July & August 2019 Miscellany

“Every ‘yes’ you say is a ‘no’ to something else. So make your ‘yes’ be a good ‘yes’.” Thanks for the wise words, Rev Ken Matthews!

Books Finished

Finally, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Why is the novel called Wolf Hall? I still don’t know. As a novel, it’s actually quite difficult for me to understand everything. But I do love Master Cromwell (and have decided to name my car Cromwell, when I get a car) and wondered if Benedict Cumberbatch would make a convincing embodiment? Nicole’s rating: Five out of five. The best novel I’ve read this year so far (partly because I spent most of the year so far reading it!). A review to come.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett is introduced to me by Slightly Foxed. I did enjoy it. But the review in Slightly Foxed gave away too much of the story first of all. Secondly, it’s another novel that is quite difficult. I understood just enough to realise that I haven’t understood everything. So no book review for this one.

Eggs or Anarchy by William Sitwell is a biography kind of book, telling the story of Lord Woolton who fed the British Empire during the Second World War. The history was fascinating and Lord Woolton sounded like a very likeable person. If you’re interested in my favourite stories in the book, I’ve written a more detailed book review here.

Reading La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman was a sudden and unexpected decision. It certainly was not on my reading list. This was definitely a lot easier to read. I could feel my ‘literacy muscle’ lifted the weight of this book a lot easier. See my slightly negative book review here.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a popular book, the type you see on the wall shelves in WHSmith. Another easy read. It reminds me of Elizabeth is Missing, in that it tells the story from the first-person perspective and this ‘first-person’ is not ‘normal’. It explains many of the ‘odd behaviours’ you see in streets, the type you think to yourself ‘what a weirdo, let’s hope he doesn’t sit next to me on the bus’. But there are usually reasons behind them. The book is a reminder to not be judgemental and to be kind. Straight after Eleanor, I started reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and there is interestingly an overlapping subject although they are very far away from each other genre-wise. Can you guess? It’s loneliness. Loneliness is actually discussed in 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (the next book mentioned below) as well. It has become quite a big issue.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke is the theological book I read in preparation for the November Weekend Away seminar on social media and Christian faith. It’s surprisingly substantial (that just shows how shallow my understanding was) and my social media and phone use have changed for the better as a result. Looking forward to sharing my findings with JPCi guys after I digest all the readings on this subject. I also read Tim Chester’s Will You Be My Facebook Friend and Gospel Speech Online by Lionel Windsor, both are in booklet size.

Photography

We keep saying to ourselves “this will be our last wedding” but this July we found ourselves doing a wedding job again. Here are some of my favourite moments and congratulations again to Jonny and Susie!

I also did a photo project for UCCF & Friends International. Thanks for the opportunity. Although August was pretty stressful (mostly because I wasn’t unexpecting it I think), I was glad to have done it! Two photos for now. I’ll do a separate post for the rest of the photos.

Travel

In July we went to see aunt and uncle in Wales and walked up a small mountain called, Sugar Loaf. We also went to Hay-on-Wye and bought some books. If you’re in Cardiff, Cardiff Castle is well worth a visit with a guided tour.

Then in August we flew to the furthest part of England we’ve ever been, the Isle of Wight. Two out of our three-day stay was raining. So we made sure we didn’t waste the one sunny day. The most impressive infrastructure on the island was their bus service. Check out their bus website!

Then we met up with family in Portsmouth. We liked Portsmouth! The sea was beautifully turquoise and in vivid contrast of our native Newcastle North Sea, which is so dark, almost blackish. The family time was too short. Looking forward to Christmas.

Misc. of Misc.

We went swimming in the river Coquet one day after work. There was a thunderstorm at first. When it went past, I went down to the river in shorts. The next day I discovered I was so badly bitten my right foot was so swollen I nearly couldn’t walk. I supposed those bugs were well-equipped to attack cattle in the wilderness of Northumberland…

Sorry to boast about my garden but it’s beautiful and I haven’t done anything to it. Praise God for all the rain and the sun :)

A new term is ahead of us and September marks the completion of my first year working for JPC. It’s been a great year.

 

 

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