Living in a Field of Hats

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

Friends January 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 8:32 pm
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So yesterday and today I’ve had the great joy of hanging out with two (seperate) lovely lovely friends and I really don’t think there is a topic that we didn’t discuss in someway shape or form.

Yesterday hanging out in London we wandered, drunk coffee, ate some really good food in a lovely wine bar (and obviously drank good wine too!) and generally hung out in Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Living in Hatfield really is awesome for being able to get into central London in under 30 minutes. Especially as for the first 22 years of my life London was that kinda magical far away place that people go to for a weekend break – not just to pop into for the afternoon!

And today Liv came from London (oh the joy of living close enough for people to come for the day!) and we went to church – which was really encouraging today – looking at Exodus 1 and thinking about how that applies to us and why we need to be reading scripture more. Catching up with Liv was really encouraging – hearing about and seeing how God is working in her and using her with students in London was really great.

I have had a great weekend – that has felt really restful and almost like a mini break! Now back to work “properly” tomorrow (as Staff Conference was proper work just not normal work!)


Two Months On October 20, 2008

Filed under: Random,Update — Sarah @ 11:43 am
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 Two months is now up! Madness! Thought I’d list all the things I’ve done (well that I can remember!)
  • i’ve driven 300 miles to Southend
  • i’ve taken 12 girls to Chessington
  • i’ve led a sunday evening bible study for the first time
  • i’ve met the Mayor of Southend (twice!)
  • i’ve been mistaken for Stephen’s wife (just the once!)
  • i’ve relearnt to play the clarinet
  • i’ve learnt who Robert Peston is
  • i’ve watched things on youtube more that I ever have before!
  • i’ve played the clarinet in church (twice to date)
  • i’ve scrubbed out a baptistry (just once)
  • i’ve still not cried
  • i’ve got addicted to Arrested Development
  • i’ve taken a ridiculous amount of photos
  •  Sarah and Phils Weddingi’ve been to one wedding




  • i’ve learnt that church work is very different to student work
  • i’ve given a talk at Womens Fellowship
  • i’ve bought an Oyster Card
  • i’ve been to London (once)
  • i’ve gained a housemate
  • i’ve made some really good friends in my church family
  • i’ve learnt that Southend High Street has duplicates of most things
  • i’ve learnt that the longest pleasure pier in the world is the most boring
  • i’ve talked a lot about Graines Power Station
  • i’ve realised that church work shows you so much more of the pain that there is in living in this world and is really heartbreaking
  • i’ve retaught myself to play the piano (only to grade one so far)
  • i’ve started reading the Bible with Sarah and had the joy of seeing her being baptised
  • i’ve started to get to know mums at mums and tots
  • i’ve experienced a ‘Shelia buffet’
  • i’ve ‘prettified’ the office
  • i’ve had an ‘Alice and June’ cooked breakfast
  • i’ve felt homesick
  • i’ve had a flooded bathroom
  • i’ve taught 11+ sunday school for the first time (three times to date)
  • i’ve led Explorers devotions at Girls Brigade
  • i’ve planned, written and given Junior Devotions at Girls Brigade within an hour!
  • i’ve done Senior devotions at Girls Brigade
  • i’ve spoken to nearly every church leader in Southend trying to get a full list of churches in Southend
  • i’ve been knee deep in mud in Shropshire
  • i’ve met John Piper
  • i’ve scrubbed a cafe floor
  • i’ve avoided doing a single notice sheet for sundays
  • i’ve survived two deacons meetings (and started a new tradition of being taken to the Exhibition by Maureen and Robin afterwards)
  • i’ve watched a French Film (actually in French!)
  • i’ve convinced the Jo(h)n’s (Delves & Dray) to watch High School Musical 3
  • i’ve played bingo
  • i’ve decided I never want to have children (after the Chessington adventure)
  • i’ve fallen in love with most of the babies at mums and tots
  • i’ve lost at ping pong to everyone!
  • i’ve won a couple of games of pool (by default!)
  • i’ve been to ‘Ye Olde Smack’
  • i’ve written two prayer letters (actually one a month! amazing!)
  • i’ve discovered the south is cold
  • i’ve nearly booked flights to Norway for £2
  • i’ve been to Harrods
  • i’ve ‘borrowed’ & cleaned a filter coffee maker and milk frother
  • i’ve had my first ‘Northern’ visitor
  • i’ve been ill
  • i’ve applied for a Masters
  • i’ve been to Oak Hill
  • i’ve drunk a lot of tea
  • i’ve learnt there’s very little chance of getting any work done before 11am most days
  • i’ve settled in

Did not think that the list was going to be that long and there’s going to be things that I have missed! And I don’t think that there is any way that I would have guessed that most of these things would ever happen! It’s been a mixture of ups and downs and just plain random but it’s definetly home now. Here’s to the next random two months!!


A lovely weekend October 15, 2008

Filed under: Christian Life,Update — Sarah @ 10:37 am
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The last few days have been great. I’ve seen some old friends, been a tourist and realised just how much I feel like I am part of the family at Ferndale.

Spent Friday evening and Saturday in London/Croydon with some ex Relay 07/08ers and staying with the lovely Mr and Mrs Wren. It was so nice to just chill out. The encouragement of old friends is amazing. Knowing that they already know you and your faults and they are still happy to have to lounging on their sofa and not really saying much (companiable silence that is!) watching Saturday kitchen and laughing at builders unexpectedly turning up!

And being a tourist in central London was great, although I think I managed to embarass Sarah quite a lot byt being very over excited about everything – even the fact that there was a McDonald’s in Trafalgar Sq – well nearly – and yes I know I’m a geek!! I’ve taken loads of photos which I will add to this post at some point. It was so much fun and I now have an Oyster card for the tube which probably makes me more of a Southerner than I’d like to admit! And strangely, I felt more like ‘me’ in London, than I’ve felt like ‘me’ in quite a few months.

Sarah and me in St James' Park

Sarah and me in St James

This all probably led to coming back on sunday feeling happier and more ready to get stuck in – a good thing as it was a busy day! Harvest service, Sarah’s Baptism (see the Ferndale News link for the video – you can spot me in the bright orange t shirt!) & Harvest Lunch! Amazing! And I looked around at one point on sunday morning and just realised that the people around me were friends, not people I was trying to get to know (though obviously there are some people that I don’t know as well as others) but on the whole, friends. I also realised that I’m nearly at the two month mark – scary! but that when I was on Relay in took me about 2 months to feel settled, and I’m starting to feel settled here so wherever I move in the future I shouldn’t expect to feel settled for at least 2 months!

Monday was the almost suprise visit of my old housemate from uni which just added to the general happiness – it was great being able to hang out with her and show her around Southend – pretending that I did kinda know where I was going!

Yesterday I was back in the office, but I went to the YMCA in the morning (where I am going to be working for a day a week) and realised that my degree (Law) and especially my dissertation (Youth Justice Policies and Youth Offending in England and Wales) have actually got a use! yay! I can now see how I can use the seemingly useless knowedge I have! I’m really looking forward to my first full day there next Wednesday.

So, I guess the point of this post is that I’m doing ok. I’m feeling settled, like I belong and I’m getting to know what I’m meant to be doing and when I should be doing it. I still miss the north and people in the north but here now feels that bit more like home and I don’t want to not live here – at least for the time being.