Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I said i would say more about GB, so here it is, more stuff.

The greatest gift GB gives is the train of thought it inevitably kicks of, though my train often forgets to stop at the stations labelled 'reality' and 'practicality'. As a festival GB does inspire creativity - even if it is a case of disagreeing with people, or not understanding. Last year my involvement with Between the Lines made me actually think about whether or not i wanted to get on with this writing business or just keep it a hobby. I may have thought about it, but it still remains very much a part time thing. Since last year, though, i have continued with my column for eChurch Active, have done a few reviews for eChurch and a couple of other organisations, i have seriously got down to thinking about my creative life and what things i do which can inspire and continue that, and i have done a lot more reading - a huge amount more - which i have enjoyed very much indeed, thank you very much.

This year my inspirations were Gareth Higgins, who has written a book called 'How Movies Helped Save My Soul' who i was fortunate enough to interview for one of the sessions, it made me feel a) a little less guilty that i enjoy films so much and b) a little more inspired to watch and read films with a critical eye - not necessarily for style but content. Book is good too - visit for review of said tome. I was also inspired to read some more stuff by Prof David Clines about Biblical Criticism and reader-response theory and all that kind of thing - David wasn't at the festival, but in order to prepare for my own session on 'The Bible as Literature' i read some of his material, as well as a whole load of other things - and got a lot out of that preparation. Other than that, some quality time with my daughter, and less but still good stuff with my son, made the weekend special.

I am inspired to keep up the writing, and also have been gently prodded to get on with this book about 'Christian Basics from a contemporary perspective' that i have been thinking about for some little while now. Two friends are particularly good at reminding me to get my act together (though they never say it quite like that) and just get on with it - though as you can tell i am very good at waffling about it rather than doing it.

Also inspired to contact a few magazine editors and get some work published about Christianity and Culture, about being normal and being Christian, about humour and faith - all the stuff that interests me and more. Will follow that up after me 'oliday in the next couple of weeks. For now, i have parishes to care for and though GB may inspire it doesn't take long to come to earth with a bump (closely followed with a hop and a skip and some fun)

Doubt i will be publishing with this much frequency again, though i am feeling 'up for it', as some might say...particularly if they are stuck in a 1990s timewarp.

At the heart of Greenbelt

Had to add another link to piccy of the wonderful yellow and red stripey tent....

A Bloggers Prayer

One of the things that Greenbelt has begun exploring is this whole blogging malarkey, there were session in between the lines and as part of the wider programme. One of the interesting things which i have read about since coming back from the festival was that Andrew Jones has worked on a 'spirituality of blogging', part of which is a prayer for bloggers. All a bit deep for me at this particular time as my sleep patterns start to readjust to full on family and work life (staying up til 3.30am and getting up again at 8 not recommended with two kids, a wife and six parishes to consider). Anyway, i will devote more brain time to the subject when feeling a little more together, until then you can read the prayer by clicking the post name above or going to

Andrew Jones has a blog at well worth looking at, even if you don't buy in to quite the same perspective.

I should warn you, there will be some more Greenbelt stuff, and various thought processes inspired by GB in the coming weeks. If I ever sleep enough to get things together.


Was going to print the latest online test - mentioned in previous post - that told me i was a genius but i can't figure out how to correct the html that is missing from the cut and paste

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

so much for an ego boost ;-)


Another year at Greenbelt - and i am shattered!

A great festival, more people than we've had for some years, huge variety and diversity of humanity who come and take part/watch/drink tea in the vicintiy of a huge variety and diversity of events, seminars, music, cabaret, dance, art, stalls, literature, panel discussions, worship, prayer. The list goes on.

After 18 (or perhaps 19, my maths is bad despite my genius IQ - tried another IQ test which i will post on this blog just because it does my ego a huge amount of good, despite the fact there is no substance to such a test). Anyway, after a nearly 20 year attendance at Greenbelt - consecutive, mind you, none of this year off namby pamby nonsense - i realised i have a somewhat more mature view of what goes on than I did previously. By this i mean i can pick and reflect and choose and dismiss and consider and enthuse and whatever in a way i couldn't over previous years. It means that i felt more duriing Greenbelt this year and did less running around trying to get to talks or bands or events. It means that i put a lot of effort into putting together the sessions/interviews/panels/reading groups i was a part of or leading and that the putting in of effort was even more worthwhile than the actual sessions themselves. It means that not getting to see the wonderful, radient, beautiful Kendall Payne and her wonderful, radient, beautiful voice and sublime songwriting wasn't the major disappointment it might have been in previous years as i had the chance to catch up with a good friend and talk about some stuff which was very important whilst Kendalls dulcet tones wafted around the background.

It was a good festival, though there were some parts i found difficult - the panel debates were hard work - partly because of the shape of the venue, partly because Holy Joe's works best when not amplified (!), partly because some of the conversation seemed more circular than need be, partly because i think we missed some of the crucial issues we should have talked about re: forgiveness and 'diy church' which were the two i got to. Kudos to HJs for putting on the gritty debate in the way only it can, but needs work to make it work next year.

I loved the stuff at the literary venue 'Between the Lines' - see the new link on the right of the page - which really did seem to have a diversity in itself, but was a well thought out programme in a well run venue - I don't just say that because I spoke in BtL but because it was a delight to work with the people there - professional, friendly, concerned with the subject matter, engaging with the speakers. Not that I have every had anything other than that from my previous experiences in any venue at GB but the identity of BtL gave it an extra edge which also gave something of a 'value added' vibe. It also had a very groovy indeed red and yellow striped marquee - pictures on the GB website, if this works, at -,,,

All in all a great few days.

Should mention now that there is a link to technorati below thiswhich is part of the virtual collage for GB 05 - not yet really got to grips with this stuff but thought i would try to join in.

More soon

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's not a scam!

Joined up to the free ipods thing, where advertisers get you sign up for a trial offer and you can then refer others who sign up etc etc. If you get five others to sign up you get a free ipod - so i thought i'd have a go.....

It doesn't involve any buying, just a trial with, say a DVD rental company that you have to cancel after a few weeks. It is legit - all a desperate act on the part of advertisers, capitalised on by a company which does genuinely give away ipods if you get five others to sign up. Don't take my word for it, see what the BBC had to say

So, if you have a mo - try it. I'm always up for getting freebies wherever possible, who isn't?