Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hair Today, Long Tomorrow!

Look at my hair:

It has gotten big. And it's untidy. And it's messy. And that's very similar in meaning to the word untidy so probably didn't need to be said. I would like to do something with it (and as I listen carefully I can hear the distant sound of my mother whooping joyfully). The trouble is I don't know what to do with it. This is how my hair cycle currently works:

1) Get hair cropped short.

2) Grow hair long.

3) Don't know what to do with hair other than...

4) Get hair cropped short.

5) Grow hair long.

6) Don't know what to do with hair other than...

7) Get hair cropped short.

8) Grow hair long.

9) Am chastised by members of my corps for not having short and well kept hair in keeping with the traditions of the Salvation Army.

10) Shave hair off completely by way of protest.

11) Realise that doing exactly what they want you to do is a crap form of protest.

12) Grow hair long.

13) Don't know what to do with hair other than...

And so on and so forth (lather, rinse, repeat).

The thing is, I quite like it long. I just don't like it messy. And I certainly don't want to crop it.

So what do I do? I don't even know what my options are.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The "Make Matt Leeder Feel Loved" Campaign

If you're anything like me (and more people should be) you will have missed regular postings from Matt Leeder's blog as of late. And if you're like me (and if not, why not?) you will have wandered where he's beeen and why it is he's had so little to say. Well his latest post has revealed that Mr Leeder is feeling somewhat disillusioned by the fact that no one seems interested in his blog (which includes - among tons of other stuff - exciting and informative reviews about obscure musical artists). I think this is a shame and does not reflect the truth that people around the world (that may be generous but I'm gonna stick with it) love him and his blog.

So I am starting a campaign to get as many people to view and comment on Matt Leeder's blog as possible. Please consider this. Two comments a month (or whatever you can spare) is all that is needed to make Matt feel appreciated.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ben Folds

So last night I went to see Ben Folds at Hammersmith Apollo. Now I'm ashamed to say it but it was my first ever concert. But what a way to start. It was flippin' awesome. The above photo shows two things:

1) How close we were to Ben Folds.

2) How rubbish my camera phone is.

I went with Matt White (my ticket was his and Christina's Christmas present to me), Simon White and Beth (Off-White) Hampbell. It was great. Highlights included:

1) Swapping life stories with Beth as we tried to keep the conversation going on the train (and also using the time to practice the horn section in Army - something that proved beneficial).

2) Singing the horn section in Army.

3) Listening to Simon White shouting at everyone.

4) Watching Matt try to intimidate someone twice his size with his "broad" irish accent (I should point out that this guy just came from the back and stood right in front of us - I should also point out that the Irish thing seemed to work).

5) Performing the YMCA amongst a crowd of Ben Folds fans so that Mike and AJ McCredie (who were also there but had seats) could try and spot me from the balcony AND THEN DISCOVERING THAT THEY WEREN'T EVEN LOOKING!!

So there we go. Ben Folds: Awesome

Friday, January 19, 2007

24 Weekend

This is going to be awesome!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shifting the Focus.

Last Sunday I felt really challenged. I'm not sure if it was the sermon on letting God move us into the future whilst protecting us from the past or if it was the visit of Richard and Heidie Bradbury talking about the Cikankata hospital in Zambia or if it was just wind or if it was a wild and crazy culmination of all 3 but I felt, coming into this new year, that I need to start thinking differently.

I am incredibly talented when it comes to thinking about myself. I don't want you to think that I'm just blowing my own trumpet here. It's true. I'm brilliant at it. Grade A. I could think about myself and my needs and my worries for days on end if I had to. And most of the time I don't even have to. I do it just because I can. I'm that good.

The problem is that when one becomes so unrestrainably competent at thinking of oneself, one tends to neglect the growing issue of others.

Others are not always easy to think about. For a start, others are not me. Others are... well, other. Others are not of me. Others are outside of me. Most others are not in the room. They are not in the building, town or country. Most others live in countries I have never been to and speak in languages I will never understand. I have not met, seen or had contact with the vast majority of others. And the others I have had contact with...well, they are still other...aren't they?

And then there's me. I spend a lot of time with me. Me tends to go with me wherever I go. I don't have to think very hard to think of me because there me is. I have a constant reminder of me - me.

And I have always hated that. I have been well aware that all my faults and all my fears and all my insecurities stem from my own self-centredness. I have been desperate to change - to shift the focus - to put others before myself. But thinking of myself is easy.

I tend to gripe that I am not able to do enough for society. I have been with the Salvation Army all my life and have never worked in a soup kitchen or had a conversation with a man living on the streets or prayed with a prostitute. I've never done any of the things that I'm most proud of the Salvation Army for. And I moan that it's because I don't have the opportunity or that the Salvation Army isn't doing enough at Corps level or that no one is telling me how to help others.

The truth is, I don't do any of those things because I don't care enough.

Due to the extreme seriousness of this post, the blog's administrator would like to break it up with this quirky little cartoon:

Funny eh?

And on Sunday, I realised that it was time things changed. I need to spend more time actively and deliberately thinking of others by focussing on God.

I decided to start a savings account last week when the new iPhone was announced so that, come October (when the phone is released in Europe), I'll have enough money to buy it. And in the mean time, I'm sitting in Church on Sunday, wishing that I had the money/opportunity/time to go to Africa and do mission work. I'M SAVING UP £500 FOR AN I-PHONE!! WHO NEEDS AN I-PHONE!?!! Despite it's incredible multi-touchscreen capabilities, visual voicemail and state-of-the-art internet access (ah man, who am I kidding - everyone needs an iPhone - but it can wait).

So instead, I'm going to set up my savings account, save for a couple of years and then see what's available. And in the mean time, I'm going to do more. And I'm going to do that by putting other people first once in a while (who knows? It might turn into a habit).

So that's my new years resolution. To think less about me and more about others.

Writing a really long blog about myself probably wasn't the best of starts.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Favourite Conversation of 2007 So Far!

Me: Hi Grandad. Happy new year.

Dad: You'll have to speak clearly for your Grandfather. His hearing's playing up.

Me: Oh. (To Grandad) Is that coz you've been partying all night?

Grandad: What!? Are my plants all right?