying a rucksack full of £600 worth of small change in coins on your back.

That walk to the bank today was the longest of my life.

I swear I thought I was never gonna get there, and twice I felt very bitter at my Boss for sending me, but to be honest, it was my fault. I don't tell people generally when I'm not feeling well, because so often it's symptoms that people don't understand, and sometimes even find ridiculous to believe.

I'll give you an example:

A couple of weeks ago, I kept losing things I had put down five minutes before, and getting really confused. It was really frustrating me, and I thought at one point I was going insane, leaving things in places where they shouldn't have been and having totally "blank" episodes where I copuldn't remember what I was doing a few seconds before.

It all became clear to me later on that day, when I started having muscle spams in my legs, and getting dizzy. I brightened up with a smile and said "it's ok, because my leg is acting up, I know the confusion was probably just the beginning of an episode that ended with my leg". My boss actually turned round and started laughing at me. He thought it ridiculous that I made a link between being confused and stressed and frustrated, and then my muscle spasms.

This is what I have to deal with. People don't always take my ms seriously, and i honestly feel sometimes it's an uphill battle at my work to get them to recognize it for what it is. You see, I've been working there for eight years, and I was there five when I was diagnosed, so in their eyes, I started the job and I was fine, and then I suddenly had ms. I'm sure that's not quite how it works, and if I look back, there were signs early on, but they can't see that.

It frustrates me sometimes, that when I work hard like I have this weekend, I'm the one who suffers afterwards. Yes they're tired too, but they don't have to deal with all the other symptoms apart from tiredness and fatigue. If they've worked seven days without a break, they rest for a day and they're ok; when I do, it knocks me out for the whole week afterwards, and I'm still getting pain in my hands and legs two weeks after.

It's just so hard to get people to recognize when you're not well, because they knew you "when you were normal".

And by the way people, can I just say while I'm on the subject, tiredness IS NOT the same as fatigue. Fatigue eats away at your energy levels, and xcan stretch out for hours,days, and even weeks. It's not something an early night can cure, or just chilling out either. It's as much mental, as it is physical too. When i get fatigued, I can barely think straight, let along move, and motivation levels reach minus figures. Fatigue is not the same as tiredness, it's alot heavier.

Anyway, that's my moan over as the pain in my hands is starting again...

My apologies for going on, the next post will be more positive I promise.

P.S, About Tom....

It was meant to be sarcastic, but I think my creative wit went a bit too far and that was all lost on people....

For those who don't know, when you get a myspace account, you automatically have someone added to your "friends" account called tom. (He's the creator of myspace I think)

Anyway, sorry for all those who thought he was a "real" person, I was trying to be witty, but obviously abysmally failed... ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Night Before The Day After The Week Ahead...

Ok, so I didn't get the title rght.

Bite me!

Anyway, a quick update to say all is well in the land of Jm, I'm happily but slowly progressing with my dla form, and have been preparing for the bookstall at which I'm working at all weekend, and have just been out for a curry at Wetherspoons...

All is well, you may now all relax.

I also listened in amazement to a recording of my sister, who appeared today on our local radio station singing two of her songs and giving an interview!!!

I knew nothing about it, she didn't tell me, and was totally shocked!! There's something really wierd and surprising and exciting about hearing your sister speaking to the DJ you hear coming out of your own speakers on your radio!! She did really well, and the DJ was truly impressed with her songs, he commented that he liked one of them so much he thought she should try and get a record deal. :-)

It was a nice surprise to come home to after work!!

I'm really proud of her, she's got an amazing voice, and I have to sometimes pinch myself when I realise we're related, lol.

Anyway, I won't be updating till Sunday, as I'll be away working all weekend, hope everyone has a nice weekend in the blogosphere!!

Not only that, I got some jeans that are brand new but have been sitting in my wardrobe for three years, (I kid you not!!) altered today, so I'm wearing new jeans to work in this weekend, and they're the first new jeans I've had for three years!!! Woohoooo!!!!

(I'm easily pleased I know lol)

Anyway, I shall be sad and take my camera with me, and post pictures when I get back!!

Bye for now!!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Dear Tom..."

Tom, I'm sorry to do this...

We have to break up.

You've pushed things too far lately, and I can't deal with it anymore.

First it started with you claiming to be my friend when I'd never met you in my life, and then you kept sending me messages that were friendly when I don't know you from Adam, and we've never actually spoken.

Look, friendship has to be shared ok? If you want to be my friend, that's cool, but we have to do something, like go for a pizza or go to see a film, or go bowling, or chat to the early hours of the morning about deep stuff, or laugh together, or chat for hours about anything...

At least do something!!

That's what I do with my other friends.

So, I'm sorry, unless you can do one of these simple little things, I can't bring myself to be your friend.

I'm sorry, I know it's harsh and shows my hard, unfeeling side, but it's for the best.


You'll thank me one day.

Your Non-Friend;


(p.s. I really don't want to vote in America, I barely do it in my own country)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


It's been a longggggggg week.

I feel like I should get a medal for getting through this week, though what I achieved in terms of results or tasks completed is not really that much more than an average week.

It's just felt alot harder to do this week.

Stretching ahead of me in a yawning threatening way, (much like my mouth at the moment) is another very busy week, with a major Conference all next weekend to work at. Part of me is looking forward to it, as there's a great comradery between the staff when we do an event like this, and you always feel you've gotten to know people better when you've eaten with them and slept in the same accomadation as them. The other part of me is dreading the long hours on the bookstall, though as long as I take it easy this next week, I should be ok for it.

So, tommorrow is a chance to relax and recharge before the coming week assaults my senses once again in a blinding flurry of activity. Every Sunday should be like that I guess. (No, not a flurry of activity; I meant the recharging thing)

Today was fairly busy in the shop, but to be honest I didn't make much of an effort, I was too tired and unmotivated. Tonight I shall relax, and maybe blog a bit more and watch tv and listen to music; not world shattering events generally, but piecing-together activities for me as I ready myself to join with other people in re-connecting and recharging with God tommorrow.

Hoping that you get chance to do that to, whoever you are.

Friday, November 03, 2006

WARNING: Sloppy/Cheesy Post: I'm Becoming Domestic...

It's my day off, I was fed up, but have found the perfect remedy!!

I've just cleaned down all the worktops in the kitchen, scrubbed them, disinfected them, cleaned them with anti-bacterial cleaner, washed them again, unloaded the dishwasher, put stuff away and then cleaned the oven top with special hob cleaner.

It works wonders!!

I now feel like I've actually done something worthwhile today, and the kitchen is sparkling!!

I'm now gonna go and put some more washing on, and go and see if I can get it dried before going to my brothers tonight with Mum and Dad to babysit!!

All this because Mum and I had an emotional moment earlier on, when she talked about when we were little and I felt guilty about not doing enough round the house lol. She's been cleaning the bathroom today, and I was making her lot's of cups of coffee and chatting before I got stuck in to cleaning myself!!

It's been a good day, I don't soend enough time talking to my parents, and enjoying the relationship we have now that I'm older.

I love my mum, I don't say it or demonstrate it enough.


Ok so I've answered my own question.

I went on the uk Multiple Sclerosis Society homepage, and found a section about emotional symptoms of m.s.

This seems to fit what I'm experiencing at the moment. I'm not a doctor so I could be wrong, but I think I might make an appointment to try and discuss it.

Guess I'd better avoid the chick flicks for a while!

At least I know I'm not going insane, last Saturday I went to see Click with Richard, and had to pull myself in hard emotionally before I became a wreck!! Part of the film is moving, but I could feel myself beginning to sob openly in the cinema, and it was way embarrassing and totally over the top compared to the actual content of the film!!

Oh well, we'll see what the "experts" have to say...

Maybe I'm just a big girl's blouse!!!

Rants & Questions...

I'm a bit fed up today.

It's my day off and I have no money to do anything or go anywhere, and my trip to the C.A.B. this morning was a complete waste of time. I got there early, and was told that "only people with appointments can be seen today". It didn't say that on their website, which really pee'd me off. So, I still have these forms and I still have to wait.

This is the third time I've been to try and get help filling in these forms, and the third time I've been turned away. I'm starting to get a little peeved. How am I supposed to claim for benefit when I don't understand the gibberish that it's written in, and how they want it phrased?

I'm gonna go back on Monday because I have another day off then because I'm working all of next weekend. Apparently Monday is a drop-in day, so if I'm prepared to get there early and sit around I can see someone then.

Anyone who knows anything about m.s. can I ask a question?

This may sound stupid, but bear with me. I know about physical symptoms, and I know about cognitive symtoms in m.s, but has anyone heard of emotional symptoms? Only reason I'm asking is because I have become a lot more emotional lately, and I have literally been ready to burst into tears at the slightest thing, which is not really like me. I have just about managed to control it, but I've had really strange moments over the past year where I've been welling up over the most stupid of things.

I know for the ladies you can have the time of the month to effect ur emotional state via hormones, but is there a connection in m.s. between the disease and emotional states?

If I'm being stupid thinking this, please be blunt, I'm not normally one of those people that sees a symptom over every little cold...

Can someone help me out here?


I've got another water infection.

I get them on a regular basis, about every 5 weeks or so, and it looks like another one has come round....


It feels like I'm trying to pee razor blades at the moment.

It'll be back to the docs for some more antibiotics and the usual drink plenty of water and cranberry juice.

Also I was slurring some of my words today, and three times I forgot what i was doing and went completely blank, no recall, nothing. I had to stand there looking stupid until I'd figured out what I'd been doing the previous couple of seconds beforehand by trying to find clues.

These are all very minor symptoms, but theyre a warning that I've pushed myself a bit too much this week, and that I need to slow down a bit. It's only when I'm tired that I tend to get the really annoying ones, like sudden pain right down my legs an arms, and numbness and pins and needles so bad that I can't stand up and support my weight on my legs, or even grip a cup in my hand. The muscle spasms in my legs are the worst, I've never been much of a dancer, but boy do those feet an legs move when that starts!! Lol.

I'm so glad it's my day off tommorrow....


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stress Reducer...

Can I reccomend listening to Handel's Messiah at a fairly loud volume with a fresh cappuchino?

It works wonders.

I got most of my work done, only the actual Branch Sales Report to type up now and send to my boss on Monday, so I'll do that tommorrow on my day off. (I brought home all the paperwork and statistics, but it's fairly easy and only takes about 40 mins to do).

I've got a fairly busy day tommorrow, it's my day off but I've finally got around (after three years of denial lol) to getting a Disability Living Allowance claim form. My m.s. isn't too bad at the moment, but I have definitely noticed a slight deterioration in my health from 3 years ago, so am trying to be realistic and get on the benefits ladder now so that it'll be easier later on.

I've struggled a bit with it in my mind, because I know I'm not as bad as some people are; I've still got a full time job at the moment and am not in a wheelchair and can still walk basically fine, in fact if you saw me in the street you probably wouldn't guess I have m.s, but it's when I overdo it I get symptoms, and when I'm really tired I get muscle spasms and limp slightly and all sorts of other not very nice things!!

I do feel a bit guilty about putting a claim in, but my parents have told me I should investigate whether Im entitled to anything, and because I'm on a very low paid job I could do with the extra money to be honest!!

I've never been one to sack off work or be a blagger, so it makes me feel a bit guilty to be claiming at all, but I guess there's a lot of people who claim it that shouldn't.

I'm going to the Citizen's Advice Bureau tommorrow morning to see if they can help me fill it in, how I should word it, etc as I haven't really got a clue and it's a bit daunting!!

I'll let you know how I get on and whether I managed to fill the form in at all lol

Well that's enough of my incredibly exciting life for now; (lol)

Be blessed!

Something to ponder...

God uses Love to work through, not Force.

So as disciples, we should be working through the power of love, not the love of power.

It's not about forcing people into anything, it's about loving them, 'cos God treats us like that.


The Power Of Love, that reminds me of a Huey lewis & The News song lol

How To Raise Your Heartrate In One Morning...

Excuse me a moment...


Aaaah... that's better.

I am sooooo stressed at the moment, it's just untrue.

So many demands on my time and energy in work, and so much re-prioritizing as new requests from Accounts, I.T, my staff, and customers come in. I've been doing this job for nearly nine years now, and I don't remember many times ever as being this pressured.

This morning I had countless emails back and forth from accounts trying to sort out formulae in an excel spreadsheet version of the cashing up forms we use. It's a new system only introduced yesterday, and there were a few errors. the countless frustration of back and forth, filling in figures then sending back again until we get a result is really frustrating.

This is interupting the task I already had for today which was to finish off all the month end accounts that I do each month. I started the process on Tuesday, and have still not finished yet!!

On top of that, I had requests from I.T. asking all shops to reply to a p.c. audit that has to be done today as a deadline, and also to install some new software that again has to be done today! I'm trying to find extra volunteers for a bookstall at a conference all next weekend, and I have a list of customer orders that need researching, plus a list of tasks my boss left me to complete by the end of this week!! (he's on holiday using up leave he hasn't been able to take until now) The problem is, it's my day off tommorrow, and although I'm in on Saturday, that tends to be our busiest day, so I'm ending up pushing myself today to get all these tasks done so that I can have a breather tommorrow...

I hope there's more to life than this, I really do.

My stress levels are actually presenting themselves physically in terms of minor symptoms, (for those who don't know, M.S. as a disease tends to not cope well with stress) but I can't relax, I have to get these tasks done! Technically it's my lunch hour now, but I've forced myself to sit down at the computer and journal this to do something different.

I'm off to listen to my ipod for half an hour, for those of you who do, please pray that I will get everything done today and not be too ill as a result of all this stress.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It's always meant to be a good thing:

  • it's the virtue that drove the common people from farming to the mills in the Industrial Revolution
  • it inspired Newton and Galileo to look beyond the Church's narrow definition of a flat earth ruled by God in a hierarchical system bound by rules
  • it always results in change
  • it tries to be forward looking as an attitude

Today in our generation it seems that progress is a good word, one that conjures up positive responses and attitudes from people. As soon as the temptation to look at "the good old days" rears its head, this little word is thrown in and all plaintive cries are extinguished. It's the reason we are where we are now we hear.

Well, how about in a different context?

  • to the cancer sufferer it means more treatments and possibly fatal news
  • to the ms sufferer it means another level of coping with limits
  • to the third world mother, it means someone else thousands of miles away eats while her children starve

It's funny because today we attribute generally good qualities with this word, but to me it's not that simple. Life isn't about progressing very often, sometimes it's about survival and holding on, and the type of people who talk about progress usually are searching for something.

The irony is that nine times out of ten what they're searching for is not something that is constantly in flux, no, that would be awful. That would be like trying to grab hold of sand and feeling it drain through your fingers.

They're looking for something to depend upon. Something to be stable enough to rely on and have certainty, yet still have that freshness that comes with the "newness" of a thing.

The Bible talks about Jesus being the same "yesterday, today and forever", and for me that's the reason why following Him is so attractive. He is with us in our past, our present and our future. Because of this, he can work in our past to bring good in the present, that will ultimately make us better people in the future. And he sees it all, both what we were, what we are, and what we will become, so He has a whole perspective of us as a person that we could never have.

He doesn't judge us for how we were, because he see what we are now. He doesn't judge us for how we are now, because He sees what we will be. He sees what we will become, and He knows what has happenned to make us that way.

Once you grasp such an idea, it's hard not to be grateful. When God judges, He is fair, because He has the ultimate perspective, and we don't. We rush to judge, and decide, but God doesn't. He is patient, and takes everything into account because He sees it all. Maybe we should remember that more often.

Is progress a good thing?

Maybe. Maybe not.

One thing I know, to God it's an opportunity to move our future a bit closer to us.

Monday, October 30, 2006



It's been a busy day, not just one of those days that is filled with busyness, but one of those days where busyness seems to fill you, to posess you, to act like a drug that completely overwhelms all your senses and leaves you at the end of it feeling exhausted and empty and lacking.

The combination of that, and as a result of my stress levels being the highest I can remember for a long time, I've decided to avid the internet and msn and chatting online tonight. I've decided rather to get a book I've been meaning to read for a while, and to just curl up on my couch, the home-made hazlenut cappuchino, my book and I, and just indulge my mind for a night, alone with my own thoughts and questions.

I think confucious got it right:

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance”

Tonight I'm choosing not to be ignorant.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Not Vanity... Practicality!!

I can't use this as my profile pic until I have a url for it, so here goes...!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

National Curry Week!!!

That's right you heard it here!!

This week is, (or was should I say?) National Curry Week, and all over the western world we celebrated the good 'ole curry. I shall be partaking myself tonight, I'm going round to a friend's from church with a few others, and we are getting a HUGE takeout to stuff ourselves with. We'll probably regret it in the morning...

Apparently scientists have discovered that curry has addictive properties, well not to be funny, but I could have told you that due to 15 plus years of curry experience!!

A curry fact: Did you know that the most popular curry in Britain, the Chicken Tikka Masala, was actually invented for the British in India? Us brits couldn't cope with the spiciness and heat of the local's fayre, (tikka) so they added a cooling ingredient.... Yoghurt!

And thus Tikka Masala was invented!! (the Masala bit is the yoghurt)

There you go, I've bored myself!!

Those of you who don't like Spicy food will be glad to know this week also is National Eating Out Week as well, so go and eat!! If you're like me, and eating out is a luxury you can rarely afford, go an get some junk food and enjoy it!! Sometimes the simplest pleasures in life like good unhealthy greasy food are what makes it all seem worthwhile!!

So go on, get that takeout menu, and go order!! If you're not cooking it, technically it's eating out!!

Ok enough for now, I have curry to go eat.....

Broadening Horizons

Wow what a busy day I'm having!!

I've got through several parcels of stock, priced and ready to put out; (I'll get the staff to do that - hey that's what staff are for!!) I've sorted out my Boss's wireless broadband problems on his laptop temporarily with a network cable plugged directly into the router; I've served customers, sorted out a tasks priority for the rest of the day for the staff, talked about a major bookstall we're doing for a conference next month, all before lunch!!

Now I'm going to go and sit down and listen to podcasts on my ipod and close my eyes for an hour...

I've been regularly downloading quite a few, mainly preaching/teaching, but due to comments left here, I've discovered two new ones:

1. Multiple Sclerosis Podcast - Todd & Kim present this (Kim has MS, Tood is the hanger on! lol joking!) and it's a really good listen, and I've found it very useful so far... Check out Larry The Lesion!! lol

2. MSBPODCAST - very good and funny as well, a mix of music and discussion/news/personal reflections on dealing with MS everyday

Both of these you can subscribe to using I-Tunes and many other podcast service providers, go and check them out!

I don't normally talk about MS much, mainly because I've been diagnosed nearly four years now and have what i would consider quite a mild form, i.e. at the moment I'm still working full time and am on Copaxone. Most of my symptoms I either ignore because they're so trivial, or I just get on with. I haven't had a lot of connection with other people with MS to be honest, partly due to living in denial, (lol) but also partly because for me the more I talk about it, the more I worry about the future.

Actually, I think most of it's still denial lol.

When I was first diagnosed, I actually enquired about local MS groups, but most of them were full of older people, or at least people with an older view of life, if you know what I mean. Maybe it's a sign of my generation, but I tend to keep myself to myself, even when it results in depression, which now that I type it seems a bit silly.


That made me think.

I hate it when I do that to myself!!

Anyway this post has been far too long running without a point, so I will end it here!!

Monday, October 23, 2006


yeh I know it's been a while...

Ok here goes:

I've been very busy with work and too tired and fed-up to blog of late. I'm already thining "bah humbug" and it's only the end of october. I hate the build up to christmas when I'm working in a shop, it seems to spoil it all somehow, and I'm getting a bit cynical, even though I work in a Christian Bookshop.

We seem to be overloaded with parcel after parcel of christmas stuff, most of that I can only describe as "kitch". I'm working as hard as I can to clear parcels, and then another lot comes. I'm so tired I can hardly think, and being in charge is getting tiring. So much to do, so little time has not only become my catchprhase, in terms of work, it's my life at the moment.

Outside of work, I'm quite happy. I've been busy practising for a concert that we actually had on Saturday, to raise funds for Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan's Purse, who distribute the shoeboxes for kids. It actually went really well, and all of us felt a sense of God being there on the night, so it was cool. We managed to raise over £300, and totalled with the car boot sale, and coffee mornings, etc we had, we've now got over £600 to give them, which I'm really happy about.

My sister got third place in the Urban Idol competition, which we were all really pleased about (including her) and also she got a heck of a lot of media coverage in the local papers, which means that she'll probably have more opportunities to sing now, which is great! We're all really proud of her.

I've been over to belfast for a few days to see my family, as I had leave to use up, and that was great. I may post some photos when I've got more time, of my uncle and my new cousin, little Samuel!! It was really good to re-connect with my family, and spend alot of time with my grandparents, who I really do look up to. (mum's parents; dad's dad died when i was young and his mum when i was a bit older, but i don't remember much about them) I realised when I flew back from northern ireland how much I miss them, and it really encouraged me to get to know my spiritual and natural heritage through them. Swapping stories of when my mum and aunt and uncles were little, talking about my granny and grandads younger years and the struggles they had trying to provide for their family, really made me feel part of something, that I haven't felt in a long time.

And on the faith front, things are a bit stirred up at the moment, as God is giving me a very clear message of where he wants my life to head, I've just got to figure out how I get there and pay off my debt first. I've been very very challenged by God lately, and challenged that I know what he wants me to do, now I've just got to go and do it.

Anyhow, will write again when I've got more time...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Vote For My Sis!!!

She's reached number 12 in the Urban Idol Competition in Liverpool, if you live here, please go and support her at one of the venues. Also check out her myspace, you can listen to four of the tracks she's produced and written mainly herself. I know she's my sister so I'm bound to be a bit biased, but she's really good!!

I hope she does well. :-)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All Go At The Cullen Residence...

I know, I know, long time no blog....

Well we've had an arrival in case you didn't know!!

Life has been fairly hectic recently in our house, as we get used to a new nephew/grandchild/sprog (*delete as appropriate) but not only that, we have other news...

My sister, who produces her own music (see here) is being interviewed this afternoon as part of our local radio station's competition to find new songwriters and artists. They're coming to our house to interview ruth and take some pictures, so we're all frantically running around tidying up lol.

Who knows? I may soon have a mini-celebrity sister!

I hope so, she deserves it, her music's really good.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Jacob and his Daddy! (my brother David)

Jacob has a little yawn and thinks -

"why won't they just leave me to sleep?!"
Marion (Sarah's mum) who is Jacob's "nana"...
Uncle Andrew (Sarah's brother)

He's gorgeous isn't he! He's with his Uncle Peter here. (my brother)

Look how long he is!!
Uncle Peter! (my brother)

Sucking my finger, bored with the attention now...

This is me, Uncle J.M. with my new nephew!!!

(he fell asleep in my arms, I was the first one to hold him tonight... hehe!)

I'm so overwhelmed, I can't stop looking at him, lol

Little Jacob is beautiful. :-)


It's been a strange week.

You get alot of time to ponder when you have one of those "what am I doing with my life?" moments.

The last two weeks have been great, they've been a chance to think about where I've been the last few years, and to be honest it feels like treading water more than a journey. But maybe that's the wrong perspective.

Is life just there to order us on, us being helpless victims of the unwavering march of time, marching to the ticking of the clock? Sometimes it feels that way, that years go by and you wonder what you've been doing with your life, and can't actually recall anything significant...

Then something happens.

Someone dies, a close friend, a relative, someone asks for your help, a child is born, a sunset is watched, a deep conversation had; suddenly, you realise there's so much more.

Suddenly God breaks in, and even though it feels like you've been treading water, you know you've changed from the person you were, and you're becoming someone else.


You don't know, and the truth is, that's a source of fear and excitement.

Suddenly, the people you meet aren't all the same, they're individuals. The people you regularly talk to become more precious and less taken for granted. Complete strangers aren't strangers anymore, they're fellow people on the journey.

I may not have done much in terms of career or success in my life so far, but I've learnt lots.

People matter.

Money and possesions can be replaced, people can't.

When you see the tears of joy (and relief!) on your brother's face because he's just become a father, you know there is more to this life than we can see.

I want to be a person who enjoys the journey of knowing God rather than constantly looking toward my destination. I don't have to know what my "purpose" is, I just have to know he loves me.

In the end that's all that matters.

I'm an UNCLE!!!

At 10:05 pm tonight, Jacob Andrew Cullen was brought into the world...

It seemed a long time since we'd been called at 6am yesterday morning to say Sarah had started contractions!!!

No pics as I haven't seen him yet, but will hopefully get some tommorrow.

I'm so excited!!!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Quick Update

Ok so I'm very tired after a busy week last week, and a busy (but fun!) weekend away...

Just to update very briefly 'cos Im very tired and need to go to bed:

I went to a wedding, disected a previous relationship, pondered sexuality, talked for hours in a pub, laughed out loud on a park and ride bus, told people i was gay at a reception cos i got fed up of questions about my mate (female) and myself, talked about potties and poo and wee, ate lots of food at a church, discovered you can have a platonic relationship and still be very close, learnt about women's views of relationships, read a profound yet totally non-religious book, practiced swearing at drivers even though I was the passenger....

Lot's really!!

I will update in more detail tommorrow nite when I'm less tired!!

Bye for now!!


Friday, September 01, 2006

2nd Smoothie Milkshake Of The Day:

Banana Cherry Delight!!

2 bananas
a handful of glace cherries
3/4 pint of milk

Add all the ingrdients, and blend until smooth. Blend on pulse setting for 30 seconds for extra smoothness!!

Chill & Serve.


Smoothie Milkshake Of The Day

(my own recipe)

Bannanna, Honey & Nut Surprise!!

3 bannannas
3 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter
3 teaspoons of pure honey
3/4 pint milk

Break the bannannas up into equal chunks, and put into the smoothie machine with the peanut butter and honey and milk. Blend until smooth, and blend on pulse setting for about a minute, to make it really smooth.

Chill & Serve.

(I made this up and it's my favourite so far)

Long Time No Blog...

Actually, it's been about a week, but it feels like a long time!

I've been away from the computer screen because I've been busy having fun, which is good! My mate Alice came up to visit last Friday for my birthday on Tuesday, and stayed till Thursday. We used to see each other, i.e. gf/bf, but we broke up a few months ago, but have remained firm friends. We did the following over last weekend, with very little money: (!)

  • On Saturday, we went to Southport (a seaside town near where I live) and went shopping. I bought a book (I'll review it when I've finished it!) and Alice bought a few books on gardening, and bought me my second birthday present early! She bought me a "smoothie maker", which if you didn't know is a bit like a blender - you can make milkshakes and fruit juices with it. She'd already bought me a book of "smoothie" recipes. I was well excited 'cos I'm sad like that lol.
  • Later on, ('cos it was cheaper!!) we went to the fair (still at Southport) - Alice forced/blackmailed/cajoled me into going on the Traumatizer rollercoaster, (Alice nearly wet herself laughing because I couldn't stand it and closed my eyes most of the way!) then some thing where you're only held in by a metal chain, and the ride goes on it's side, and you can feel the G forces pulling at your face and legs, and THEN we went on a ride where you sit in a "car" with the two of you in, while it rocks back and forth and completely upside down!!! Needless to say, after four rides, because I hadn't eaten anything that day, I felt really really sick and thought I was gonna throw up, so I had to sit down for a while. I was a bit of a wimp to be honest!
  • On Sunday we decided to go to the cinema and we went to see Snakes On A Plane, which was AWESOME!!! I loved every minute of it, and I revelled in Samuel L Jackson being the tough guy and kicking all the snakes butts lol. It was only a fifteen, but I thought it should have been classified as an 18, 'cos some parts were like a horror. Alice nearly jumped out of her seat a couple of times, and it was my turn to laugh at her lol
  • In the evening, we decided to go to Megabowl, and we chose the unlimited bowling. In the end, we played TEN games of bowling lol!! Alice beat me 7 games to 3, so I was well and truly trounced!! We both ached a bit the next day, needless to say!
  • Monday we lazed around during the day,and then watched one of my dvds, Hollow Man in the evening.
  • Tuesday I had to go back to work, so Alice chilled out at my house doing what she wanted, and then in the evening, we went for something to eat at the Rocking Horse Pub, which is literally 5 minutes down the road from me. Very nice food, and not expensive.
  • Wednesday was my birthday!!! I had to work unfortunately, and in the evening, Alice met me after work, and we went for another meal!! We went to Ask, which is across the road from the shop, and very nice.
  • In the evening we watched another dvd, Mulholland Drive, which is meant to be an arty physchological clever thriller, but both of us found it a bit wierd!! A bit like Twin Peaks was... I did think this should have been an 18 not a 15 also. Oh well, at least we can say we've seen it now!!

Alice drove home on Wednesday night, and I'll miss her, it was really nice to catch up and it was cool to not spend my birthday on my own, which I have done for the last couple of years.

Anyway, that's my update, sorry it was so long!!

I am now 32 years old and 2 days....

Please don't applaud, I'm amazed too!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

HAPPY 33rd ANNIVERSARY Mum & Dad!! :-)

Even though you drive me nuts sometimes, and living at home with you still is "interesting", we do have a lot of laughs and I'm glad you've kept your vows to each other.

It gives me hope that marriage for me when/if it happens could actually work. Thankyou for the example of two people committing to spend a lifetime together, no matter what.

I hope you have a good day today.



Apparently I'm a girl...

I've just heard a customer before I came upstairs to start my lunch, whilst looking round the shop for a book, say: "I'll just ask the girl behind the counter" - He was reffering to me!!

It's not as if my hair's THAT long yet!!!

The cheek!!!

I'm going to sulk now...

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Watch the video
I try to vlog again, my camera is really bad!!!I show you my room, and I'm sure you must be bored.

This video was originally shared on by Sanchoknotwise with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

My First Vlog!!

Watch the video
This is so bad it's painful...I am just using a normal camera with picture and sound, people!!It will get better once I get a camcorder lolIt's 30 seconds an it'll make you laugh, it's so bad!!

This video was originally shared on by Sanchoknotwise with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Crap. Lot's of it.

You know one of those moments in life when you want to throw your hands up and resign as being part of the human race, and wish to be in the place called heaven now?

I'm having one of those days.

So much crap is happening to people who I care about at the moment, and I feel absolutely helpless to do anything about it. So many of my friends seem to be oppressed by life and circumstances, that lead to bad choices and further oppression.

One of my friends has been suspended for shouting at a child who kicked him. He's a youthworker, has had a problem with his larynx and voice since his mum died about eighteen months ago, and has had to get used to speaking in whispers. None of the doctors know what's causing the problem. Just at the moment he got angry with a kid who literally kicked out at him, his voice temporarily came back, and now he's been suspended because of it. He's had several jobs down the years, and he just needs a break. He's only 29.

The homeless guy I talk to just wants to escape his drug habit and alchohol problem and travel. He wants to be clean, but he doesn't want to be press-ganged into believing something he does'nt. He wants to be respected as a human being, not a potential "convert to the cause". Why is that unreasonable? He doesn't steal for his habit, and shows respect to me whenever I chat to him, and tries not to show bitterness most of the time, 'cos he thinks he shud'nt.

The heroin addict who comes into the shop to talk to me, who's desperation I can see in his eyes, who talks about his ex-wife all the time, and is still clearly in love with her, but knows he can't go back.

The 20 yr old lad who used to be in my sunday school class, who's a mental age is about 11, who wanders round town on his own all day when he's not in college, because no one really cares about him enough to spend time with him, except a very few. He comes into the shop and talks for hours with me, and we laugh and joke, and try to go to the cinema as often as possible on my saturdays off. He doesn't really appear self-aware enough to know that no-one cares about him.... or does he? He may be mentally impaired, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. When he goes home at night to an empty house cos his mum's gone out, and when he sits for hours on his own at home playing on the playstation, does he know then?

And me?

I believe in a God who's above all this crap, who can lift people out of these situations, who's only response towards the creatures he made is love. I'm struggling myself at the moment to come to terms with how my body is changing with M.S, but more than that, I'm really struggling with where God fits into all this.

Why aren't you doing anything God?

Why can't you intervene?

All I want is for these people to know, for once in their lives, that they're special, and valued, and worthy of friendship and relationship with another human being; that the world is not just about them getting crushed; that even if they have had crap most of their lives, that there are some people who care, and that there is a Heavenly Father who cares. I want them to know that they can have a relationship with You and not have to do anything in return, that You will love them no matter what, totally unconditionally, not depending on whether they give or whether they're "good enough".

Why God?


Sunday, August 20, 2006

I've Been Inspired...

That's it.

The time has come...

I know what to ask for, for christmas now. January 2007 will see the start of a whole new vlogging experience: The Hobbit Vlog!!

I've decided I want to become a vlogger, I have been inspired by the sheer craziness of Ike.
I need to save up for a digicam now...

Watch this space, cos in a few months there'll be videos on here, tho not anything like the quality of these...

This was an advance notice, I promise to uphold it, if I can find a hobbit sized tripod... lol

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have a question that is troubling me to the deep depths of my soul...

WHY are male shirts buttoned up on a different side to womens????!

Please relieve my confusion and emotional disturbance...

(not really, but I'd like to know, and not for the reasons you think , naughty reader)

It's 1:58 pm....

And I SO want to be in bed asleep right now...


Dave & Rachel - Congratulations!!

I'll post more pictures tonight...

Sleeeeeeep.... I neeeeeeed sleeeeeeeeeeep....

I went to the wedding, it was great, v emotional!

I didn't dance 'cos my legs decided to turn to jelly, and I could hardly stand up. I managed to disguise it tho, 'cos everyone said I looked tired!! I did manage to take some photos, only about 50 or so though, 'cos in the end I couldn't be bothered! lol

I had a great time, although I finally got in at 1 am and had to be up at 7 for work. I'm really, really knackered!! Today is going to be a longggggggggg day.... !

Dave & Rachel - Congratulations!!


Friday, August 18, 2006


  • I am working 'till 12.
  • I am going to my friend's wedding.
  • I am wearing a suit!
  • I'm going to take lots of pictures with my camera.
  • I will look smart for a change!
  • I'll hopefully feel better and less ill.
  • I'll be out all day, and not back 'till late!
  • I'll be a step further on than yesterday!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm Currently Reading This...

It's strange, although I've been diagnosed with m.s. for three and a half years now, I'm still living a bit in denial, even though I'm injecting every day with medication. So far I've got halfway through this book, and I've recognised and resonated with all of the symptoms the author describes having experienced in his own battle with the disease.

I bought the book last week when I saw it advertised; what attracted me was that it is written by someone who has m.s. and is not just another "expert's" advice. It's a book ground in reality, and very personally written. I'll wait to get to the end of the book, but so far it's making me wonder whether I should ask my specialist to have a phsychological test to determine if I have cognitive symptoms as well as physical.

I don't normally talk about my experience with m.s, mainly because I think a part of me doesn't want to admit it, to acknoledge it's existence, but when I get weeks like this week, when it kind of throws me a metaphorical punch in the gut, I'd be a fool to deny that it affects my life.

I need to slow down a bit more in work I think, which isn't easy, being in the role of Deputy Manager, but the stress I put my body under is starting to show a bit I think. I have a wedding to go to on Friday, and because the manager forgot, he didn't give me the day off. (he's on holiday at the moment) So, I've had to split my day off this week into two half days, so I could go to my friends wedding and the reception! I finished work at 1 today, and will finish at 12 on Friday, and rush to the wedding which starts at 1!

I'm also thinking of making a complete career change, to find a less stressful job, and because my wage is so poor, ideally a part time one that is exactly the same pay that I'm on now!

We'll wait and see, I don't know what I want to do to be honest.

I came home this afternoon completely exhausted, and I all I did today was lift a box of very heavy books, and I used up all my energy reserves doing it. My legs felt like two lumps of lead walking home from the station today, and I was glad to get in, shut the door behind me, and collapse and veg on my couch all afternoon watching films, chilling out. I'm so tired at the moment that I think it's affecting my eyesight aswell, an old symptom that constantly re-occurs.

In short, I'm a bit run down. When you're run down, it's like holding out a personal invite to your symptoms, they all come running at once, so I find it's best to just sit down and recharge.

If I'm feeling up to it, I might go to the gym after work tommorrow and try some gentle cycling, and see what happens to my legs....

Oh well, must stop moaning and grumbling and get on with it I suppose...

I Have A New Job!! (WEll A Virtual One Anyway!!)

I've just started working online here!

Please visit, it's a great place so far!!

If you'd like to come and stay for a while, please do, and sign in the guest book after your stay...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Guy Could Get A Complex You Know...

A small sample of some of the spam emails I've been getting recently...

"No luck with women?

Try blahblahblahdating!"

"Felt a little let down at times of importance?

Try viagra at only $10.99!!"

"Want to find that dream job?

Sign up for losers2work!"

I'm trying not to lash out at my junk mailbox, I really am...!

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's The End Of The World As We Know It...

(Disclaimer: this post is a whine, please take some cheese with this as you read it...)

"...the storm clouds are gathering..."

"...a countdown to crisis..."

"...nuclear showdown..."

"...armageddon is nearly here..."

"...the last days..."

"...prophecy fulfilled before our eyes..."

These and a few thousand others are some of the phrases that I'm hearing at the moment, from all sorts of Christians, and it's starting to annoy me. We're selling one particular book at the moment, whose author claims to know that we're "nearly there", that we're "near the end".

He comments on "secret dossiérs" that he's conveniently found that reveal the Pentagon's plans for nuclear retalliation, and intelligence information that conveniently points to a world Arab conspiracy against Israel & America, that's apparently in Prophecy. He miraculously reveals that he can interpret passages that reveal that the European Union will be the antiChrist's organisation from which he will rule, and most of Europe will apparently side with him.

Most of the time I just ignore these people, but obviously because of the crisis in the middle east at the moment, his books are selling like hot cakes, and I feel really bad about it. The way he interprets prophecy, everyone except America is in the wrong, or on "the wrong side".

I don't mean to sound racist against the american people as a whole, (after all, thats exactly what he does against the German, Chinese and Russian people!) but, come on, it's a litttle convenient that you can interpret the End, and only America is blessed by God?!

Isn't that just a little bit convenient? It's funny how Developing nations and all those at an economic disadvantage as compared to America are on the losing side!! I don't mean to be nasty, but I really fail to see how Jesus' return is going to be decided by us as human beings, and be decided on an economic basis, when even Jesus himself said he didn't know when it would be!!

As a partial preterist, I believe that alot of the events described in revelation have happenned already in/at A.D. 70, with the Fall of Jerusalem, so to me, the earth could go on for another thousand years if we can get peace. Whether you believe that or not, writing books based on current events claiming you know when the end will be, is just scaremongering for money as far as I am concerned, and is not justified in any Christian sense. Presumably the author feels that even if the world does end in a bloody nuclear massacre, because he's been "faithful" he'll be able to keep all his proceeds from the book to spend on the new heavens and earth!!

I'm just so sick of all the scaremongering and hot air, During the first gulf war, we heard all these staements and arguments, and again in the second one, and now all again during this latest outbreak of violence. I'm fed up of it.

Jesus explicitly said that there would be wars and rumours of wars, but that it didn't neccesarily mean anything.

People who write "prophecy" books...

It's not funny and it's not clever.

Do it at the back.


Thérèse, this is for you...

I've jus found out Iceland are doing a box of eight cherry bakewells (cakes if you didn't know) for £1!!!

I've just about to eat my fourth one in 5 minutes...


It's pure unadulterated greed and food lust, and I don't care :)

p.s. I am working on the post with what I interpret the bible as saying about hell, but haven't finished it yet, for those of you who were eagerly waiting to stone me for herecy... :p

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Watch This Space...

I'm so annoyed and upset about last night's sermon/talk that I'm going to write my views tonight. I have an exhaustive concordance, and like i said, I'm no scholar, but I'll write an honest opinion later by looking up passages, and getting an overall view of Hell and Judgement, which I believe is radically different from what we like to teach from selected passages.

Hell In Church...

Well the speaker covered the topic, complete with the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon "sinners in the hands of an angry God", and I wanted to cry, not because the sermon/talk affected me in a positive weay, but because it was everything I don't believe about God and the Bible.

I'm no scholar, or academic, and it frustrates me that I can't put into words what I really feel the bible says on the subject, that's why I quote people like Rob Bell and others, because what they say about it I seem to resonate with, and they speak for me.

I'm really frustrated tonight, and am feeling depressed at the images that were conveyed, and the kind of God that was taught about tonight, a God where His Wrath = Anger, and a God who can cope with not just punishing, but torturing people for eternity. I can't even begin to imagine that, and it flies in the face of everything I read in the Gospels about Jesus, and why he came.

I just don't know why I can't put it into words what I believe, I know more what I don't believe.

I don't believe that God is angry with the whole of humanity until they sign a decision card for Him.

I don't believe that God will torture people for eternity even if they didn't trust Him.

I don't believe that God's Justice demands that he defend His honour in a kind of macho way.

I don't believe that the whole point of God's Wrath is to destroy and annihilate.

I don't believe that the whole point of Jesus coming was just for personal salvation of people from hell.

I don't believe that adhering to Christianity in and of itself is what God is looking for.

I don't believe that all other faiths/religions are direct from the Devil, and have no elements of truth in them.

I don't believe that I have all the answers either.

I'm so depressed.

It seemed like I was the only one who disagreed with what was said about Wrath, and Holiness, and Jesus' work on the cross. I feel so isolated in my beliefs, like I'm a major heretic and everyone thinks I need to be "corrected". I found myself without even realising shaking my head tonight at various points, I hope people didn't notice.

*sigh* I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

28 Days...

No it's not a film...

It's not the length of a returns of goods policy...

It's not my age...

It's not the answer to the Universe...

It's not the number of guesses you've made reading this...

It's actually...

The number of days till my 32nd Birthday!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Work... Grrrrrrrr....


I've just about finished all the accounts for last month, and have had two members of staff ring in sick today, one of them to be signed off for three weeks...

Not that I blame them, they can't help being ill obviously, but it's just so FRUSTRATING.

I have so much to do over the next three weeks, and now not many staff to accomplish it with.


God loves me, but my job HATES me....

Keeping Healthy HURTS!!

Seriously people.

I decided I'd better go back to the gym, since I hadnt been in three months, was still paying the monthly fee, and I used to go four/five times a week!! (Don't get the wrong idea, I only use the rowing machine and the bike, nothing else, I'm not a muscle bound model - you'd see that if you know me or have met me lol)

Haven't felt up to it for a while, but I guess it's a vicious circle...

Where was I?

Oh yeah. The Gym.

Well, I went Sunday afternoon, deciding that I should go, and sunday afternoons are usually lazy so why not? I did the rowing machine for half an hour, and then went to the cycling. One problem I have is that I get carried away listening to my ipod, which has either a sermon/talk that I'm thinking deeply about, or some really cheesy pop album that entertains me. Well, I was listening to both - one after the other on sunday, and because I close my eyes while cycling, (yeh I know, I'm wierd but its helps me concentrate on the song/message and my cycling) I kinda forgot the time.... (Justification: well I don't go with anyone, and it's not really the place to have random conversations with strangers really, so it's not that bad that I close my eyes!!)

An hour and a half later, I realised I'd been there a while...

I did a cool down cycle, reduced the gradient on the bike and stopped. I did all the stuff you're supposed to, stretches, etc, but felt a bit stiff, as you would if you're unfit and have M.S, and have cycled for an hour and a half vigorously!

All this week, my bum muscles have ached. In fact, they've been on fire at some points, and I think I've bruised my bum muscles and got VERY saddle sore!! So, no pain, no gain as they say! I've lost weight since I started going to the gym, but most of it was in sweat on sunday!

So the moral is, don't close your eyes when cycling, otherwise you won't see the timer on the display in front of you...

I'll have a great ass but won't be able to walk properly...

Oh well!!

lol let's see what happens on saturday and my next visit... maybe I should stick to the sauna!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly...

I got home from work at 9, and vegged in front of the tv.

I feel knackered and run down.

I hate month-end accounts.

I will blog more on the idea/progression of the idea of Hell tommorrow.


'Workin' 9 To 5' - NOT!!

I'm still at work.

I owed my boss 2 and a half hours as I left early one day last week to go to the Doctors to get the anti-biotics for the abcess I had.


It being the last day of the month, and the day of my usual stress-head doing the month-end accounts, I've decided to stay late and do them, while having my pick of music to listen to from the shop....

No distractions, no customers, no noise.


Accounts-done-in-a-mellow-way here I come!

Hell, it's only Hell!!

Every first Wednesday in the month, we abandon our small/house groups and all meet up in church for our appropriately entitled "Wednesday In The Word", which is basically where we invite a speaker to talk on a broad subject and then open the evning out to questions and discussion.

I'm quite looking forward to this one, because it's on the subject of "What does the Bible say about Hell?!".

Ever since I read Brian W McLaren's Theology Trilogy - "A New Kind Of Christian", "The Story We Find Ourselves In" and "The Last Word & The Word After That", I've been struggling with the whole traditional evangelical stance on the idea of hell and what/when/where it is...

Brian got me intrigued and disturbed as he seemed to be taking apart and deconstructing everything I had previously believed about the subject, as he has an annoying habit of doing!! I decided to look into it myself, by doing some study on the words "Gehennah" and "Sheol", the first being used by Jesus for the word that we translate as "hell", and the second being used in the Psalms and most of the Jewish Scriptures to refer to the place of the dead, and the state of being dead.

What I found out was interesting and again provoking, and when it comes to the question part of wednesday evening, I have some questions for the speaker that he may not like!!

My church is a good, Bible-believing Baptist church, but I've become increasingly frustrated that they have some very very traditional views. Their whole teaching structure is based round the fact that Jesus came to save us from hell, and although this is not strange for a baptist church to teach, I think it is not neccesarily the whole Gospel, and not actually what Jesus came to do at all.

Anyway, I'm going to be late for work, so I have to stop here and carry on this line of thought tonight when I have more time....

Any comments so far?!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


p.s, if you clicked on them and were intensely bored by either of those links, I apologise.

Normal service will be resumed shortly...


I've decided, that in terms of theology, generally speaking, I am a Partial Preterist. If you want to know what that is, or can be bothered, click on the word and look it up... I also have decided (in the words of my dad) that I am a Pan Millenialist... I believe the bible says it'll all pan out in the end... (which if you realise, is a phrase adapted from the days of the Gold Rush, where the bad stuff was panned out from the Gold, which if you really think, is what the Bible says about the Final Judgement anyway!!)

For those of you who get very confused about revelation and the whole "end times" thing, look up this link. It will either make the differing opinions clearer or confuse you more!!)

So.... there you go.

This may or may not concern some of you, and may lead some of you who read my blog to think I'm going straight to hell...


Friday, July 28, 2006

Harsh But Fair

Joking aside, sometimes I am an idiot, and I excede myself. If you're not ready for something, you're not ready, and however it hurts someone's feelings you should say. My only regret is that I didn't say sooner, and maybe I would have caused less hurt.

If something is intensely personal, I don't always write about it here, but yes I did have a girlfriend that I didn't blog about, yes I ended things last night, and yes, in this particular situation, I am the one in the wrong and an idiot.

That's all I'd like to say about it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reason No. 7532807525895432 I Am An Idiot...

I left my window open.

It is dark outside.

My light is on in my room.

Therefore it is light inside.

This makes all the creepy crawlies and long legged horrible things want to come in.

They do.

Now I have to share my room all night with them.



One advantage of the last couple of days has been that I've got to watch a few films, which is always a good thing. Even if they're bad, (and they sometimes are) at least they tell me what not to watch next time!

However, I have been fortunate, in that most of the films I've watched have been good ones. The night before last, I saw '13 Conversations About One Thing', and I LOVED it. It reminded me in some ways of '21 Grams', although the conclusions were obviously different. '21 Grams' in one of it's many sub plots, broaches the subject of forgiveness, transformation and faith, and 13 Conversations covered the issues of materialism, happiness, and faith. Both also portrayed the effects and consequences of guilt, which is the main subject of Christian Bale's film 'The Machinist'. All these and also the issue of racism is covered in 'Crash', which has got to be one of my all-time favourite films.

These are my four favourite films of all time, because they provoke a response in me as a human being. All of these films try to look at the way that even though we don't realise it, we are all connected to each other in ways we can't begin to comprehend, and they all point to something greater behind it all. I love the way these films make me think about my own life, and the opinions, prejudices and choices I own everyday.

What started me thinking on all this was the taxi driver I was talking to on the way to the doctors to get my prescription. Somehow (and I don't remember how) we got onto the subject of why things are like they are, and he started down a road I didn't want to go down. He made a comment about "immigrants" bringing change into Britain, and making things worse, and causing delays in lot's of things, needless to say I don't want to repeat it here partly because:

a. I don't want to be accused of mis-representing him, and ;

b. I didn't agree with what he said.

Yes immigration is a problem we have to deal with, and I'm not pretending there are easy answers, but surely we have to see people as people, not bringers of problems or misery or disease or "lowered standards". The people we talk about when we use the word "immigrants" or "assylum seekers" are flesh and blood just like you and I, and what separates "them" from "us" is very little. They ahve families, they have dreams and goals, they have hard and joyful times, they need love and acceptance just like us. Whenever one group of people or race blame another for their problems, I believe God is saddenned. Evil is a lack of goodness, not the other way round.

Yes, there are those who are not genuine, there are those who play the system to get all they can, but there are people who were born here and have lived all their lives here who do that, I can see that in a few (and i mean a few not lots) of the customers who come into my mum's post office for their benefits. I know Immigration is a big issue, and I don't want to be a bleeding heart liberal, or a staunch stoic conservative, or a bomb throwing radical for that matter. What impressed on me most from these films is that we're all connected. Whether we realise it or not. And the sooner we realise that, the better we can work together.

Ok I know that sounds a bit simplistic, and in a way it is, but if we start to aim for the impossible, we can at least go some of the way to achieving it. As A Christian, I believe God's Kingdom will be the greatest multi-racial/multi-cultural event ever. We'll be amazed by who's there and who's not. The amazing thing for me is, that I don't know who will be there and who won't, only God does, so I can give up trying to label and judge. He only gives guidelines that it will be those in Him. And that's a label big enough to include everyone if they want it.

Sorry to get deep and sound like a softie liberal, but ignore what I say, go and watch these films and make your own conclusions. When Jesus gave the parable of the Two Sons, the film 'Crash' immediately reminded me of it.

Anyway, time to finish, I've rambled on for long enough.

What are your favourite films and why?