Monday, 23 July 2007

lightness and heaviness

Yesterday started with a call from a Ugandan friend in Kampala, phoning to check if all was ok because they've been getting news and pictures of the UK's serious floods, including places in Oxfordshire that are cut off. It seems surreal to be able to assure Sam that I'm ok, while at the same time knowing many thousands of people are far from ok, and some won't be ok for a long time; and knowing that the secondary school along the road has been made refuge for hundreds of travellers 'detrained' at Oxford Friday night; and that train lines north of Oxford are closed and buses are unpredictable, so though I have a lift there with friends, I won't be able to make my way back from the 60th wedding anniversary celebration I'm heading for in Coventry.

Next a call from my brother who, it turns out, is also going to the celebration and continues to Radley in the evening for the National Youth Orchestra summer school (including preparing for the BBC Proms) so can drop me back home on his way past.

On the way to Coventry in my friend's car we stop by the home of other friends - a West Papuan family - to drop off a token gift because dad Suriel and I share the same birthday. Two West Papuan families live locally and worship with our church and while the friendship is a joy, the West Papuan plight is painful.

Allen and Mary Edwards' Diamond Wedding Anniversary was a happy occasion of many reunions and gathering of at least 4 generations; thanks to their family.

My sister and brother had also plotted together and surprised me with a detour from the Edwards' party to my sister's house where her two adult children had also gathered, and we shared some bubbly to celebrate my birthday. Cheers all!

A happy day with some bittersweet dimensions and, thankfully, safe travelling.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

how are you feeling?

Want to know how people are feeling where you live? (or anywhere else?)

Internet research website wefeelfine lets you select country, town, weather conditions and several other criteria, and find out how folk are feeling.

(I'm a bit slow and it took me a while to realise that you click on a floating blob to reveal the whole feeling.)

happy spirituality

It's not surprising people get tired of religious expression when it becomes too worthy.

Refreshing, fun stuff here and reflective stuff plus a wii thought-provoker here.
all from Bruce Stanley of


Vietnamese friend Hai made a visit at the weekend. She works with the British Red Cross in Sri Lanka, on continuing tsunami relief, and had to come through London for a couple of days. Coincidentally the work has involved the Maldives too (see previous post).

I was delighted she made the extra hop to Oxford while she was in the UK. We had a celebration lunch on the lawn with neighbours.

(Slightly grumpy looks in this shot, but we were happy - honest!)

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Jamming for the Islands

I've been watching a little bit of Live Earth at Wembley and New York - classy artists in not-quite-full venues - and then I saw Mohammed's superb pic from the Maldives (where they got a taste of THAT tsunami)

Jamming for the Islands 07.07.07
Originally uploaded by m o d e