Well that was a pretty hectic weekend, and unsurprisingly, I wasn't exactly in
a rush to drag myself out of bed this morning - good thing that working
arrangements here are pretty flexible, with no real clock-watching and most
people on this corridor getting in after me anyway regardless of when I arrive,
within reason... As a matter of personal pride though, I really do try to be
in on time as much as possible; in my early days here, I could be in any time
after eight, but things really have slipped since.
Friday evening I did a bit more of the web pages for the church and gave Zoe a
quick phone-call, then Phil invited me out to the Peartree Bridge to watch a
band with one of our friends playing. Completely manic at the pub, with
half-hour queues at the bar and cracked glasses aplenty, but the band was well
worth hearing - pity they mainly do private functions only, but with no less
than eleven people on stage, typical pub rates simply don't pay the rent, and
our friend Steve is doing this stuff for a living.
Saturday was busy too, popping into Maplins in the morning to buy a bit for one
of the Mono machines. They didn't actually have any of the parts -
non-volatile memory chips - in stock in Milton Keynes, but they've ordered one
from head office to be sent direct to Norm, and it should be installed later
this week, all being well. From Maplins it was on to Andy and Rosie's house,
and from there, on to Andy and Rosie's house - ah, an explanation is called for
here, I suspect. That's right, this was the weekend of the final move into
their new place, so it was all hands to the deck for a few hours to get the job
done once and for all, Alan's loaned 7.5-tonner coming in very handy.
The afternoon was spent doing boring shopping stuff, though - suffering from
classic late-stages HMV syndrome as I do - I also got a couple of "new" Moby
CDs to keep me amused, which are quite good but nothing too special; maybe
they'll grow on me some more. In the evening, there was a Generation X video
games knock-out tournament at the Upper Room. I got knocked out in the first
round of Tekken 3, but did a little better on Gran Turismo and Athlete King,
but nothing exceptional. All good fun though, even if getting beaten by girls
on two of the games - including Tekken 3! - was a bit humiliating...
Sunday... ah yes, Sunday. What a day. Forced myself out of bed nice and
early, but found the heating had been practically turned off, so had to brace
myself for getting up and showered and everything in the freezing cold. Zoe
arrived in good time, and we drove up to Wolverton to get set up for the
morning's worship. The monthly celebration meeting was really very good, with
David Pawson giving one of his typically excellent talks to a packed house; I
think Zoe was very impressed, and not at all overwhelmed by the scale or style
of the event. It was also a first opportunity for Zoe to hear me playing live,
which I think she enjoyed a lot.
Lunch was at KFC in Stacey Bushes - much as we both like the Swan's hot hobs,
it was nice to get a bit of variety, and I still maintain that KFC Tower
burgers are probably the most filling fast food available. In the afternoon,
we went out for a lengthy stroll up the canal - taking in such exciting sights
as the David Lloyd centre, and Milton Keynes's apology for Disneyland - then to
Willen Lake, ignoring as far as possible the Peace Pagoda, although admittedly
using the drive to the Buddhist monastery to save getting wet feet crossing a
muddy ditch, and thence back to Springfield via the Woolstones. Very cold, but
beautifully sunny, and I think the exercise did us both some good.
We grabbed a bite to eat back at the house, just as a load of YPF guys and
girls descended upon us to have a collective giggle at an edited version of
their previous night's video camera frolics - thankfully they hadn't kept me
awake, despite doing a lot of the filming at the house - but we managed to make
an escape fairly quickly to walk round and see Colin and Rachael for a bit as
we had arranged earlier. After a few initial teething problems - which I can't
say I was too surprised about, oddly enough - Zoe and the girls seemed to hit
off with each other, and everyone was getting on very well by the time we had
to make our way to the evening meeting.
The evening meeting was at least as good as the morning's, with David Pawson
speaking again, this time studying the book of Jude. One of David's key themes
both in the morning and the evening was that of taking biblical passages in
context - he laments the division of the books of the bible into chapters and
verses, "convenient" though it may be - and the logical extreme of that is to
take the bible a book at a time, and nothing less. Thankfully, for time's
sake, Jude was a short one, but it was also one that covered many of his key
concerns in ministry. Again, I think it all went down well with Zoe, which was
a major relief - I was fairly sure things would be fine, but was impossible to
be absolutely certain beforehand.
After the meeting, a big bunch of us descended on McDonalds for a late-night
feast, taking advantage of the last few days of their cheeseburger special
offer - though the forthcoming Italian promotion's looking very tempting too, I
have to say, especially the cappuccino sundaes! - then it was finally back to
the house for the final farewells, and to send Zoe on her way back down to Iver
... until next weekend, anyway, and we all know what next Sunday is, don't we?
All in all, a great day yesterday, and a great weekend - shame it's left me
absolutely shattered, but it was well worth it.