Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Still coping! August 27, 2008

Filed under: Update — Sarah @ 4:25 pm
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Mr and Mrs Wren

Mr and Mrs Wren

I’m back in Southend after Phil and Sarah’s lovely wedding which was a great chance to catch up with some of the UCCF team from the North West that I’ve not seen in a while. Made me realise that although I’d only known most of these people for a year I’d formed some really deep friendships with them over that time and I’m really grateful for their continuing support, challenge and rebuking when necessary!

I managed not only to navigate crossing London but also ,diverted from the Trainline’s itnerinary to go and visit another girl I know from doing Relay, Rachel, which was great. I saw most the main sights of London from her roof terrace (the Gherkin, the Eye, BT tower and what we think is St Paul’s Cathedral!).

This afternoon moved some books and photos into the office (that seems quite strange that I have an office!) to make it more ‘homey’ which appears to have worked so far and I can now get around without Paddy! Woo! Tomorrow’s challenge is going to be walking to the church with just my trusty A-Z to help me . . .should be interesting!

 

Welcome to Southend! August 23, 2008

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 2:45 pm
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I’m finally here! Think I had gotten to the stage where it felt like I was never actually going to move but I am here and unpacked and it’s beginning to feel like home.

When we were driving into Southend I thought that I was never going to find my way around but so far so good! I can now get to town and back and have found most of the important things . . .still have no idea where the church is though without Paddy the sat nav but I’m working on it!

And weirdly, yesterday my first vistors to ring my doorbell were Catholics trying to convert me!! Their main point seemed to be that I was missing out in my relationship with God by not asking the Saints (especially Mary) to pray for me. How can I be when I can talk to the God of the universe directly and I have his spirit in me?! A random first meeting with Southenders but a good reminder that God is still God in Southend!

 

Culture Shock (or the lack of it!) August 11, 2008

Filed under: Update — Sarah @ 1:58 pm

When I came back from Moldova, I was in serious culture shock! Everything seemed so expensive, and big and brash and just commercial. Whilst on the train from Euston to Lancaster I’d decided that I was going to change. Relay had already hugely challenged the way in which I viewed money but Moldova just made it all so much clearer . . or so I had thought. I spent the first few days feeling like a Millionaire almost, but a very tight fisted one. I didn’t spend money on things that weren’t essential and I certaintly didn’t buy the most expensive things. But looking back over the past couple of weeks that I’ve been back, that didn’t last long at all! The feeling that £10 – or 200lei as I was thinking of it, was a huge amount of money just didn’t last.

And yes, I need to remember that I’m not living in Moldova and so I can’t avoid a £80 bill or £45 for a tank of petrol, but it does seem that I’ve managed to settle into British culture quite easily. And that’s because it’s just that – easy! It is so easy to think that things bring happiness and put effort into those things but life is so much more than that which is what I’ve been forgetting for the past few weeks. My biggest issue have been sorting out furniture and things that will make my life more comfortable! What I learnt in Moldova, was that money was in no way linked with happiness (which I had known before but saw it lived out in so many people) and yet I still seek comfort!

The stark reminder came whilst eating with some friends on Saturday, and realising that my meal was costing more than what was described by Pete in Moldova as “a huge sum of money” – £10. It is scary how easy it is to slip back into old ways.

I’m not totally sure if there was a point to this post other than saying how scary it is to realise how quickly we can forget things we thought we knew backwards – good job we’re not alone in all this.

 

Things (& people) I’m going to miss August 5, 2008

Filed under: Random,Update — Sarah @ 6:44 pm
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I have quite successfully managed to ignore the fact that I am leaving Lancaster in just two weeks time! As one of my friends would put it, I’ve developed Ostrich syndrome. But yesterday, I was just at my friend Kate’s house, not doing anything out of the ordinary really, watching a film. And that’s when it hit me that I was moving. That in two weeks time, I won’t be able to just pop over the Kate’s to watch a film, to play hide and seek with Ben or just chill out and that really upset me!

It’s not just Kate either, there’s so many people that I am going to miss being able to just pop over and visit and spend time with. This made me realise what it is that I’m really going to miss when I move – the fact that I have so many friends here who know me so well. People who are always available for a fizzy Vimto or brew! And I will make new friends in Southend, I’m just feeling sad for the way in which all of my Northern friendships are going to have to change because I am so blessed to have so many good, close friends up here.

One of my favourite places in Lancaster

One of my favourite places in Lancaster

Last night I was thinking this through and remembered something which Jason Clarke had said at Relay 3 about moving on which is that human beings by nature are always going to change. For someone who hates change as much as me that wasn’t something I liked to hear! But, what he said next really helps – that God never changes. A few people have said things like God is still the God of Southend which I have known before but it’s so reassuring to know that I can move knowing that my relationship with God is still going to be exactly the same. Nothing about it will change.

So when I get to the top of my road and see the fantastic view over to the Lake District, walk up and sit in the park by the Ashton Memorial, or play hide and seek with Ben for one of the last times before I move, or say goodbye to yet another friend, knowing that God is never changing no matter how much my life changes is amazingly reassuring.

And, at least I will no longer have to walk up the horrendous hill known as East Road everyday!!

 

High School Musical 3! August 1, 2008

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 2:52 pm
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Went to the cinema to see Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging with my friend Kate this morning (btw it’s awful don’t bother going to see it!) and saw the trailor for HSM3! I am now very excited – especially as it’s coming out in the cinema so I don’t need to find someone with the Disney Channel this time! Woo! Roll on October!