Living in a Field of Hats

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

Ten things I learnt this weekend May 24, 2010

Filed under: Church,Random,Update — Sarah @ 11:42 pm
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I had the absolute pleasure of spending last weekend with the Juniors (8-11’s) from Belle Vue Baptist’s Brigades. Thought I’d be different and update with a list of things I learnt. So in no particular order . . . .

1) Tents don’t have to be small and cramped (one person to a four man tent is very spacious!) and camping in good weather is actually kinda fun – though only if good weather and spacious tent can be guarnteed (with showers and toilets near by!)
2) Essex has pretty parts (which I forgot to photograph but trust me they exist!)
3) The basic truth of the gospel is something that we never move past, and the wonder of the awesomeness of it never passes
4) Kids are cleverer than I sometimes give them credit for. E.g. Me: Apart from Jesus does anyone know of anyone else who ever rose from the dead? It’s impossible isn’t it? 8 year old: What about Lazarus?
5) Kids really do get a lot of pleasure from a relatively small hill and find playing on it for 5 hours over the weekend perfectly acceptable fun.
6) I love the sun!
7) I hate being woken up at 4am by teenage girls talking thus only having 3 hours sleep.
8 ) Listening outside the girls tent when they’re having their midnight feast can be very enlightening!
9) I love Top Gear so much, the basis for my three sessions was inadvertantly based on the Top Gear cool wall . . . . !
10) God really does give us what we need, even in the situations where were convinced its the last thing we need. I was so tired going into the weekend I was convinced it wasn’t the best idea, but I’ve come back feeling physically shattered but completly refreshed and recharged in many ways. It’s awsome.

All in all a great weekend!



One reason I’ll miss Essex May 12, 2010

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 2:39 pm
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So, it’s not quite sunk in yet that I am leaving, but there’s the occasional moment when it does hit me.

Like this morning hearing the following joke on Essex radio and thinking how no other radio stations are going to be quite like Essex FM and Southend Radio . . . and strangely I am going to miss them – yay for listening online!!

Here it is . . .

“Is 10 Downing Street going to be demolished?”


“Because it has been con-dem ned”

I have to admit its the best election joke I’ve heard so far!


Some news . . . or not May 5, 2010

Filed under: Christian Life,Random,Update — Sarah @ 12:03 am
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I think that most people are now aware that I’m going to be staying in the south for the next 3 – 5 years at least (if not then I’m really sorry you’ve found out this way . . .unless of course you don’t know me!).

So, I’m going to be in the south, but not in Southend so have been feeling a complete mix of emotions at leaving Essex and still being in the South when quite a large proportion of me wanted to go home (aka the North in general). It’s clearly right though as every door to jobs in the North were firmly shut and southern ones kept being opened before they were even pushed! Though its looking like leaving Essex will be harder than I ever thought possible as so many times I’ve just wanted to run away to somewhere where they understand that gravy should be thick and the plural of text is texts and not texties! Not that I’ve hated Essex anywhere near as much as that sounds! I do actually genuinely love people here and love the way in which our relationships have grown.

So, looks like I’m destined to lose whats left of my Northern accent . . . I was informed by a 8 year old that I was no longer a real Northerner because she could understand what I was saying . . . gutting!


What I’ve been doing . . . October 31, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Random,Update — Sarah @ 9:04 pm
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So, thought I’d update what I’ve been doing (as that was partly the aim of the blog to begin with!)

The first half term has flown by! I can not believe that it is November tomorrow!! It is madness! I’ve really been enjoying doing things for a second time though. One of the frustrations about being in Lancaster for just a year was that I felt I was just getting to build relationships and then I left.  That’s even more true in church life I’ve discovered as relationships take a lot longer to build than in the student context. If I’d left Essex after a year, I would have been really sad I think, even though staying isn’t always all that easy!

Has made me think about the importance of relationship building in churches and how they don’t just happen overnight most of the time, but really do need investing in. It’s definitely giving me food for thought in terms of thinking about next year.

PICT5513So, this week has been half term and for one reason and another I’ve been able to spend it withPICT5539 people I’ve not seen in varying lengths of time which was such a blessing! I managed to explore a bit of Southend that I hadn’t been to before and  found the most amazing independent coffee shop – I’ve been feeling for a while that Southend is missing one! What made it so amazing was partially the old fashioned amazing room it’s in and partially (possibly more so . . ) was tea from a proper old fashioned tea pot with loose tea leaves! Awesome! Also, tried cockles for the first time (well they are a local delicacy . . . ) but I didn’t actually try them . . the reactions of my friends who did was enough to put me off! Touching them was bad enough!

I discovered that Canvey Island (known locally for not being the best place) is quite pretty at sunset and that some shop names in Leigh try to sum up stereotypical Essex (see below)!!


PICT5585The end of the week, I got to travel North (though that meant too much time on the M1 with a sign telling me there was a queue caution 45 minutes after I had been in it and gone 3 miles! Ironic!), sadly not as north as I would have like but to Leicester to see my lovely school friends 🙂


Next week, I’m off the Lindisfarne with the leadership team at church which I’m really looking forward to . . . will update after that!


True Essex January 12, 2009

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 6:33 pm
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Now, when most people hear that I am living in Essex or especially in Southend, I’m greeted with a whole host of stereotypes e.g. “Saafend” “where are your white stillettos” and so on. I’m sad to inform you all that actually on a daily basis that isn’t actually the Essex I see . . .well it is still “Saafend” and there are a lot of white shoes . . but living in Essex isn’t actually like living in a stereotype. Although I must admit that I am getting used to the accent (which is scary because I used to almost need an interpretator!)

Anyway, I went to the hairdressers over the weekend and it truly was like stepping into a stereotype! It was brilliant! The hairdressers were “Trace” and “Stace” (both with amazing accents) and it was like being in Eastenders . . . there was the reading out of the gossip magazines, the peroxide blonde hair, the talking about everyone’s news (even if they weren’t there, in fact especially if they weren’t there . .) but the one thing that made me think. ” i live in Essex” from this whole experience was the chair. I have trawled google images and can not find a picture of one so you’re going to have to use your imiaginations!

It was like a posh office one, so faux leather on wheels with quite a high back. But, the fauz leather was pink cow print! It was amazing!!! Very very Essex!!!!