Saturday, 30 December 2006

An Homage

This is one of my favourite books of all time. I like it so much I wrote my ownhere.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

OddBabble's 31 Songs

The following post was originally a separate blog. It has been condensed into one post here.

For someone who loves music as much as I do, a book like '31 Songs' by Nick Hornby is almost too gorgeous to be true. It made me want to marry him after the first chapter (or at least take him out for a pint). It's such a simple idea; an eloquent and passionate man describes his 31 favourite or most significant songs for the pleasure of anyone who cares.

Songs are my language. When I hear something that cuts throgh the rest, I want to describe it, share it, play it, be its author, listen to it again and again on repeat. I'm jealous of Nick Hornby, because for him, he can describe why he loves his 31 songs and people will give a toss. I can think, optimistically, of about 3 people who might be interested in reading mine, and one of them is me.

However, I'm damned if I'm going ot let minority interest stop me. When I first decided to compile my own list, it excited me so much that I struggled to get to sleep that night (a rare complaint).

As with guests on 'Desert Island Disks' it's tempting to include songs which will make me look cool, or add the odd classical track to make me appear more culturally aware. I've been careful not to do that here. There are one or two deeply embarrassing songs on the list, but the truth is that I genuinely love them for one reason or another. Musical snobbery sucks. I've kept it real.

Some of the songs were chosen because they represent significant times or people in my life, some because they represent all that I love about a particular artist, and some are there simply for no other reason than that they are beautifully crafted songs. I've chosen to shun modesty by choosing 2 self-penned songs. I'm sure Hornby would have done the same if he were a songwriter. I've not done it to congratulate myself (they're not good enough for that), but just to be consistent; these songs too, have been significant in my life.

As with all of the constantly evolving lists in my head, they are in no particular order. I would find that impossible, like choosing which of my babies I loved the most. Instead I have grouped them together into vague catagories just to give them some sort of order. I've also set myself one or two ground rules. The first is to be ruthlessly honest about what I put in or leave out, putting in the songs that I really love, and not just the ones that would make an impressive or well balanced list. The second is that there must only be one song per artist in the list. This rule was tortuous to keep as I agonised, for example, over which song best represented all that I love about Damien Rice. I must have changed my mind about a dozen times. Not having this rule however, would have meant that the entire list would have consisted of songs by Tori, PJ and Eddi. That would be kind of missing the point really. The list can never be definative. When I first began to compile the list, I had never heard any Indigo Girls or Kate Rusby; artists who I would now say partly define my musical tastes.

I don't mind if you don't love every song I've chosen, but you will certainly get to know me better by listening to them and hearing why they are important. And they are important. I will never quite understand those people who are content only to listen to Christian music, or who only own about a dozen CDs. How do these people feel? How can they interpret the world? What do they do when they need to dance, sing along with the stereo turned so loud it feels like it's you that sings like Ella, or cry hearing the words of someone who understands? I guess they have other ways of doing those things, but these are mine.

Anne Witton said...
This is so great Barney!! I'm so excited because music means loads to me too. I own 13 of your 31 songs so I am listening to them at the appropriate time as I'm going through to get maximum pleasure from the whole experience!!
30 December 2006 13:38
Kath said...
Small amounts of wee are coming out in excitement. Can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and read this properly when I'm back in the UK. Woop. Well done you. Have 1000 points.
04 January 2007 11:24
nayf said...
Hey, you great big fabulous looncake. I've finally finished reading this and it's by turns intrigued me (Gett Off), made me laugh (Cornflake Girl), given me nostalgia in the good way (Raw Funk) and the bad way (Creep), moved me nearly to tears (Enough, even though I've never heard it), made me browse iTunes a lot, *almost* like Shania Twain (ALMOST) and love you more (all of it). Maybe one day I'll tell you my 31, but I'll enjoy yours for now :)
08 January 2007 08:12


1 The Right Place EDDI READER

The flagships are the songs by artists that I love so much, that one song really isn't enough, but if I had to choose one this would be it. The Right Place is my favourite song of all time by, I think I do have to say, my favourite artist of all time. Eddi has just been so consistent throughout her career. Other musicians I love always have a bum album somewhere, but Eddi is just class. I made a compilation of her songs for a friend, and as we listened to it together the first few seconds of every song induced an "oh I love this one!" in me. I am a fan.

This song is just so perfectly crafted. It tells the story of a changed life and begins reminiscing about the old life. It builds, musically and lyrically to a glorious, joy-filled climax as she celebrates what she has now become, after waiting such a long time. It's a secular song about love changing someone's life but I can't help Christianising it and making it an anthem to a real new life: Five or ten lifetimes ago, there lived a girl that you don't know. She walked about and answered to my name. Oh, but let's not talk of strangers now, of where and when or why and how. I've turned around, and I'm looking at a new day. I've been in the wrong place, long enough to know, that I'm in the Right Place now.

It just doesn't get better than that.

2 Cornflake Girl TORI AMOS

I remember the first time I heard of Tori Amos, and it was when this song was announced on the radio. Randomly, I was in the back of my parents' car, waiting for my sister to come out of her bell-ringing session (when is the last time you heard an anecdote begin like that?) I remember thinking that Cornflake Girl was just the best song title I had ever heard of in my life. It seemed to me like the most fresh and innovative thing in popular music. When the song itself followed, it was like an epiphany to me. I just hadn't heard anything like it before at that time. I'd not heard a pop song that was based around a piano, but that still sounded like pop. I'd not heard lyrics that I didn't immediately understand. I didn't get this song instantly, like everything else I'd heard; it wasn't disposable. It needed my attention and I wanted to give it. This woman was clearly bonkers, and I wanted more of her.

That was the beginning of an obsession with Tori that made me the true definition of a fan. I spent all the money I had on everything she produced, and the woman could do no wrong for me. Every song she made was just head and shoulders above everything else I had heard in my life.

Peculiarly, I actually met her once completely by accident. I used to have a Saturday job in Boots when I was 16, and I loathed it beyond description. I used to day dream about Tori while I sat on my till bleeping soaps and tampons past. I was unaware at the time that there was a recording studio called Jacob's Studios in the town where I lived, or that Tori was mixing her 3rd album there. Of all the tills in all the Boots stores in all the world, she chose mine to buy her toiletries. One always imagines that when one meets one's hero, one will shake thier hand say some choice, but cool words of praise and leave with an autographed album. When you're me though, you go bright red, shake, sweat and stare in a horrifying way. Because I had been programmed like a robot using the Selling the Boots Experience customer service training programme, I was able to utter the pre-programmed words "do you need a bag?" She had about 15 items, and she looked at me like I was the biggest scarlet, sweating moron she had ever seen. "Yes" she said. And then, the immortal words "what do I owe you?" "What do you owe me? WHAT DO YOU OWE ME?? As if you owed me a thing Tori, you've given me so much, I couldn't begin to tell you!" I thought. And pointed to the total on the till. She paid, she left, I watched her go and the customer behind her swore at me for keeping her waiting.

1 comments: said...
he he he and you thought no one would read this. I am now on the Tori Amos web site listening to some tracks!
28 June 2007 08:19

3 There is a Light That Never Goes Out THE SMITHS

This was the first song I ever heard by the Smiths. I had no idea who they were, but the lyrics appealed to my dark worldview more than anything I had ever heard before. And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. And if a ten-ton truck kills the both of us to die by your side well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine. I completely fell in love with his macarbre romanticism. I had more delights to come when I heard the wonderful, wonderful words to Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now: "In my life Why do I smile At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye ?" Genius! I had never heard people sing songs that tapped into my pessimism so perfectly, but that did it with such joy-filled music, that it made me laugh at the world instead of wish to leave it. Every word of Smiths Greatest Hits album is such bitter beauty, I don't think I will ever tire of it.

B said...
I guess you don't really want all my 'me toos' but I love this song too - how rare for us to agree on both artist AND song!xxB
19 January 2007 08:42


When I had just turned 18 I went on holiday without my parents for the first time. We hired a caravan in Bognor and did all the things that teenagers so when adults are not around. The soundtrack to this was a pop single by a new all girl band called the Spice Girls. We played it several times each day and shouted along with the rap in the middle.

The Spice Girls just made consistently perfect pop. I love what Hornby says about people who dismiss pop, in the original 31 songs: "That's the thing that puzzles me about those who feel that contemporary pop (and I use the word to encompass soul, reggae, country, rock - anything and everything that might be regarded as trashy) is beneath them, or behind them, or beyond them - some preposition denoting distance, anyway: does this mean that you never hear, or at least never enjoy, new songs, that everything you whistle or hum was written years, decades, centuries ago? Do you really deny yourselves the pleasures of mastering a tune ( a pleasure, incidentally, that your generation is perhaps the first in the history of mankind to forgo) because you are afraid it might make you look as if you don't know who Harold Bloom is? Wow. I'll bet you're fun at parties."

5 Alarm Call BJORK

It's not that this song is one of the best or most significant in my life. I do love it, it is one of my favourite of her songs. But it is here because Bjork has to be on the list somewhere, because she is wonderful. Bjork is and no-one! That's why she's so brilliant! This song in particular has a lot of the elements that make me love her. It is bonkers (as is she) it is unashamedly optomist in a way that doesn't make me want to punch her, it is original and it has her unique littlegirlscarywoman voice that I love so much. "I'm no f***ing buddhist, but this is enlightenment!" she sings, about being on a mountaintop with a radio and 'good batteries'. She makes me believe that life really could be this simple and this wonderful.

6 Cannonball DAMIEN RICE

Damien's songwriting is so perfect I almost can't bear it. It was so difficult to choose one song to represent him, because O is just such a perfectly crafted album, with perfect song after perfect song.

Damien is the first man ever to enter my hallowed Top Five Artists of All Time list. That is a unique feat, but he deserves his place.

I don't know what to say, he is just immaculate.


Why didn't Trip-hop go anywhere? This song represents the whole of the Dummy album, and Maxinquay by Tricky, by being on my list. Once upon a time there were beats. Then someone invented these delicious, complex, original mixtures of samples and sounds and rhythms. Portishead put a woman with a voice like someone dying of a broken heart on top of it, and Tricky made a partnership with Martina Topley-Bird and topped thier beats with something that sounded like sex and danger and darkness. *Shiver*
There was a lot of crap that came out of the 90s musically (in my view) but THIS stuff, will always sound timeless and new to me.

8 Somewhere Over the Rainbow EVA CASSIDY

I saw a video of her singing this on Top of The Pops 2 one day. Of course I knew the song before, it's one of those songs that is just in the collective consciousness. But who knew that a song about happy little bluebirds, could be so genuinely heartbreaking? There is a Smack the Pony sketch where all these women are sat in an office with this on the radio in the background. One by one they each start crying (it's funnier than it sounds). That's what Eva can do. She doesn't write her own songs (as far as I know) but she is one of those musicians that makes everything she does sound world-class and brand new, even if it isn't.

9 You Know You're Right NIRVANA

It's not that I'm a massive fan of Nirvana. I do love Nevermind, and listened to it a lot as a teenager, but that's partly just because, well, that's sort of what is required. I'm not really a proper rock bitch, so it's not that electric guitars do it for me in the same way as it would someone who regularly frequents the mosh pit. But I do recongnise that there was something very special about Kurt Cobain. I think that the fact that I connect with Nirvana even though I am not a real rock fan, says even more in favour of his talent.

He was one of those people who found living very difficult. That seems a painfully obvious thing to say about someone who took thier own life, but it seems that he always felt that way. He loathed himself, and he loathed the sick world he found himself in, and he found a way to turn that into music in a way that I don't think anyone else has managed before or since. I personally think that this song, the last he recorded, did that the most perfectly. The lyrics are sarcastic and resigned; the sound of a man who has given up the fight. Why? The chorus tells us: "Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn!!!!" That's why. There are all kinds of ridiculous theories about whether or not Cobain's death was really a suicide. Of course it was. Listen.

FloydTheBarber said...
i think thats my favourite Nirvana song...anyone who can make the word 'pain' last for four syllables is clearly worth paying attention to...
02 January 2007 16:06


When my friend first played me Retrospective I couldn't believe that I'd got this far in my life without listening to the Indigo Girls. They are just as I imagined Rooted would sound (but we don't) except they are better, because I couldn't have imagined that well.

I was busy enjoying getting to know the album when I noticed the lyrics to Ghost. This is the first of several songs to appear on my list because it is an infinitely better version of a song I tried to write myself, in this case the cheery Until I Drown.

One of the things that makes the Indigo Girls unusual is that they don't co-write their songs. They each write thier own stuff and Emily's songs are totally different to Amy's. I have to admit that I often end up skipping Amy's, but Emily just writes beautiful song after beautiful song. Her lyrics are really poetry and her structures and melodies are unpredictably complex. My lyrics tend to be reported facts (I feel like this, this is how it feels to feel like this. Chorus.) Emily took exactly the same sentiments and made it into something beautiful, universal but personal, and original.

Everytime I listen to her songs I lament the years I wasted not listening to them. Part of the reason I love them is the fact that they are such a well kept secret. You tend only to have heard of them if you are connected to a certain sub-culture in some way. I realised my need to preserve this when I got a couple of thier albums for Christmas. My parents asked if I wanted to put one of them on the main stereo, but I resisted because I was afraid they would like them. They are special, they are for me and for my friends who see the world as I do. They are not for parents. It would be like your mum fancying your boyfriend. There are some things that they are just not allowed to appreciate.

Anonymous said...
i love that I had even a small part in your discovery of these lovely very dark blue ladies. And I am with you on the parent comment - I am an Indigo Girls evangelist, but only when that's appropriate!xx
19 January 2007 08:50

11 A Case of You JONI MITCHELL

Once upon a time I only had 3 PJ Harvey albums, and when I declared to a collegue at a record shop I worked at that she was one of my top 3 artists of all time, she scoffed, because I hadn't even heard her entire back catalogue. Well I scoff back! Joni Mitchell is here simply because of Blue and nothing else.

I bought Blue because Tori had covered this song. I found a treasury. Every song ever is about love, and this means that there are a hell of a lot of cliches out there. Joni found completely new and beautiful ways of saying exactly what everyone else has been saying since forever. How often have you compared your lover to a bottle of vintage wine, saying "you taste so bitter, so bitter and so sweet. And I could drink a case of you and I would still be on my feet."? Never. That's how often. That is because you are not Joni Mitchell. (If you are by the way (I did meet Tori in Boots, these things sometimes happen! Maybe she was googling herself!) Do leave a comment!).



In films, like for example Dead Poets' Society and Dangerous Lives, teachers are inspiring and instil a love of the subject that somehow manages to transcend all life's ills. In real life teachers are on the verge of a nervous break down and the pupils are so intent on self-harm and premature pregnancy that very little gets learned about anything (or was that just my school?). When I went on to college to study my A levels though, my music teacher came close to these fictional pedagoues. I was a painfully (and I mean painfully) shy 16 year old with very little self belief, and he made me feel like I could really be the best at something, and that that something (music) was the most important thing in all the world.

The place where this was most keenly felt was in the Alton College Jazz Band, which (I felt deeply at the time) was just the coolest thing to be a part of ever. We were 16 or 17, and we did gigs in pubs and were paid with a tab at the bar. Well I couldn't think of anything cooler. The guy waving his arms madly at the front was this legendary teacher. He had an unusual teaching method (which I would not wish to recommend) of being a total bastard. He spent most of the time telling us we were crap, and shouting at us for nothing. For example, I did a sax duet with someone at a concert and it went really well. He came up to us afterwards and said in a fury "I can't believe what I just saw out there!! You didn't bow!!" and went on in a tirade, the exact content of which I have mercifully forgotten, except that it all ended in tears. The thing was, he made us feel like music was so important, that he was (almost) right to shout at us like that. It was scarilege. And so the effect this had on me (and all of us) was not to go away with our tails between our legs, but to think I must do better!! This is too important not to do right!! And so we tried harder.

In the Jazz Band, there were two types of musician. There were those who took solos, and those who didn't. I didn't. I didn't know how! How are you supposed to just make stuff up on the spot?! What is a saxophonist supposed to do with a chord symbol?! Needless to say, I totally idolised the ones that could do it. One time in rehearsals, my teacher decided that we would try. He just pointed to someone, and you were expected to deliver. I was terrified - playing something without music felt like absailing without a rope, and the stakes were impressing my teacher, or being made to feel like I was nothing.

I jumped off the edge, and though I was no Charlie Parker, I did it, and I was in the right key, and he said I was soloing at the next gig. Can you imagine? No, but can you imagine though?? It was the most terrifying and exhilerating thing in the world to take a solo in a gig (which I did several times a night from then on) because I never knew what I would play until I'd played it, and the stakes (impressing or horrifying my teacher) were so high.

For the composition part of my A level I wrote a jazz suite for Jazz Band, and Raw Funk was one third of it. My teacher liked it enough to make it part of the repertoire and he gave me one of the solos in it. Whenever we played it, I mean, I just could not contain myself. My whole world at that time was that band and we were playing something I had written. I just couldn't have dreamed of anything better.

When I listen to it now, I find it embarrasingly derivative, and my solo leaves a lot to be desired, but it still makes me go a bit funny. I think the band is still going, but I don't suppose they play it anymore.

13 Crosstown Traffic JIMI HENDRIX

You're not supposed to like the music that your parents like, it's against The Rules. But The Rules didn't take into account that mine have such good taste. They introduced me to Ella Fitzgerald, The Carpenters, The Mamas & Papas, Queen, Steeleye Span, Dr Hook, Abba, musicals and Jimi Hendrix. Sod The Rules then.

I was a fairly surly, morose and uncommunicative teenager, and like many of my contemporaries my main vocabulary consisted of grunts and sulks. Jimi Hendrix is so special, not because of the legendary way he wealds his axe, but because he was my mouthpiece at that time between me and my Dad. We had a shared love and connection in this music that transended my monosyllabic wall. And it was a language just for us; not for me and mum, or me and my sister, or my sister and him. Only we understood it. He would say "can't you see my signals" and I would say "turn from green to red." And all was said that needed to be said.


I believe I have mentioned that I was not a happy teen. I believe I have mentioned that I like it when songs express the things I feel, better than I can express them. Imagine what it did to my head then, when I read the lyrics to Creep on the T-shirt of a girl at college. I felt like someone had reached into my miserable mind and set it to song. And believe me, I was a wierdo. I think that was the first time I had ever experienced that. Most of what people sang about when I was that age was beyond my current experience or imagining. I had never heard anything before that seemed to be about me and about how I felt about being me. Even though those feelings were very secret and private, they were written all over this girl's T-shirt. I wonder if that song by Roberta Flack/Fugees is about something similar? Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words.....I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud....Hmm, suddenly that song seems so profound to me!

15 You Do Something To Me PAUL WELLAR

I don't really like Paul Wellar's stuff much, but I heard his acoustic album Days of Speed and it did actually change my life because it reminded me that I loved the acoustic guitar - the playing of which gives me more pleasure than most other things in my life. Somehow, the stripping away of drums, Strats and bass, and leaving just one person and their naked instrument, can give profound new depth to a bunch of songs I never took any notice of before. I wanted to be able to do that thing. So I got my dusty guitar out and decided to push past the pain barrier and learn how to play barre chords. I bought myself Suki from e-bay, and discovered that even I could make these sweet sounds. I might never have got there if I had not heard this album.


16 Club Tropicana WHAM

I am a person in possesion of a meloncholy disposition, but I can usually have my mood lifted by certain people or certain things. One of the certain things is Wham. (Strictly, that should say Wham! as that is thier official band name, but the exclaimation mark would have made my sentence look amateurish.) Really, really good pop does exactly what it should do. It makes you forget that the world is sick, and makes you think that everything is going to be OK, so let's dance! This song achieves this by telling you about a place where the drinks are free, and all that is missing is the sea (but don't worry, you can sun-tan). What more could you want? Also, that bass-line! Have you ever heard anything like it??

17 Vogue MADONNA

I prefer Madonna as an icon rather than a singer. I think most of her music these days is quite forgettable, and people only buy it because she sings it. But I can remember getting a copy of Like A Prayer out of the library when I was at school, and thinking it was amazing. I just listened to it over and over again, and thought she was the most amazing woman on the planet. Every school kid has to find the music that their parents will hate, that's the Way of Things. My contemporaries had found Guns N Roses, and that certainly ticked that box, but Madonna meant more to me, because she was offensive, but she was a girl. She was my first parent-unfriendly rolemodel, and that means a lot to a girl. This song was not on the album I borrowed, but it is, in my opinion, the best song of her career by far. I don't exactly know what it is that makes it so great, and I'm scared to analyse it incase I rob it of its magic. But it is great, and it will never lose its greatness.

18 Gett Off - PRINCE

It's hard to describe the place that this has in my life.

When I was at school I was miserable. I hated everything about it, and the only thing I looked forward to was Friday night. Friday night, you may be surprised to learn, was choir night - I was in the Surrey County Girls' Choir. I did enjoy the singing, as I always have done, but it was the tea breaks that I lived for. I used to stand on the steps and tell funny stories to the other girls. Usually they were the same stories that were requested every week, each time with a little bit extra added or exagerated. But I loved being the centre of attention, and I loved making people laugh so much. For some reason, this particular thing is inextricably linked to this filthy Prince song. I think that part of one of my stories or performances must have meant singing it. I really can't remember why, but I know that it represents completely the feeling I used to get in those tea breaks at Surrey Girls'. So I love it. I also remember dancing to it on a chair in the kitchen of my halls of residence at university, because I was so over-joyed to hear it again.


Whenever I imagine myself having a great night out dancing, it is this bassline that comes into my head. To people who do not dance, this is just some rude man shouting, interspersed with some lady singing something meaningless. If you do dance, this is one of the rare anthems, like Crazy In Love by Beonce, that will rock any party, and will be the moment of the night that you will look back on as the moment you really got your groove and lost yourself to the music. Every time.

20 Don't Stop Til You Get Enough MICHAEL JACKSON

There is no very profound way to articulate why this song is so fantastic. It is so fantastic because it makes me want to dance so very badly, and dancing is one of the reasons why music is the best thing on God's earth, because dancing means you appreciate music with every bone of your body. It's as simple and as wonderful as that.

21 B-Line LAMB

I can't think of a better way to describe this than the way I described it on my very first Under A Bushell entry, so here it is: Sounds like a coiled spring that keeps on escaping and then being wound up again, and consequently makes me feel exactly like that when I listen to it. Impossible to listen to below full volume. Impossible not to dance to it even though it’s impossible to dance to.

22 Higher State of Consciousness JOSH WINK

When I was 16 my sister invited me up to visit her at university. She gave me a generous shot of Bacardi and took me to my first night club. This song was playing and I had never heard anything like it in all my life. It was the first time that I really ever let myself go on a dancefloor and this is really a great song to do that to for the first time. It is aural euphoria, climactic, basic instinct, animal music, and it drives me nuts every time I hear it. I really don't know what it is that makes a human being feel good when they move thier body in time to a beat. Musicologists have speculated that it has something to do with simulating the human heart-beat or something. I don't know. I just know that if I was set the task of teaching an alien what dancing was, I would stick this on the turntable, and they would get a little glimpse of what makes us human beings.


23 Who Will Sing Me Lullabies? KATE RUSBY

This is officially the saddest song I have ever heard in my life, and believe me, I am a connoisseur of the genre. If I had heard this song in the first two years of my becoming a Christian I probably would have done great harm to myself. It is actually so sad that I can't use it nestle into the warmth of self-pity when I am feeling sad and lonely, because its balm is just too powerful. It doesn't just say "there there, others have felt like you have, have a little cry", it says "you are right to be sad, because there is no hope for you. No hope. Die." There are times when it is not that helpful to induce these feelings in myself. That is not to say that it is an unlistenable song because it is beautiful and I listen to it often. I just have to make sure I was in a good mood to begin with and that I don't mind feeling sad for the rest of the day.

One of the things that makes Kate Rusby so great live, is that she is a naturally hilarious woman. So inbetween singing these aching songs, with a pure voice that was made for them, she will crack a gag to remind that it will all be alright in the end. She is my International Folk Bitch hero.

24 Leave Right Now WILL YOUNG

I have never heard a song that so directly described that way that I felt in a certain situation as this one. It was as if someone had transcribed the most difficult phonecall of my life and made it into song.

25 Dido's Lament HENRY PURCELL

I'm not a person who generally likes old things in any context, but the teacher I mentoined in the Raw Funk entry taught me to like baroque music. We did a production of Purcell's Dido & Aneaes and being in the chorus for that was one of the best experiences of my life. There is just nothing like being in an opera. Singing brilliant music in our breaks when all our contemporaries were just smoking or talking about crap in the canteen. Having our own costumes made, learning the stage directions, hearing the applause at the end. It was brilliant!

This particular song is the final song, and is just deliciously sad. Before I was a Christian I wanted it played at my funeral which is so incredably pompous I may pause to thank the Lord once again for saving me.

26 Heal Over KT TUNSTALL

I wrote a song called Hush, Hey which was for a friend who struggled a lot, and I wanted to express to her that I was always there for her and that I understood. I was fairly pleased with it lyrically, but musically it felt a bit like I'd come out with an elephant when I was trying to create a swan. Or something. A few months later I heard Heal Over and KT had already made the swan. The chords are delicious (and a pig to play, which makes it all the more intangible) and the words are just what I wanted to say. I love it because it's one of the songs I most wish I'd written.

27 Enough OddBabble

I'm not a very good songwriter. Some of my songs are good, but none of them will make me an International Rock Bitch. This pains me, but from time to time I think, sod it, and write a song anyway. Enough is the first song I ever wrote, and in my opinion it is miles better than anything else I've done, even though very few people seem to think much of it. It isn't complex, lyrically or musically. In fact it is very simple indeed, but it is the most heartfelt thing I have ever made. I have a recording of it that is embarrasing to listen to. I am singing very shyly and the recording is such bad quality that it sounds like the speakers are about to bust every time I hit a high note. But somehow this is the most authentic recording there will be of it, even when the Beatles reform and cover it in the future. I just love it because it's the only time I've ever felt that I said exactly what I wanted to say, and managed to match the music exactly to what was in my head.

Also, it made me cry when I wrote it, and it's made a couple of people cry when they heard it, so I must have done something right in my book.

28 This Mess We're In PJ HARVEY

It may be cheesy, but if you love music, every relationship you are in has to have an 'our song'. 'This Mess We're In' is the 'our song' for the most significant relationship of my life, and the title says it all really. I loved it before it had such personal significance for me. PJ Harvey is an awesome legend, and Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea is by far the best album of her career. This particular song has vocals by Thom Yorke, who is one of those artists who could sing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', and without trying, make it sound like the most emotive poetry ever written.

The album happened to come out while I was in this relationship and many of the songs seemed to form a backdrop to the kinds of things we were feeling, but this one stood out. Some of the lyrics were fairly generic, but one or two of the lines made us catch our breaths, because they seemed to describe exactly what was going on, and what was going on had seemed so unique to us.

This is so often what I am straining for when I listen to music; someone to say the things I feel, but say them better than me. This song is so significant because it says some of the things I felt the deepest in all my life.


I really found the Christian subculture a very difficult one to fit into when I became a Christian. One of the hardest things, was the fact that most of the Christians I met seemed to enjoy the anti-music that is produced by the majority of Chrisitan artists. Not only is ALL of it in the key of G, not only do Christian singers put on a special fake Christian-sub-culture accent, but they also all lyrically pretend that we do not live in the real world.

I'm all for praising God; he's wonderful, and sometimes that's all I can do. But there are times, and these times are plentiful, when it's hard to live and the reason it's hard is the cross I am taking up. There is nothing in the Bible which shys away from this fact, and the wonderful truth is that God is no less worthy of praise when this is most keenly felt.

It is these times; when I am on my knees, and all I can do is look heavenward, it is in these times that I feel I need some kind of music to express the things I cannot express. But all I can find is "lalala, we're so happy, cos Jesus is our friend! Lalala, Everything's great, so no need to bother learning a forth chord! Allelulia!" Frankly, that just doesn't cut the mustard for me.

But then my friend played me this song. It really does say all the things that I pray so often in those times. It dares to ask the questions, even make the accusations that I want to make. It describes things that I really feel as a Christian, not just the things I think I ought to feel. And yet it is not irrevarent, because like the psalmists, in the end we still have to bow the knee because God is God: "And I know you bore our sorrows And I know you feel our painAnd I know it would not hurt any less Even if it could be explained And I know that I am only lashing out At the One who loves me most " And that is how it should be. And THIS is what I want to sing to God. The same things that the psalmists sang. My praise, my true praise, is to conclude that even in the midst of all this, you are still God, and I worship you, because you are so worthy of it.

30 I Have a Love/A Boy Like That LEONARD BERNSTEIN

It's odd how innocence masks things from you. I have been watching the video of West Side Story repeatedly since I was 8 years old. I loved the music and the dancing instantly, and was old enough to know to cry at the end, but I suspect that had more to do with the mastery of Bernstein's music, which would have sounded heartbreaking and bereft even if the people on the screen had been smiling and laughing. As I've watched it again as an adult, I now see things that were invisible to me then. I was horrified recently to discover that what was about to happen to Anita in Doc's store that night was a gang rape. I had never seen the racism between the gangs or the corruption of the police. I laughed at the instant depth of feeling between Tony and Maria, which before I had accepted without question.

I had always thought that this duet between Maria and Anita was an incredible piece of music. I have always loved musicals, but Bernstein's score is just in a completely different league to anything else in the genre. Even if the lyrics had been a shopping list, there is enough passion in the music of this song to make you feel like you've been wrung through the spectrum of human emotion by the end of it. When the song begins, I can't imagine a more perfect realisation of the grief-stricken rage that Anita is feeling as she realises what had just gone on in that bedroom. Then in contrast to this, the purity and simplicity of Maria's soprano cutting through it. She is saying that it really doesn't have to be so complicated. It's just love, isn't it.

Of course as a Christian I can't wholly buy into all the sentiments in this song; the idea that love is the only thing that matters is the kind of sentimentality that excuses infidelity and all kinds of other unlovely things. The song even contains the postmodern line "it's true for you, not for me" so I can't exactly say that it sums up my world view. But true as this is, I cannot help but resonate with what Maria is saying, and what Anita eventually acquiesces to by the end of the song. This idea that it's hard sometimes to really say that you're doing wrong when all you are doing is loving someone. It's one of the harder things to brush aside in the name of your morality, so Maria's arguement always has me sold in the moment of it. And even Anita can't resist, even though the love being spoken about has taken her own love away. It is the music which does this. The words are sentimentality, and it's too fantastic to believe that Anita's mind could be changed so completely if this were just a poem. But the music makes you believe it. And that's why music can be wonderful.

31 You're Still The One SHANIA TWAIN

I tried to deny it, but I can't, I love this song and I don't care who knows it. I love it because it celebrates fidelity; how many other pop songs can you think of with that as thier subject? I love it because of its unashamed romanticism; "we beat the odds together"! "I'm glad we didn't listen, look at what we would be missing"! Even though the whole world was against them, and the others were lined up to tell them it wouldn't work, love won out! *sigh* I love it because whenever Rooted play it, everyone starts swaying and singing along. I love it because it's the happy ending I want to believe is possible "you're still the one I kiss goodnight" even a cynical, miserable old bag like me.

Anne Witton said...
I love this song too for all the same reasons!! And I've never owned up to it before!I have also LOVED going on a musical journey through all the songs that have special significance for you. Thank you for sharing them. Xxx
30 December 2006 14:45
Sarah said...
yo OddBabble. I read your song list a couple of days ago when I should have been doing work. In fact I did still do it but I "You Tubed" every song and listened to them all (after reading your reasons behind them) whilst I worked. It was such a great way to spend a whole morning! Thanks so much for it. I loved that I could get to know your reasons behind them and it certainly made me smile. I'd love to do one myself but im not convinced it'd be a touch on yours! Thanks dude!
04 January 2007 09:58
B said...
Thanks so much for sharing your songs. I feel honoured that you have taken the time to write about them, and that you have been so complete in your honesty. Thank you!lots of loveBxx
19 January 2007 09:06

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Smocks and Pantaloons

I'm not very good at being a girl so I rarely go clothes shopping. This Christmas though, I was given money specifically to spend on clothes, and I was very strong; I didn't spend any of it on books or CDs.

I did remember why I don't like clothes shopping though. All the shops seemed to sell were smocks and pantaloons. Am I that out of fashion touch?

I did manage to spend all my money, but the majority of it was on duplicates of the same clothes I have been wearing for the last 10 years or so. I am very pleased with myself.

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Ruby, Ruby

Once upon a time there was a little blonde geek who won a CD walkman in an essay writing competition. She only owned one CD at the time; Pornograffitti by Extreme, and she listened to it over and over again, retreating to her private, portable music world. There were few things that brought this tragic child more pleasure than her walkman, but as she began to add Guns 'N'Roses and The Fairer Sax to her CD collection, she began to dream bigger dreams.
If only there were a way to have ALL her metal and light jazz CDs in one place. If only there was a way of shuffling the tracks so that Axl Rose could blend seamlessly into 'Latin American Medly'. Her limited mind began to imagine a giant rucksack with a tiny man inside it to select tracks at random. Fortunately for her, Mr Apple was imagining too.
Cue Ruby, the most beautiful, anthropomorphic inanimate object I have ever met. She is all my childhood dreams rolled into one. So far, Ruby has eaten 13.1 DAYS worth of solid music, and I still have entire meals of Various Artists to feed her.
Ruby is a cheeky begger. I have set myself the inexplicable and masochistic rule, that I will never skip a track that Ruby sings when the 'what I am listening to' thing is on Messenger. So whenever she is singing via my computer, she will inevitably sing B*Witched, Aqua and PJ & Duncan.* When she sings to me in the car when we are alone together, she sings me a breathtaking mix which would make anyone listening in say "wow, she is so eclectic and hip!" of course, no-one ever IS listeing in. I can see a sadistic smile on her click wheel.
I could count - for a long time, and in great detail - all of the ways that I love Ruby, but I fear no-one would ever read my blog again, or I would get arrested for material idolatory. Allow this modest limerick to suffice:
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,
I love thee with the breath,Smiles, tears, of all my life!
and, if God choose,I shall but love thee better after death.
*Yes, I do own albums by each of these 'artists', but that is only because I worked in a record shop for many years and I got given them for free, and this information is strictly just between you and me. I just hope that none of you find out that I actually have BOTH B*Witched albums, and that I paid for one of them.

Monday, 27 November 2006

Cyber Dancing

Nayf says:I should be dancing
OddBabble says:why?
Nayf says:I like dancing
OddBabble says:oh, ok!
Nayf says:And it would be more productive
Nayf says:Shall we dance, OddBabble?
OddBabble says:OK
OddBabble says:I'll just do up my trousers
Nayf says:Erm
OddBabble says:ready!
Nayf says:Good!
Nayf says:What style are we going for?
OddBabble says:You choose, dear
Nayf says:How about... LA SAMBA!
Nayf says:And... GO!
OddBabble says:woooooooooooohhhh!!
Nayf says:Woah!
Nayf says:You're amazing at this!
OddBabble says:I know!
Nayf says:How do you get your hips to DO that?!
OddBabble says:You're terrible, but it's still fun!
Nayf says:I'm still working on my footwork
OddBabble says:stop looking at them, give me those eyes!
OddBabble says:GIVE ME THOSE EYES!
Nayf says:*EYES*
OddBabble says:MUCH BETTER!
OddBabble says:NOW we're getting warm
OddBabble says:Wooooooooooooohhhhhhh!!
Nayf says:Yeah baby!
Nayf says:Actually, I'm feeling a bit too hot
Nayf says:*runs out of breath*
Nayf says:*DIES*
OddBabble says:oh well

Elementary theology

I was on the phone to my sis one morn, and my baby niece was in the background chatting as usual, saying stuff like; "dah! bladdgllll-eeeeee" etc. Then I noticed her saying 'Allah! Allah!' I asked my sister if she had become a muslim. She said "well....I have noticed her moving her play matt so that it faces the same direction every day....."

I guess Allah is easier to pronounce than YAHWEH.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Ten years gone

Once upon a time there were 3 Goldsmiths freshers who, although it was 1996, should really have been arrested by the Fashion Police. These stylistically challenged teenagers were on thier way to Club Sandwich - the hottest night spot in South East London - where they were to spend every Wednesday night for the next 3 years. 10 years later these same girls (and thier similarly ageing friends) were to revisit their old haunt. They now look like this:
Now, I know they're not supermodels, but aren't we all glad that at some point in that decade SOMEONE showed them a mirror?
These are the lowlights of our 10 year Club Sandwich Reunion:

  • Watching a video of myself as a drunken non-Christian, wearing such embarrasingly dreadful clothes that the assembled company had to agree that we couldn't believe no-one took me (or, to be fair, a nameless friend wearing jeans with a waistline meeting her bosom. This was nineteen ninety six, not nineteen EIGHTY six.) aside and sorted me out, or indeed that anyone was prepared to talk to me at all.
  • Arriving at half past nine and finding that the only other people there were bar staff.
  • Glaring at the DJ as he played the second Arctic Monkey song. I mean who can dance to that?

These are the highlights:

  • Realising that I am no longer the girl on that video. In fact, IN FACT, I am a new creation.
  • As documented on my 365, the moment when as we got onto the bus in Peckham, Mad Clare asked "What's a kebab?" to which Tan dryly replied "the thing you're standing in".
  • The buzz of excitement as we walked up that familiar road leading up to the union door.
  • Our delight in finding that, although the rest of the union was uncharacteristically clean and sterile, the toilets were JUST as we remembered them - fit for sanitary condemnation. Ah, memories.
  • A moment when I looked up to find that the 6 of us were deep in conversation in pairs, talking about what was happening now, in 2006, and remembering that we weren't really in a time warp.
  • The moment when I HAD to get on the dancefloor because my all time favourite tune to dance to came on:Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.
  • The moment when, although the DJ had systematically ignored all of our retro requests for the Spice Girls and Prodigy, he did actually play Jump Around by House of Pain. We did.
  • ALL the dancing.
  • Visiting that same old kebab shop afterwards. *Sigh*.
  • Waking up the next morning with my old mates, glad that they are still my old mates.

So, next stop 2016, when I can guarantee that the union toilets will be EXACTLY the same.

Friday, 3 November 2006

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

OddBabble's Strange Dreamworld #4

So I was walking through a crowded room holding a hoody on which I had had printed my own design (as if I would do such a thing! You can tell it's a strange dreamworld!). I saw Pod and suddenly felt embarrassed by the colour scheme I had chosen, and started to babble "yeah, so I just thought I'd put the brown ink in the border, against this brown background...." "Yeah?" said Pod. "Well, I think it's disgusting." He said unsmilingly, looking me in the eye. "OK!" I said, giving him one of those smiles you give someone which has a mixture of pity and fear, when you realise that at some point recently they had lost their minds. I walked away thinking "aren't you the moody one!"

Saturday, 14 October 2006


Liturgical Dance Apparel. No.

Thursday, 24 August 2006

MSN Procrastination

OddBabble says:Today my pants have a bear on.
hoveactually says:have you named the animals on your pants?
OddBabble says:there's only one
OddBabble says:hold on, let me look
hoveactually says:lol
OddBabble says:He says his name is Pharrel
hoveactually says:aw
OddBabble says:I was quite surprised by that
hoveactually says:yeah
hoveactually says:does he like being on your pants?
OddBabble says:hold on, let me look
OddBabble says:he's not smiling
OddBabble says:but then, he hasn't got a mouth
hoveactually says:eek
hoveactually says:poor deformed bear
OddBabble says:he looks quite in proportion actually
OddBabble says:I don't think he's in any way disabled
hoveactually says:ok
OddBabble says:although, presumably, mute
OddBabble says:but who wants chattering knickers?
hoveactually says:yeah, that could get tricky.. especially some situations...
OddBabble says:the mind boggles....
hoveactually says:indeed.

Sunday, 20 August 2006

OddBabble: Kath?
Kath: Yeah?
OddBabble: What would you do if I woke up ham?
Kath: What?
OldBabble: What would you do if I woke up and I was made of ham?
Kath: I'd probably make you into a sandwich.
OddBabble: No!
Kath: What?!
OddBabble: I'd be hairy!
Kath: Would the hair be made of ham?
OddBabble: No. It would be like my hair now, it's just that I would be made of ham.
Kath: Oh.
Kath: I'd still make you into a sandwich.
*Long pause*
OddBabble: Kath?
Kath: Yeah?
OddBabble: What would you do if I woke up cheese strings?
Kath: I'd chuck you out.
OddBabble: No!
Kath: What?!
OddBabble: I can't help being cheese! What if I said, 'excuse me, I'm afraid I'm cheese strings'?Kath: If you said it like that, I'd let you stay. Now, we need to get going.
OddBabble: But I can't! I'm real a-peelable cheese!
Kath: I won't let anyone peel you.
OddBabble: Thank you.
*They depart*

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Time for another serious post..

"Oh, that marvel of conception as you stirred together
semen and ovum-
What a miracle of skin and bone,muscle and brain!
You gave me life itself, and incredible love.
You watched and guarded every breath I took.

But you never told me about this part."
Job 10:10-13 Message translation

I love the way that Job lets rip. He really just says it how it is right to God's face. His friends try to tell him 'the answers' but Job just says, "I don't know about any answers, I just know that this feels like crap, I don't like it, and God needs to know that."

I've just spent the last little while crying at God, telling him that the way he does things is stupid and that it would have been better if he'd never thought of us. I didn't use any of the "And Lord, Ijusreallywannapray" jargon or cliches and even found myself letting out a swear word. I know that God is OK with this, or else he wouldn't have let Job get in the Bible. I asked him all the 'whys' that have ever been in my head. I knew that there weren't going to be any answers, but also that it was good to ask.

Reading Job again reminded me that there is no answer to suffering. I especially want there to be an answer when my friends are suffering, because I want to be able to give it to them as a balm. I want to fix it and take it away. But the truth is, at the end of the day there is not any REASON for it. Kath will perennially be asking the same questions on her blog and talking about heaven. When she and I get together, there will always be some point in the day when we will ask each other the big questions, knowing that niether of us know the answer, but that it's good to ask.

God will always listen to me when I have these cyclical rants. He'll not drop The Answers down on a golden scroll carried by fat, ugly cherub babies (who ever decided that angels looked so repulsive?) and tell me to go forth and share it. But I'm assured that his silence does not mean indifference. He's not coldly saying "At the end of the day Stephanie, I'm God and you're not and that's that." Although that is true (and I'm grateful for it!). He also reminds me that he hasn't gone anywhere, he hasn't forgotten me, he's not gone deaf or blind, and he's not run out of COMPASSION. That's the thing, he actually gives a damn. So though I hate it, it's sort of OK that he doesn't tell me why, because I know that HE knows why, and so he must know why I can't know why. If you see what I mean?

What I'm trying to say is, that it's good to realise that no-one knows the answers, because if we did, we'd know that we'd got it wrong, because everything still sucks. But that still, it's good to ask.

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Are You Branded? (Part 2)

Having seen this surreal coincidence on Kath's blog, I was shocked to discover that my own niece has chosen to try to EAT the corporate colours, (flanked by her auntie's favourite orange, naturally). Perhaps it is a prophetic suckle??

Saturday, 15 July 2006

John Wesley Doll

I will not be blogging for a while, as I have been hospitalised, due to THIS.

Monday, 10 July 2006

The Answers

...for anyone that cares...

1. Rich Mullins 'Hard to Get'
2. Tricky 'Black Steel'
3. Ben Folds 'The Luckiest'
4. Bjork 'Alarm Call'
5. Damien Rice 'I Remember'
6. Eva Cassidy 'I Wish I was a Single Girl Again'
7. KT Tunstall 'Heal Over'
8. Paul Wellar 'You Do Something To Me'
9. The Smiths 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out'
10. Suzanne Vega 'Gypsy'

Sunday, 11 June 2006


I was just about to get into my car when I heard a woman from one of the flats in my building yelling. I looked up and she was holding a baby, must have been about 6 months to a year, I don't know much about these things. She was yelling: "She's going to die! She's going to die! She can't breathe!" There were people all around her, making phonecalls, trying to reassure her. The child was limp and grey, I'm sure she was already dead. I called up and offered to drive her to a hospital. I didn't know what else I could do, I wanted to do something, but there was nothing I could offer her. She didn't need my help, an ambulance was already on its way.

I left with a horrible sense that I had just brushed the fringe of the birth of someone's tradgedy. I had witnessed the panicked beginnings of some horrific grief that I can't even begin to imagine. It seemed so wierd that something so monumentally tragic could have just happened in the building where I live. And that things like that are probably happening around me all the time. There are stories like that behind many of the lights I see in the windows of tower blocks around Peckham.

It just occured to me that it's absolutely right to pray for the hastening of Jesus' return. I used to flinch from praying that, because I didn't want him to come back before the people I love know him. And whilst I still feel the pain of that fear, I've realised how selfish it is not to want Jesus to return soon. It's tantamount to saying that I want things like what I witnessed today to continue; that I want horrible things like death and suffering to carry on a little while longer, until I get my affairs sorted.

Someone asked me last week, what I like best about being a Christian. My answer was, that I can be sure that there will be an end to all this. That this is not all that there is. That we won't always have to live in a world where I can look up and see a grieving mother holding a dead baby. That God sees and weeps and cares about things like this, and has promised to come back and clean up the mess. That he will one day take me home to a place where all this CRAP is gone forever, and there will finally be a day when he will say 'enough!' I understand fully now, why Christians pray for this day to come soon.....

Friday, 2 June 2006


OK, so the quiz is impossible. I knew the answers! I've decided to give you some cryptic clues to help you. I know it's possible with these because nayf managed to solve it.

1. Ragamuffin plays dating game
2. Difficult. Dark swag
3. This man likes origami. And rabbit's feet
4. Wake up frozen food lover!
5. This one's easy, you don't need a clue
6. DAISY CAVES regrets wedlock
7. Initially, this Scot has a nasty scab
8. This man was once fond of marmalade? He's forgotten what you do
9. These Joe Bloggs' talk about an eternal flame
10. A lady who once haunted your local diner, has a travelling friend

Good luck!

Hooray! A Pop Quiz!

A friend asked me to make her a CD so that she could see what kind of music I like. What a glorious commission! Of course I made her 3 volumes. The first and 3rd are themed but the middle one is completely miscellaneous. I made her detailed sleeve notes. See if you can guess the song and artist from the descriptions I used. If I were you, I would be so excited by this, but alas, I can't join in!!
Tip: If you are a hardcore OddBabblings fan, you may find some clues to some of them in early posts....
1.)This is possibly the only Christian song I know that actually talks about what it's like to be a Christian. Or at least, what it's like to be OddBabble. I think this song is amazing, so honest and real. It's how I feel most of the time.
2.)Mmmm, this song is yum. It reminds me of being at Uni in my first year. If anyone comes into your flat while this is playing, they will think you are instantly cooler and more desirable, just from the ambiance you have created.
3.)BLANK is BLANK FRIEND's all time far and away favourite singer. This song is COMPLETELY a-typical of him. He's usual very cool. This is my favourite song of his though for the very reason that it isn't, it's just unashamedly sentimental, cos he really loves his lady. It appeals to my soppy side (which is about 98% of me.)
4.)I had to put a BLANK one on! This is my favourite BLANK song, it's so happy and optimistic! I love the line "I'm no ******* Buddhist, but this is enlightenment" and the detail of remembering to bring good batteries with her to the mountaintop.
5.)I know you say you hate BLANK, but I just can't accept that. Listen woman! This one in particular is AMAZING, because it's like a mini opera - it has scenes and plot and passion and, and listen to it, it's gorgeous! "Want you here tonight, want you here" Can you be so unfeeling?? If nothing else, you can enjoy the thought of BLANK FRIEND and I playing this together, with her hitting her bongos harder and harder and me screaming in the scary half "I whip myself SCORN SCORN SCORN!!"
6.)If I ever get married, I'm going to sing this to my husband.
7.)This is my favourite song of hers. It's one of those songs which in concept, is exactly like a song I wrote, but much better. I heard it after writing mine, and thought "THAT was what I meant to say!"
8.)The acoustic album that this comes from is the reason that I picked up the guitar again a few years ago. I am DEVOTED to the acoustic guitar (you may have noticed quite a lot of it appearing in the songs I like!) and he sure knows how to wield his axe! This song is just gorgeous. I can play it, but it sounds a bit weird when girls sing it.
9.)I just LOVE BLANK's lyrics! He says all the things I think but don't say out loud too often, because I don't want people to know how cynical I really am. He just doesn't care. I love the fact that such misery is set to such a subversively jolly tune too. I think he's a genius. This is the song that made me love BLANK - the first one I ever heard. I love the idea that you can make suicidal feelings romantic. Oh dear, I think I'm revealing a bit too much of my dark side...
10.)This needs no explaination, it's just gorgeous.
Enjoy guessing! Kath, you are not allowed to guess until some others have had a go. I know you'll be able to work most of them out! After a while I'll allow you to try!
The prize is a 'Believe' Mars Bar, cos we all know that eating a sugary snack high in saturated fats is going to help a load of boys kick a ball into a net. There will be 2 winners, Kath and whoever comes second.

Wednesday, 31 May 2006

It'snotsobadafterall - the blog, condensed.

This post was originally a blog which spanned from the 31st May 2006 to the 9th of June 2007. Here it is all in one go!


Wow 3 things on the first day!

1./ The Indigo Girls rule
2./ I got a card this morning from someone who really loves me
3./ I've emptied my bin so my flat no longer smells of old fishHooray!

It's not so bad after all!!

· At Wednesday, 31 May, 2006, Kath said…
YEY!Hoorah. Small Dance


1./ My team of collegues really do feel like my family (in a good way!)
2./ It turns out I actually do have some self-control

It's not so bad after all


1./ I heard two friends pray exactly the right prayers for me this morning.
2./ I met up with my Goldsmiths Girls tonight and after nearly 10 years, they still made me laugh so much that the back of my scalp went funny.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ My tiny niece is a happy little tiny increasingly ginger person.
2./ I'm not as broke as I at first feared

It's not so bad after all


1./ My church is completely the right place for me, and I can really see how God was getting me ready for it
2./ My vicar is a legend
3./ God has been infinitely patient and kind to me in my slowness, stubborness and sulkiness in recent months
4./ God actually loves me
5./ My lovely friend also had a good church experience after a long while of not good ones. This makes me very happy
6./ I'm not ashamed to say that this year's Big Brother is hilarious and fascinating

It's really not so bad after all!


1./I spent several hours in a car with 3 boys and quite liked it.

It's not so bad after all


1./GRACE is a reality. It is absolutely and horribly true that I am vile. Really, you wouldn't believe it, you would not BELIEVE the things I have been thinking and doing. It's absolutely true that I don't deserve to do the job I'm doing or to have any responsibility towards the spiritual growth of young Christians. It is absolutely and gloriously true that God still called me, still gave me that responsibility, even though he knew I would do those vile things before I did them. Grace is actually applicable to me. God is not surprised by my depravity, in fact he expects worse of me than I expect of myself. BUT he still loves me enough to die for me and keep forgiving me over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Really, it's not so bad after all.


1./ God really knows how to put the right people in the right place at the right time and to help them to say the right thing sometimes.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I got to sing by a bonfire until the next morning, which is one of my top ten things to do of all time.
2./ I laughed so much I was doubled up in joy.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ Shoe Keeper bought Q magazine so that he could do pop quizes on me on our way home.
2./ Then he accidentally left it in my car so I got to read it later.
3./ My new favourite curry is lamb saag.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ It's so great when you see people you've not been in touch with for a whole year, and it's just like slipping back in after a week.
2./ My orange bed is SO lovely when I'm sleepy.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I went back to a church that I haven't been a member of for over 4 years and there are still people who love me and pray for me there. One of them did both of those things quite demonstrativley after the service and it was lovely.
2./ I've spent the weekend being fed by Christian families who have never even met me and will probably never see me again, but who treated me just like a member of their family.
3./ I am going to do a 'Would You Rather' workshop at camp.

It's not so bad after all.


I have had a bit of a hiatus. The next few are retrospective so I will probably forget things, but I still think it's a good exercise for me to think of a thing for each day.

1./I had a day off and a picnic with a friend.

It's not so bad after all


1./ I love my boss.
2./ I won at Cranium (of course) and wasn't too vile about it.
3./ Lots of people love me.

It's not so bad after all.

At Tuesday, 18 July, 2006, Brazza said…
Who wouldn't?

At Wednesday, 19 July, 2006, OddBabble said…
Love my boss, or love me???


1./ I had a 7 and a half hour car journey with Andy today and it was a complete joy. He bought a selection of 80s tapes from a charity shop for the journey. These are some of the resulting highlights:
a.)Re-creating the relay moves for 'Car Wash' while in transit.
b.)Having the windows wound right down and the music right up, singing like no-one was listening (when in fact, anyone within a 20 mile radius could hear us) and actually having passers by smiling at us and dancing as if the world was a happy place.
c.)Andy sitting next to me obeying the instructions in 'Time Warp' including, as I looked over, licking his lips.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I had the privilege of spending some time with Cathy Williams, who I would like to be when I grow up.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I had another 7 and a half hour journey with Andy, and it was even better than the first. We sang along to more songs with gay abandon. He stopped the tape periodically to tell me bad jokes or random things. We talked about serious things like suffering and stuff. Who knew boys could be so multi-faceted!

It's not so bad after all.


At Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Lou said…
Ooooooh I am jealous!! I want a 7.5 hr car journey with you and the philosophical Andy Witherall!!


1./ Sometimes God is gracious enough even to close doors that I deliberately open to sin.2./ God's people can sometimes seem like walking talking Bibles, that can equally convict you, make you want to praise God, and shame you.

It's hard, but it's not so bad after all.


1./ God's grace and mercy is new every morning.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I got a very expensive lunch for free because it had a gross hair in it.
2./ Mad Clare is one of the most beautiful people in the world. My mum called her 'a walking miracle' because she is such a lovely, sensitive, empathetic and wise friend.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ Doing the right thing will always be the right thing even when it tears you up, and it does not go unacknowledged by Him upstairs.
2./ People really seem to love me, even though they acknowledge that I am a complete idiot.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ I will never be useless to God. No one is a lost cause because it's Him that is at work in us and who makes us useful to Him.
2./ It's actually possible to forget your own crap for a little while, if you just bother to listen to someone else's for a little while, and love them in thiers.

It's not so bad after all.


1./ It looks as if my worst fears will not be realised.

It's not so bad after all.


1. Kath is lovely
2. Book group is awesome

It's not so bad after all


1. B is good company even when watching awful foreign films
2. She makes nice food and lets me eat it sometimes

It's not so bad after all


1. I can sleep anywhere2. I get to go to the South of France with the best team in the world and call it work.

It's not so bad after all.


1. Having time (at work!) to reflect on the fact that God is a.) nice and b.) all there is.
2. Standing on the edge of a mountain and seeing a misty scene with no horizon that looked like eternity.
3.The team!
4. Raclette.
5. Reading Chocolate the poem I wrote him as his leaving speech.

It's not so bad after all


1. People liked my song
2. I had a BBQ by the Mediteranean sea, and went in it
3. Bacon and I shared the joy of familiar and new music on his Ipod
4. The girls had a late night chat about toilets and nudity

It's not so bad after all


1. Someone asked Shoe Keeper which Little Miss he thought I'd be. He said 'Little Miss Rainbow, because you get rainbows when the sun shines even though it's raining'.

It's not so bad after all.


1. There are a lot of rude place names in the Lake District to laugh at.
2. There was an M&S on the motorway so I had a picnic in the car of king prawns in Corriander and chilli, sushi, cherries and a milk chocolate Bounty.
3. One of my top 10 things to do of all time is to sing loudly along to music in my car. There is plenty of opportunity to do this when driving to the Lake District via Newcastle.
4. I found an excellent beetle called Russell.

It's not so bad after all.


1. I did the best stone skimming in the lake in Buttermere.

2. We sang songs with my guitar.
3. I was in excellent company all day.
4. We eat Trout.

It's not so bad after all.


1. We found a place to stay tonight, even though the second leg of our holiday fell through.
2. It's a B&B owned by a nice man called Bob.
3. I beat Witsy at Crazy Golf.
4. Witsy did consistently perfect parps all afternoon.
5. I bought a protable magnifying insect viewing tub.
6. I saw a banjo player.

It's not so bad after all.


1. Went for a walk and actually appreciated nature (especially the array of nisects that I caught in my magnifyer!)
2. Actually had enough time and few enough cares to read most of a Sunday paper in the park.
3. I discovered the Summer wonder of Pimms and Lemonade for the first time.
4. Youth Hostels are ace.
5. Witsy emitted a series of consistently perfect parps.
6. It was too hot but we cooled off by just getting into the lake and swimming in it (aided by our amazing aqua shoes).
7. Enjoyed a long game of dusk catch. Especially pleased with myself because strictly speaking, I was in fact enjoying a SPORT (which I was also arguably doing whilst walking, swimming, and playing table football and pool that day).It's not so bad after all!


1. Enjoyed a peaceful breakfast to myself.
2. Went on a boat and looked at what God had made while I chatted to him about nothing in particular.
3. Saw some excellent dancing lake insects and crustaceans, as well as going through a tunnel full of ugger fish.
4. Bought a Gem's Guide to Insects to accompany my magnifyer.
5. Subsequently was forced to admit, along with Witsy who was getting embarrasingly excited over a steam train, that we are TOTAL geeks. But rejoiced in the fact that no-one would know by looking at us, which is al that matters.

It's not so bad after all.


1. Once again the amazign amphibious aqua shoes allowed us to enjoy more sport in the river.
2. Took part in an art instalation called 'Whiteplane_2' where you lie on your back on a big light screen and look at another big light screen 3 meters above you which changes colour and makes your eyes go funny and there are loud noises all around which makes you feel as if you're being run over by a train and the whole thing is one big AUDIOVISUAL AVALANCE. It made me want to poo my pants a little bit.
3. I was about to spend £50 on a digital dictation machine but then noticed an even better one in the sale reduced from £60 to £20!!! Bargain!!
4. Went to a different pub and joy of joys, there was a free pub quiz!!

It's not so bad after all.

1. Had uncontrolable helpless laughter when Witsy and I suddenly realised that we were walking up a steep, rocky Lake District hill wearing Aqua Shoes and carrying a pink handbag.

2. I caught a Forest Bug and a Dor Beetle in my magnifyer.

3. I just cannot believe how satisfying it can be to just play catch! Today we did it in the lake because we were sweating like pigs.

4. The book I started today looks to be excellent. I love that feeling at the start of a book. I also love to read in the company of someone else who is reading

5. Witsy and I are friends.

6. We are HOT at taboo.

It's not so bad after all.


1. I made an intelligent comment about sport.

2. I slept in my own bed.

It's not so bad after all


1. I got a bed when others had to camp.

2. Tim Rudge did a talk that was EXACTLY what I needed to hear from God.

It's not so bad after all.


1. I got to lead worship and do a talk on Sex.

2 years ago they would both have been my worst nightmare and might well have made me ill with worry. Today though, they were the highlights of my day!

It's not so bad after all.


1. Caffiene REALLY works.

2. Having exposed my profound ignorance in geography in a recent pub quiz, I have now undertaken to memorize the location of every country in the world, and am doing jolly well!

It's not so bad after all.


At Tuesday, 11 July, 2006, Kath said…
Reading your, 'it's not so bad after all' makes me realise that 'it's not so bad after all' and that God is really really nice. Hoorah.

At Tuesday, 18 July, 2006, Andy said…
I just read all 39 of your entries and laughed a lot - thanks for sharing your joy.


1./ I'm in a band

It's not so bad after all.


1./I went round to Anna's today just to do work in her company. It was like the old days, just working in separate rooms but occasionally saying random things to each other. It was lovely to revisit the easiness of our freindship, but also to know that we're in the right place now too.

2./I actually did some cold contact evangelism without getting paid for it tonight! By choice! (With some reluctance and a heavy heart on the way). And only one person was horrid! Everyone else was really nice!

It's not so bad after all.


1./Roz and Kath came down today. We ate wonderful food in silence, because we didn't need to say anything, and because we all feel comfortable with each other and all LOVE beautiful food.

2./We planned our seminar and actually found that we are excited about what we have to say, and that we really love Jesus and want to remind people of how beautiful he is.

3./Roz and I worshipped as we walked by just chatting easily about how great God is, and all that he's done and is doing in our lives.

4. As we walked, we found a BOOKSHOP in PECKHAM! And it was STILL OPEN IN THE EVENING! And it had ONLY WONDERFUL BOOKS in it! And it was run by a NICE LADY!5. Roz notices nice things where I see annoying things. e.g. people getting in my way along Peckham High Street. Roz says "I love the community feel here, everyone knows each other and they stop and chat along the way".

It's not so bad after all


1./We did a surprise birthday thing for Kath and it made her really happy.

It's not so bad after all.


1./I found out how to use a spreadsheet properly. I am disproportionately pleased about this.

It's not so bad after all.


1./My prayer triplet are great.

It's not so bad after all

1./ I had some time to kill today so I sat on a bench and chatted with God. It occured to me, that he has all the time in the world for this. Even though, like, war is going on, and there are, like, LOADS of people in the world, he still loves to just sit and chat with me, and really cares about the details of my life. How AWESOME is that?2./ 2 things I wrote under the 'what are the main things which you have learned during your time on staff?' on my end of year review:Grace is a real, dynamic, applicable thing.God's family is a real family.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had a good long chat about my future and the past year with my boss who listens to everything and is wise and loving.2./ Did a gig and sang quite well!It's not so bad after all.

1./I spent the evening with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./Had a lovely picnic lunch, when I really needed some company.2./Had 3 quality hugs, from 2 quality people.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had a really lovely lunch with my Dad at Yo! Sushi. Cannot express how great that is!It's not so bad after all.

1./Saw little Beth. Was a lovely chilled out day with my sis, Adam and the little girl.

1./ Sometimes it is a genuine pleasure to spend one's free time with a student, and you realise that you have made a friend, and you forget that this is 'work'.2./ He gave me a discman, so I listened to some of my favourite songs in the world (see quiz on OddBabblings) until I went to sleep.3./ God spoke to me. He hears, and he speaks.It's not so bad after all.

1./ My internet connection is now working properly for the first time since I have lived here. It feels as if my life has been oiled.It's not so bad after all.

1./After a day that felt like wading through treacle, I finally got a break through with the project I'm working on.2./My new mobile arrived!3./Pippa and Matt are lovely, easy company and were much needed people contact after a solitary day.It's not so bad after all.

1./ I have felt thoroughly loved today. Enjoying the freedom of my free minutes has meant enjoying the pleasure of hearing loved voices so it feels like I'm spending my evening with them.2./ I had been having trouble working out what costumes to wear on camp last week, but came up with one in a dream last night! A rainforest entomologist! Now I just need to find some rubber insects, and whatever kind of hat such a person would wear. If anyone has anything suitable, let me know!!It's not so bad after all.

1./Managed to have a conversation with a child.2./Nayf made me laugh.It's not so bad after all.

1./I made Witsy feel a bit better.2./Had custard slices with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Bought loads of cool pants.It's not so bad after all.

1./Had a picnic with Laura E today. She said "I like your hat. In fact, apart from those shoes, you look lovely!"It's not so bad after all.

1./ I met my deadlines.2./ Witsy made me feel better.3./ Nayf said "I think you're pretty so who cares what the pants say?"It's not so bad after all.

1./ I had a long car journey with a CD player, on which I listened to the wonderful Indigo Girls, singing along with no-one to hear me.2./ I did paining, I played the guitar and I got to sleep in my own room.It's not so bad after all

1./ I sang!It's not so bad after all!

1./ People laughed at my sketch.2./ People laughed when I read the story to them.3./ I knitted and chatted with Sooz and she said her two heros were Jesus Christ and OddBabble.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Even though we were late, that meant that I missed Crocker!2./ I was Storytime OddBabble.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Found a loophole in the wide game which enabled me to sit down for its duration.2./ Spoke to Nayf on the phone3./ Got to sing!It's not so bad after all

1./ Did the Would You Rather? workshop and was awesome2./ Saw specific prayers answered3./ God is the God of the hills AND the valleysIt's not so bad after all.

1./ I didn't die on the bikes2./ I farted on Howard-WilliamsIt's not so bad after all.

1./ Played 'In Christ Alone' with the bit where the instruments drop out and then come in again on 'Then bursting forth'!2./ Stood in Tewkesbury dressed as a mummy, watching people wondering if I'm real or not.3./ I didn't have to play football.4./ I got a lovely text from Anna.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lonely people can keep each other company.2./ Cat gave me a monkey called Fumbles.3./ Lucy came out, even though she was tired, cos she wanted to see me again.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had mussels for lunch.2./ Had presents from people who know me and so know exactly what I would like.3./ Saw a bunch of people I love from all different parts of my life.4./ Danced with Nay Skull, my favourite dancing partner, for lots of time.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Anna Matthews was good company in the car.2./ I got to wear a frock and heels all day.3./ Got a nice hug from Bacon.4./ Got to sit next to Chocolate at dinner and was reminded what a strange delight he is.5./ Was told a genuinely scary horror story by a lovely lady I'd just met.6./ SHOE KEEPER IS STAYING IN PECKHAM!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sang some nice harmonies in the worship at church (I think).2./ Anna cooked me roast chicken.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Kath Arnold is lovely, and loves me even when I'm grumpy.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Spoke on the phone to Tiny Dancer, Harry and B.2./ Kath bought a caramel shortbread that we ate.3./ Kath loves me even though I am strange.4./ I got lots of texts from Little Midmer.5./ I beat Kath at Dutch Blitz twice, and comprehensively.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Met Emma.2./ Sang 'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy' in the tent at about midnight, forgetting all the same words at the same time.3./ Kath read me Psalm 37 to remind me that it is STILL right to do right, even when it hurts, and even when those around me are laughingly living it up in sin.4./ Realised that worship does not have to be jumping up and down smiling, singing 'we're the dancing generation, wooo!' but is just as much in tears of obedience.5./ Realised that I'm still a Christian even though the last thing I want to do is the former, and that the latter is a good sign that I still am.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Woke up feeling like I had had enough sleep for the first time in about 3 weeks.2./ Heard a really great talk from the end of Ephesians.3./ Got 2000 words done.4./ Got to know Emma Stafford better.5./ Kept her hat.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Last day!2./ Saw BIt's not so bad after all.

1./ I was number one AuntieIt's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw Beth.It's not so bad after all.

1./ I got new jeans and pants!2./ I heard Ema's music and LOVED it.3./ Witsy called.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Mum read my seminar on grace and said ' liberating!'It's not so bad after all!

1./ I went to Belgo (my favourite restaurant ever.)2./ I played squash with my mum!!!3./ Dad made me laugh so much I almost choked on my food.It's not so bad after all.

Can't remember....

Can't remember...

1./ Got lots of Beth cuddles.2./ Dad bought me a proper insect book.3./ Correctly identified a Pine Ladybird.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had hardly a moment alone.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ I was at Relay 1. I need say no more!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Found that th egospel is still new and is still the only thing there is.2./ Got 2 bits of Relay post.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Someone audibly farted in the meeting.2./ Kath smiled at exactly the right moment in the song I played her.3./ Staff banter.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Breakfast and musicals with Anna.2./ Tea with Paula Love.It's not so bad after all.

1./ I did amusing public speaking - I said a funny story to a room full of people and they all laughed! Who knew that would ever happen?!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Was forced to participate in SingalongaSoundofMusic as part of my job!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw Cathy Midmer.2./ Had an excuse to escape from the staff talk.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had this conversation with Kath:OddBabble: Do you like my bum?Kath: Yes?OddBabble: Do you? What do you like about it?Kath: Because it's big and round and like a moon with a crack in the middle.2./ Danced until 12 after the Relay party.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Worshipping with Roz in her room by talking about Him and concluding that He's wonderful, while everyone else worships loudly in the marquee below the window. Knowing that He loves to accept both kinds. Sharing with one another the truths that He so gently reminded us of, and finding to our delight, that the two things combined to reveal an even bigger thing, which helped to make sense of our different unique situations. How wonderfully omniscient and intimate a God we worship.2./ Playing free pool.3./ Have a refreshingly different conversation at dinner.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Spent the evening with Cathy.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had a takeaway with Mr and Mrs Shoe Keeper. JUST what I needed after a conference, and all the sweeter for knowing what a sacrifice it was for them to share that time with me, even though they'd been apart for 10 days.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Woke up in my own bed, and drifted in and out of sleep in front of bad films all day.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Did the music at church and enjoyed it.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had lunch with Nay Skull.2./ Had dinner with Helen Edwards followed by re-enacting West Side Story.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had a surprise visit from Shoe Keeper.2./ Had a chav night with Kay.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Woke up feeling glad to do my job.2./ Was naughty at the back with Jude Hahn.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The team.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Another cracking bunch of Relays this year.2./Saw B-face.It's not so bad after all.

Can't remember...

1./ Saw B2./ Found a £10 note.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw B2./ We drank wine and stole the cheese from the table next to us.It's not so bad after all.

Can't remember...

1./A tough day, but I know God is still in control.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Surprising my sister and Beth and finding them in.2./ Seeing Kath and Kate Rusby and realising my destiny is to be an International Folk Bitch.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Beginning to see more clearly what God might be doing in all this.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had coffee with Steph2./ Had dinner with Stu and Karen, which included port and stilton. Mmmm.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Book group!2./ Not feeling the same way as I did the last time that triangle happened. Progress!It's not so bad after all.

1./ I love my church!2./ I had lunch with lovely people from church!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting my teeth into something I love.It's not so bad after all.

1./ As yesterday (there's nothing else in my life at the moment!)It's not so bad after all.

1./ House group was brilliant! I love spending time chewing over a Bible passage. It's one of my favourite things ever.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Wow. When you face your profound fear, and abandon to God 'that thing' that you've kept back from him as your own, the result really is glorious, paradoxical liberty. I've never felt so free!It's not so bad after all.

1./ I gave them a cracking lunch.2./ Ally didn't know what he was praying about, but he still somehow managed to say JUST the right thing.3./ Shoe Keeper really cares, like a friend, even though he's a boy.4./ I actually enjoyed having a pretentious abstract discussion.5./ I got my big secret project done on time!6./ I saw Bacon!7./ I had champagne!8./ I had dinner with Anna, which meant lovely chats!9./ I was shown once again, that God really does know what he's doing, and that he really does know what his children need and when they need it, far better than we do.It's not so bad after all.

1./ What a long way I've come because of God. I couldn't have dared imagine it.2./ Wonderful time with Anna, SO funny that I can't describe it, as well as just wonderful, deep and real. I loved it!!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Oh my church is so great!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Can't remember...

1./ Had an amazing chat with mum.2./ Saw B. We had delicious tapas and we actually saw a film that didn't make us want to kill ourselves!It's not so bad after all.

1./ House group was great again. Revisited the passage that first led me to the Lord.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Oh I do love Anna.2./ I cooked an amazing meal. I cooked an amazing meal!3./ Aretha. What can I say?4./ So great to pray with her; why didn't we do it when we lived together. So good to know that God is sovereign, and that he loves us, so that's a good thing.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lovely coffee and cake with BB.2./ Lovely dinner with Cathy Midmer.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Wonderful fun and games upstairs.2./ I BEAT CATHY MIDMER AT A WORD GAME!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Got to do the music at church.2./ Cathy Midmer came.3./ Cathy Midmer hung around.It's not so bad after all.

1./I AM BACK ONLINE!2./I AM BACK ONLINE!3./I AM BACK ONLINE!It's not so bad after all.


At Monday, 09 October, 2006, -bb- said…

1./ Had lunch with VFT. She paid and is Interesting and Fun.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A surprise morning visit assuring me, with a few tears, that my holiness is important to my friends.2./ Reading this: "I really do love you very much".I guess it's not so bad after all.

1./ Lovely giggly breakfast with Louiz.2./ SHD came round to kit out my bathroom.3./ I cooked her something delicious!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting paid to spend the whole day praying.2./ Hosting spontaneous lunch.3./ Catching up with Nay P.4./ Raucousness with Nay Skull.5./ Seeing the lovely Ali C.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sleeping 'til lunch.2./ Spontaneous bangers & mash with B at the S&M cafe.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A sermon that would have made me shout 'Yes! Amen! That's the TRUTH!' If I had been that kind of person. In reality I sat still with a completely neutral expression on my face, feeling all these things silently inside.2./ Communion lunch with my church family. ( :3./ Being used by God in my weakness, and getting paid £100 for it!4./ Singing some songs to Kath. She says I'm well on my way to being an IFB!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having a 'fry-up' with Kath. (A fry-up in Hove is very different to a fry-up in Peckham. In Hove, it's served with chives!)2./ Giggles with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ An otherwise numbingly dull day punctuated by jolly banter with Nayf and games with Witsy.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Learning to play two of my favourite songs ever and singing them down the phone to my mum.2./ Staying behind after housegroup and giggling with M and C.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing the wonderful Blue Beard in action.2./ Being able to tell Pipsqueak that I love her.3./ Being reminded not to give up.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Eric & Toni, and being re-enthused that it IS worth bothering, and being shown what God has ALREADY done, that I haven't even noticed because I'm such a misery guts.2./ Talking about REAL STUFF with Kath. Concluding for the 1,00000th time that the answers are heaven, and more of God while we're here. (Phil 1:21, maybe Paul knew what he was on about).3./ Playing songs for hours.4./Eating yum in front of a movie.It's not so bad after all.

1./Church musicians day away: spending all day talking about and doing, singing to God! I LOVED it all day long! I mean, I really loved it!2./Having dinner with the Skullys, talking about serious and important stuff, and laughing lots and lots and lots.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Managed to blag a free lunch along with BB which turned out to last until 5 and included chats and prayer about Things That Matter.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A crappy day, but somehow, mum can always make it better.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A bit of fresh perspective and motivation from Brian.2./ The best accountability triplet ever; nothing to confess for any of us, just opportunity to praise God!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ 10 year Goldsmiths reunion at Club Sandwich! This consisted of:-watching an AWFUL video of some of us as drunken pagans, leading to the unusual joy of seeing that the years have been VERY kind.-the wonderful moment standing on a Peckham bus, when Mad Clare asked 'what's a kebab?', and Tan dryly replied 'the thing you're standing in'.-feeling very old and a little bit pathetic on arrival-forgetting all that and dancing the whole night away to a mixture of phatness and crapness. More details to follow on main blog!!It's not so bad after all!

1./ Saw Witsy! Saw Witsy! Saw Witsy!2./ Beat Witsy and Susanna (in a team, W wishes me to point out) 3 TIMES IN A ROW at pool!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Went to a fish shop and saw many crustaceans.2./ Went to an aquarium and saw a blue lobster.3./ Got a beetle card from SFA.4./ Had giggles in the pub followed by loud games in the square. The giggles were mostly generated by the taking of the picture shown:It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Witsy in a church where she is happy and being fed and being loved.2./ Going to a massive 2nd hand book shop.3./ Playing a music game all the way home.It's not so bad after all.

1./Lying about all morning talking about The Way of Things with Witsy, who Gets It.2./Despite being beaten 6 times in a row by Witsy, I only had 1 ball or fewer on the table each time.It's not so bad after all.

1./ My 8th Bornagain Birthday, which began with a card from Witsy showing that she understands my journey, and her reading from Hebrews 10:19- 12:28. Perfect.2./ Driving for a long time with her, which consisted of a.)ace music b.)a short podcast on the etymology of the word Bushell and c.)talking about things that matter, and realising that we are of the same mind on pretty much all of them.3./ Giving Witsy her 30th birthday present, which she loved beyond measure.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being happy to be back at work.2./ Praying that God would show me how I am useful to Croydon CU, and arriving there to find the speaker had pulled out, and I had about 3 minutes to prepare a talk on the Occult! I felt very useful!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being reminded of the gospel by LM, and finding that it is STILL the only thing that can make anything alright.2./ Seeing wonderful Pipsqueak. Praying with her in a pub.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Meeting the Richmond CU leaders. There are as many leaders now as there were in the entire CU 2 years ago. Praise the Lord!2./ Making Big Daddy Weave laugh lots.3./ Talking to Little M ( :It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having woken up grumpily to go to work on a Saturday after little sleep, was delighted to find that the mystery event I had been sent to was populated randomly by about 10 of my friends from different parts of my life! Day turned out to be a surprise delight because of this and hearing 3 cracking talks about the cross.2./ Finished the day by slobbing in front of the tele with a friend who cooked me delicious curry. Mmmm.It's not so bad after all.

1./ After a day of sulkily rebelling and hiding from God while feeling sorry for myself, finally dragged myself to Word and Spirit evening where I had by heart softened again by the God who loves rebels. Saw people who care about me and was prayed for by someone with scarily accurate prophetic insight.2./ Went to M&M's house to light a sparkler. ( :It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being reminded by a friend that I AM making progress, even though it feels like I'm going backwards in some things. Good to know that God is committed to finishing the work he has started.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing the staff team and being comfortable enough to contribute.2./ Finding that there is something I am good at, that not just anyone could do.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The London Team.2./ Making people laugh.3./ Proper chat with Anna over a Leffe, followed by a text from her saying "I'm with you all the way!"It's not so bad after all.

1./Lots of emails saying that people are praying and supporting what I'm doing.It's not so bad after all.

1./ One of my sad days, but Anna effortlessly working her magic in the evening to bring me out of it, as I knew she would, until I laughed so much it hurt.2./ Watching Strictly with her and having passionate comments to share throughout, including unmitigated joy at smug Ray being knocked out.3./ Spontaneous two-part singing (which sounded dreadful) leading to fantasies of X Factor auditions as The Crap Cows.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Catching up with B again after too long.It's not so bad after all.

1./ It went well! There aren't many more scary things I'll have to face.2./ I got given the biggest box of chocolates I've ever seen for it.3./ Got to spend lots of time (including a quick dance) with Nayski.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Reading this: "I was just going downstairs coughing really hard, and inadvertently squeezed out a tiny drop of wee"It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting what I wanted done at Richmond, and being encouraged there.2./ Getting a fraction of my music collection onto i-tunes in preparation for my ipod. It's just so satisfying to scroll down that list and think 'MAN, I have immaculate taste.' Also love the way it plays me stuff I've not heard in years, and the way it ssllliiides between songs.3./ Lovely dinner with Mr and Mrs Bluebeard. Leaving with an armful of CDs to try out.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up early with a heavy heart because I didn't feel like doing evangelism, but finding that I had that exhilarating rush of getting a gold dust opportunity and remembering that what I believe is TRUE!2./ Discovering that my dreams for IFBdom are not in fact shattered, just postponed.3./ Book Group - oh I love it! Brilliant book, brilliant conversation, brilliant friends.4./ Dancing afterwards with Nay to AWFUL music, but who cares? I'm dancing with Nayski!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sleepy morning phonecalls with B and Witsy.2./ Enjoying my music all day long.3./ Seeing Evita with Anna and hearing her anecdotes that make me laugh SO much.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Feeling like my church is the right place for me.2./ Having a good chat with H&H about above.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Technology meaning that although I spent all day and all evening alone, I spent most of the day chatting to two of my favourite people.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Woo! 3 people at CONEL! So I did a PROPER BIBLE STUDY! And it was on Ephesians 1:1-14, so it couldn't FAIL to be exciting! THIS is why I wanted to do the job!!2./ Giving myself permission to read a newspaper on the train instead of sitting there with a theological book open on my lap while I stare out of the window.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Did a talk! With Power Point! I am a Staff Worker!2./ Did a 121! On apologetic techniques! I am a Staff Worker!3./ Had spontaneous B evening!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sometimes, it REALLY helps to know that God's power is made perfect in weakness.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw Witsy and B AT THE SAME TIME and they were lovely, and I didn't feel the sharp points of the triangle. Hooray!2./Witsy LOVED the present I made her as much as I knew she would.It's not so bad after all.

1./ So lovely to chat to Witts in the morning.2./ So lovely to chill out with her.3./ So funny to do the river dance forfeit.4./ So nice to see Witsy surrounded by people who love her.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up to find it wsn't last night anymore.2./ Finding once again that Witsy and I are of the same mind and heart on all things that matter.3./ Coming home to find that B had done all the clearing up.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Did a talk. Think it went well.It's not so bad after all.

1./ More Ephesians at CONEL. Love how the Bible just makes you want to praise him, you don't have to do anything except read it.2./ Having a friend who I can drive for 2 and a quarter hours in traffic to give a surprise visit on a whim, because I am that confident that she will be glad to see me. Spending the evening doing all the things we have in common and rejoicing that we have them in common.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Ruby arrived! Oh she's BEAUTIFUL! Has any woman ever loved an inanimate object so?It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having breakfast with the FE people.2./ Seeing Bluebeard.3./ Talking to Witsy.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Ruby getting an outing in my car.2./ Spending the evening with a family.3./ Seeing Laidypie.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being able to show my love and support in a small way for Shoekeeper.2./ Seeing Lairdy, Tiny Dancer and Brazza.It's not so bad after all.

1./ God is so kind. He doesn't necessarily take away the pain, but the God of the universe is prepared to let a small sad person know that he has not forgotten me, that he is always thinking about me and always concerned for me, and that he is always with me.2./ Going to a chuch where it's OK to cry, and where people really do care about me.3./ Saw Emma, and B was kind.It's not so bad after all, even when it feels like it is.


At Monday, 04 December, 2006, Anonymous said…
love christchurchs cryablitiy. nice to discover that people acually DO care at church. see u fri. ill remember a little prayer for you before then. :)

At Monday, 04 December, 2006, Kath said…
aw. God is Nice. Glad he's looking after you

1./ Spending hours talking to a boss who listens to everything, and then demonstrates this by praying for everything I have mentioned at the end.It's not so bad after all.

1./ More Ephesians at CONEL.2./ Last minute sax playing at South Bank Carol service, which meant seeing Shoekeeper and Tiny Dancer.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lovely coffee with Steph from church (not me, I'm not that confused).2./ Lovely dinner with Mad and Robert, at which I had a spinach and ricotta pizza, and we talked about enduring friendship (ours) and Jesus (my Lord).It's not so bad after all.

Sorry, I can't remember...

1./ Time and food with the East Side.2./ Bus journey with the delightful Priss & Tor.3./ Seeing Anna for a bit.It's not so bad after all.

I can't remember. I really must update this thing properly!

1./ Seeing my beloved neice. Being No.1 aunie by stopping her crying even though she was teething by playing fun games. Seeing the smile on her face as she showed me that she could walk with the aid of a trolley thing - I've never seen anyone look so pleased with themselves about anything!!2./ Giving my granny a cuddle.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Rootbabe, even if only for a short while. Singing with her.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Travelling with ShoeKeeper, Ruby, Priss and Tor.2./ Arriving to a house full of people I love, and knowing we weren't going anywhere.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Hearing radical, practical, liberating, biblical teaching, twice in one day.2./ Playing Who's in the Bag? and being awesome at it.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up and feeling happy that I had done so.2./ A long walk with Brian, talking about how wonderful, how breaking, how liberating and how obscene the gospel is to sinners like us.3./ The joy (picture to be posted soon) of doing something as mundane as peeling potatoes, when it's done with people you love.4./ One of my favourite things ever: having Christmas dinner with my team, and singing carols together in harmony.5./ Dancing on chairs with Anna to the Spice Girls and not caring.6./ Whipping ass at Dutch BlitzIt's not so bad after all.

1./ Being naughty with Tiny Dancer and getting chased by ShoeKeeper as punishment. Oh the joy!2./ Happy to find that I was missing the boys.3./ Being awesome at Mascarade.4./ Being asked to perform my song at CIAGW.5./ Having Priss & Tor over to stop me feeling lonely after it all, and watching West Side Story togther.6./ Singing to them.It's not so bad after all

1./ Seeing B for a coffee.2./ Seeing Les Mis with Constable.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lazing about in the morning chatting to C and then eating delicious food.2./ Shamelessly crying in front of X Factor with C.3./ Sharing carol service with Mad and Rob.4./ Finally finding a DVD of Evita, causing us to skip for joy down the street.5./ Cooking Constable her favourite meal, and then singing along to all the songs.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing my Goldsmiths Girls and having great chats.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Anna in the arvo after a crappy morning, and her making everything seem a little bit better.2./ Seeing a sleepy B, and enjoying her company even though she was too tired to say much.It's not so bad after all.

1./ 121 with Rachel, making me feel like a student worker.2./ Sushi with Kay.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Anna being OK.2./ Hearing all that God has been doing in Peach.3./ Being fed delicious Bin-face food by Peach.4./ Sharing beautiful music with Peach, who really gets that.5./ Singing pretty songs with Peach, which sounded pretty.6./ Peach.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Watching the beautiful Damien with Peach.2./ Enjoying Ruby.3./ Seeing Magic Anna, and her working her magic even when she's sad.4./ Finally getting home and having delicious food cooked for me.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up in a house with people in it.2./ Mark & Karen winning Strictly.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing little Beth.2./ Giggling with my sister.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Prizes.2./ Food.3./ Dozy cuddle.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Peach.2./ New music.3./ Dutch Blitz.4./ Snuggliness.5./ Lyrics game.6./ Talking about God.7./ Debriefing.8./ Cuddles.It's not so bad after all.

Can't remember, but probably lazing about, eating and reading.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The smallest one in the family. Her joy at the smallest things.2./ Teaching my family Dutch Blitz. Them loving it even though I consistently beat them all by around 100 points a time.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting to do Christmas Day all over again, with better turkey and fewer tears.2./ Getting the latest Indigo Girls and Found book.3./ Making my Woo feel better.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Finishing my 31 Songs blog!2./ Being reminded, patiently and lovingly by LM, that the gospel probably is still true, and worth it, even though it hurts.3./ Being told these "3 essential things" by Nayf: 1.) I think you are absolutely beautiful 2.) I love you 3.) My middle name is ACTUALLY Tupperware.It's not so bad after all

1./ Arriving Anna's and feeling better.2./ New Years Eve celebrations where nothing was expected of me. Anna, worried that things were boring, said "is everyone OK? Are you having a good time?" to which I replied "Anna, I couldn't be happier." And actually meant it.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up in the same place as Anna and Sarah Mackenzie.2./ Watching Calamity Jane, and clapping at the end.3./ Being glad that 2006 is over. A new start.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Going to work at B's office.2./ Noodles and boozles with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting to sing at Croydon.2./ Feeling useful there.3./ Having a great encouraging chat with Frieda, and her saying she was so glad I was there for them!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being bought dinner by my rich friend. ( :It's not so bad after all.

1./ Dancing until I physically could not dance any more.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Doing the music - singing with proper foldback.2./ Hanging out with my girls.3./ Playing awesome, I mean AWESOME games all day long. And winning everything. Yes, everything.4./ Lovely chilling out with Cat and Jan.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sermon, songs, prayers, even notices, all directly from God straight to my cold heart.2./ Long lunch with church family.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Finding I was sharing with Skully, Peach and Tiny Dancer.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Escaping to another town, with Peach, who knows silence is needed when the Indigo Girls are on, without needing to be told.2./ Being bought presents.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The sheer joy of discovering reflexes I didn't know I had.2./ Feeling like a Very Important Person in terrifying meetings.3./ Staying up playing Cranium with my LM.4./ Winning.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Discovering that the pool table was not in fact broken, and so winning many games, bringing me out of my blueness.2./ Continuing this later and later at night with a pool cue that conducted electricity.3./ Realising that all that aloofness and indifference was in my head. Again.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The loveliest cuddle I've had since September 2005.2./ Managing not to cry until I got home.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being surprised that the day I was dreading was just what I needed, on so many levels.2./ Book group - always brilliant.It's not so bad after all.

1./ My lovely, lovely church.2./ My lovely, lovely Witsy - the only one who really understands all this, and can give me perspective in the pain that is not trite or easily given, but burned out of the same fires.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Today was nng! But all days come to an end.2./ Evening with Lairdy which included Gu, creme brulee and School of Rock.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Did my first ever 121 Bible study with a non-C today! And she was willing! And I told her the gospel! And she seemed to understand it at least! AND, AND, she wants to start meeting every week!!!!!!2./ Had my first Salsa lesson. Finally, excercise that I actually like doing.It's not so bad after all.


At Wednesday, 17 January, 2007, -bb- said…
woo to all! :) Hows about friday morning?Looks like im probably not gonna be needing any new accomodation provided afterall. :(

At Thursday, 18 January, 2007, Tan said…
Salsa rocks! Unfortunately, Matt was suitably unimpressed by my new 'moves' when I got home : (

Some days this is harder than Got my job app. in on time.2./ Got a week cleared so I can go on holiday with Witsy later in the year.Spose it's not so bad after all. *sulk*

1./ One of my 121s turning out to be a 221, which has led to further future 121s.2./ B+Beer=Balm that helps me forget.3./ Ruby selecting John Mayer's Inside Wants Out album, sensing I needed some transcendence on the bus home. So sweet I almost didn't want to arrive home. (Almost.)It's not so bad after all.

1./ A good day. Praying, eating and laughing and then being productive.2./ Enjoying serving because it was with my team family. Mr & Mrs Bluebeard being there.3./ Champers and random giggles with BB, MM and Barbie.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A long lie in.2./ Getting lots done.3./ A pressy for niece.4./ Nice phonecalls.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing the smallest one in the family.2./ Getting 4 applications done.3./ Clearing things up with LW.4./ A quick chat with Witts.5./ A quick chat with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A long journey with Priss, Tor, Drew and Ruby.2./ Arriving at a building full of friends.3./ Helpless giggling with Jess at dinner, followed by my Group Therapy.4./ Staff meeting: the banter, the joy! Me saying genuinely "I'm thrilled to be here".5./ The best two talks I've heard in months: the shocking and humbling realisation that God is so very much God and I am so very much not, blowing away so many of my deepest questions.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up in a room full of friends.2./ The constant joy of being here.3./ My lovely fellowship group.4./ Staff meeting: the banter, the joy! Nayski and I performing our rock repertoire to a rapidly diminishing audience.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Discovering that sugar makes watery porridge edible.2./ ShoeKeeper.3./ Surprise food at the end of the day.4./ Everyone here.It's not so bad after all.

1./ I do love hearing thier evangelistic presentations, even if it's torture for them.2./ Proper food.3./ The strange masochistic joy of grace meaning that you have nothing to hide, and so exposing everything to a room full of people. (Metaphorically, not physically.)4./ The feeling of never having to do that again.5./ Being Baby Spice.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A drive to nowhere in particular with Kath, Karen and Music.2./ Being a girl band for the day! Being the boys in 'You Are Holy'.3./ Being here still.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Knowing that Anna cares, understands and loves me.2./ A perfect Bible study, reminding me that God is still God and the gospel is still true, so it's not so bad after all.3./ A long journey with Priss, Tor, Drew and Ruby.4./ Strictly Ballroom, curry and debriefing in bed with Anna.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Not waking up alone yet.2./ Going to a church that always hits the spot; hearing a sermon that was exactly what I needed to cushion what happened next.3./ Long journey with Ruby.4./ Haggis with mum and dad.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lovely day with mum.2./ Cheese & lime pickle sandwiches.3./ Jammin' with Sooz.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A busy day; feeling useful.2./ A brilliant 121 with a non-C, seeing Jesus through her eyes; "he's really wierd innit!! He's like, just a bloke, but he can do all this amazing stuff! I want to find our more about him innit!!" I didn't realise things like this really happened.3./ Salsa with Tan. Enjoying her dry wit, and feeling like I could actually do it.It's not so bad after all.PS Please check out the comments on Kath's 250th 365 for the justification of this blog's existence. For all you haters out there.


At Wednesday, 31 January, 2007, Kath said…
you don't need to justify this lovely one... because the banner at the top says it all... any haters of this should just read that!

At Wednesday, 31 January, 2007, -bb- said…
amen :)

At Wednesday, 31 January, 2007, -bb- said…
whatever works and all that. to find joy...however one finds it. just find the joy and share the love. woo

At Monday, 05 February, 2007, Anne Witton said…
I don't hate it. I just find it difficult, but if it helps your relatinship with God, then that's a good thing. I think we all have a tendancy to be jealous and insecure and, if we're not careful, the internet can easily feed that. I personally am going to spend more time being grateful to God offline and be much more disciplined about how often I turn my computer on. Please don't think I'm criticising you, though.

1./ New music. Fresh, unheard Eddi, and even more wonderful (can you believe it?!) a discovery of a new artist for my hungry ears. Mmm, a whole fresh back catalogue awaits.....2./ Sushi with VFT with the restriction; "you can only have up to 10 plates I'm afraid" : D VFT saying, "I can't understand why I'm so full, the plates are so small!" Me replying, "Vic, we've had TEN. Each."3./ Getting home in time to clean my bin with bleach. I know that doesn't sound like the kind of thing I would want to write on here, but if you had smelled it before that, you would want to dance for joy too.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A whole day out of the house.2./ Mad, Rob and proper culture.3./ Lemon Sorbet covered in Limoncello.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Kah Foon saying: "Somtimes I like to rub my nose on the outside to dislodge it a bit first. Then you can just do one big blow and it shoots straight out." Kah Foon said that!2./ The arrival of Witsy.3./ Practising with The Most Awesome All Girl Worship Band in the World..........Ever.4./ God being amazing enough to change hearts and feelings instantly, because we asked. Everything being restored, because God is so good.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Dreams coming true: Being the lead singer of a band.2./ Playing in a band where Witsy is on drums.3./ Doing this all day, to the glory of God.4./ Being at a point where I could do the most scary thing, without the terror beforehand.5./ The lushness continuing afterwards, and Witsy saying; "It's such a perfect day!" me replying "I'm glad I spent it with you."It's not so bad after all.

1./ Church with Witsy.2./ Saying goodbye knowing it wouldn't be long until the next time.3./ Cake and catchup with B.It's not so bad after all.


At Monday, 05 February, 2007, Gary said…
This is a wonderful blog that I stumbled upon and i think I will start a similar one, since my cup is way too often half empty. Gratefulness is a wonderful spiritual discipline. A 37 year-old US guy, happily married with 4 girls (the oldest almost 13)

1./ A lie-in.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Sharing the awe of Zephaniah with Otas.2./ Supervision with Uncle Brian.3./ Feeling like we could do the Salsa.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Toni.2./ Doing a double-act with her at Croydon.It's not so bad after all.

1./ An interview that left me feeling like they'd be mad not to have me, but that I didn't want them!2./ As much sushi as I could cram in my face with Dad, who paid, and carried my bags for me.3./ Him buying me not just food, but M&S food with which to feed Mr & Mrs Bluebeard.4./ Mr & Mrs Bluebeard being such good company.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Getting something useful done in the first evening in I can remember for a long, long time.2./ Eating yesterday's leftovers. Mmmmm.

1./ A clean flat.2./ Peach & M&S food.3./ Wonderful, wonderful Eddi. Rekindling my IFB ambitions. One day......It's not so bad after all.

1./ I do love my church.2./ Meeting a new person there who clearly loves Jesus, even in our first conversation.3./ Getting a little work done.4./ Hearing from Jesus at Spiritual Detox.5./ A wonderful conversation with Witsy on the phone, all about God - being in agreement on all matters of import. Again.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Company all day long (BB). In a pub. This being work.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Laughing with Brazza.2./ Him helping me to get my obsessive thinking in order, by being so patient and clever.3./ Having the courage to go up to intermediate in Salsa (because Tan made me) and finding that we didn't totally humiliate ourselves.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being surprised (not for the first time) that my cynisism was unfounded; a meeting consisting of just testimonies was one of the most moving and faith-building that I have ever had at Croydon.2./ Getting an unplanned evening in and being able to use it to get lots done and feel like I'm making real progress, while keeping one multitasking eye on the Brits.It's not so bad after all.


At Thursday, 15 February, 2007, becci brown said…
did they play a video of the feeling singing in covent garden? did you spot me?

1./ An encouraging lunch with someone who's persevearing.2./ Ghost, Last Tears, Get Out the Map, Galileo, Closer to Fine, Power of Two, Shame On You.3./ Catching an eye, five years on....It's not so bad after all.

1./ Witsy being with me in the morning.2./ Witsy being there when I got home.3./ Having the priveledge of showing someone that God is waiting for them to come home again, and seeing that start to drop home.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A late lie in.2./ A wonderful conversation on the phone sat on my kitchen worktop in my pjamas. Remembering someone who sounds just the same.3./ More brilliant chats with Witsy about things that really matter. Thanking God for the 1,000,000th time for our friendship and how it's grown.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The music being OK even though everything conspired against it - being able to laugh about it with Becky.2./ Spending the whole afternoon whipping ass at table football and talking/singing/doing Utter Random.3./ A brilliant Spiritual Detox.It's not so bad after all.


At Tuesday, 20 February, 2007, becci brown said…
erhem. Who's becky?! ;-)

1./ Having the burden of 5 years of tortured memory and frustrated unspoken sorrys removed.2./ The surreal delight of just being with someone so significant and so loved.3./ Finally playing 'Enough' to the one I wrote it for and to, and having it recieved well. Good closure.4./ The fact that I have kept going and that God has been good and has been changing and growing me, and that He is my identity and my hope.But I will keep praying for the Most Important Thing, as I have been doing every day.It's not so bad after all.


At Tuesday, 20 February, 2007, becci brown said…
Good to hear :-)

At Tuesday, 20 February, 2007, Kath said…

1./ Talking to Witsy through the astonishing amounts of snot - her understanding without me needing to explain anything and her helping me to think a bit more rationally again.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Managing some lunch with B.2./ Discovering that even mums know what it's like to be in love and lose it.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Prayer is ACTUALLY miraculous. And at times, is completely instantaneous and heart-changing.2./ A complete, uninterupted night's sleep.3./ 3 proper meals in my tummy.4./ Actual work achieved.5./ Dinner with the Bluebeards.6./ A surprise drop-in to Anna's on the way home, to debrief and celebrate how very good God is.It turns out, it's really not so bad after all.

1./ Spending the whole day worshiping God.2./ Speaking for a really amazing little group of people with a really amazing ministry.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Enjoying grappling with the Bible.2./ Finishing my first wholly happy song!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Spending the whole day with church people, because I want to, because they are my family.2./ Feeling full of faith, and that 'joy' that everyone always goes on about.3./ Singing my new song to Witsy and her loving it!It's great, after all.

1./ The surprise of seeing the Ninster in the evening for a couple of beers and a catchup.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing apparently the whole evangelical world walk through the door, one of which was my Neddy Bacon!2./ Being surprised to find the evening so entertaining that I found myself literally sitting on the edge of my seat laughing - a huge public debate between a Christian and an atheist, where the atheist was left so far up the creek it made me laugh out loud! The gospel is true! Hahahah!!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being the lured away by naughty Shoekeeper and Pod.2./ Banter and beer afterwards with Shoe, Tiny Dancer & Uncle Brazza.It's not so bad after all.

1./ It being March feels like a relief.2./ A happy accountability, followed by prayer which felt VERY significant.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Long journey with Drew, Tor and Ruby.2./ Driving through mist and rain and darkness through winding country roads.3./ Being in a place where my London family are, and knowing they are not going anywhere just yet.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being a singer. Holding no instrument, just singing into a microphone in front of more than 100 people. Who knew that would EVER be me?2./ The spontaneous complements afterwards.3./ Singing again, this time with a guitar.4./ Giggling at the back with BB.5./ Inappropriate Would You Rathers.6./ Playing the Never Mind the Buzzcocks intros game with Anna; our audience being non-plussed but us falling about laughing.7./ Walking down a long corridor behind Anna where she begins doing a silly walk. I unthinkingly mimic her as I follow and she says, without turning around; "are you?" "Yes!" I reply and we laugh at how 10 years together can make you so predictable.8./Singing more songs together, coupled with inappropriate uncontrolable silent mirth (see hidious picture on BB's blog).9./ All this being my job.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Singing again.2./ The long drive home, this time with Priss too.It's not so bad after all.

1./ 5 people to a Merton lunchbar!2./ Easy gospel conversations!It's not so bad after all.

1./ 7 people to a lunchbar!2./ More gospel conversations!3./ Being on the Steering Committee - how important am I? - for a new beginning that is based firmly on 2 Corinthians 4 principles. The kind of scary, humbling principles that make the blood rush through my veins. I am a part of this, and God is in charge.4./ Seeing older Christian couples together. Them modeling godliness just by being, and them not knowing that they are being watched by us who are beginning to hope to be where they are one day.It's not so bad after all.

1./ 9 people to a lunchbar at Merton!!2./ Not having to cook dinner, and part of it being Tiramisu. Mmmmm.3./ Submitting the final version. Finally.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing that God is sovereign.2./ Kath being there when I really needed her.3./ The Bible being true, and meaning that I had nothing to fear.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Great gospel opportunities.2./ It being all over.3./ Lovely food and laughter with Priss.4./ Ruby being alright after all.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Cooked breakfast.2./ Winning Lairdium.3./ Seeing Ali C and Nayski.4./ Cha cha cha.5./ Getting Lairdy's shellfish.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Astonished to find lots of people saying that the worship was great, when I had felt it was one of the greatest musical disasters I had ever been a public part of. I fully expected to be taken aside and told that I needed a bit more coaching before being let loose on a microphone again any time soon. It HAD to be the Holy Spirit!!2./ Finding that my emotional itch could be well and truly scratched by PJ Harvey played so loud in my car it made it vibrate. That "mm-hmm?" at the beginning of Long Snake Moan. Oh my!3./ Spontaneous hagendaas and movie with B-chunks.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Mmm, lie in...2./ Talking to my mummy.3./ Talking to Witsy and managing to cheer her up. Hooray!4./ Yummy food.5./ Cleanness.6./ Trashy TV.7./ Singing songs with Suki.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Panicking when being the first in the middle at Salsa after 3 weeks away, but finding that I could totally do it, man.It's not so bad after all.

1./ An evening with B, Mad & Rob.It's not so bad after all.

1./ God being sovereign even in my bumbling scattiness.2./ Arty-fartyness with BB and Ruth.3./ My bag NOT being stolen.4./ Randomness late pm.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Hanging out with my East London crew all morning.2./ Recieving a council tax bill that was good news!3./ Time with Peach.4./ Boozy book group.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Lots of cheese.It's not so bad after all.

1./ God answering prayers again; truth being more powerful than lies.2./ Whole lobster tail.It's not so bad after all.

1./Lunch with 2 of my favourite boys in all the world: Brazza and Shoekeeper.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up and realising "It's team days!"2./ Getting there and finding there was table football and pool.3./ Leading the singing, including 'More Beautiful'.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Shocking everyone by getting up early.2./ Making some intelligent comments.3./ Watching the wonderful High School Musical.4./ Stuffing my greedy face.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Still being at team days.2./ More food.3./ A cheque in the post.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being made one of the most beautiful breakfasts I have ever had by BB - crispy bacon, pancakes, and maple syrup.2./ Witsy and I buying pink bunnies with our lunch.3./ Contemplating the love of God.4./ Nayski making me laugh.It's not so bad after all.

1./Playing iPod games.2./Beginning the Wishell adventure.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being given both our ideal lunches by a friendly local.2./ Him appearing again out of nowhere where we were hopelessly lost - the only man we knew in Turkey, appearing just like an angel, walking us to where we wanted to be.3./ Going down to a pool hall populated only by Turkish men, who upon seeing us, offered to 'teach us how to play'. We said we were 'OK thanks'. They offered to play doubles and we said 'maybe next time'. Witsy broke and one of them said 'good try!'. The patronising air and assumption of female inferiority was almost tangible, so it was a good job Witsy and I are HOT at pool. Satisfyingly (so satisfyingly) we played some of the sexiest shots ever. Even more satisfyingly, the arrogant men were silenced, sheepishly sidling off one by one, until we had a table of free pool all to ourselves, all evening.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Read contemplative contemporary fiction in a castle while Witsy ran around contentedly absorbing history.2./ Saw a tortoise and some ants.3./ Had a traditional Turkish pie while playing iPod games.4./ Played catch on the beach.5./ Watched Witsy shooting baskets with a local.6./ Sat and wrote stuff while drinking an Archers and lemonade in the sun. Ahhhhhh.7./ Meat.8./ Played raucous games while drinking wine. We are amazing at Taboo.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having a hot shower.2./ Playing a music quiz about women in music and getting most of them right.3./ Sharing my music with Witsy.4./ Sharing Watershed before going to bed.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Read out Ephesians where Ephesians was read out the very first time.2./ Bought an amazing badge.3./ Had chocolate pancakes.4./ Played catch.5./ Pulled.6./ Had too much squid by the sea with good conversation.7./ Spent the evening in an empty bar with Spidey and any song on the dukebox we so desired.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Strolls around Istanbul.2./ Music and bunnycuddles.3./ Lovely meal in the only restaurant we were not mugged in order to enter, eating something green that was not a kebab.4./ Playing cards and smoking a Nargile with actual Turks.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Some time to myself.2./ Seeing live native music being performed.3./ Laughing so much it hurt.4./ Going to an amazing, exclusive boho restaurant and spending a long, lazy evening there.5./ Discovering where I was going wrong in pool, thus being beaten consistently by Witsy, rather than being humiliated consistently by Witsy. VERY satisfying games, one of which I won.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Hilarious sit-com style farcical bus ride.2./ Arriving at a place where we could read the signs and knew for sure where the buses and trains would take us.3./ Troughing MaccyD's, because sometimes, nothing else will do.4./ Coming home to find sweet presents from BB, and then BB herself, reminding me that I am not alone in Peckham.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up on time and having that post-holiday impression of a new beginning.2./ Actually talking to God.3./ Being productive.4./ Eating healthy food that is not kebab.5./ A long happy chat with Peach.6./ A long happy chat with Brazza.7./ A surprise visit from BB.It's not so bad after all.


At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Pippa said…
Lets eat fish when we meet up! I adore it!!! We could go for sushi or whatever you want my lovely!!! xxx

1./ More anti-kebab salad.2./ More BB.3./ The good changes in Witsy.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Really lovely lunch with B.2./ Strange feeling of contentment in Starbucks with lovely music and a stranger who smiled at me (in London!). Did they put caffienne in my de-caf caramel macchiato?3./ BB's company for dinner, then surprisingly fun door knocking followed by giggles iwht the girls. No really, did they put caffienne in it??It's not so bad after all.


At Thursday, 05 April, 2007, Pippa said…
Hopefully, as thats the onyl way to have the sublime caramel macchiato. Although i must confess to having skinny milk in mine now! But only so i get to say "A Tall, skinny, caramel, macchiato to take away please". It sounds very new york?

1./ Hung out with BB.2./ Discovered that although I have succumbed to Facebook, I hate 24, so I am not like everyone else.It's not so bad after all.


1./ Had a really lovely time with my wider family.
2./ Ate loads of food.
3./ Was in charge of Beth for a bit.
4./ Had a long journey singing with Ruby.
It's not so bad after all.

1./ Got loads done.2./ Found lots of things I'd been looking for for a long time, but much, much cheaper at Primark.3./ Blitzed on knickers.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Jesus Christ is risen today! So all my sin is paid for, once and for all.2./ Played music.3./ Encouraged by Adrian and Esther.4./ Had roast for lunch, cooked by someone else.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw lots of friends, from lots of parts of my life at A&A's wedding.2./ Enjoyed the (CAYLEE - who knows how you really spell it) more than I thought I would.3./ Shared inappropriate mirth with BB and Pod.4./ Brazza was lovely.5./ My parents were really pleased to see me.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had a lovely lunch and giggle with Lizzie and Cat.2./ Was reasonably hot at salsa.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Saw the lovely Anna for lunch, and thanked God for our friendship.2./ Had cocktails and saw a lovely film with B.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Managed to rewrite the 5,000 words that were eaten by the satanic instrument that is my computer.2./ Wore some lovely soft socks.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Had an Ethiopian supper with friends I've not seen for ages.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Staying in bed reading a good book.2./ Getting a surprise dinner invitation, replacing one that was cancelled.3./ Talking to Louiz for ages about art.4./ My church friends being local, and being real friends. Maybe community really does exist.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Finding that R might be hanging around a while longer after all.2./ Our Picnic Adventure, including much chocolate.3./ Finding that agreeing reluctantly to help with the youth group meant playing pool all afternoon.4./ Naughty decadence with BB - far too much Majito, and managing to slag ourselves a free slice of chocolate fudge cake and 3 shots of rum, just by workin' it!!It's not so bad after all.


At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, becci brown said…
we're SOOO good at workin it. hehe

1./ Catching up with the Williams'.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Boiled egg for breakfast.2./ Good conversation.3./ Hilarious texts.4./ Festive, and all that that means and stands for.5./ Pool.6./ Good feedback on hard work.7./ Feeling loved and valued.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having a reason to leave the house.2./ Remembering what I was doing tonight.3./ Meeting the Troll from the train.4./ Playing pool.5./ Talking about things that are important to us and agreeing.6./ Laughing toghether.7./ Praying together.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Waking up to Witsy.2./ God's truth cutting through the lies of fiction. Him being kind enough to remind me of that when I didn't deserve to hear it.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Feeding some dreams (some good, some bad!)It's not so bad after all.

1./ Celebrating B.2./ Finding I'm not so shy after all.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing my oldest friend.2./ Making the most of London.3./ Having a 99.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Easy fun and having my dinner cooked - just like the old days - with Anna.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A brilliant play.2./ Not failing as miserably as usual at being a Parent Pleaser (other people's).It's not so bad after all.

1./Frieda.2./ Pip.3./ Sushi.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Bluebeard.2./ Louiz.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being challenged out of my cynicism by Piper - it turns out, just because lots of people do something, it doesn't mean it's rubbish!2./ Singing songs all afternoon with Peach.3./ Cooking for her and it tasting nice.4./ Her patience with my lack of verbal filter.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Songwriter man's criticism of my song being; "the trouble is, it sounds a bit too much like a folk song." Hooray!2./ Being able to see my bedroom carpet again.It's not so bad after all.

Gosh, it's been a while....some of these might be guesses!1./!It's probably not so bad after all.

1./ Oh dear, my diary is blank.....I didn't die?I guess it wasn't so bad after all?

1./ Encouraging Esther at CONEL.It's not so bad after all

1./ Managing to convince myself, while speaking on it, that grace IS amazing!2./ Hearing a Croydon student praying afterwards thanking God for what I had actually spoken about rather than some random tangential point that someone else mentioned in passing, like usual!3./ Really worshipping as I led worship.4./ Saying goodbye.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Doing something really scary and it being OK.2./ Seeing B (a good thing despite the TERRIBLE play!)It's not so bad after all.

1./ Finishing with Richmond.2./ Doing an even scarier thing and that, amazingly, being OK too. All down to God!3./ Speaking to an old friend after a long, long time.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Fun, games & singing with Rootbabe.2./ Fulfilling an ambition by singing Tori Amos while someone else played piano. I've ALWAYS wanted to that, but never thought I would!It's not so bad after all.

1./ My car not blowing up after all.2./ A lovely time with my family.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Catching up with Kitty Cat.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A bunch of flowers and a thank you from CONEL.2./ Seeing Brazza briefly.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Time with my team.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Going on holiday!2./ Beautiful bonnie Scotland.3./ A long journey with my girls and Ruby for company.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Mmm, lie in.2./ Mmm, good food.3./ Mmm, good books.4./ Mmm, beauty.5./ Mmm, Loch Ness Monster!6./ Banter, laughther and loudness.It's not so bad after all.

1./ More of the wonderful same.2./ Seeing real dolphins in the wild!3./ A beach walk in the sunshine with a cold wind, beauty all around, and my beautiful friends around me.4./ Much giggling.It's not so bad after all.

1./ It's possible that some of yesterday's events happened today. Who cares! It was all one blur of loveliness. So more of the same.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing Pipsicle.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A lovely phonecall.2./ Another ambition fulfilled - someone asking me to sing at their wedding! Not as an instrumentalist, just vocals! That means I am A Singer!It's not so bad after all.

1./ Friends who care.2./ Things starting to ease.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Seeing a stranger reading the Bible on the tube and smiling to herself.2./ The wierd adrenaline rush after the interview I messed up - not caring a fig.3./ Seeing Bluebeard for the last of 7 years of Merton CUs.4./ Him bringing cake and taking the day off just to see me.5./ Explaining the gospel to a muslim - good way to end.6./ Letting myself off and doing frivolous things like this instead of slogging for the first time in too long.7./ Booze and pretentious films with BB and Pod et al.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Banter and lunch with the team.2./ Coffee acting like an adrenaline injection and galvanizing me into productivity.3./ More positive(ish) future job feedback.4./ Finishing probably the best talk of my career and crying all the way through my practice delivery of it as God spoke to me through it - realising that he was the invisible director of the pantomime that has been my efforts in the FE CUs.It's not so bad after all.

1./ My story helping others.2./ Seeing Witsy and all that that brings.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Witsy drumming at church - I so love playing with her on drums!2./ A misunderstanding cleared up.3./ Priss being easy company.4./ Sweet sleep.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Feeling good after 1st part of interview.2./ A really great, practical session for staff afternoon.3./ Surprise flowers and a lovely note.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The people interviewing me not even noticing that I was late because they were more incompetant than me.2./ Using my UCCF skills in a difficult situation.3./ Coming home to someone after a difficult morning.4./ Knowing I did my best.5./ A long journey with music, chatting and laughing with Witsy. The joy of getting away from it all.It's not so bad after all.

1./ A lie in.2./ A long chat with A.3./ The evergreen joy of catch.4./ Not caring that I didn't get the job because I knew it wasn't right for me.5./ Getting stuck into an OT passage, and with people who already knew my name and had been praying for me - people that love Witsy well.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Going to the best aquarium ever! Such a lovely day that Witsy enjoyed too.2./ Winning at least a couple of games of pool.3./ Fun and laughing late into the night with Becky too.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Long journeys are wonderful with wonderful company.2./ A delicious spinach and cheese thing.3./ Being a bit awesome at pool.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Enjoying an unexpected day off.2./ Fun and games with the Relay girls.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Being cynical but finding that instead of rebuking me, God shocked me to tears with his kindness.2./ A whole day with my church family.3./ Getting invited upstairs to watch a movie with the Jervis'.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Good company.2./ Good pies.3./ Good books bought.4./ Hours singing songs.It's not so bad after all.

1./ My co-leader arriving (at the final hour!).2./ Meeting A.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Having an excuse to leave early.2./ Getting to lead worship and do it how I like!3./ My accoutability group being wise and caring.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Visiting lasting two hours instead of three.It's not so bad after all.

1./ The week being over and the possibility of never having to do that again.2./ Priss being lovely and giving me lovely food.3./ Talking to A.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Interesting developments that could give me hope for my future.2./ The lunch break.3./ Managing to do the right thing.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Pod and BB understanding that it wasn't my fault.2./ Picnic in Peckham with church family.3./ BB caring and listening and helping to restore hope.4./ Yummy food and drinks and very good company (BB) in a much needed unwinding session in Bar Story.It's not so bad after all.

1./ Crying only because I was sad to lose something so very good.2./ Getting in the car to go to my final and favourite UCCF conference ever. Knowing that it would be brilliant throughout (it was).3./ Staff meeting. The honesty, the banter.4./ 365 days of things to be thankful for.It's not so bad after all.