Sunday, October 28, 2007

This was my weekend :: Yesterday and Today

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Spent the day with Janey and Roscoe in Greenock and latterly Gourock. Yesterday was the anniversary of Janey's mother's passing... and she wanted to pay tribute. I tagged along with the we'ans (although not to the graveside)... Olly was out with her mum and sister on their annual shopping pilgrimage to Glasgow.

How the mighty have fallenWaitin'

Spent time hunting in the wee shops. The we'ans love spending their pennies in the Pound Shop - Simpsons / Dr Who / Wallace & Gromit - some fab kit found among the junk. Also found some old iPod goodies... for those of us, like me, who cherish their original Shuffle. Nice.


Everyone in New Dawn

Grabbed some food with the extended Anderson clan in a church coffeeshop called New Dawn - really good fun... great to be surrounded by Janey's family.

Al in New Dawn

Al was there... was great to catch up with him... Had a chat about Revival on which a number of books in the bookshop were entitled.

I quoted from The Emerging Church by Larson and Osborne where I interchanged renewal with revival...
Renewal implies that the Church was once what God intended it to be and that our task is to bring back that golden age. From its earliest beginning until now, the Church has been in the process of becoming, and it shall always be so.
Makes sense to me. We are all obsessed to some degree about looking backwards as a means to look forwards... I look to the earliest days of the Army for guidance... and yet... it is folly to want what we can never have. We need an ancient future one where the best of the old is used to shape the best of the now and the possibilities of the future.

Looking to the sky

We need to look upward to what the Lord wants... and not hanker after the good old days.


Inside the McLean Museum

Afterwards, we spent some time in the McLean Museum and Art Gallery which is an awesome wee museum celebrating the people of Greenock and their industry - ship building. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take any photos... I sneaked the one above... but the museum is a great record of shipbuilding and it was superb to spend a wee while their with Jane's Grandad who was part of the team who built the Oberonclass of submarines. Awesome for Dayna and Miriam to be with someone who brought the display alive for them.

The art gallery are presently hosting an exhibition from Ana Maria Pacheco whose work was unknown to me and yet something I really enjoyed. Its all in the eyes... shear horror at times that is so vivid and striking. Nice bonus for the trip.

After stopping at Flava in Gourock for a latte... we headed home. I picked up Olly at her mum's to find she had another blinder of a migraine.

We spent the remainder of the evening watching Michael Palin and then Star Trek Nemesis.

Sarah... about to drop

Today... after an extra hour in bed thanks the end of DST... I went to church with the we'ans... leaving Olly in bed with a mask over her eyes.

Good to see Sarah (above)... she goes into hospital tonight to be induced. I hope to hear from Kenny tomorrow with news of a wee boy or girl.

Otherwise... spent the day relaxing... Olly is still low and stayed in her bed... other than to make lunch (yes... I am useless) and to tidy up the we'ans stuff. We did get time together watching Alan Titchmarsh on our urban wildlife... which was nice. I then watched more from Michael Palin - I have really loved the New Europe series.

I am now off to bed. Glad for a relaxing weekend... worried about Olly and scared as to how quickly time is whizzing by.

My thanks to Janey and Roscoe for their company. Please keep Olly in your thoughts and prayers. I think she needs a transplant to feel better... a husband transplant :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Grimple

My pal, Roscoe, works for the Green Insurance Company and drives about in a fab Toyota Prius Hybrid car with a silly green man on each wing of the car. This silly green man is The Grimple and I hope to see more of him in the future. Love this... well done chaps... beats a talkin' phone / car / elephant / Naval Officer... What is it with Insurance companies are stupid mascots??? Except for the Grimple... that is.

This was my weekend :: Friday

The old team

Met up with members of my old team this afternoon for a catch up... Mike, my old boss (far right) recently became a dad again and it seemed appropriate that we needed to gather and set the world... or at least my project to right. I am the last remaining member of the original team... and its hard, to say the least. I have a whole ton of respect for these guys... they tell it as it is and work together... no games. I miss them.

Haggis, Neaps & Tatties... Rab Ha's style

I had a fab plate of Haggis, Neaps and Tatties. Nice. In fact, super nice!

Queuing in Glasgow

After work... I grabbed a latte and waited in the queue at the Apple store to see a realtime demo of the new Mac operating system 10.5 aka Leopard.

Queuing in Glasgow

While waiting I spoke with a chap from Carluke who is in the mobile software development game and a true Mac geek. He let me see his iPhone [unlocked and on T-Mobile]. We talked about Apple's recent "iBrick" farce... and how this has spoiled the rep of the Corporate that's cool to love. We also talked iMacs and apps and Garageband. Lovely.

I broke it... oops!

I got a chance to play with a MacBook running Leopard with a lass I met there called Arla... we struck up a conversation and had a real blether all about the operating system, Macs and iPods. Sweet. While talking... I managed to break the MacBook - I launched Expose in the Coverflow finder and it went dead... nothing... zip... nada. The genius had to restart the MacBook. Oops!

Been there... got the tee-shirt

So, yeah... that's me got my second Apple tee-shirt... and I got to meet a couple of sweet, likeminded people. Nice evening.

What do I think of Leopard? I can't really post a review as I didn't play with it for that long. Will I run out and buy it? Not right now... I want it to bed down. Its an evolution rather than a revolution [I think it was Mossberg who said that in a review] and one I can wait on. The whole coverflow idea is fab and timemachine is a great addition. As is the stacking system of docs and apps... reducing the clutter on the desktop. I think this is another great idea.

The biggest thing for me, however, is spaces... where you can extend the desktop is an unique way - why is it important? Well after seeing it... I agree with the chap from Carluke... it is a nifty piece of tech that will keep folk like me more organised... but more than that... it is a signpost for the future... where small screens suddenly become bigger without becoming physically bigger. Its a big idea.

Afterwards... I headed home for pizza and Ugly Betty. Good Friday!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007


I love Olly

My life recently wrote some sweet words about me... and us on her blog and I just wanted to respond... publicly... to her.

There is a phrase that haunts me... its from Bladerunner >> At the end the Roy Batty Nexus 6 gives a marvelous monologue:
I've seen things...(long pause)
seen things you little people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium... I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate.
all those moments... they'll be gone.

The phrase that haunts me is at the start... about seeing things you people wouldn't believe.

Why does this matter... especially in the context of my love for my wife?

Well... the intimacy that comes from 10 years married and 15 years together is that I am not alone... and the things I have seen are also, for the most part, the things Olly has seen... and, as such, they won't be lost like tears in the rain.

We have shared so much... seen awesome sites like the cities of Venice, Rome and London... or the raw beauty of Ben Nevis shrouded in cloud. We have watched as our girls learned to walk and then... later on... ride their bikes.

I could go on for ages... its a together thing... a sharing of experience... the most basic and most beautiful form of community or should I say communitas.

When I express my love for Olly... its specific in its individualistic focus... to paraphrase the football terraces... there's only one Olwyn Mathie!!!

...but my love for Olly is also a metaphor for my love of the God and the world He created and in which we inhabit. To love my wife is to love life in all its glory... and decay. Its about the... in sickness and in health... part of my vows. By loving my wife... I enter into a spiritual journey that just gets better and better. I can understand loving someone so much... I would be prepared to die for them. This isn't some corny soft-rock sentiment but real truth. Read Rob Bell's Sex God and you'll know what I mean.

Why do birds suddenly appear..?

Its true... My love brings this life alive... Sunsets mean more when I am stood next to Olly. Songs on the radio mean more when Olly is in the car beside me. Ice cream tastes more vibrant when shared. 1st Corinthians 13 means more to me... because I have Olly in my life.

So yeah... our love isn't as fresh as it was... but it is more beautiful! Our love... my love for you... your love for me... grows more beautiful everyday. Freshness relates to newness... and I am glad our love isn't new... I am a neophiliac... I love new things... but I think familiar is wonderful too. In this context familiar reassures... protects... comforts.

Familiar isn't a bad thing... think of the first cup of tea in the morning... or the heat of the sun on your face. Sweetheart... you are my sunshine...
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

I Feel Like This Is The Beginning
Though I've Loved You For A Million Years
And If I Thought Our Love Was Ending
I'd Find Myself Drowning In My Own Tears

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

You Must Have Known That I Was Lonely
Because You Came To My Rescue
And I Know That This Must Be Heaven
How Could So Much Love Be Inside Of You

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

I love you Olly... and always will. Forever You'll Stay In My Heart.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday Night…

Olly, Dayna & Miriam

Olly and I with the we’ans in tow headed through to the Salvation Army in Govan to celebrate the enrolment of two young folk, Ruth and Craig, that we know from Summer School.

Ruth's enrolment

For those who don’t know this weird language that folk from the Salvation Army use… enrolment as a Senior Soldier is like being baptised… its an outward demonstration of the individual’s love for Jesus and a visual declaration of their commitment to serving Him and serving the poor… in whatever way possible. In some ways, it’s a big step… but it is not just a rite of passage… there needs to be an living and tangible commitment… a decision to follow.

Craig's enrolment

Ruth and Craig have made this commitment… and we wanted to acknowledge this. We witnessed the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit in their lives back in the Summer at Dunblane… and this was an important milestone in their lives.

It was an awesome celebration… a truly joyous, loud and idiosyncratically Army affair… the band were on fire and the tambourines were getting shoogled with gusto.


Scott & SusanWe're the kids from Music School...woe ohFraser, Adam, me and BrianColin, Laura & Olly

Afterwards, we caught up with loads of our pals… it was like a Summer School reunion. Good times.

May God bless you Ruth and Craig! I leave you with one piece of advice: this Christian malarky is about the journey as much as it is about the destination. It’s a walk with the Lord… not a wait (as Pernell put it… in an airport lounge) for the Lord.

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Happy Birthday iPod... six today!!!

Happy Birthday iPod... 6 today!!!

Happy Birthday iPod... six years old today!!!

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((deep)) no1

Starting to gather

The first step proper in the ((deep)) journey happened on Saturday night. 40 or so folk gathered together for a time of informal worship, teaching and prayer… with a good dose of gathering together mixed in for good measure.

We opened with a fab video compiled from street “vox pops” by Tony Scott. He asked people who they thought Jesus was/is. Funny. I’ll get him to upload it to YouTube.


The Essential Band with Paul Clement on guitar and without the services of Alistair Smith (long story… not good) then led a period of worship and praise… Passionate… Energetic… Enthusiastic… and loud. Their version of “Amazing Grace” would have John Newton himself crowdsurfing.

During the worship, I led the folks gathered in the words from Shane Claiborne about pledging our allegiance. Worked well.

Alistair and Lucy

Afterwards… Lucy Mann… Captain at the Glasgow West Corps and Facebook friend (as well as friend in real life) brought some thoughts on who Peter thought Jesus was. She was awesome. Natural and engaging… exactly the kind of person we need at these kind of events.

Prayer Station


From this… we broke up and empowered the folks gathered to pray… or talk to Lucy… or just bask in the moment with tunes from Michael Jessop aka DJ Ninja (above). It was a wonderful sight to see everyone relating to each other… drinking coffee and fruit juice… being instead of just doing. Nice.

They came from the East

We came together… and Lucy summed stuff up with prayer and searching… where she asked those gathered to ask what our God wants us to do for Him (as opposed to always asking Him for things for us). Worked well with a participatory attitude reflected in the actions of those in the space.

All in… a good time that we must build upon… learn the lessons as to why certain things worked and others didn’t.


Personally, I was and am humbled by the love of God and His empowering of the team that were there. This is beyond me… sure I had the vision… but this is bigger than me… Its not there yet… by any means but I was humbled by the way people got it and worked it all out to make it happen. ((deep)) is on the map… and is now a real team effort. My thanks to everyone involved…

Here’s to the next one in Erskine on the 8th December with Gary Bishop.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Off the grid…

On the beach

Last week Olly, the we’ans, Pippin and I spent 5 glorious days off the grid… OK, I admit it… I did twitter but it was a well earned rest from Facebook, blogging, email etc.

We spent the time in Scarborough in Yorkshire… on the east coast of England. Scarborough is a wonderful place and a very special place for Olly and I… and a place the we’ans love too.

I won’t go into ad nauseum about everything we did… but we managed to visit all the places we love:

The beach

the sea front, harbour and beach…


the shows at the front…

Peasholm Park

The remains of Mr Marvel's Fun Park

Peasholm Park and the remnants of Mr Marvel’s Fun Land…


the quirky wee shops like Mr Mojo’s Music CafĂ© and Sublime. We also found new places to love... like the home furnishing shop above or...

Farm Shop on A66

the Farmshop on the A66. All in... it was a wonderful break.

We watched loads of films… Kindergarten Cop… The Bourne Supremacy… The Curse of the Were-Rabbit…

The local cinema

We even went to the local independent non-chain cinema to see the new Pixar flick Ratatouille… which was wonderful… although the popcorn wasn’t salted and the seats were torturous.

York Minster

On the Wednesday we headed through to York… taking the train instead of the car (I love trains!!!) We love York… it’s a wonderfully cosmopolitan mix of the old and new…


with the kind of shops we just soak up… individual… unique… curated boutiques with the finest stuff imaginable.


We love to look… like tourists in a museum rather than as consumers… stuff is way too expensive.

We headed home late on the Friday night… Olly and kept each other awake with chat on the failure of classical music to innovate and other trivialities.

Good times. I got home to over 2000 entries in Google Reader and a few hundred emails… of which I think the majority we for Facebook apps [no more, please!!!]

We are all rested and of a cheerier disposition… Thanks to Olly for making this break happen. Love you!

More photos here

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For November

Nov 07

Haven't done one of these in a while... enjoy.


Monday, October 15, 2007

((deep)) @ City Centre Corps [Charing Cross] Glasgow

I am excited and proud to announce the first ((deep)) worship gathering on Saturday, 20th October at 730pm.

((deep)) is an informal worship gathering in Glasgow where participants are actively encouraged to dig deeper into the Christian faith.

Run by a team from the West of Scotland Salvation Army (including myself), the event will provide space for worship, discussion and prayer in an open and honest environment.

Music will be provided by Paul Clement and the Essential Band along with tunes from DJ Michael Jessop.

Capt. Lucy Mann will bring some relevant teaching on the topic "Who do you think I am?" ... with a Q&A session afterwards where particular thoughts or themes can be explored in greater detail through open discussion.

A prayer space will also be open through out the evening for participants seeking time out from the busy-ness of day-to-day life. The Essential gang from Easterhouse are responsible for this space... and I am eager to see what they do with it.

Coffee and other refreshments will be available throughout the evening... Tony Scott is seeing to that... and, knowing him, it'll be fab!

Door tax is £3 [payable on the door]... with all proceeds being reinvested into the ((deep)) event.

Personally, I'd like to thank Richard Knott, Paul Clement, Tony Scott, and Jon Godfrey for helping to shape this vision and being hands-on to make it happen. I would also extend my gratitude to Maj. Ivor Telfor for seeing the potential in the idea and giving us the go-ahead to make it happen.

Lastly, can I ask all Scottish bloggers who are part of the ol' nanolog community to grab the pic above... and the text... and post about ((deep)). We need as much publicity for the event as we can get. It'll take a wee while for us to get the approach right and for word-of-mouth to kick in... and we need your help... you know who you are!!!

Now... Olly and I are off for a few days holiday... we need the rest... I'll blog if I find free wi-fi... but I intend to relax, read and enjoy some time off. See you soon.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Croydon's return

Croydon Band

This weekend the Croydon Salvation Army Band returned the visit we paid them in June... and it was fantastic to hook up with Johnny again... along with his pal Darren.

Johnny & Dan

The band held a festival at the Bellshill Academy last night... Dan (pictured above (right)) & Carol-Anne came through for the event... and to hook up with Johnny. Dan and Johnny are Salvationist bloggers and part of the nanolog community... it was sweet to see them finally meet up.

It was a good evening... got to meet loads of old friends... Brian & Gregor "Hoochie Koochie" Keachie were there... as was Laura Kilgour. I got to meet Johnny's parents too... which was nice.

Afterwards... we headed back to our house for bagels and conversation. It was fab to catch up with Johnny... a man after my own heart... and a real pleasure to meet and get to know Darren... the cricket-playin' husband and father of two. We really connected... which was wonderful.

Joint Band - March of Witness

After the services in the morning... both bands (Croydon & Bellshill) took part in a march of witness through the main streets of Bellshill. Its an amazing feeling to march with the band... and it is well received in the town.


Aferwards... we headed to Nando's for food. We wanted to spend time together in conversation... so rather than cooking... we ate out.

Roscoe & JohnnyJohnny & JaneyJaney, Carolyn and Miriam

Ross and Janey joined us with their billet... Carolyn (above with Janey)... for a great laugh and time of sharing... which carried on into Starbucks.

This was a wonderful weekend... full of great fellowship and togetherness.

Thank you to everyone who made this weekend special... especially Olly for all her hard work.

More pics here

Oh and C'mon Scotland!!!

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