Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone is here (well... in the USofA)

More iPhone
Originally uploaded by iLounge

The iPhone is finally released in the USofA... and the media are going daft.

It wont be over here in Blighty for 6 months or so... and will be priced out my league... but boy does it look nice and I'm getting all coveteous.

Thanks to my fav iPod blog: iLounge for the fab unpacking pics on Flickr.


Read Phil Laeger's comments regarding the iPhone :: iGod :: on point! [Thanks to Dan for the heads-up]


Let it Rock!

I have to say I love Johnny Cash... some of his songs just capture where I am. I've been listening to Help Me all day. Its where I am at. I am surrounded by uncertainty at my work and this is stressing me out. Too many of my friends have or are moving on from the Project... and I'm feeling lonely... exposed.

I've been proactive recently... trying to make something happen. Today I hooked up with a manager who, if I am honest, did not appreciate the experience I have from being in the organisation for nearly 11 years. He is new blood and he wants new blood. I did not fit his vision for his team. Another door closed shut.

Thing is... I am doing this in my strength. I am holding all this worry inside me... and trying to make something happen. I am compelled to move on... when I have a perfectly good and challenging job to focus on.

If you have been following my story... I took the hard decision to step back from the lead role and focus on design work at the start of the year. I am now in the position where I have this role again... and I am scared.

I know I need to leave my anxieties and fears at the Mercy Seat... but its difficult to let go. I'm proactive... I make things happen... and this clashes with my belief that I am in the Lord's hands. Not because I think the Lord wants us to be totally reactive and passive... but more along the lines of being reluctant to let go... to be patient and bide my time for His will to unfold for my life.
Remove the chains of darkness
Let me see, Lord let me see;
Just where I fit into your master plan.
My prayer is for the chains of despair and uncertainty to be lifted so that I can get a firm view of His plan for my life. I need to rejoice in the Lord as Paul wrote in Philipians:
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
Philippians 4: 4 (The Message)

I need to appreciate I am where I am for a reason... and that I do not go in my own strength but in His strength. To this end... my hope is that the Lord will break me so that I can be fixed... so that my arrogance can be transformed into patience and obedience. So that the chains will be lifted.
I never thought I needed help before;
I thought that I could get by - by myself.
Now I know I just can't take it any more.
With a humble heart, on bended knee,
I'm beggin' You, please, Help Me.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Miriam's Birthday Gathering

Birthday Girl

Had a great evening on Wednesday there... the whole of Olly's side of the family (with the exception of Julie) turned up... along with Janey and Roscoe (who are family too) for a night of burgers, battles (ping pong) and bingo!

Mr Barbeque

The Lean Mean Green Steam machine is a great grill... tastes like a barbie but without all the fire hassle. Purists will probably disagree... but if they do I'll get George round to kick their butts!

Cake & CandlesGame On

Good times! The ping pong went down a storm... with Colin coming in as official tournament champion and Alastair coming in a close runner up (he nearly pulled his groin slipping on the mat).

Can't wait for summer proper for more shenanigans. Thanks to Olly for making it happen!

Help Me

Lord, Help me walk
Another mile, just one more mile;
I'm tired of walkin' all alone.

Lord, Help me smile
Another smile, just one more smile;
You know I just can't make it on my own.

I never thought I needed help before;
I thought that I could get by - by myself.
Now I know I just can't take it any more.
With a humble heart, on bended knee,
I'm beggin' You, please, Help Me.

Come down from Your golden
And throne to me, to lowly me;
I need to feel the touch of Your tender hand.

Remove the chains of darkness
Let me see, Lord let me see;
Just where I fit into your master plan.

I never thought I needed help before;
I thought that I could get by - by myself.
Now I know I just can't take it any more.
With a humble heart, on bended knee,
I'm beggin' You, please, Help Me.
Help Me :: Johnny Cash

Kind of how I feel right now.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Headphonaught as a Simpson character

Headphonaught as a Simpson character... What do you think?

Go to create your own.

Rob Bell :: Calling All Peacemakers tour

Olly and I are going to hear Rob Bell's Calling All Peacemakers talk in Glasgow on Saturday. I know a number of folk who are going too... Jon & Lorna (Jon got our tickets)... Paul & Jen... Gordon and Fiona... Laura-Lou... and possible Paul [DJ Haggis] Thomson and some of his posse from Auld Reekie.

I'd like to organise a gathering for afterwards... but I'm not sure what's near the Royal Concert Hall that would be suitable. Anybody got any ideas?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Miriam!!!


Happy Birthday Miriam... 6 today!!!

My thanks to Olly, too, for all she went through 6 years ago.


Am I the only one who thinks Facebook is the e-quivalent to crack cocaine??? Its so easy to get sucked into it. Thanks to everyone who added me as a friend.

Olly has joined up too... she's experimenting with it after a run of bad experiences with her blog. Give her some encouragement... if you can.

Trip to Croydon... Sunday

The Lord's Prayer (in wood)

Sunday was a pretty hectic day down in Croydon. Didn't get much sleep but that's my fault.

The morning meeting was led by Sam Ritchie who spoke on Luke 4 and was inspirational as usual.

Booth Road

Afterwards the intention was for both bands (Bellshill and Croydon) to head to the main shopping centre for an open air. The weather beat us... it was just too wet for a march, which was really downheartening... it would have been an awesome experience and an important one too - we need to be out and about... and not imprisoned by our property.

This gave us longer, however, at Johnny & Janet's... although Janet came down with a migraine (get better, pal). I have expressed already how wonderful it was to chill with Mia and Noah... and watch Spongebob with them.

Bellshill Salvation Army Band

Both bands played in the afternoon... with Bellshill leading a "concert" followed by a Salvation meeting led by Bobby Lawson. Good times for what they were.

After that it was time to go. The generousity of Johnny and Janet was wonderful... as was the warmth of the people I met while down there. I am also grateful for the welcome and acceptance I received from the Band - I was a "hanger-on" afterall - and felt part of the experience.

Pitstop on the way home

The trip home was long and arduous... and I am sorry to Olly for my grumpiness due to lack of sleep and an uncomfortable busride. We got home around 0400hrs and went straight to bed.

I have to say, on behalf of Olly and myself, that this weekend could not have happened without Janey! She looked after Dayna, Miriam and Pippin... even taking the girls to school on the Monday to allow us to sleep on. Thanks sister... well beyond the call of duty and greatly appreciated.

All in... the Band did themselves and Bellshill proud... but most importantly they did it for their Lord and for the right reasons.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Various web 2.0 things

I'm now on Facebook thanks to Johnny's encouragement. I know a number of the ol' nanolog community are on... a few of you are friends already (thanks!)... If you want to hook up - add me as a friend and I'll reciprocate.

I'm also on Twitter (see the badge on the right hand column of the nanolog). Keep an eye on the badge if you are interested in the minutiae of my banal life... or add me as a friend in Twitter.

reverse crest with light

Lastly, my photos from our trip to Croydon are on Flickr and Facebook too.

Meeting the Lairds

Johnny, Noah, Mia and me

Meeting Johnny, Janet, Mia and Noah; was the highlight of the weekend for me. I had two purely selfish reasons for traveling to Croydon :: spending time with Olly and meeting the Lairds.

Johnny has been an avid commentator and member of the Nanolog Community for over a year now... I think we connected last year over something to do with Roots. He is a committed Salvationist and more importantly a dedicate Jesus follower... and is someone I have wanted to meet up with for a while now.

Meeting Janet and their children - Mia and Noah - was a real privilege too. They felt like long lost family and we had a wonderful conversation over a great soya mince lasagna and salad after the Festival.

Highlights of this conversation included finding out more about their community in Oxted and their dreams for incarnational living with their friends and neighbours there. Finding more about how they met... and their family over in the USofA.

Casa del Laird

Their house... in a wee town outside Croydon... is set in a picturesque space. It felt like the quintessential Naked Chef-style contemporary English farm house with the huge kitchen come dinning room with a range cooker and a large, sturdy table. Getting there was amazing... you left the busyness of Croydon and drove through tree-covered lanes into the country... passed the Surrey Hills. Lovely.

After the late dinner... we adjourned into the living room and talked some more... especially about the similarities between Johnny and I. Here's an example:

Johnny is the only other person I know who owns The Fire This Time by Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy :: an amazing album by an amazing Jazz trumpeter and his all brass band... that explores jazz's links to other forms of popular music. Their version of MJ's Black or White enticed me to check them out live at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh with my beautiful Princess about 15 years ago.

Johnny is the only person I know who, not only, has Lester's CDs but has seen him live in concert.

We share so much music in common... love for Asian electronica (Talvin Singh & Outcaste), classic rock (Santana + The Beatles), chilled downbeat (Cafe Del Mar vol 3), gospel (Rita Springer), drum and bass (Goldie), celtic (Iona), and soul (Marvin Gaye + Stevie Wonder)... to name but a few.

It was great to chill into the wee small hours listening to Lester Bowie and Anokha - Sounds of The Asian Underground and talking about God and living intentionally incarnational and missional lives in the rat race that today has become. He is on a similar journey... seeking meaning from the whole of life and not just his family or the busyness of Corps life... seeking to move his church forward with the help of a very progressive Major... seeking new ideas for new expressions in his area. Could have talked for longer but my body gave up at 0240hrs.

Mia and Olly

Later on... we spent breakfast with the family... and returned back for a fab lunch of roast chicken and veg. Unfortunately Janet took a migraine... which meant she was in her bed in the afternoon (hope you are feeling better)

Noah and me

It was great to relax with great people and just share. Really uplifting for me... made the trip extra special!

Thanks to Johnny, Janet, Mia and Noah; for welcoming Olly and I into their home... making us feel welcome and like family and for the good times that ensued. Here's to the start of a beautiful friendship.

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Trip to Croydon... Friday - Saturday


Spent this weekend with the Bellshill Salvation Army Band as they went to the Croydon Salvation Army Citadel for a festival weekend.

Olly and Yvonne

The trip down was great. We left after 2100hrs... and headed to Morecambe. It was fab to travel with great friends like Roscoe... Yvonne (pictured with Olly above) & D... Kenny & Sarah... as well as being with Olly... in her space, experiencing a wee bit of her life and just soaking in the experience of traveling with a great bunch of people.

Claredon Hotel, MorecambeBreakfast

We stayed at the Clarendon Hotel in Morecambe. Unfortunately it was an in and out stay... got there after midnight... and were away after 0900hrs. Only negative was the dated bedspread... otherwise, the bed was comfy and the facilities were fab... and we were well fed and watered at breakfast.

Claredon Hotel, Morecambe (Detail)

The Hotel had some interesting nooks and crannies... and a lift with an over-eager alarm... or at least that's what we thought until we realised it was Olly with her back on the buzzer.

From the little we saw of Morecambe... it looked an interesting place for a long weekend. An English seaside resort that's seen its day... but still retains its charm and a little of its grace. Some interesting shops on the front that deserve investigation... and I never got a pic of the Eric Morecambe statue.

Stoppin' with Olly and Yvonne

I enjoy traveling... I enjoy seeing places and being in great company... and this was one of those trips. Being with Olly in her space was tremendous. I got a real insight into the work of the Band. True teamwork and dedication.

The Bus (detail)

It was a long journey, however... but one broken with my iPod... my PSP (Luminees rawks!!!) and the latest edition of Monocle... as well a wee doze here and there. Casino Royale, Shrek (1 + 2) and Morecambe and Wise DVDs were played on board which helped too.

Croydon Citadel

We arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday. Croydon is a massive urban sprawl of the old and the new... a vibrant and diverse city within a city with a varied skyline and more than its fair share of concrete. Their tram is impressive although I never got a chance to ride it. Looking back its a blur of grey punctuated with the beautiful faces of the residents.

Croydon Citadel

The Croydon Citadel is mighty impressive. Three buildings in one... A community centre on its left... a worship hall in the middle... and the lighthouse facility for the youth in the community.

Croydon Citadel

A massive footprint. An impressive space. A blessed undertaking. Situated on Booth Road (never asked whether the name was changed or whether it was a wonderful coincidence) in the middle of Croydon.

Olly and D

The Band unpacked with Military precision and got ready for the evening festival.

Croydon Citadel (detail)

The hall itself had some beautiful details like the Mercy Seat (above) and the Cross and Bible (below). Have to say though... that I had Dueling Banjos playing in my head when I saw the Mercy Seat.

Croydon Citadel (detail)

Later on... I met up with Johnny Laird - he has been a great blogging pal for a good while now... and it was fab to meet up with him. I'm going to give Johnny and his family their own post.

Bellshill Salvation Army Band

In the evening the Band were awesome... playing a real mix from Call of the Righteous to El es el Senor... tremendous. Olly sang Born Again which went down a treat. Hopefully she caught the attention of Trevor Cafull from SP&S... who was comparing the evening and joked about a recording contract.

Afterwards, we headed to Casa Del Laird for a lovely evening... more on next.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

New tunes...

Picked up a couple of new albums...

First off... we have Colour the small one by Sia. Got to know Sia's voice from her guest spots with Zero 7 and have to say I wish I'd picked this album up in 2004, when it was released. Its a collection of chilled alternative folk and downtempo electronica that I can really connect with. The third track - Breathe me - could be used in S*N*A*C... it has a really spiritual vibe about it. Fab!

I love my soul... and am a big fan of Bobby Womack ((interesting fact: Bobby Womack appeared on Janis Joplin's Pearl album)) and adore across 110th street for its grit and reality... as well as the awesome vocals and soulful backing.

Across 110th Street is the title of track from the soundtrack to the film of the same name... and its the tip of the iceberg. The instrumental tracks arranged and conducted by J.J.Johnstone are amazing... full of sound textures like wah-wah guitar, percussion, flutes and Fender Rhodes. Its a fab example of its genre... and great listening.

Check them out.

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Tuesday... out and about


The weather may be rotten... but the sun is shinin' in my heart... 10 YEARS!!!

Olly at Ming's

Spent a lovely evening sans we'ans on Tuesday night to celebrate our anniversary. Olly popped into Glasgow and we went to Mings in the Princes' Square for some great fusion food. Its near the top of the shopping centre and is a goto place for reasonably priced, high quality, Cantonese, Thai, and Japanese food.


It was really quiet... which meant the staff were extra attentive... over and above being their usual wonderfully nice and pleasant. Big plus for me.

Teriyaki Chicken

We both had Teriyaki Chicken to start which was something extra special... I had to hold Olly back from licking the plate!

Kung Po King Prawn

We followed this with kung po dishes - Olly had more chicken and I had king prawn. Truly wonderful. Vibrant and richly textured... just the right amount - nearly stuffed!

Afterwards we headed to the Fort (Yes... we know romance!!!) for a wander and a latte in Borders. To be honest, it was great to be anywhere with Olly... just the two of us... although its all good when a latte is in the mix!

Olly at Starbucks

Good times! Here's to the next 10, honey.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!! 10 years together

I love Olly

Its our 10 year wedding anniversary today! 10 years ago today, Olly became my wife and in doing so became my life... and I love her more today than I did then. I really "lucked out" and was deeply blessed to connect with someone so special.

my life

Olwyn 2

My Precious...

Olwyn at Stranraer


Thank you God! and thank you Olly... for saying I do!

I will celebrate today with more posts... and maybe explain the ping pong table.


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