Living in a Field of Hats

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

Strange Southend Things (Part 1) September 30, 2008

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 3:11 pm

Since moving to Southend, I have noticed things that just seem quite weird to me so thought I would share them with you!

1) It appears that in Southend (or maybe the South in general) completly normal and reasonable to ring people at 8am! This morning I was rung by the plumber at 8.02. Have I just been living a life where people don’t phone til 10, or 9 if necessary?! Seems bizarre to me!!

tbc . . .


Water, Water Everywhere!

Filed under: Random,Update — Sarah @ 3:04 pm
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When I was being convinced to move South, a few people told me that it’s always sunny and warm and never rains (you know who you are!) I now know that they were not telling the truth! Today, is one of the coldest days I think I’ve ever experienced….maybe I’m slightly over reacting … but it’s very cold and disgustingly wet 😦 second time in a week I’ve got soaked on the way to church.

Though – excitingly I now have a new cistern meaning that my bathroom floor is no longer flooded –   woohoo! Getting up and knowing you’ve got to mop your bathroom floor every morning isn’t the best reason to get out of bed. woohoo!


Southend Celebrity, Book Groups & Other things September 17, 2008

Filed under: Random,Update — Sarah @ 3:27 pm
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This morning, I just popped into Co-Op to do some shopping for an elderly German lady from Ferndale (I tried to make the most of my German A-level and say ‘thank you’ to her in German but for some reason I said Denken (think) instead of Danke – whoops!) and I met the Mayor – again! This is my second meeting with her in just over two weeks. I think for unplanned mayoral meetings this has to be some sort of record. And even more impressively her ‘Mayoral Aide’ (who I’m pretty sure is her husband) recognised me. Very weird.

Been trying to join a book group to meet some people and finally got round to looking in the library earlier this week and found that there is only one ‘normal’ group, which has a waiting list! All the others appear to be for alcoholics, drug abusers etc who enjoy reading non-fiction . . .onto plan B which so far is just being on the waiting list. Suggestions welcome.

And met a very over eager traffic warden yesterday! Was being extemley lazy and decided to go to the library on my way back from work so parked on the car park (only 20p an hour – bargain). Came back to my car to find the traffic warden writing down my details! Got slightly worried so asked if there was a problem . . . there was, he was writing me a ticket 25mins in advance on the off chance I didn’t come back in time!

So, all in all it’s a fun week so far, though very quiet with Jon Delves and Stephen in Edinburgh. Though, I did (with John Dray’s help) tidy the office and ‘prettify’ it which is quiet exciting. Amazing the difference some vases, candles and common wealth bunting (John’s influence) can make.

And, it has now been a whole week since I used Paddy, it has meant going around the long/scenic way a fair few times but it’s progress!


It is well with my soul September 10, 2008

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 4:07 pm

Came across this old hymn, which is amazingly encouraging and even more so knowing the the writer wrote it just after osing his four daughters, which was the last in a chain of events that lost him his son and life investments. How great that all was well with his soul!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


The truth about this world September 9, 2008

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 4:47 pm
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For many reasons, today has just reminded me of how much pain and suffering there is in this world and that so many people are suffering day in and day out. That suffering has seemed so much more real to me today for some reason-probably because I know the people and there’s nothing I can do! Nothing any of us do or say can ever ease the pain that so so many are suffering.

How great the hope of heaven – a certain hope at that. We can weep with those that weep, grieve with those that grieve and know that it is true that one day our Lord is going to come and make this world new and that he will wipe each tear away.

Praise the Lord


Muddy Forum and Southend tours September 8, 2008

Filed under: Conferences — Sarah @ 11:19 am
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Just back from my fourth Forum! Madness! Was quite weird being there and not being a student or relay worker but I did have a lot of fun in the kitchen with the other volunteer cooks which was great.

Got me thinking about my first Forum and how influencial UCCF and the associated training has been to me. My first Forum was in 2005 and I was just heading into my second year at uni. I thought I pretty much knew everything and was great mainly because I was a CU leader – that didn’t last much more than an hour into the conference tho! Was really challenged by Terry Virgo speaking on Romans and sin in general. That was the first time that the gospel really opened up for me and I saw just how deep it really was and that there was so much mroe to it that I understtod – which then was so so shallow. The next two years through New Leaders Training weekends, another Forum and just input from our staff worker – Peter Dray – really helped me but Relay last year was yet another big challenge in seeing the depth and truth of the gospel over and over. I am so grateful to UCCF for everything that they have taught me and the many oppurtunites I have had to grow as a Christian.

This year was no exception. Although I was there ‘working’ I was able to make all of the main meetings which was great and I was able to hear John Piper on Ruth which was a book that i knew very little about but learnt so much about in terms of how it fits in with Jesus. It was so helpful to see how the Bible expects us to have dark days and we shouldn’t be surprised by them but actually we have a God who will see us through those days even though we won’t be able to see that at the time. Amazing!

Forum was also great for me to catch up with some friends from Lancaster which I really appreciated although saying goodbye was hard! And the mud! The mud was like nothing I’ve ever seen before – even had to go and buy wellies! You can see from the photos just how bad it was! But it was so great to be there and just have some great teaching – although not officialy involved in UCCF anymore it was great to still benefit from the teaching they’re equipping current CU leaders with.

So, I am now back in Southend which is nice. Coming back was hard on Friday (not helped by te horrendous weather on the motorway) but once I was back it felt ok! Had the chance to explore a little with Jon Delves (the other Ferndale intern) so did the pier (a disappointment!) and East beach (less of so) and Tomassi’s (an amazing ice cream parlour!)

the not so pleasureable longest pleasure pier in the world

the not so pleasureable longest pleasure pier in the world

And – I can now get to church, the Dray’s, ASDA, Tesco and town without the Sat Nav! Woo!!!