Monday, June 25, 2007

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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