Sunday, October 30, 2005

Leaving on a jet plane...

Tomorrow is the day that we actually, finally and really leave for New Zealand.

It's been a long time coming (and it will be a long time going.....24 hours and 5 minutes in the air to be precise!).

So tomorrow we set off early for a madcap tour of the outskirts of Heathrow to find the courier to deliver the paperwork to the USA so at least one of the companies dealing with our things may consider sending them to us.

Then onto the plane, via Los Angeles and onto Auckland.

I think this says it best:

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

Next blog will be from Down Under.

Does that mean the letters will appear upside down...or that I have to stand on my head to write it?

I'm sure I'll get the hang of the southern hemisphere...don't worry about me....I'll be fine.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

On a wing and a prayer...

To those of you who believe in prayer (and even to those who don't)we would like some of yours!

Although I could now break down in a) a vicious tirade against our shipping company or more simply b) exhausted sobbing...I won't.

Our worldly possessions have been sent (for some unknown reason) to the USA where they are currently being held by Customs. They need some paperwork couriered to them asap before they will release our stuff. (Shame we were in Finland with no internet access and didn't get this message).

It's a long story but basically the USA company are threatening to take our stuff off the shipment and leave it languishing in the US (where no doubt they will try to charge us for the privilege).

Meanwhile our shipping company in Canada are threatening to do the same if we don't pay the bill which they have decided to inflate by about $3000.

We've just been investigating our shipping company on the internet and found them on with complaints listed against them, specifically against the guy we are dealing with. Turns out that although he told us he was the manager, he is actually the president of the whole company. So that leaves us no-one to appeal to within the company!

Oh deep joy.

Meanwhile the courier companies are closed on Sunday and we are on a plane for 23 hours from Monday. It's all a tad tricky.

Prayers, thoughts, offers of physical retribution against certain individuals?

It's at times like these it's very hard to hold onto grace!

Good thing Father is in control....doesn't always feel like it, but I know that's the truth.


It's oh so quiet.....

Just got back to Blighty after our week in Finland WITH NO INTERNET ACCESS! Yes, barely believable in this modern age I know. They had saunas a-go-go (and no, I didn't go....they are naked saunas there y'know) but no internet. This is not a reflection on Finland generally you understand...just the cabins in the woods where we were!

So now I am sitting in my coat (no time to take it off when you just have to blog)at my parent's house in Bournemouth where we will be for the next 24 hours or so.

So, my first impressions of Finland were of how quiet it is. The airport is quiet, the people are's ssshhhh....very quiet. My kind of place of course. Still, as I stopped on the way out of the airport to stroke a rather fab reindeer skin for sale (only 65 euros, can you believe it?)it was a little uncanny to realise I alone was making more noise than the accumulated mutterings of every other person in the airport. No music, no musak, no shouts....just very, very quiet.

THEN we were picked up by Veikko (who worked in the computer dept at TACF for a few months) which was jolly exciting as I had forgotten that he was Finnish and hence that there might be a chance to see him. We also met up with Jaakko (ex Som graduate) and in fact I sat next to him most of the week in the teaching!

The intrepid Alyn and AJ had been here before us (some time ago) and so Sana says Hi! And so does Mimosa!Not to mention the SoM outreach team headed up by our very own Peter Lazar and Rebekka Olsen....what a small world indeed!

The Fins were very friendly and happy to have James back there....and proceeded to feed us rye bread and cheese at every possible moment of the day. This had some interesting internal repercussions for me. But this isn't Alyn's blog so I'm not going to go into that!

It was fab listening to James and Barry Adams all week and true to form, got messed up all over was great!

By the way, did you know that Barry Adams and Shaun Bradley were surely parted at birth? Spookily similar!

We said goodbye to James this morning in Helsinki...he's off to meet up with Denise in Korea and continue on to teach about 4 more schools in a row!! Next time we all meet up we'll be in New Zealand!

So chickens, that's all I can manage at the mo - it's 11.10pm British time which is 1.10am Finnish time and we're about to lose/gain (??)an hour's sleep thanks to Daylight Saving.

(By the way, what do they do with all the daylight they save? Do they put it in a big box in the downstairs cupboard in case of an emergency? Weird)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Great British Cup of Tea

Ladles and gentlespoons, I am sitting here in the fifth Lotus position (they have one of those weird posture adjusting stools here by the computer which involves you wrapping body parts around hard wooden shelves at bizarre angles). So, yes, I am suffering for my Blog.

But my saving grace, as ever, is the large mug I have steaming at my side.
(this is not a veiled reference to Dave)
(he is simmering away nicely in another small room of the house)

Yes, it's the great British Mug O' Tea.
Here are some little known facts about Tea and the English.

1) The English drink so much tea that on average they drink half the volume of the Great Lakes in tea every year. Each.

2) Never mind cocaine, alcohol or Sudoku, the true British addiction is to the cuppa. Many clinics are springing up all over the country to help those stuck in the chain-drinking syndrome. These poor people don't even start to sip at the first cup of tea before they are boiling the kettle for the next.

3)There is a great snobbery associated with correct practice when it comes to tea drinkers. In some circles the way in which you take your tea indicates whether you were brought up proper or not. The issue centres around whether you put the milk in the cup before the tea...or after.....

4)In recent medical tests, scientists have discovered that the average Britain has 4 percent less plasma in their blood stream than the average American. This 4% is instead a very pure form of lovelinus cupoftea.

Personally, in the last few weeks I've been averaging about 10 cups a day.
But then of course I know the answer to the question in Fact 3.

All these teatillating facts aside, I should let you know that we have our last day in Leeds today. I am very excited as my friend from University (Fiona Mayer-Jones) is driving over from York to spend the afternoon with me. I was the prayer secretary to her Christian Union Presidential status....and we spent a lot of time together eating Fairtrade Peanut Butter and Honey on bread and drinking tea (of course).

In other surprise and random meetings....Dave Thomson, the Nigerian Hamster himself, popped up to the meeting last night. It was fab to see him and he was in top form telling us about his house move, new business purchase and other dynamic Mover-esque ways.

Plus Colin & Barbara Smith (Dunc and Russ's parents) are driving up from near Oxford today and want to take us out to dinner! Dave was Colin's small group leader this July.

Tomorrow morning at the heinous hour of 4am we will be leaving this Fair Isle and flying via Amsterdam to Helsinki, Finland. This will be our first visit to the Fins and we hope to see Jaako from SoM. James J and Barry Adams will be teaching an intensive schedule for 6 days...this is their School A on the Father's Heart.

Meanwhile I'll be searching out a nice cuppa tea.

(With milk in first)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dictionary Definitions

Is it a good thing when as a blogger you are totally outclassed by the people leaving comments on your blog? (see Sudoku comments below)

Perhaps this is how parents feel when their children far exceed them?

At any rate, I fully intend to embrace Jason & Krista's dictionary definitions as the true ones (which indeed they are) and I am about to score through my travelling concise Dictionary of the English Language with these replacements. (I travel light)

I think that as a nation most of us in the UK would be quite glad to cash in all our quids while basking in the light of a thousand fairies and then rehabilitate all Tiddlywinks with some tasty horse brutality.

Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It seems like whenever we come to the UK there is always some kind of trendy craze going on that everyone is talking about! I guess there are so many of us crammed into such a small country that news spreads fast.

Last time we popped back the UK was aglow with the light of a thousand fairies due to the Cricket. I started to wish that I had a quid (£1 or please see Krista's definition of a quid)...for everytime I heard the name Freddie Flintoff (hunky English batsman). The truth is that whenever we start to win at any sport the whole nation is caught up into a delirium. It could be tiddlywinks (sic Krista dictionary)or Straw Basket weaving...if we are winning in an international competition, you'd better expect it to be headline news.

Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that I have myself been swept up into the latest craze called Sudoku. For those of you unacquainted with this particular method of torture, suffice to say, it is a Japanese puzzle designed to send you a)blind and b) madder than a piece of raw fish.

You have a grid of squares some with numbers in, and you have to fill in the rest so that every line contains the numbers 1 to 9, up and down...and also the squares within the square do the same. There goes my chance to be a quiz show could play the game with that lame description.

Anyway, Dave and James have been whiling away the hours in Bath with these mathematical conundrums now found in nearly every paper. They come in varieties a bit like Hot Peppers: a) mild. b) strong c) ulcerating.

So this morning I decided to give my Left Brain Hemisphere a bit of a workout and in fact discover if it even existed after 4 years in TO....I feared it may have withered away and in fact I do walk with a slight lean to the right.

Well I have to say it is splendidly addictive. There were quite a few blank stares and mild panic attacks from me as I started my first one under the watchful eyes of James and Dave....but I did get the hang of it and felt a heady rush as I completed my first one. I think I may have to keep it and frame it.

The secret is talking aloud to yourself. Keeping up a running commentary such as
" no...three...or four...could be a seven or a, one one, no can't be a one...could be a two, seven, or nine.." and other such insightful comments.

Other than this shocking new development in my frontal lobes...(just remember I have 23 hours on a plane to kill in a few weeks and take pity)....we have been having a very jolly time with Sarah's lovely parents in Bath.

The horse brutality has been at the very highest standard....and later tonight we are promised pancakes. Last night David palmed off a speaking engagement on me, and so I spent an hour blathering to the Prophetic Group at Bath City Church. Not sure it made a whole lot of sense...but then again they could always ask God for a word of knowledge as to what the subject of my talk was.

Thankfully James is on the hotspot tonight as he is speaking to David and Faith's house group. I can sink into the background...and try and finish off my Sudoku.

God bless the Japanese!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ten Years On

Hello Cherubs and welcome back to my life.

I am writing to you from the house of Margaret, Richard and Chris in Plymouth, UK where we have been staying for the past 2 nights. Not only are they excellent hosts (hot water bottles at the ready) but this computer is darned fast...they know the way to my heart.

So dear sweeties (I have missed you by the way, and your wonderful comments have warmed the cockles of my heart....which is an ok thing to do and not inappropriate for any of you wondering how exactly that is done)

(I would mention Stuart's comment as one that singularly inspired me to write again....but I can't single out people for mention, can I?)

Anyway, you have missed wonderful momentous and inspiring moments in our our Tenth Wedding Anniversary (and I think it does deserve capitals....not capital punishment you understand, just capitals).

Yes, Friday the 13th...sorry I mean Friday the 14th October was the big day and Ihave to say we felt quite proud of ourselves for making it to quite so respectable a figure. (And Dave's figure is very respectable in my humble opinion)

Terrible confession - I never quite got around to getting Dave a card. But he did get one for me and managed to write nice things in it which is very advisable behaviour for a husband on an anniversary. (Of course no respectable wife should follow in my forgetful footsteps).

Anyway, I was pondering such matters as our anniversary... and the fact that it coincided with our first day travelling with James...and that it happened to be in Plymouth. As I am wont to do I started to draw all sorts of cool connections between the three.

So, you see the reason we threw up our lives 4 years ago and left Bournemouth for Toronto was because our marriage was in trouble and the big D (not diarrhoea) had been mentioned quite seriously on both sides. Our pastor's wife told us that the only hope for our marriage was to go to the School of Ministry.

We splurged all the nasty particulars of our faults and mistakes onto our SoM applications (mine took me 30 days and 20 pages to complete...Dave did his in 2 hours and 5 pages). I thought that those people at TACF would be discerning enough to stop us going to their lovely school. And I knew if we got in, it had to be God. (Either that or Sarah had a lapse in concentration when reading our forms)

So it was rather fab that on the tenth anniversary we were a) still together, b)still fancing each other and c)that I still find Dave's jokes funny (the same jokes at 10 years ago). And it seemed to me something promising in us starting the next stage of our journey on that very day.

Not only that, but also we were in Plymouth. The place of pioneers - where the Pilgrim Fathers set off for the USA and some other cheeky chappies set off for New Zealand for the first time ever. We saw a plaque down by the harbour which lists the first boats ever to set out from England to New Zealand and one of them was the boat that James' ancestors were on.

We stood on the dock and wondered what had compelled these ordinary people to set off on a dangerous journey to the other side of the world, knowing that they would never see England or their family ever again. (James' reckons that the answer is in the question!).

So as we are about to set off to New Zealand we lay claim to a little bit of that pioneering spirit - although I think 23 hours on a plane is a bit of a breeze compared to months on board ship with nothing to eat except weevils. (Actually that does sound a bit like Air Canada).

All my pretentious ponderings aside, we had a meeting in the morning with some local pastors, lunch at a very nice chinese restaurant (banana fritters - yum!) and then James spoke at the church in the evening on resting in the Father's love. And that was our anniversary.

It's so refreshing to be around James - there is just no pressure to perform! In fact we are hardly doing anything at all! It's strange after TO where we were all-singing, basically just sit there....sell a few teaching CDs and maybe pray for a few people. When I say strange...I mean fabulous!!!

I'm having some deeply heart-touching moments with Father already and no doubt will be filling you in on those at some point, broadband willing.

So...homeless but happy.
Missing you all like mad.
Excited about the next 10 years.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Er....just an update really.

Hey there lovelies, I've been unable to connect for the past few days (to the internet, this is not some interrelational issue confession)....but I've got access for a few mins so thought I would update you with where we are exactly.

Happy Thanksgiving by the way to those in Canada....hope you ate a mountain of pumpkin in my honour!

Well we moved from my parents to Dave's parents and have kept up a steady stream of social engagements. Since I last blogged we were at my mum's 1920s cocktail party (piccies to follow) which was lots of fun and everybody looked fab. My mum nearly sliced her thumb off (literally) about 2 hours before everyone arrived so there was high drama for a while...lots of blood etc. My mum was a complete trouper and didn't complain about the pain. The only thing she was worried about was that she didn't have time to go to casualty because of the party! I later found the tip of a sliced gherkin and gave it to her suggesting it was her long lost thumb tip. Amazingly she didn't faint.

I maxxed out my influencer at the party by keeping up a steady stream of chatter with my mum's friends whom I hadn't seem for 10 years. I assumed mum would have told them about us emigrating to NZ but she hadn't. This made for quite an entertaining line of smalltalk..."How is Canada? Do you like living in Toronto?' "Oh actually we've just left." "Really? Coming back to the UK?" "No, we're emigrating to NZ". And now for the real killer question. "Oh wow. Why?"

After the 15th conversation like this it's quite tempting to start making up your own answers. "Oh, I'm moving to a pygmy colony there to teach handicrafts" "Well we had to leave Canada after the televised car chase we were in" or my personal favourite: "the sex change operations are cheaper over there".

Since then we've had lunch with Dave's extended family....met up with Laura and her lovely boyfriend Clive....spent an afternoon with Polly and her daughter Annily...had lunch with Lorraine and delightful munchkins (that's her kids, not what we ate)...and tonight we are being wined and dined by my brother James and his gorgeous girlfriend Christa. In between all these we have largely been walking about by the sea.

Tomorrow is our last day in Bournemouth and I have singularly failed to meet up with lots of people I wanted to catch up with....ho hum! Hope they'll forgive us, and we can always try again at Christmas when we come back for a couple of weeks.

On Thursday we hire a car and drive up to Heathrow to pick up James (Jordan) from the airport, then we go with him on his teaching tour for a few weeks...Plymouth, Bath, Leeds and Finland. It's going to be interesting to see how we fit in....

Ok, sorry for distinct absence of humour from this post...feeling a bit contemplator is in high distress, but there is nowhere to run and hide for a few weeks yet. Do you think they make travel size Sensory Deprivation Tanks? (again, if I was Alyn I would put in a link here to the website.....Alyn, pleasey, weasey, tell me how to do that!!)

Fabulous to read your comments on previous posts....please keep them coming!
Love and fuzzy thinking,

Saturday, October 08, 2005

'Ear, 'Ear

In our heady social schedule last night was a meal in with Andy & Debs and Mark & Sarah.
An exotic feature of the evening was entertainment by Vinny, Debs' cat...who has no ears.
He has a friend next door (also a cat) who has only 1 ear.
So we had two cats, with only one ear between them.
In my blogsessive way I instantly pulled out my camera to capture the moment for you.

I'm not sure why I am providing AJ with so much opportunity to make nasty comments about cats....but then again, Lynley, Sarah and Stu..possibly even Krista can rebuff them with much cat-sympathy.
Here's a question for you....if your cat has a suspected brain tumour (God forbid)...would they give it a cat scan?

Anyway, back to reality (it used to be a friend of mine). We had a frankly delicious hand-made pizza....with pesto, cream-cheese and spinach....yum! Sarah had even made the pizza base herself in her bread maker. By the way, for those of you who've been to our you remember the huge picture over our sofa...the 11 days of Creation? That was by Sarah Harris - possibly one of the most creative people in the world...and one of the nicest too. She teaches at the local Uni (Arty stuff) and her cool hubby is a Chartered Surveyor but is re-training in a dazzling, life-shifting kind of way as a cinematographer or film-maker. They have a passion for Israel and the middle East and Mark wants to make short films for charities and on excitable middle east issues. How flipping cool are they???

Andy and Debs were hosting us...and looked as glamorous as ever....Debs is a model, film extra type and should definitely be discovered and made famous. Andy and Dave used to work together a lot when Dave worked in Bmth and is a dashing entrepreneur.

Yesterday was also my mum's 60th birthday and so me and my brother took her out to lunch at a Nepalese restaurant (of course she has been to Nepal....also, I was once in a military dance pageant with a whole load of gurkhas). Then we treated her to swanky spa treatments at the hotel where dave and I got engaged. She reported it was 'the best birthday ever' which was high praise indeed.

Tonight is her cocktail party with a 1920's I am about to meet a lot of blast from the past friends of hers and relatives too. How many times will I be attempting to explain why exactly we are leaving Canada and moving to NZ??? Quite a few I suspect.

Just to whet your appetite...there will be photos appearing soon of Dave and I in 1920s gear. Dave is the barman at the party tonight and has an outfit which makes him look a little like a deckchair.

Tune in soon folks to see it all here.

And if I find any more pets missing body parts, I'll be sure to let you know!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Family Matters

Yes, that is a title of one of Dr Phil's books.
Yes, I am missing Dr Phil.

That aside, we had a lovely evening last night with Dave's other sister - Debbie and her husband Philip, plus the sproglets Dan and Sian. They cooked us dinner and let us use their wireless internet connection (hence the reason there are photos on the previous two posts). I went into Blog Saleswoman stance again, trying to cajole yet more people into reading my Blog.

As the evening progressed, I tuned into the music that Debbie had put on the CD intriguing collection of songs. When I enquired after it, she laughed and showed me the album cover to "Sad Songs". Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can buy an entire album of misery...with the themes of broken hearts, dead pets, broken pets and dead hearts.

Now if I was as clever as Alyn at this point I would put in a link to a website where you can purchase this album. (by the way, how do you do that, Alyn?)

But perhaps you already have it in your collection anyway.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sarah's secret pastime

This is an expose of the pastimes of the beautiful Miss Sarah D.
She seems like such a nice girl.
But I am here to tell you the truth.
I have been secretly following her and photographing her actions.
Notice how sweet and charming she is as she entices this small cat towards her.

As the innocent, unsuspecting cat approaches, she reaches out, but misses the jugular.

Finally she grabs the fragile feline firmly around the neck..... (you may want to look away at this point)

Then she coolly poses for the photo with the traumatised animal still gasping for breath.

"What happened to Harrison?" people ask us.
The truth is too ugly to tell.
Keep her (and us) in your prayers.

NEWS! The latest on Spiritual Enhancement

Thought you would all be excited to hear of the latest way to enhance your spirituality. In true English style….it’s with tea.

I was introduced to this fabulous new product by my sister-in-law Christine who is married to Mr Pants (this is his blogger identity, not a personal comment from myself).

We had dinner with Christine, Mr Pants and their children Sarah and Master Pants last night and very nice it was too. Afterwards they honoured the occasion by bringing out a treasured box of tea – a gift from Aunty Olive.

As you can see from the picture, it is spiritual enhancement tea with uplifting scriptures printed on each tea bag. The Joy of Scriptural Discovery via a hot drink. I don't know how clearly you can see it in the shiny picture but the uplifting verse on this particular is as follows: "There is no respect of persons with God"

Dave thought they should all be quotes from Hebrews...He brews....get it? I bet you miss our jokes!

I am sure this is exactly what Paul meant when he encouraged us to “handle the word of God correctly”. (A clear reference there to the handle on the cup of tea, for those of you who missed it.)

It was almost as sublime as the pen I once saw in the “Tate” Section of a local Christian Bookstore. (Oops, sorry, I meant “Tat” Section). It was a highlighter pen and on the side was printed the phrase: ‘Jesus is the highlight of my life”


Have to say I prefer my Spiritual Enhancement coming from St Arbucks.
I think Mr Pants and Christine do too.
By the way, in a nice twist of fate the tea came from Canada.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back in Bournemouth

Having a fab time in Bournemouth, weather is here, wish you were lovely!

Sorry, one of Dave's jokes.....

Well just to keep you absolutely informed of my whereabouts at all times (saves you buying that expensive satellite tracking system, and me having a microchip inserted in an unlikely place)'ll be delighted to hear I am still staying at my parents...but only for the next 2 days, then we pack up our sturdy suitcases to move to Dave's parents. We like to share the love.

Mostly we have been a) sleeping b)attempting to sleep c)staggering around bleary eyed having been asleep and d) eating English chocolate. It's a heady lifestyle of European chic for us.

Also have managed to foist ourselves on our long-suffering friends...cue brattish text message: "I'm in the country, will be around in 5, no excuses, love Adele"
Or, if I'm feeling rather lively: "I'm at your front door. You can come out from behind the couches". You can run, but you can't hide from a D&A visitation.

So far we have seen the lovely Lorraine and Vernon, plus adorable sproglets Cameron and Katie. Lorraine and I partook of that fine English pastime: shopping in Next and having tea at M&S....which was fabulous. Especially when baby Katie nose-dived off her seat and headbutted the table before sliding right under it. She has her mother's death-defying skills.

Obviously we have also been out for curry with Laura and today I popped into the place where she works - harbouring the youth of the nation from the tides of parental bonkerness. (Hostel for homeless kids). For those in the know, the hostel is considerably nicer than Marmac!

I also had a meeting today with a former client from my copywriting days (aka having a sandwich with Richard). He's a really lovely bloke and fortunately mentally unbalanced enough to give me work. So I will now be writing radio commercials from NZ for UK Radio stations. Excellent! Can't wait to start inventing sound effects again for the studio to create. I had a reputation for writing the more "creative" kind of commercial. In other words ones with incredibly difficult SFX (sound effects!). I once wrote into a script:

SFX: Sound of man's head exploding

and also

SFX: the fridge is singing to itself

It's frankly amazing that they want to employ me again!!!

By the way, yesterday Dave went up to London, to the NZ embassy and so we now have lovely turquoise visas for NZ in our passports.

He spent today talking to bank managers and doing clever financial thingys while I was being wined and dined by Radio Executives. (sandwich and soda with lovely Richard)

So, chickens, that's the news from the front!
Thanks for all your lovely comments - I was particularly honoured to hear from Stuart and Lynley....please come again soon!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I think therefore I blog

Dear Blog-conscious friends,
You are the few, the lucky few who know what a Blog is.

Now admittedly I myself had never heard of a Blog up until about 6 months back when the lovely Linda Cho launched hers. Fortunately I know enough about technology to understand that the key to it is not so much blogging, as blagging. And even before I knew how to Blog, I knew how to Blag.

Even though I am not a man and was not therefore born with an innate ability to blag, I did attend the mandatory "How to Blag 101" course at University so that I could qualify to work in advertising.

Hence, once Linda launched her Blog even though I had no bally clue what a Blog was, I went to her Blog site and from them on acted as though I was fully conversant with the world of Blog.

I sprinkled my conversations with liberal blags on blogs: "Ohhh, yes! A Blog! Simply marvellous aren't they? How did one manage without one?"

So for those of you who are visiting my Blog for the first time....for those of you who I have cajoled into reading my dribblings....for those of you who exclaimed in outrage "What on earth is a Blog?!"...I would like to encourage you to follow suit.

My friends, you don't have to really understand what it is....just pretend to understand.

And read my Blog....or else.

My (until recently Blog-unconscious)Dad would like to add his own comment to this blog, he wants me to keep you informed of his heady lifestyle.

Today - he got out of bed. Now - he has to take the bin out.
Bet you wish he has his own Blog!

On Leaving...

Oh weep. Oh gnash.

Well friends I'm on line to tell you the horrible truth. (By the way if this is your first visit to my Blog - and I have been bullying everyone I know into checking it - you should probably page down and read something a bit more cheerful than this - perhaps my Chelsea article...or the Obituary section of your local newspaper)

I know I should really have been more prepared for leaving. We have known about it for getting on for over 6 months....but it was worse than I thought.

Usually my contemplative nature keeps me nicely out of touch with my feelings at moments of crisis. For example when the glue sniffer on a remote Indonesian island leapt out from the crowd and started punching me in the arm. He had one arm mysteriously stuffed up his t-shirt which intrigued my contemplator. I stood frozen to the spot, while the glue-sniffer enthusiastically used me as a punching bag.

Meanwhile I was pondering such interesting questions as: "Why is this man attacking me?" "Hmmmm, I wonder if I did something to offend him, perhaps I stepped on his toe?" "I wonder why he has his arm stuffed up his t-shirt" "Is he maimed? Or does he have a weapon up there?" "This is probably demonic." "Hmmm...I wonder what I should bind?"

Meanwhile, Nicole (Martian, the intrepid Aussie) was screaming, jumping up and down and finally grabbed my arm and dragged me away - with aforementioned glue-sniffer chasing us and continuing to punch me in the arm.

Ahhhh...good times.

Anyway if you would like to come on a missions trip with me, you can go to

So back to the woe at hand. As you can tell from this, I am handling the situation with the use of the three D's.

Distraction, Denial and Drugs.

My feelings in this instance (leaving TO)were engaged and largely overwhelming. Saying goodbye was horrible, awful, wrenching, yukky, sad and strangely wonderful.Strangely wonderful in that I was struck afresh with what incredible people I have the privilege of being friends with.

The thing about leaving a place is that it finally gives you perspective on it. I actually feel like I have left my home. And while I was there I was never really sure if Toronto felt like home.

I always knew my friends were amazing, witty, courageous and dynamic people...but now I realise that they are the Crown Jewels of my possessions. (Not that I OWN you or anything, lest you feel the urge to change your name and phone numbers and apply to the witness protection scheme).

You (you know who you are)are so incredibly important and valuable to me. I am so gutted that you are currently so far away and yet so grateful to God for having let me into your lives just a little bit. Ahh, it all sounds so cliched, but I feel it and I know it so strongly.

By the time Sarah drove us to the airport early on Saturday morning I couldn't even speak. I throw words around so liberally that they sometimes seem to me to be a de-based currency. Suffice to say, I couldn't even say anything to Sarah as we hugged goodbye. I love her so much there is nothing to say to express it in words.

I went into survival mode at that point, not consciously. It's strange to observe yourself trying to cope. The mechanism that I clicked into was 'not thinking about it'. So an Oprah magazine, 2 films and a Bill Johnson session on my Ipod later...I went to the toilet on the plane and started to cry.

Luckily when you come out of a plane toilet crying it seems to everyone else like a perfectly reasonable reaction to having to pee in a confined space used only by people who always hit the toilet seat. Why these people then feel the urge to throw toilet tissue around the cubicle like confetti is a mystery to me. [Alyn & AJ, please could you look into the phenomenon for me, and perhaps create a video blog?]

Enough said.

(especially about the pee)

We miss you. We love you. We are sad. But we really, really love you. Oh, and miss you. And I think I was trying to end this.


(Did I mention we really love you?)