Saturday, May 11, 2013

So, quite a bit has happened since my last post...but here are the two notable events:

 - I turned 30.  Yep, I entered a new decade.  It was not as painful as I thought that it would be.  My family gave me a cocktail party, friends in Norwich took me out for drinks...I was spoilt by Cath Kidston stuff...

 - I was awarded by PhD.  I am now a Dr.  I actually quite enjoyed my viva.  It was nice to spend time talking with two people who had actually read your research, and even better, had actually enjoyed it, and were interested with your findings.

It was nice to have a celebration of the two events, as my viva was 4 days after my birthday, where university friends came, Taize friends came, retreat friends came, my boss it was a nice group, and a lovely evening.

I have continued with the fundraising, and most importantly I am now doing serious job hunting as being unemployed does suck.  big time.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Fundraising for Rio is underway...

If anyone can be of help then it would be amazing.  There are icons, prayer cards, religious art, prints, a booklet of Bible reflections, and bracelets on offer...

Everything is handmade and hand produced and we will be so grateful for your help.

If people could be so kind to help spread the word that will be great too...

Feedback has been positive from our customers thus far

Thank you


Friday, March 29, 2013

So I have not blogged for a fact nearly 4 months.  This is a long time.  Lots has happened...a new year, a new Pope.

But there has been a reason I have not blogged for a while - I have been ill.  Yes, I have a cold, but that did  not stop me blogging.  But clinical exhaustion did.  The end of my PhD was adrenaline filled, and so was my trip to Rome (which was awesome...I loved Rome and had some special times out there), but when I got back...I stopped.  I sat down...and metaphorically could not stand up again.  My mood crashed, I was a crying wreck, I hurt and everything was an effort.

The doctor told me to do nothing for a month...not as easy as it sounds.  I didnt do much mentally, but I started to produce stuff that we can sell for WYD fundraising.  I was told not to do any job hunting for a month, and to just try and get better.

A few months on, and I am still tired.  I get tired very easily and am not back to full strength.  Mood wise I am totally up and down.

All this is not helped by the fact that in many parts of my life I am at the 'in-between stage'.  In-between submission and viva, in-between jobs, my relationship status is improving but its tough, and so yeah, this in-between stage sucks.

Last week I was rejected for 3 jobs...that was tough...and so yeah

Prayers for health, successful fundraising ventures and a job will be helpful.

Monday, December 24, 2012

the PhD is in!!!

It has been submitted...I am truly exhausted!  the last month was very hard...but it is done for now...

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 02, 2012

So, I said the other day that I was yet to do the review of my Taize trip this summer, and so here it goes...

Once again, I went for 2 weeks this year, for many reasons, I wanted to go for that length of time, I was going with some people from church in my first week, and meeting the East Anglia group for the second week - so the two weeks would have a completely different atmosphere.

On the evening of the first day, after having been very very hot, there was the most horrific thunderstorm,,,it prevented me from queing up for sunday dinner (not such a great loss), but I did get out of the tent to run to evening prayer.  I have a phobia of thunderstorms....this was not good.  But ear-plugs in and being very tired after a night on a coach, I fell asleep pretty easily.

In my first week, I went to be pretty early each night (well in comparison to the second week) to go to 7:30 Mass every morning - I love doing this in Taize.  It is quite an intimate service...but there seemed to be a huge number of priests!!

The Bible studies for the week were based on community and how to keep the community together, based on the theme for the next 3 years in Taize - towards a new solidarity.  These were taken from both the Old and the New Testament, and provided much food for thought.  We had brother Matthew this week - who on seeing me arrive to the Bible study, made some sarcastic comment towards me...and when one evening I went to ask him a question about that days Bible study, all he did was role his eyes and say, what do you want...not the best of welcomes from the brother, but hey, I lived with it for the week.  After the English regional meeting on the Thursday, brother Paolo asked to meet me the next day. 

This meeting was a really good meeting.  I met him after a Bible study on suffering (did not need this, when on going out one of the last things I had heard was that Ben had taken a turn for the worse, and the things we had in place so that I could be told about anything if he died when I was out there), and so I was pretty much gone and upset.  We talked about a range of things, and he just supported me, told me that in the 6 years that I have been going to Taize he has seen a big growth in me, and that I had developed into a beautiful (if somewhat skinny) young lady!  He said that in my second week, I didnot have to do a Bible study, or small groups, but could take time for me, and go for walks etc.  I was very grateful for this chance to talk to him openly and honestly and for him to listen.  I was also invited for lunch at the long-term permanent stay girls accomodation, as a friend of mine had been there since January and had gained permission to have me over for lunch.  This is the closest that we can really get to 'lunch with the brothers' for the girls...I got to sit at a table, wat with a knife and fork, and ate a lot...and had salad!! salad!! so yes, that was a higlight of the week

on the last day of the week, a friend and I walked up to Bray as she had never been, and we prayed in the church.  On the way back down, some men who live in the house nearby invited us in for beer - it was a really hot day, so we took them up on their offer, and had one, and then made our quick exit when new victims were welcomed in.  The candle service was as beautiful as ever, and that saturday night was so noisey!

I was awake really early on the sunday morning, hearing suitcases coming and going, but did not want to get out of the tent. I heard Anne was up and we chatted for a bit, and then I awaited the arrival of EA.  The trio who came by car arrived first and it was great to see them, and I gave them each a huge hug, and they were happy with the space that I had saved them throughout week one!!  The coach then arrived and I welcomed the rest of EA in my pyjamas.

Some EA tents were up before Sunday Eurachist, some were not, but we had our area marked.  After we set up camp for them properly, and it was so good to have friends around me, literally!  I waved off my friends from week one, and then went to join EA ready for week two.  I got some maps from Paolo about surrounding areas to Taize and how to get to them, and went back to camp and just chatted with the group.

Monday was a bit of a weird day.  I woke up, went to Mass and was doing OK.  Was very much cheered when Frere Emile came into tent P to give us our Bible study....This is the 4th year that I have had him doing Bible studies, and he does not ever fail to impress me.  I had already seen him in week one to chat to him about some stuff, and he took it all on board and looked out for a few of us throughout the week.  But then after lunch on Monday afternoon, I got very sick, and could not keep food down, and felt very faint and ill.  It was a bit crap, but a friend found me somewhere cool to sit, sat with me until I felt better, and then made sure that I ate for tea.

The week progressed, with early mornings for Mass and very late nights through chatting and night prayer.  Emotions were tough, and after one Bible study that was very close to the bone, I turned around to my friend and said 'Bite me'.  On wednesday evening we had the usual EA Mass in the crypt, a very tearful affair when we remembered Bishop Michael and Fr Ben.  Brother Paolo came to join us, and at the end exclaimed "well, I never thought that the Mass would be that emotional".  To top this off, I had just had my meeting with my spiritual director before the Mass...a long and tough meeting, but a lot of fruit also came from it.

On Friday we made our pilgrimage to Bray after midday prayer.  A group of us walked up there, and were joined by the two who had driven to the shop to get picnic provisions.  We had a service in the church up there and then we had a beauiful picnic outside the church in the blazing sunshine.  As a result of a few of us getting truly emotional up there, we made a dual trip back.  This then made praying around the cross very difficult, but also very worthwhile!

This year we also found a way into the sunflower fields which were amazing.  Ben used to love the fields - and they are pretty special.  so we thought of him there, and had some deep discussions ourselves, digging into places that really hurt, to try and heal that.  We are both still digging and trying to heal now.

Leaving Taize this year was a gut wrenching as usual. I was in the car being driven back, with one person who is contracted to go to Taize but does not really like it, and three of us very sad to leave, shedding a tear as we turned out from the community.

I say every year..why do I go somewhere that leaves me more emotionally drained then I was when I arrived there.  But the answer is because of the support I get there, the love of God I feel there, and the great Biblical input that I get when out there.  This year friendships were truly strengthened, and I gained a younger sister!

Obviously, when we were out there Fr Ben was in our prayers, talking about what Ben would have done, or said, and remembering his wit and humour.  He was missed this year, and we miss him now.  But Ben was with us in spirit, and we can now rest with the knowledge that he will always be with us, and hopefully guide us in prayer.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So, it has been an age since I last sorry.  I have been so very busy.  Life has somewhat taken over.

Firstly, my body seems to be taking a very long time to adjust to the meds this time.  I am continuously matter how much I sleep, I am tired.  My head is usually hurting most days and all I want to do is sleep.  But I am battling on with it.

Secondly, obviously my PhD is taking over.  It is less than a month until I submit the project that I have been working on for the best part of 4 years.  I am busily compiling the whole document.  My boss has just received the my amended discussion chapter and conclusions...and I am nearly there.  So tired, but nearly there.

Thirdly, I have realised I still have not done the Taize write up for this year - I will, probably at the weekend.  But some of what happened at Taize has shaped these last few months.

All in all, life has dealt me some blows in the last few months, but it has also provided me times of great joy and laughter.  It is all very confusing, but God must be working there, somewhere

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ben's funeral was a beautiful, poignant and moving occassion.  We were reminded of Ben's character, his humour, and the change in him after his ordination.  Ben often talked about 'everything being gift' - the gift of life, the gift of ordination, the gift of friendship, the gifts that God gives us.  Ben's life was a gift, his priestly ministry was a gift, and the teachings that he wrote when suffering are a gift, and they can be used to help us in our teaching.  There were times of laughter during thr eulogy, and many many tears as well.  It was a funeral that Ben asked for, and one that we as his friends were sad to be having to attend after such a short life, but we were all proud to be seen as his friends, and celebrate his life.

Life has been a little body is re-adjusting to the medication, I have about 6 weeks left of the PhD (although I have not been paid for 5 months), and still no idea about what to do next...although I have some pilgrimgages booked...Rome and Rio await!

A tough october....maybe November will be easier on me.