Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lucas makes his entrance...

Here's the latest addition to our family. My niece gave birth last week to this lovely little bundle of joy... Lucas Isaac Thompson weighed in at 8lb 12oz. Big sister Eva starts as she means to go on by letting Lucas know who's in charge around here! Little does SHE know that that role has already been taken by Granny!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Harvest.... Home

Autumn is truly getting a grip when the guys come to harvest the grass from the field across from our place. Perhaps we'll be living elsewhere when they come to do likewise next year?

Newcastle Mela

Yesterday we were at the Newcastle Mela with Matt and Leon. This is an annual event (Mela means 'gathering') and is organised by the Asian community in the city. It's always a bright, lively and colourful event, and one of the outstanding features, for me at any rate, is the wonderful range of cooking smells from all the terrific food stalls. Leon settled for Candy Floss (the packet said Cotton Candy but we knew what they meant, and in any case, when did they start to put it in a PACKET?!!) The Lady Brenda headed directly for the Chikken Tikka and Gracie loitered around, picking up any scraps. Perhaps it was the lack of sunshine, but we all agreed that this year's event wasn't so bright and lively as previously.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A trip up the coast... and some nuts!

A nice trip up the coast yesterday. Firstly to do some panorama photography for JT at a lovely B&B, than a couple of hours all to myself relaxing on my favourite (secret) beach. Time to think and reflect, with warm sunshine on my face and peace and quiet all around.

Later on, as I was walking the dog, I stopped to pick some ripening nuts from a row of hazel trees over the fields from our place. A goodly harvest, with more to come hopefully, and ripening ready to eat towards the end of the year.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Northern Forum

Bren and me were away this weekend at the Pioneer Northern Forum weekend at Swanwick, Derbyshire. A beautiful place, and a good time to catch up with old and new friends.

More Majorca pics...

Bren and her brother Graham at a Sushi buffet in downtown Palma...
...and me grabbing some shade and meditating on the meaning of life...

...our lush beach and secluded cove... ideal for lolling around on the Lilo!

... our hotel pool, early morning with many towels already in place on sunbeds...

... the sunrise each morning in front of our balcony...

...and the moonrise in exactle the same place each evening!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Just back from a lovely week in Majorca. Here are a few photos for now.... more to follow. We had a smashing time, some of it spent with Bren's brother Graham, who lives in Magaluf. Lots of sun and relaxing by the pool and beach. Good to get away and have some ME time.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

In case you were wondering...

Our house is still for sale. We're trying yet another estate agent to see if that produces anything more positive than the recent incumbents. In November it'll be one year since we put our house on the market. According to media sources... (hem...hem) things are allegedly improving in the housing market... let's hope so eh?

Saturday, 5 September 2009

September already....

I had just turned 16 years old when this great song by Carole King entered the charts on 25th August 1962. Somehow it never loses it's special magic in reminding me of those times. Apparently the track was submitted by King as a demo and released just as it was, although one wonders whether this is simply the stuff of urban myth.

Billy Liar

Last week I borrowed three movies from my buddy Jason. During the past couple of days we have watched two of them - 'Volver' and 'Big Fish', both great movies. We were saving the third one to watch during this weekend, but then I read yesterday that Keith Waterhouse had died, so last night I watched the third film I had borrowed - 'Billy Liar' as a kind of little tribute to the great writer.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Yesterday I attended the Pioneer National Churches Forum at Harpenden. Bren and me have been part of Pioneer since the early nineties, and the church I led was then and still is part of the network. We haven't been around many of the network events for a few years, but I decided I wanted to go to the NCF as there have been some changes made recently, and it was a good opportunity to catch up with those changes and meet up with friends old and new. I travelled down to Leeds and enjoyed a good conversational journey with Toby, who did the driving.

Billy & Caroline Kennedy are the new leaders of the network. They have helped Pioneer through a three year period of transition following Gerald Coates pioneering and inspirational leadership from the early eighties. Billy guided us through the days proceedings with grace and sensitivity.

It was great to meet up with old friends John and Christine Noble (to the right). Both now in their seventies, they are father and mother figures in what has become the 'new church' (formerly 'house church') movement. Bren and me met them in the seventies and were impacted greatly by their friendship and vision. Amazing people.

Everywhere I looked in the room there were people who have and are going quietly about the business of being change-agents in their world. Adrian and Pauline are champions of foster care and building church across ethnic groupings. Dave is a stellar singer-songwriter.

Tony is a teacher par excellence... Pete has set up and is running one of the top year-out training facilities for young people in the UK. It was smashing to see them all again.