this is fun

<a href="http://wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/08207/micky"
title="Wordle: micky"><img
src="http://wordle.net/thumb/wrdl/08207/micky"
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd"
></a>

New starts

I’ve been in my new job for two weeks now and I think I will be able to do this job without feeling that it is pointless or that I am not good at it. I also think that the people I am now working for are thoroughly deccent, and yes I know that is an old fashioned phrase but it seems very apt for them. I also have my evenings back which is nice. However, knowing nothing about how charities work I am already feeling that things could be done a lot better! Grants are awarded in a long winded process that requires about ten people to read through every bit of roughly 90 applications four times a year and then spend four hours discussing them. No-one in the office knows how to use mail merge (I don’t yet either, but will learn about it soon) so contacting the 90 projects about their applications is laborious. Most importantly, no-one has any idea at all about the impact of the money distributed by this charity! They do know they have to do something about this but it’ll be another 18 months before they’ve agreed how to do it. I am going to have to be careful not to go in with all guns blazing trying to modernise things cos I’ve a funny feeling that would just annoy people!!

Brothers Kharamazov

As a distraction from the fact that I am currently looking for work I decided to read Brothers Kharamazov instead of my usual fare of chick lit and newspapers. Various people have recommended Dostoevsky to me and I finally got round to reading him. First of all, I have to say that I found the book hard work, probably due to the nature of my normal literary diet. However, it discusses some interesting theological points through the lives of fictional characters, which does make it more real and I thought I would share my thoughts with you all.

A whole chapter is dedicate to an aetheists ideas on whether Jesus would be welcomed by the church if he came back today or if we would think he was ‘intefering’. The basic premise is that as Jesus doesn’t guarentee a life free of hunger and pain down here on earth the church has had to not only terrify everyone into submitting to a constructed version of morality but replace faith with miracles, mystery and authority. This was completed 128 years ago and we still seem to be debating similar issues.

I suppose my answer to the chapter is that the decision to have faith and the journey to maintain it in the face of difficulties are what stops us being robots and encourages us to strive towards a ‘fairer’ society. The whole tone of the chapter undermines human nature, suggesting humans are no more than a slave or rebel when I think each person is there making their choices in good ‘faith’.

Dostoevsky spends the rest of the book answering the questions in that chapter. All three of the Brothers Kharamazov have a religious experience. The main hero, Alyosha Kharamazov, realises that what is important is to do the equivalent of the action of an elderly lady in a russian folk story, give a beggar an onion. You may make many mistakes, but if you once give a beggar an onion you have gone far. This leads to Alyosha being over awed by the beauty of God’s stars and the sleeping town before him and literally hugging the earth. I find that God’s sea/creation often moves me, and found the passage very moving. It certainly makes the point that miracles and mystery should be within faith, not separate from it.

On a different note, a friend told me that God tells his people not to be afraid 365 times in the bible, hummm, I’m working on that one!

On the other hand the weather is amasing and I am getting some work experience with www.socialinvestments.com which is an uber cooooool venture (if I say so myself) trying to raise the profile of social businesses and get more investment for them.

Busy times

I set myself a challenge to use this site less over lent. Now lent has finished I’ve already spent hourse reading what people have been saying, oophs! I am struggling to pass my course and it feels like a lot of pressure. The most frustrating thing is that I am getting a lot better at teaching, it is just whether I’ll improve fast enough to pass. Moreover, I have a whole heap of paperwork to do to prove that I’m good enough to pass!

On a brighter note Legally Blonde’s wedding and my father 60th birthday were great fun. B climbing into groom’s arms during the vows made a great photo and the little buckets and bit of leather we were given will always be treasured. My dad decided his friends and family should go to Scotland for his birthday/easter and we all had an brill time playing in the snow. I definitely recommend it. Hope you’re all well

The big C word

Barka Obama seems to be all for it at the moment. Yep you’ve guessed it I’m talking about change. I knew I would be looking for a new job in 2008 but it has become apparent that there are going to be a whole heap of changes going on before Christmas next comes around. They should all make my life better in some cases directly and in other cases I’ll know that people important to me are happier. However, instead of feeling excited I am feeling overwhelmed and unsettled, I hope the feeling passes. I hope that by 2009 I can agree with Barak Obama that change equals progress

hee this was fun

90% Barack Obama (D)
85% John Edwards (D)
85% Hillary Clinton (D)
83% Joe Biden (D)
83% Chris Dodd (D)
81% Bill Richardson (D)
80% Mike Gravel (D)
79% Dennis Kucinich (D)
50% Rudy Giuliani (R)
43% John McCain (R)
35% Mitt Romney (R)
30% Ron Paul (R)
29% Mike Huckabee (R)
22% Tom Tancredo (R)
18% Fred Thompson (R)

[url=http://www.gotoquiz.com/candidates/2008-quiz.html]2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz[/url]

new term

I’m about to start a new term on my teaching course. I had a relaxing week at Christmas and then worked hard and still don’t feel completely prepared and can think of paperwork I should have got done. arrrrgh. Also, I have just discovered that my landlord has put the house on the market. As no-one knows exactly when it’ll sell my housemates and I have agreed to move together on March 15th, which I could really do without. I am also worried about whether I’ll find a job for September….. prayers would be appreciated!

My heating is fixed

The fourth plumber who came to our house was finally able to fix the boiler. We were without heating or hot water for two days less than a month but that doesn’t seem so important now. Our landlord did finally do his bit by shouting at British Gas and taking a day off work to supervise various plumbers. I think he redeemed himself but a few housemates think we should pay less rent. I hope that it doesn’t end up in a big argument between us and our landlord, we’ll see what happens. However, it has made me think again about how difficult it must be to be homeless. It went below 0 at night twice last week in London. At this time of year when we remember that Jesus came as an outsider we must do all we can for those who are still outsiders.

I’ve a warm home…….

My boiler broke two weeks ago, yes two weeks ago. However, my housemates and I have all pulled together to help each other. My landlord lent us a heater and my housemate’s parents lent us another one. We’ve had to talk to each other a whole lot more which is always a good thing. All kinds of friends have let us have a shower at their house and my parents have had us all around for showers and so we could be in a warm house on Sunday – which meant loads of yummy food and great conversation. The two tv programmes I have enjoyed reccently have been all about communities pulling together. One was ‘brothers and sisters’ which has a family that fights and has secrets but somehow stays together through it all, largely through occassionaly sitting down and eating together. The other is Cranford which is about a village of mostly single women who again battle through adversity and support each other through it all. And it is good to realise that I have my own community that is strong