Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wanted: Polaroid

A fellow sortofGlasgower Emma is going to Uganda/Rwanda in 8 weeks. I definitely recommend checking this out

Friday, April 25, 2008

gems is genius... especially when one is procrastinating :D
You stick in an artist you like into a box and it generates a whole load of music that is similar to it!

And through this I have fallen in love with these gems...
- Fionn Regan=purty!
- Adem=ohsobeautifully constructed music
- Kings of Convenience= very chilled but luscious harmonies
- And I've been a fan of Beirut, which I found via 3hive, for quite some time now

And then I've discovered that artists I'd originally dismissed as boring have actually made beautiful songs, notably KT Tunstall with the song "Silent Sea"

Good music does help me to study! Honest!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What would I do without bbc i player?!

Completely forgot about this until someone "beboed" me to tell me they'd seen me on tv yesterday! Doh!

It was filmed back in November to be fair! Songs of Praise (episode 2) - from 14 minutes...

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've got cabin fever...

This is what silly long hours in the library does to me...

Cabin Fever ah!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

At the age of 40, by 9' o clock

Just to give you background on this post. On one of our many french lesson tangents, I was challenged by him to write a story with that first line...
Now just to inform you, what a lot of people don't know is I used to be a compulsive story writer. I was addicted! It was better than TV, better than reading, better than music (maybe that says something about how exciting my life was back then :S)
Anyhoo I tried to write a story based on that title and didn't do so well. In fact I realised I couldn't anymore, there is too much going on in real life to escape it anymore or to make a new one for myself, which is what writing had always been to me. It was, back then, in childhood, escapism. And now I don't want to escape, I want to live! And all I can manage is this jarbbled prose-esque poetry. See I still love words but I've forgotten how to lose myself in another character. I can only write as myself. So this is what I came up with... a genuine fear...

At the age of 40, by 9' o clock, on a Tuesday morning, when the rain has stopped, and the kids have just left for school and the husband for work and the people carrier is sitting vacant, still, after a morning's work, what will I be? What will move me?
If I get a stable job, "career" I should say, a comfortable life, "settle down", will I still be living? And when I say living, I mean really living... breathing, wide-eyed with each breath. By sunsets, scrumptious chords, silly words, real smiles.
Or will I just be numb? Settle for little. Half-hearted days, hollow nights. Comfort having blunted the tips of my nerve-ends. Content just to stagnate in a detached house, drive the kids to music lessons, dance classes, day job, kiss my man good morning, good night. Content that my chat is just gossip, my friends just middle-class, drifting along with what comes easy. Never to engage with the world beyond my front doorstep, beyond what I can see and hear, beyond this suburban dome. Content to give money but never my life. Never to reach up, reach out, yearn for more, love, knowledge, truth, understanding, likeness, lifeblood of my maker.
The very thought strikes chords of fear in my heart, phantom of the opera-esque. "To die slowly" and not . To never have given my all...
Even if I choose that suburban lifestyle, though right now I can barely imagine myself in it... I want to stay here, on a rock that is higher than I, in awareness of brokenness, always in need of that which I do not deserve, always seeing more that needs to change, yet always ever more amazed, ever more in love with Him, in love with them... I don't want an ordinary life, I want one full to brimming.
A prayer to the God of my life... At the age of 40, by 5'o clock, on a Tuesday morning, when the rain has stopped... that's where I want to be.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

In need of pruning

These are my roses which sit by my (as you can see) grubby window, hardly get watered, yet still seem to flourish regardless. Or at least that's what they looked like a couple of days after I returned from a 10 day long stint in Edinburgh last week. At first they'd looked very sad and wilted so I gave them some water hoping that they would spring back to life as they have done in the past which they kind of did - well as you can see... they became this mixture of dead and living leaves growing from the same branches. It was kinda like the dead leaves were getting in the way, just hanging on even though they were dead and impeding new leaves from sprouting. "in need of pruning" was my first thought...

And then that got me thinking... that's kinda like me. I'm a mixture of living and dead bits I think. There are some parts of my life that are flourishing, where God has been moving and I get excited and feel alive just thinking about them. And then there are other parts... they need to change or just go. I can't grow anymore when there's all these dead leaves getting in the way, just like the plant.

So what are these dead leaves? There are a lot of them and I don't think I could put a name to them all or am even aware of a lot of them. But I think most of them stem from pride and selfishness, and that in turn stems from not fully understanding or always being aware of the fact that God is the centre of the universe not me. In Him all things hold together, everything is sustained by Him, depends on Him and that includes me and everything I do.

I think one of the biggest traps I've been falling into of late is thinking that what I do and how well I do it defines me. I find myself drawing identity and self-worth from this. And those thoughts hinder me. They hinder me cos I think I need to do everything, I start doing things just for the sake of feeling useful or used. Sometimes I start doing too much and man oh man are my motives throroughly messed up!

I've been learning over the last while that this is my identity. Not what I do or how successful it is, though God wants me to do everything as well I can and use what He has given me. This tells me that God doesn't actually need me to do His work at all. He's God after all, creator, sustainer, author and perfector of everything. But out of His grace He chooses to use me, to use any of us. Though we mess things up and don't always do things His way and make mistakes which are often humungous. He still wants to make us a part of His plan! Wow!!!
I read this earlier and noticed this:- God uses the Samaritan women to spread the word about Jesus! I mean, a Samaritan woman! She would have been undesirable in every sense of the word; because she was a woman, because she was a Samaritan, looked down on by Jesus' own countrymen and probably looked down on even by her own people because of her loose morals and messy marital history. Yet Jesus gave her the time of day. And people believed in him "because of her testimony"!
That challenges the way I look at myself and also the way I look at others. Even amongst people who are "marginalised" and my role is to love, it is so easy to take on a patronising self-righteous "I'm helping these people" attitude, not treating them like the equals they are, and I will still find myself drawn to those with decent banter or looks or even with "potential". Yet Jesus sees worth in everyone that we can't always see. He sees people as people, made in God's image.

I'd like to see that too.

P.S Apologies for the length of that! Those were a lot of thoughts building up over the last wee while. And I am spending loooooong hours in uni library right now!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


This post has been a long time in coming... I gush enough about these guys in person I may as well do it in a blog.

So from left to right...
Loik - Breton guitarist extraordinaire (also has a remarkable talent for french pffffffffffffts)
Ilhan - dutchman with east kilbride accent is provider of pistachios, also perfectionist drummer (I forget what kind of drum it is), recorder and author of the "bits analyses"
Elaine, scottish lass with beautiful voice and remarkable talent for making up melodies on the spot to beautiful chords that Loik plays
I cello and giggle (both of which get caught on cheap mp3 player) and eat most of the pistachios (they're as addictive as biscuits ;P)

Together we jam and laugh and eat pistachios and jam some more, and everytime we jam a new song is spontaneously sparked. So we record it, Ilhan emails them to us complete with a bits analysis e.g "3.56-3.58 - perfect guitar bit" and we can then play and refine and play and refine some more...

aaaaaaaah I love it! (in case you hadn't already guessed) :)