Tuesday, August 31, 2004

ENT

Ear-nose-throat infection's what I'm going through now and it's not pretty. I'm even more grumpy in the morning, my head's fuzzy so I can't knit as fast, nothing tastes of anything and I'm in such a blur that my shins and hipbones get caught on round knobs and cupboard corners, leaving me bruised :( Hopefully it'll go away by this Sunday cos I can't cook a decent roast for people without my nasal senses.

Am going to pop round CLC after this for books and Covent Garden for lavender.

Italian dinner was great last night - actually, it was only after my pizza ai fungi that I started feeling worse for wear. No wonder my dad stays away from mushrooms. Whilst Dekkie and I had the slightly more 'studenty' pasta and pizza respectively, Daniel and Dennis splashed out on Salmon and salad starters, soup, bread with vinegar, and beef. Not to mention a tiramisu that they shared; and upon seeing the luscious swirls of chocolate and mascarpone cheese, Dekkie and I decided we also wanted and thus ordered. I'm still not too keen with the whole discretionary service charge idea. Either the people who wait on tables do not understand want discretionary means or they just want a larger tip.

Discretion: Liberty or power of deciding, or of acting according to one's own judgement or as one thinks fit; uncontrolled power of disposal.

What sort of 'power' or liberty do I have if I have to pay the full 'discretionary' fee even when I feel the service was not worth that much? Liberty... what a word. According to one's own judgment? Hah! Yeah right. Oh, get this, uncontrolled power of disposal. The next time I get waiters who have provided most unwilling service coming back to me with, "Excuse me..." I'll whip out my dictionary. Call it cheeky, call it exploitation, call it a disgrace, if they really want that amount of service charge, they shouldn't call it discretionary. Maybe that's why I got ill. Alarm bells ringing in my head urging me to claim my steak and stake my claim. I wonder if the waiters there believe that I truly do not get the mathematical concept of addition and subtraction.

27 days to term time, 20 days to freshers week, 16 to mom's birthday, 2 to Katherine coming from Canada, 1 to the 1st of September. I bought a little black book to pencil in events from January 1, 2005. It'll save time and effort from the old method of stick and tack on the noticeboard.

Monday, August 30, 2004

More books, more books...

Sunday was a busy day for a busy bee. Woke up early cos I was due in for Sunday school - looks like both BK and I are now in the 'forces' together. My green T-shirt with a green ladybug on it seemed to attract quite a bit of attention form the 3-8 year olds I was looking after and I had to answer questions like,
"Why is your ladybug green?"
"Why is it sick?"
"Do you know your ladybug is the wrong colour?"
And there I was thinking that only grown ups took notice of apparel.

During the evening service, I spoke to Sam who then handed me a guide and told me that there would be training in October for teachers. I thought I was only going to be an assistant. Apparently not. To think I told my mum that teaching was the last job I would ever take up. It's the whole my-life-is-a-jumble-of-ironic-coincidences thing happening all over again. I wonder what other ironies are in store for me in this life. So it looks like there will be no sleeping in time for me on Sundays now.

Lunch with Dekkie on Sunday did not go as plan - it was better! Instead of Greenwich Peking duck, we went off to Islington to have fajitas, breadsticks and jelly at Alice's. 12 random people who got 'picked' from St Helen's trooped there, not really knowing one or the other. About 4 hours later though, I had email adds on a strip of paper, a chicken fajita in my stomach and new friends from other parts of this side of the world whom I can now invite over when they next show up in London. After lunch, Dekkie, Dennis, Odile and I went to the Imperial War museum and I learnt about mushrooms, fungus and soil conditions before we reached the museum doors. Odile is a biologist (or potentially one). I left them to admire the bits and pieces left behind from war and walked home to shower change (again) and was just about ready when Sean knocked on the door and asked if I was ready to walk to St Helen's. Walk, walk, walk. At this rate I don't think it matters that I eat goose pie for breakfast - I might actually need it.

On to the subject of books - if anyone can tell me how to use Amazon to buy books, I'll be most grateful. I want The Illiad, Odessey, Crime and Punishment (if I can get it for 13 pence on Amazon then why bother go to bookshops at all?), and etc. Are the books really 13 pence? Is that possible? If it really is as such, I could buy at least 4 times more books on Amazon for the same price as a novel from the cheapest of shops! Phil was so nice to me yesterday. I bought both Disciplines of a Godly Woman and Disciplines of a Godly Man and he knocked a fiver off cos I bought them both at the same time :) So instead of 2 books, I went home with 3 books cos I used the 'extra' fiver to buy another Faith Cook book. Yay!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

To love, honour and vacuum...

is the title of one of the many books I bought at CLC today. I figured with the many marriage proposals zooming back and forth and the many ding-dong-bells sounding up and down the country, practical realism is the way forward (even though sentimental idealism is quite a nice prospect as well). Besides, I like vacuuming. I also bought several commentaries, God has Spoken (J.I Packer), The Hard Sayings of Jesus (F F Bruce) and etc etc. Wanted to purchase both Disciplines of a Godly Man and Discplines of a Godly Woman but they only had one in stock so I thought I'd get them off Phil, who runs the St Helens bookshop this Sunday - creating opportunities to chat.

Dekkie, Daniel, Dennis, a couple of people from International Summerlink and I will be enjoying Peking duck in Greenich this Sunday. Next Sunday, I'll be having roast at my place. Probably turkey, with roast spuds and cauliflower cheese bake (as suggested by Joe). Yum. I'll be having bagel with full-fat mayo for dinner tonight. I'm fast running out of instant noodles and have totally run out of eggs - dilemma! Other plans so far...

Next Monday - Sarah Hole and mango turkey drumstick?
Next Thursday - Victoria's coming down to spend the day and night and I have to finish her blue and green scarf by then. I finished my pink and red one in two days and am quarter of the way through for Vic's.
Next Friday - Daryl's dinner party.
Next Sunday - Charlotte's dropping round for a visit with a fresher who's gonna be at Kings next year.
Between the 7th and 14th next month - picnic with Seneka and dinner at least once.

I still haven't figured out when I should pencil in a BBQ - before or after term starts?
I'll know my exam results by the 10th next month so keeping everything crossed and praying.
I've started a 'thing' - writing out the entire Psalms. I'm sure the scribes learnt and meditated loads writing and rewriting God's word out in neat handwriting so for a change, I've decided to do just that. Makes it highly personal as well when one carries God's word around written in one's own handwriting.

Summertime is a time to relax and renew one's mind and focus, away from the usual suspects of friends, dinners and activity. Keep in touch but make use of the time to replenish spiritual nourishment, ready for the next year.

Personally, summer allows me to get away from the 'obvious' temptations. I find it much easier to cope when temptation isn't there to stare at me, watching me. However, come the new academic year and crowds start polling in, I wonder whether the same temptations last year will come back with the tide to taunt me. If my focus is on the Cross, I will not be shaken, even if and when I fail. Therefore, all the time I have to know God, especially during summer, should be snatched up and guarded jealously, so that when temptation knocks at the door, I will be secure. Although the obvious temptations do not necessarily surround me during summer, it doesn't mean that no footholds exist. Virgin mobile's motto is, 'The Devil makes work for idle thumbs' and the same can be said for the mind. The Devil makes work for an idle mind, for the careless mind, for the mind that is complacent and not on its guard.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

So in effect, I could actually be putting myself in a more dangerous situation by pretending that since the obvious tempatations cannot be seen, I am immune to spiritual downfall.

James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

No one can stand on their own. I've tried for ages, trying to make it work, manipulating verses in the Bible in my own head to prove that I can, when indeed I can't. We were made to commune both with God and with one another. We were made for fellowship. It's so easy to know about yet so hard to know.

Well, now that I've unburdened myself here for the day, I'm off to get myself Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment from the Oval Bookshop, which I recomend you read together with Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good. I'm home for my toasted bagel!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Stuck in the middle

I impliedly read into my sister's blog, a hint that some girl was out to break my little brother's heart. Now I understand why mothers are so protective of their children, especially of sons and why every girlfriend has to go through a 'screening' test. Maybe it's time I started getting out a little notepad and thick, red, felt-tipped pen, listing pros and cons and tracing back the family tree of any little lady who might dare 'take advantage' of my little bro's gullible charms. Or maybe I should just sit back and let nature (the learning curve of growing up) run its course. Sigh. He's growing up so fast...

I have been reading Milton's Paradise Lost, a soliloquy of Satan voicing issues concerning his damnation. Although I am currently reading it on the internet, I can't wait to get a bound copy of it to complement Shelly's Frankenstein among other books.

Book 1 (of Paradise Lost);
The mind is its own place and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.

and book 4;
Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell

In view of the way I have been feeling the last few days and to be honest, have been hit by in the last few months, it is all too easy to fall into the doldrums, roll in self-pity, indulge in indifference and lose focus on the Cross. I read my past blogs and hear myself speaking while remembering situations and incidences that inspired me to take on the tonal expressions that I did. I have allowed myself to be swept away in a torrent of things that do not matter; not because they mean any less to me but because God is in control of every situation, of every word, of every thought. Fighting. I try to fight changes that I see God allowing in my life. I try to resist temptations from the Devil. I try to keep everyone away by growing a shell as fast and as thick I can grow it. All this activity is quite hmm... too many maybes and maybe I have said too much.

I bought Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities yesterday and am looking forward to buying 30 odd classics from Sarah next month. I might lay off the book collection for a bit else I might find myself having to buy another bookcase to accomodate all my material. Sarah also said she might teach me the cello. I can play Twinkle Twinkle on the violin using two strings! Still have not managed to get the other two strings wired up so til then, Twinkle Twinkle it is. I also put up Sarah's electric piano yesterday so now there're 3 instruments in the house I can play. I have finished Sean's scarf and am waiting for him to collect it. Have started on another scarf - pink and red - for me, before I start Tom's yellow and green and Jo's green with little bobbles. Am now off to Covent Garden, then Boots, might pop round TLC's, am having dinner with Vic tomorrow, roast for Sunday lunch and then begins a new week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Stomping around

Whether because I woke up too early (by my unusual standards), had a subconscious run-in against a brick wall or am in weird response mode to bizzare dreams I have had of late, I do not know. But one thing I know, I am in a terrific mood right now. A terrific moody mood, that's what. A terrific, moody, brooding, too-deep-for-me-to-handle mood. Was supposed to go for after exam drinks but left, partly in fear of lashing out at the complete stranger sitting next to me who had a coffin nail in his mouth - just one more thing to drive my momentum - and secondly because I didn't want to spoil the happy relaxed mood of the little company sitting in The Greycoat Boy. So, with music from the radio blasting through my walkman, in attempt to drown out unhelpful yet profound thoughts and ideas, I went for a long walk round Victoria until I ended up here, in the FWB of Waterloo. Will soon find myself walking around London today - hopefully it'll rain so I can cool down and fizz out in the drizzle. Will probably catch a cold, get sick and have a Rudolph red nose for a month but anything is better than welling up with helium, at the risk of bursting, hurting someone or saying things I wouldn't otherwise say under normal osmotic conditions.

On one hand, times like these make me wonder why I don't tell anyone ongoing issues I'm dealing with in my head to live this life. I tell them eventually as examples of 'how it was before' to be used in my sharing but at that particular time in history, when I'm trying to deal with the situation, it's as if a cork is forced in and although part of me is at bursting point to furiously scream out (which is undoubtedly not very helpful to others), the other part bottles everything in. One thing I've noticed is that as life goes on and the cork gets stronger and more resiliant, the bubbly increases its tension and pressure. Everything increases and something is bound to hit the roof. Who knows? One day I might run into a field and burst open - morbid what-did-Judas-do thoughts trailing - but for now I've sort of got it under control. On the other hand however, I tell myself that if I went through it before, I can go through it again and although I feel a certain way now, it will come to pass and I will remember it as a lesson learnt and an experience that will probably shape me for the future. If I choose to let some hang (as opposed to letting all hang, which is quite unsightly), who knows how many cracks or chinks need be formed before the armour collapses. Armour is useless if it doesn't protect and if it should protect, then why undermine it? But as Tom and I discussed this morning, human logic is far from perfect or substantial in figuring out (or trying to figure out) God's plan. Well, at the end of each day, I tell myself that Jesus died for me and that no problem or matter can weigh too much or too heavily or be more of a burden than Jesus can bear. God is in His heaven and all's right with the world. It amazes me how I think and analyse and ponder and chew over incidences. Shows how being Christian doesn't mean not going through difficulties. In fact, more difficulties arise because we've got Jesus' standard to follow and abide by.

Bought Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (about 6 pieces of bread thick) for a pound fifty yesterday. Bargain. Also bought Frankenstein and The Smoke Jumper (by Nicholas Evans), which I added to my collection and shall read in due time. Am going to this shop in Waterloo that sells fairly priced classics and will get me about 3 or 4, depending on my mood. Tom's gonna lend me Dracula until I can get one of my own. In terms of reading, I have accumulated quite a few books over a short period of time and will have to start reading them else their use will be wasted. One way I usually escape reality - some people call it cowardice; escaping rather than facing up to it - is through a hunger for imagination and fantasy that I am sated with by reading and lone ramblings in whatever bit of grassy slope or muddy field or stretch of land I can find. My vivid imagination, cultivated over time has become I would say, both my strength and my weakness. There is too much of a good thing. I now look at books with yearning and yet wonder what they can do to me as I devour page after page.

I have to say, I have been lagging in my daily Bible reading, which I am not proud of. Sometimes we wonder at people who claim to be waiting for God to speak to them when in fact, it is God who is waiting for us to listen to Him, to commune with us, through His word. God has been patient. I have been an unruly colt (or filly, if we're gonna be gender specific) refusing to be saddled. God had clothed me in righteousness, fed me His living word and protected me with His grace and I respond by lashing out and hurting myself.

There're too many thoughts clamouring for attention; some fickle and selfish, some deep, yet equally selfish and yet others. The Bible says that we store up treasure where our heart is and even though countless times I fall short and don't always turn to God for the answers because I'm too ashamed, I know that He has saved me and that He has called me and will use me to do His perfect and pleasing will and as the master's workmanship, I can only do what He has graciously allowed me to do and I will only complete the race He has marked out for me.

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Seal

Letter seal?
Navy SEAL?
Animal seal?
Singer Seal?

Singer Seal, Kiss from a Rose - aha, aha, oh yeah, oh yeah, aha.

Woke up at 8am this morning to get the house all nice and tidy (mopped with citrus cleaner and everything) for when Sean and Jamie came round promptly at 9 to cook us bacon and eggs on toast for breakfast, but ultimately to watch football highlights on TV. Last night Sean was categorising all the CU peeps we knew according to the sitcom Friends. It still manages to stay in conversation in spite of being an 'ex' but that's the role and function of all exes I guess. I was given the role of Monica although I wanted to be Janice. Do people really dislike Janice? I didn't know that. I always thought she was the cool one. With the conversation still in my head, I went to sleep. Argh. I actually dreamt of cleaning house for the guys' arrival. Whatever.

After the highlights, I spent the rest of the day knitting Sean's yellow and black Wasps scarf, which I hope to finish by tomorrow night, batted 26 runs in 5 bowls (cricket) had lunch with Sean, Joe and Tara and made chocolate mousse and shortcrust pastry for my mushroom and bacon pie tomorrow. Did my washing yesterday so no need to worry about that for another fortnight or so. Tonight I'll be off to St Helens to see Carly, Daniel, Daryl, Jenny and etc. There's so much to catch up on in 2 weeks. My sis asked me how I manage hosting so many dinners when I'm so low on budget. The trick is Tesco value. The meal budget per week for the average Joe (no pun intended Joe) would be, let's say a tenner? I spend less than a fiver on myself per week, thanks to 8p noodles, leaving me therefore, with a fiver spare to spend on 'fancy' mealtimes. And I can make a meal stretch like an Indian rubber band - apparently Indian rubber bands strtch very far as Indian rubber balls bounce very high. I'm still using the goose I roasted a few weeks ago - use every part of it; bones, skin, bishop's nose... The minced pork and fusilli I had last Tuesday has only just been finished and bread and bagels can always be freezed - in fact everything can be freezed. Learn how to economise and organise and you'll find that 2 potatoes, a cabbage head and a chicken drumstick can go a long way.

Jo's heading off to Turkey tomorrow. Send me a postcard! I called just now but you weren't available. Have an amazing journey and fantastic time and everytime you pass by a Turkish deli, think of me. Eat falafels, buy carpets; if the owner of the shop offers you coffee, accept (it means he's happy doing business with you), don't get animal/ bird/ plant printed carpets because those are only for western tourists who like something to show and it generally doesn't project the true artistic skill of carpet weaving that the Turkish people are famous for (courtesy of Jeffery Archer's short story, The Steal, from A Twist in the Tale). By the way, if you find a flying carpet, get it for me and I will reimburse you generously. Arabian nights...

Kill Bill 2 was not as good as I hoped it would be. It wasn't gory, it wasn't brutal, the fight scenes ended too quickly, it turned romantic and mushy, questions weren't answered, there was no close up shot of eyes void of emotion, not enough flashes of cold steel, it was too easy killing Bill and I am not satisfied. However, if you did not like the first Kill Bill because of reasons known only to you, you might find Kill Bill 2 more to your liking. I have yet to watch Spiderman 2, Matrix Revolutions, Harry Potter 2, 3, 4 and however many more they make, Lord of the Rings trilogy and a list of other movies that will take you through the floor as in Oblivion, Alton Towers.

The picnic for Tuesday is off as peeps are too busy and I have to house sit for Joe, waiting for the arrival of his stuff from Argos. My bookcase is arriving tomorrow. I will give Alex a ring as well, asking him to get George in to rid the rubbish he left behind in the backyard, fix lightbulbs where they need fixing and help put up my three black and whites; one is of an elephant taking an apple from the tram driver in Grays Inn Road circa 1950s and the tram is heading for Wandsworth, one is a 1960s picture of 2 people stranded in a 1959 Fly amongst giraffes in a Safari in Plymouth (or was it Portsmouth) and the third is a guy getting a ticket from a traffic warden for speeding in an ostrich-drawn carriage. Classic, the lot of them. I'm waiting til I have my own place in the future to put the rest up, which also includes 2 Alsations riding a motorbike and a sidecar, a Llama getting into a car, a dog being chaffeured, a lamb getting onto a London bus and a woman driving a convertible with a pig tucked under her right arm.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Dogs are from Mars

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Yeah, there goes stress right out of the window. Or in my case, right into the window, through the internet connection and splat onto my blog. Exams sorted, I sit around for days wondering what to do. These days I fill my space with books including Red Dragon; an introduction to Hector Hannibal, pine bookcases, black and white animal framed photos taken circa 1950's and 1960's - those of you who can, you have to come to my place to see them(!), apple crumble in the fridge as well as chilli chips and minced pork and fusilli and avocado salad, apples from the garden, am gonna make apple pie on Sunday, roasted turkey drumsticks, the Olympics, Ian Thorpe :), popodums, the let-down of Kill Bill 2, knitting - Sean, I started on yours last night (yes folks, I managed to self-teach moi, without Priss' guidance therefore, with much trial and error, how to loop da loop), party at Daryl's, bubble-baths and scrubs (which I had this morning - scrubbed myself raw) and etc. I should be here for a bit cos it looks like it's gonna rain soon, I dont intend to buy a pass or saver tickets cos my books, quirky deco and indoor plants spending spree has put me back a couple of quid and walking would help keep extra tyres from forming.

Might be going to the park for a picnic this Tuesday if the weather shines well. Exams will be over for some by then and some peeps will be leaving for far shores hence, the get together. Time to plan a decent picnic basket... cucumber+ tuna sandwiches, pie, carrots and dip, cold pasta, bagels, more pie, cous cous with feta cheese, crisps, chocolate, cold ham, turkey, honey roast, melon, cheese sticks... mmmm :) Will learn to cartwheel at the same time - at least I'll have soft ground to land on.

I was thinking... again. You know how we all get forwarded messages... irritating things aren't they? Although quite a few of them do have good encouragement and reminders backing them, they are in general boring, not that interesting and yet compel you to pass it on using either superstitious mumbo jumbo - if you don't pass this on you'll get dumped... hahahahahaha.... or religious blackmail for example, the one with 'Jesus said, If you deny me on earth, I will deny you in front of the Father' (paraphrasing cos I can't remember the whole thing word for word). I don't quite believe that deleting a forwarded mail constitutes denying Jesus His authority and place in our lives as our ruler and king. Gossip, lust, back-stabbing, lying, envy, nasty thoughts, pride, lust, self-pity... you might want to check those at the door first. Forward it if you feel that someone might benefit from the words, which I have to say does make you think about, among other things, our mission to non-Christians, our service to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and our purpose in this world but don't forward it out of guilt or even worse, because you actually believe you will get dumped if you refuse to send the message. Dumped? What is the symbolism behind getting dumped? I'm assuming trucks dump things so what are they saying? The person who gets 'dumped' is rubbish? And what about the person who dumps? A truck? A rubbish truck? Eeew. Get out quick! It makes both people look bad, getting 'dumped' does.

Dogs are from Mars, cats are from Venus? it was on sale for 12.99 (approx.) in past Times but I don't think it's worth that much so I let it pass. I nearly bought The Taming of the Shrew from a bookstand along Southbank today but I might wait til Sarah brings some of her books in. I offered to buy some of her books off her so that she wouldn't have to bring them back to Guilford after the end of our 2 year stint at Oval. I'm thinking classics like Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, The Two Cities, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Huckleberry Finn, Call of the Wild, Anne of Green Gables...

Vic's not staying over this week and I'm currently having the hiccups. It might not rain after all and I would like to be home for dinner.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Just lush

Before I start, Jo it's pouring bucketloads and I hope you didn't get caught out in the rain.

Went shopping today!!!! Very impromptu. Jo called me up whilst I was still in my Oink! pyjamas and said she was about. We had Starbucks for lunch - I had two mocha frap grandes - one with cream and one without - because I did not realise that Jo ordered one for me as well. Needless to say, a trip to the water-closet was necessary after that caffeine related feat. We then trotted down Regent street and went into Past Times. Gorgeous shop with unicorn statuettes, 'Greek goddess' clocks and table lighting, antique looking radios and grandfather clocks, a ginger cat tea cosy, crystal candleholders and a host of other things, including owl bookends (which I will buy - or something similar - while I fill my new bookcase up) and a mahagony chest with flowers carved into the top. A very nice shop indeed. I think we spent about an hour in the shop and I came out of the shop with a book on D-day and a calender featuring black and white pictures of animals and transportation. Next stop was Lush and as the subject title says, it was just lush. I got into excited, hyped-up mode the second I walked through the door. Lush is a shop (also along Regent street), which sells handmade and organic soap, bubble bombs, shampoo, facial products, moisturiser, mud packs etc etc. Can you imagine the multitude of smells that hit my keen nasal sponge? My brain exploded (not literally) with a concoction of lavender and honey and blueberry and flowers, sea scents and other berries and fruits and ooooh. Jo bought me a Turbo Bubble bath bomb for a house warming present and if I use it properly, I should emerge form my bath with purple glitter stuck to my bod and smelling of jasmine. I'll have to wait for a special occasion for that. The end of exams is not quite special enough.

Dinner for Big Dave tonight, bookcase from Argos tomorrow for the living room - I am in the process of persuading Sarah to bring some of her books from home and have told her I will buy them off her if she doesn't want to transport them back after 2 years in Oval, Victoria staying over Friday night, Tom's birthday on Friday, 3 scarves to knit by Christmas and a possible holiday/ get-a-way to plan before the term starts. Hopefully it'll be something along the line of horses, horse riding or horsing around. By the way, I saw three blacks today - two by St James and one down Regent street.

Last night, in response to my confession of my dislike of vegetables, Tim Mak said that I could get colon cancer of I didn't start eating some. I responded by pretending to be in shock - the whole mouth open indignation thing. We figured that telling people about the consequences of their actions was a sign that we cared for them and Johnny Mak interjected by saying that it was like telling non-Christians they were going to Hell. It is too easy to sit back and watch complacently but it takes effort and risks to get involved and be responsible. It is too easy to hang out with non-Christian friends for years without even once telling them about Jesus or about what He did for you that week or that day. It is too easy to forget the most important thing in our lives when it will inconvenience a friendship we feel is not worth the risk losing. It is hard to talk to someone who doesn't listen. It is hard to go out of our way to invite our classmates to a Christian event. It is hard when people don't want to listen. But what is harder, really? Them not listening to the message or not listening to us? We are servants of the most high God. Not managers, not directors, not conducters. It is liberating beyond words to joyfully assume the place we were called to and so fulfilling when we humble ourselves and faithfully follow His will. Don't try square the circle. If we're filled with God's joy for our salvation and His love for the lost, then no amount of inconvenience will overshadow our desire to spread the Gospel and no true friendship will be more important than our pride for no greater love has ever been, ever is or ever will be again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

It's O-V-E-R

Famous last words of who knows who? Perhaps, but I doubt they'll be my last. European exam over, I've been to Tesco and am ready to entertain again. And that's exactly what I'm doing tonight. 7 or so peeps coming round for roast chicken and chips and I'll try whip up some sort of leafy thing to go with it. Tomorrow Big Dave is coming round for dinner as well and if there aint any roast left, he'll be sitting down to a turkey drumstick served with stir-fried mango and mash. Either that or it's good, old chips and steak. Choices, choices... Other breaking news, I have replenished my stash of Haagen Dazs and Popodums (I don't even know how it's spelt), I will start knitting again soon; I have to wait for Priss to come back from camp to teach me how to start the initial looping of it and I have made 8 items out of the goose I bought quite a while back:

1. Roast goose
2. Goose pie
3. Goose soup
4. Goose congee
5. Second goose pie
6. Goose sandwiches
7. Goose noodles
8. Goose pasta

There's more to come... I'm thinking goose giblet for Benson and baked goose neck, more goose soup and probably stew...

Enough about food. Sean said something today that totally caught me off guard. He said that I was most like Monica from the now ex-sitcom, Friends. Cos I cook and clean and clean again and plan everything and am a control freak. I bought more toliet cleaner and blue bloo today cos there's no such thing as a toilet that's too clean. I don't think I'm quite that neurotic yet but I can always work on it. So, Monica, eh? Oh well, she's got a nice apartment and Ross is her brother - one thing I definitely don't mind cos that would be sooo super cool. Imagine having a brother who majored, who had a phD in DINOSAURS!!!! Awesome.

I have not been blogging for a while cos exams took it's toll and I didn't feel up to walking in to FWB to blog but now I'm back in action - in a cyber cafe. To be honest, I do feel like I did know more than the last time I sat for EU law, this morning. I always feel like I've never learned enough and most of the time, I don't learn enough, not because I don't want to but because sadly, I can't be bothered to. I can't remember the last time I really pushed for ultimate exam marks. The night before my first public exam when in Grade 6, when all my other friends were memorising timetables and rereading compositions, I begged to watch The Adventures of Superman III (Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher - I still remember). I have pushed for a home, for a holiday, for editorship in ROAR, for a part in Kings Bench - things that although might not mean much to anyone else, means a lot to me. Exams stress me out a certain amount for a certain length of time but do they mean more to me than going horse riding for an hour? Sometimes I just wonder whether my piorities are in ship-shape order or not. Just before I went to bed last night, I was reminded (or God impressed upon me) that man can roll a dice in a game but the Lord determines the number that comes up.

Do I see my exams as a bit of a gamble? I study what I think I need to get what I want but no more - takng the easy way out, so to speak. Studying 'smart' rather than studying hard, as it is called in Malaysia. The thing about trying to study smart is that sometimes you miss and miss by a long shot. So I went to bed last night, quite satisfied that God has taken even my folly and downfalls and suspect failures and apparent failures into account when weaving His perfect plan into the fabric of time. Amazing. I have rolled the dice, God knows the number and sometimes, as in Monopoly or other board games, the highest number is not necessarily the best number to get to finish the race.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The noon of time...

is usually the moment of 'reality' when I stretch from my bed, loll to the floor and wake up. But not today. Beat Elena to the clock in a rare feat of early morning energy, ate last night's chips for breakfast, then headed off to... study in the library. The morning walk freshened me up a bit more and I started day dreaming; buying the house I currently rent, alternatively being sent a 'raven' in the form of some castle in the English/ French countryside, riding Harley's and riding side-saddle whilst shooting at flying wild fowl with a crossbow. Only just saw Rosanna and news, news, Claire is engaged to Rob.

Will be in the library (tower) til it shuts at 7 and hopefully this time I'll get some studying done. I seem to have a knack for doing everything but. Read up on roles and functions of the EC institutions last night and will hopefully complete freedom of 'something' today. Did you know that 2 bagels from Sainsbury's can last me my entire journey from Waterloo to Oval?

Am having people round this Tuesday for dinner to 'celebrate' my 'last' exam and to bid one of us fare thee well. On Wednesday, Sean and I will be off to Argos to get bookcases and a hoover. I think Thursday is Tom Hutton's birthday.

I reviewed my VHS collection and it appears that I have more than I thought I had; extras include:
> Tomb Raider I
> The Mummy I
> Emma
> Mission Impossible I

I'm still waiting in eager anticipation for Kill Bill 2.

Of scarves and just for laughs

Priss and I were discussing the prospects of 'luring' freshers into the CU by promising a free scarf per membership knitted by yours truly. Colour information shall be shared on a later date, based on the production line down Morley's in Brixton but so far we're hoping to present the colours and patterns available in an a la wallpaper/ hair colour/ paint catalogue. Among other things in mind, the scarves shall bear the name of the manufacturer ie Debibo productions, possibly just shortened to Debibo, and a 'favourite' memory verse shall also be engraved unto it, by means I do not yet have access to. The patterns so far comprise a plain single, double or multiple choice, whether in your favourite colous eg: your football team, bumblebee or zebra prints (anything with stripes really), a random pattern of my imagination or of other sorts. I am trying to mentally count loops and stiches to see if I can make a zig-zag pattern as well. My scarves will even take flight to American soil as I made a bumblebee one for Bubba as a farewell present. Sean has placed an order for a yellow and black scarf, 25 knits wide, in honour of his Wasps team and I'll try get the CU president's yellow and green scarf done by Christmas. But for now, study, study, study.

I face my Waterloo again on 17th August (this Tuesday). The least favourite of my law modules, there can be no failure, no turning back, no defecting occurrences, no mitigating circumstances, no chicken run, no ducking in the sand, no giving up. No choice... ahhhhhh. But God shall see me through and God knows what's gonna happen and for once, I don't want to know. I can think of so many reasons why I failed the first time round.

God wanted to teach me utter dependence on Him.
God wanted me to be less self-reliant.
God wanted me to see that passing isn't everything.
God knew that this would mould me into a better person.
God wanted me to think of other things other than starting a scarf business.
God said that and it was that.
I didn't study hard enough.
God wanted a laugh.

What we deem to be logical is far from what God wants. We see the result as the goal, God aims for the things we will learn along the way. Hypothetical food analogy; we see the cake as the final product and when it sinks in the middle, we might consider it a failure. God sees us pinching and tasting the dough and having a laugh and playing snow angels with the flour with the people we made the cake with more precious than the cake itself, in spite of us gaining a few well-deserved calories here and there. That's what I think anyway.

Watched Seven Seagal's Under Seige last night on VHS... yes, I bought more. My Vhs collection as it stands;
> Beauty and the Beast
> Aladdin
> Batman Forever
> Dragonheart
> Braveheart
>Independence Day
> Miracle on 34th Street
> Godzilla - yes, really
> Jurassic Park I
> Fantasia
> A Few Good Men
> The Rock
> Richie Rich
> Mickey Blue Eyes
> American Sweethearts
> Gladiator (special edition)
> Under Seige

Time for me to go study. Give me a buzz if you're free. Happy Birthday Daniel!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Hiccups and a spoonful of sugar

Okay, so a spoonful of sugar may not cure hiccups. However, rumour from a fairytale witch has it that if one smiles whilst sucking a sweet, the smile should in effect remain on one's face the whole day. Get back to me on that. I tend not to suck sweets ever since I choked (but not to death - doh) on an orange sherbet (which by the way, was given me as a present for going for my music lesson that day).

Made a mushroom/ chicken/ cheese something or other for lunch. I had to pick off green and orange mould that had infested my mozzarella first though. Mould is quite interesting to watch. The way it multiplies and grows and spreads and grows grey, furry stuff... like ear hairs growing out of a ball of wax. Maybe that's what the inside of ears look like.

Found out today that the Maughan library shuts at 7 so will be dragging my tushie from here to FWB later.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cracked my bones a little too hard, too much, yesterday and now I'm feeling quite sore all around. My back muscles seem to have fallen asleep somewhat, my shoulders feel like they should be twisted the other way around and my wrists feel floppy. Met 12-year old Sean yesterday at Joe's barbeque and you guessed it, he's taller than I am. See why I make such a great babysitter? I smell of dewberry today by the way :) and Daryl smelt of Hugo Boss yesterday whilst Jp smelt of baby lotion and aloe. What I'm waiting for, however, is a day when horsey scents find their foothold in the business.

Brian's blog and I quote,
"I can see myself falling into that common trap that bedevils quite a few bloggers - that I must have some sort of ultra-hip, brilliant post ready every other day, so that people would be soooooo impressed."

I think I have a different sort of problem when it comes to blogging. I don't worry about having ultra-hip or brilliant posts cos a post is a post whether longer than others or talk of the frivolous, or of the serious. I don't necessarily have posts 'ready' to post. I just post. Posting to me is a bit like talking to myself only, I realise that if I really did write as though I were talking to myself, not many people would understand what I was going on about at all. There're times when I write massive posts, reread it, and then hit delete. It satisfies me when my thoughts are in order and that's where writing about them comes in. But it doesn't mean I want everyone to know my thoughts thus, the very useful 'delete' cursor. It's fine if people happen to scoop up the thoughts I let loose in the sea of surfing. I'll say honestly though, that I find it pretty amazing if they actually learn anything from it (besides that I have an ongoing flurry of activity in my life and my brain and that I like clean, disinfected kitchens). If I could keep everything to myself, I would. Unfortunately, I am blessed with small hands so hoarding everything is out of the question and the equation.

Watched Kill Bill twice on Saturday and I can't wait for the release of Kill Bill 2. Am scouting round for a projector so that I can watch it big screen style and sink into the full effects of the movie. Watched Queen of the Damned last night and Interview with the Vampire just now. I have to say that the 'mystical' and tinged animalistic side of humanity fascinates me. Witches, vampires, werewolves, unicorns, centaurs, dragons, griffins... I once tried to work a spell, which involved candles and rosemary and would have (assuming I didn't put the fire out and assuming also the wind was favourable and that the fire spread as it would do normally) set my bedroom and the house and possibly the whole row of houses ablaze and that would only just cover property. Scary thoguht. Responsibilities... that's one reason I don't like candles. My own silly fault - as it is with most things I don't like. So, lesson to be learnt, don't meddle in magic. Is there such a thing as being too curious?

I thought of getting a bike to cut my travel time into college by half but I doubt the idea will produce any fruit although it will be fun to own a set of wheels again.

I gave away a tub of my Haagen Dasz last night - Banoffee - to Gemma. Selflessness. Courage. Daring. Chilvary. I dare to do what other Debibos dare not. I don't like Banoffee.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Pain in the offering

Was thinking about the subject title over a bowl of baked-apple oatmeal for brunch. In light of the passing of my gramps and uncle, uncle J and Dr Tagal this year, I was thinking, what does 'pain' really mean? Sadness, grief, confusion, anger, shock, suffering, sorrow, inconvenience, unplanned for intrusions? We can share in pain, can know when someone is in pain, cause pain, sense pain, possibly soothe pain or make it more inflamed but can we experience wholly the pain any one person is suffering? We can share in it and talk about it but only the heart knows its own sorrow.

Proverbs 14:10
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.

On one hand, it seems that God has spared me this year, at least emotionally, because being so far away from home, the full impact of the deaths have yet to hit me. Yet on the other hand, I sometimes feel robbed of grieving properly for them. I wonder why I'm not as upset as I should be and yet I answer my own questions by telling myself God is sovereign. But maybe that's how we're supposed to be; to grieve but at the same time, to take things as they are in the bigger scheme of things. Death is indeed depressing if there is nothing following it, nothing to proclaim after it, nothing to show our whole life's purpose. If we had nothing to show for our faiths and philosophies and ideals and morales, then why are we living now? What would all the pain and obstacles and progressions in our lives mean?

Is saying only one way to God and to eternal life politically incorrect or politically correct? The world is full of undead corpses. Yet Christians are as lights shining out. Imagination overload - I'm veering slightly towards Star Trek and am (in my imagination) seeing bodies beaming with light, flying out of the earth while skyscrappers and man-made structures disintegrate and rot, falling to the ground, filling the air with the stench of their rebellion and arrogance. When the Son of Man comes again, I have a feeling gory (as defined by cinematography) and glorious shall be intertwined.

Job 6:10
Then I would still have this consolation- my joy in unrelenting pain- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Barefoot horsey adventures

Exhausted would be a good way of trying to classify me right now. Tired, full, hot, bla... feeling quite sated at the mo too.

On Thursday night, went round to Carly's with my now second goose pie made from the same goose. Stayed the night and on Friday we walked the whole day. Went on the 'beach' by Waterloo bridge, along the Southbank, London Bridge area, Tower of London, Tower Bridge (several times), St Paul's Cathedral, Covent Garden, some sushi/ Korean bar, Carly's parents' place, the Gherkin, St Helens and etc, not in any particular order. We tried to go to the top floor of the Gherkin to have a peep at the bar up there but peeps are only allowed in if they know someone who works there. Time to take my little black book out and make some calls... Went to 3 pubs in Covent Garden but only sat down in one, had Galaxy chocolate and chocolate mousse for breakfast, goose sandwiches and cherries for lunch and chicken/ bacon/ pasta salad for dinner. Had sushi for tea and Bubba, Carly and I tried sake, which could I think constituted one of the reasons why I got rather horsey afterwards - or maybe that's just me.

At some cafe in London Bridge, I noted that there was a really nice animal calender hanging on the wall and I wanted it. So, I asked the nice lady behind the counter if I could have the pictures from January to July (seeing the August cheetahs were still in use) and surprise, surprise someone else had asked for them!!!! It's quite pleasing to know that there is someone else out there whose bedroom might be papered in animal calender wallpaper. Did I mention that Carly and I walked barefoot almost the entire day? It started off at the beach, not wanting to get our floppies dirty and although our flip-flops did manage to find their way back to our feet occasionally, they stayed off for most of the time. Had ice-cream along the Southbank, which think was a rip-off but then, most things are.

At Carly's parents' place ie Daniel's place, I discovered that hidden away from all the world in some musty-smelling hall, waited a piano to be played. I think I'll be going there quite often now. A place to get away, no one can here me and I get a piano to play :) Time and space TO MYSELF!!!!! Ahhh... that's so important.

Walked to St Paul's and there, it suddenly didn't matter that I was boiling, the atmosphere was humid and that I was in a never-ending 'being hungry' situation. I saw 2 mounted police!!! Both greys were about 15.5 hh and smelt so gooood. Went up to one, started stroking, didn't want to go, he smelt sooo good, I can't express how good he smelt. Is there any other word for good? *Sniff sniff* Mmmmmm.... gooood. Took all his horsey smell in, rubbed his horsey neck, his horsey face, kissed his horsey muzzle, talked his horsey talk... ahhhh. I have pictures too!!! What I want to do one day is have a black and white potrait of a horse and I; the horse looking down, me looking up (naturally), side view. I can't wait.

During the sermon, Jay John spoke of the first of the Ten Commandments and said that God should be FIRST; first in Finances, Interests, Relationships, Schedule and Troubles. When he was talking about interests, he asked the audience/ congregation/ people what excited them the most. I was, at that point in time, rather sheepish cos I remembered how I went gaga over the horses the second I saw them. But hey, I remember that horses are created by God; God and horses - what a combination, no? Elephants? Kangaroos? Zebras? Feline? I wonder what New Heaven and New Earth will look like. Are we all going to be vegetarian? No more horse riding? No more hunting? I'm sure it'll be perfect though, so not worried.

I wonder when it'll be my turn to go to Heaven. Does God have a checklist for me, ticking off all the things I have done ie has she done this, that and the other that I have planned out before time for her to do? Hypothetically speaking, what sort of 'list' will He come up with? Gone gaga over horses? Yes (tick). Parachuted out of an aeroplane? No. Learned this spiritual truth through 'X' process? Learned that X and Y does not make C and that she(I) has(have) to go through A and B first? Learned that when things don't seem to go the right way, according to God, they are? Owned a Great Dane and realising that there is such a thing as being too big?

Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8 talk of the same thing - Not only will God not forsake me. He goes before all my plans, has gone before all my plans and has mapped out my entire life. Somehow it makes being scared of heights rather petty, afterall, God created heights. Like last night, I dreamt that I actually went out in search of a snake cos it bit my horse and my horse was dying and I wanted to get serum to make an antidote. Was the first time I had a dream where I was actually looking for the one thing I avoided the most just because something I really cared about was faced with life or death. Perfect love drives out fear? God has put a full-stop where I still place question marks in abundance. Maybe one day my questions will recede, maybe one day they'll disappear altogether, maybe one day questioning will be a thing of the past and trusting will be the norm.

Friday, August 06, 2004

2 weeks notice

Carly said that Hugh Grant does not have an upper lip and that he looks like a fish when he kisses his leading ladies. I beg to differ. He looks like a frog... but not so slimy... so maybe a toad. As you can probably tell from my on going train of thought, I am very tired and need lots of sleep. Made yet another goose pie for Carly and the honourable Bubba West. I call him Jagar. Finally, he decided to show up. Have been waiting for ages now. Well, more Carly than me. He's going in a few weeks time, then WHEN are we gonna see him next AY AY AY?

Might be visiting Jude in Buckinghamshire late August for possible horse riding. I need more countryside in my blood. Jude, Carly says HI! Other things on my agenda, painting number 79 on the guys' dustbin so it doesn't get nicked. I was supposed to do that a few days ago but with the rain and Carly enticing me off for chinese, I didn't really have the time. Have to clean the house again. Have left it in quite a state lately, no disinfecting or anything, quite a shame really. My bumble bee scarf on the other hand is going well and you should all be able to reap the visual benefits of my hard work in September, if you see me again, seeing I have to retake my EU law paper this August.

The weather is boiling and I feel like cooked rice. My temper is on short fuse and I have to learn to hold the steam in.

Holty, I have a very big bone to pick with you.

It's late, we should all be sleeping, I'm talking nonsense, so will spare you all til tomorrow. Good night.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Poetry

Rub a dub dub,
Three peeps in a tub,
And who do think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker...
But what I want is KFC.

Spells of a dizzy sort,
Not in the least due to port,
Lavender pieces in my sock,
Might be suffering mental block.

Too happy to care about,
Too much meat might lead to gout,
Too much too soon of ice-cream,
The circumstances look quite grim.

Gargoyles and gorgans
Occupy my brain,
Tesco 8p noodles,
I have to refrain,
Lest I become slightly insane,
And mimic a djin in its gothic shoes.

Believe it or not, the plural of moose, is mooses.

Dancing round in ballet pumps,
Do I have a hippo rump?
Ostriches in Timbuktu,
Satisfy me when in stew.

Am thinking of Fantasia,
Of winged beasts and horned creatures,
The darkness settles, no light breaks through...
Then suddenly I think of Chinese food.

Strykos, a name that comes to mind,
But nothing follows his behind.

A bit of news to date, Carls cut my hair yesterday and it's now just above my shoulders in some parts and just below in others. When I look at my new haristyle, the words jagged, sliced, layered and English Teddy Bear comes to mind. I'll leave you to imagine what it has turned out to be but I for one am pretty happy with it - I mean, not everyone would dare go through such a dramatic course of action. by the way, I was Carly's haristyling debut on a female head of hair.

I'm in BIG twouble now...

Carly cut my hair.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Hubba-bubba

The eagerly awaited 'Bubba' has yet to make his appearance in Debbie-world. Hopefully, without any glitches, I'll be able to meet the honourable good sir himself tomorrow and on Friday, he'll be gracing me with his presence over goose-pie.

Watched Seven last night - horror/ thriller - starring Morgan Freeman as detective chasing a psychotic killer obsessed with the seven deadly sins - gluttony, greed, slothfulness, lust, pride, envy and wrath. Deemed (by me) an interesting and rather clever twist of a tale although somewhat boring even though I watched certain bits of it through my fingers (to ensure I get a good night's rest). Bought 2 more books off Phil - firstly, the 2nd book in the Narnia Chronicles and secondly, a story depicting the life of C S Lewis. Master storyteller whom, I'm glad to find, shared the same 'madness' for talking beasts, eerie woods and stories that make no sense (to some) that haunts me now.

Am staying the night at TLC's after attending Soul in the City at St Paul's. Big Dave joined us but he's now safely tucked away in bed whilst we're getting ready to tuck into pepperoni pizza. Carly's gonna cut my hair tomorrow as well - a wonder well worth taking notice of - after I finish crawling out of bed and try to look decent. I'm hoping to get half my locks chopped off at last and 'feathered' to perfection. My pockets smell of lavender cos I've been picking at street lavender to dry them and hopefully, with the help of some 'artificial' lavender oils, will make for myself a lavender pouch to carry round wherever I go, under my pillow, etc.

I need duck-tape to seal the soles of my scuba shoes - four quid was never made to last that long...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Peppercorns and lavender

Am sitting on the guest bed in the guest room in TLC's - Tara, Lauren and Carly. Bubba's gonna be sleeping on it tonight and for an army guy, I wonder if the bright pinks and apricots will be a welcome sight. Tummy is rumbling as I smell the chicken roast spitting away and the sweet aroma is driving my gastric juices insane, heading towards possible digestive overload. I have the taste of peppercorns between my teeth and lavender in my pockets - a good mix of spice and calming intoxicants, heated and laid-back. Had a sun stroke for the past two days or so was understandably, not in peak condition.

Am reading an Oswald Chambers' devotional guide and read something a few night ago that really rings true to me, least of all because it refers to clouds and cloud gazing... When we see dark clouds hovering especially in England, we tend to think "Oh no, rain again." Or if we're slightly more optimistic, "At least the plants will be watered." We all have our own spiritual clouds to deal with. Dark and dreary clouds seem heavy and pointless while light and puffy clouds look like silly balls of cotton wool. We find joy in neither and imagine life without balloons of gassy liquid that blocks the sun from shining through, prevents us from sunbathing and generally gives excuse for people to collectively moan about the weather, "Why me?" Personally, I like clouds. Being a self-confessed country mouse at heart, I prefer watchign clouds and cows to dashign about shoppng no the high street. They allow me to escape, not that I feel suffocated in the life I lead now on earth although I know there's so much more prepared for me in the future. They allow me to expand my imagination, to wander around in childish fantasy and think of the impossible and perhaps, even the seemingly insane, over-idealistic and unrealistic.

Anyhoo, in Oswald, I read that clouds are like the dust God leaves behind when He walks, which I think is a super idea. Can you imagine, anytime we see a 'spiritual' cloud waltzing into our lives, we can think, "Cool, God's walking about." And, not only is He walking about, He's sooo close that we can see the dust flying from His golden sandals... or shoes... maybe sneakers.. combat boots. That's pretty close, don't you think.

By the way, my scarf is 12 feet long.