Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Over to you...

So I suddenly realised that although my next choir concert is still two weeks away, I'm away most of next week and hence I am calling upon your help. I am the choir's usual solo spot (I qualified for this role by being under 55) and so I need to rustle up a few items. The remit is that it mustn't require too much practice for me to sing and play the piano for myself and it should be pretty audience friendly, I tend to go for songs from the shows/old american songbook types. Therefore, I thought I would just go with some of my golden oldies but I would spice it up a little by letting cyber space decide! One item is already up my sleeve and I'm very excited about it although I'm under strict instructions to keep it secret. I reckon I'll need another item for the first half and then two for the second half. Here are your choices ladies and gents...

As long as he needs me - from Oliver
Adelaide's Lament - from Guys and Dolls
Luck be a Lady - also G&D
It's a Fine Fine Line - from Avenue Q
The Sound of Music - no prizes for guessing what that's from
I Have Confidence - also from the Sound of Music
Anything else you've heard me sing before (except 'It Don't Mean a Thing' because we do that as a choir)
Something from a hymn book

So it's over to you! I'll update the post if I remember anything else I can pull out of my musical hat. And if you have any ideas of things which would be fun to sing in the future, please suggest because I'm always looking to bulk out my repertoire!

Thanks blog buddies!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Busy-bee-ness

So as a student, I was pretty much busy all the time, but since returning to Cardiff it's taken quite a while to establish an outside-of-work life for myself. Think I'm starting to get there now though, and it really excites me. I'm the type of person who generally thrives on being busy and seeing lots of people and spending quality time with them. This week I have enjoyed that in bucket loads!

Last Saturday: Pottered about with my Mum in the afternoon and then went for dinner with my super lovely friends Alex and Sarah in Bridgend in the evening. A condition of me going was that I took games with me, so I did, and I even threw in some individual Baileys and Chocolate Cheesecakes that I made for good measure. We had an ace time and played a very intense game of Chinese Checkers - which Alex was shocked not to win, hehe!

Sunday: Church followed by lunch with friends at a lovely lady called Aunty Jenny's house. Lots of laughs and tasty food. Then in the evening I run a little Youth Group, last week my friend Meg talked to us about her recent trip to Israel and Palestine and the situation there which was very enlightening. And we played cards too which is always fun!

Monday: I unexpectedly got to meet up with an old friend from school. She comes from Norway so I really don't see her often, in fact, the last time I saw her may have been in Norway, and I went there in 2007, eek! Anyway, we met up for food and had a lovely catch up and then she joined me and Meg for a dance class which was really fun.

Tuesday: Mum and I went to see my godmother for her birthday but she wasn't there so we just left a plant outside her house! Then onto choir and the sheer fun of singing "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair" in barbershop style with 28 ladies I love very much!

Wednesday: Step aerobic-ing followed by a 'nice barbecue'. Well, it was nice, but it wasn't a barbecue, since the sky decided to start emptying just as we were meeting. Instead we had a nice of beanbags, burgers on the floor and big discussions! Oh, and I find out that apparently I'm scary, is it true?

Thursday: Just went to the gym, no biggy!

Friday: Went out to a 'Ceroc Freestyle' with my best friend Clare, which is potentially one of the funnest things you can do, period.

Today: Adventure on a rickshaw followed by Wagamamas, what more could you want?

Buzzing.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Joy - as taught by Mr P.Nutini


I love this song, so I thought I'd take the 'Pencil full of lead' test for contentment levels, why not try it yourself? - 

1, 2, 3, 4     
I got a sheet for my bed,    Got
And a pillow for my head    Tick
I got a pencil full of lead,   Free stationery at work
And some water for my throat    In abundance
I've got buttons for my coat;     And zips
and sails on my boat       Not got
So much more than I needed before
I got money in the meter and a two bar heater    General central heating
Now it's getting hotter;     I live in Wales, but I like rain too
Oh it's only getting sweeter    I made some cheesecake on the weekend
I got legs on my chairs and a head full of hear      Tick tick
Pot and a pan    Got got
And some shoes on my feet;    Not right now, but I'm inside
I got a shelf full of books       Love it
and most of my teeth    it's true
A few pairs of socks     and tights
and a door with a lock     I do
I got food in my belly     Mum just made me tea
and a license for my telly     Though I'd rather not watch it
And nothing's going to bring me down     No sir-reee
I got a nice guitar    I don't, but a piano and flute are pretty good
and tyres on my car     4 of them
I got most of the means;    eh?
and scripts for the scenes     I've got the Bible
I'm out and about,      Every night so far this week
so I'm in with a shout     Me? Loud?
I got a fair bit of chat but better than that    Me? Cheeky?
Food in my belly and a license for my telly    As above
And nothing's going to bring me down     
Nothing's going to bring me down


But best of all (best of all)

I've got my baby      I don't, but I dont want one right now
She's mighty fine and says she's all mine     I'm sure she is Mr N, enjoy her.  
And nothing's going to bring me down



Life's pretty sweet!

And what really struck me when pondering the words is the following:

Joy is when what you have got is more important to you than what you haven't.
Truest joy is when having Jesus is more important to you than anything else you have or haven't got.

Thanks Paolo :)




Friday, 15 June 2012

Pet Peeves {2}

So I am breaking with tradition today, and sharing a 'Pet Peeve'* with the blogosphere, even though it's 'Thank God For' Friday! Shocked? Trust me, this post is about to get more shocking.

I only feel that it is safe to vent my frustrations at the subject of today's rant now that most of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations are over. Now you're probably thinking, 'Oh no! She hates the Queen or street parties or ... dun dun duh ... worse still, tea!' But fear not, I like all those things an appropriate amount. What I really can't stand though, and they're just about everywhere at the moment, are those 'Keep Calm and blah blah blah' posters/mugs/umbrellas/pencil cases/coasters/some other rip off.

At this point I was going to insert a picture example, but looking through them I got so cross with their ridiculous pointlessness that I couldn't bring myself to share one. Sorry.

You might be a big fan of this nostalgic bric-a-brac, and pretty shocked that anyone might not be taken with them too, but I'm going to try and convey why I dislike them so intently. So why do these things get on my nerves? Well, for one, as I said, they're everywhere! And there's nothing less likely to make me calm down, than being bombarded with commands to keep calm! Quite frankly, I was calm, I was fine, I was in no danger of being anything but calm, on the verge of what you might call 'serene' even, but when I see these slogans (i.e. all the time) I become frustrated and annoyed at this ethereal voice telling me what to do with these somewhat less than subliminal messages.

What I don't have a problem with, is the original purpose of the original poster. It was designed to keep morale up in early WW2, when there actually was a situation worth worrying over. They didn't end up being distributed in great numbers but that's by the by. The point is that even suggesting that to 'Keep Calm and Buy Stuff' or similar is totally disrespectful to the people the poster was originally intended for. Britons in WW2 were facing town bombings, young men going off to fight in their tens of thousands, children being evacuated to strangers' homes miles from home, extreme rationings and so much more. OK, our country's not perfect today, but what have we got to 'keep calm' about that really compares to that?

So there, I've said it, I can't stand them, they're annoying, insensitive and manipulative. I know they're popular at the moment and I'm sorry if I've offended you because you own some of this memorabilia but frankly, they get on my toot!

*If you're new to the blog, I am not a super angry person honest! But Pet Peeves is just an occasional spot where I vent my frustrations on something I find annoying :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Treasure

Some words that speak into my thoughts at the moment:

'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

If you want to read around them, then check out the verse 21, chapter 6, book of Matthew, the Bible.

Now just in case you thought treasure was just for pirates, it can take many forms. It might be totting up those pounds in the bank, or padding out the wardrobe with pretty things, or getting a highscore on a game you're hooked on, or being appreciated or successful or attractive. There are even plenty of things most would consider good which can gain the status of treasure; working hard, doing charity or church work, fighting for worthwhile causes, finding a spouse and starting a family. 

So where's the issue? Those things all sound pretty peachy right? Maybe we should go back to the example of pirates, think of all the things they might sacrifice or set aside in order to find that treasure; families at home, legal and moral standards, each other! Simply in the hope that finding buried treasure would satisfy all their deepest longings. Yet the reality is, that the treasure they searched for probably doesn't exist, or at the very least not in the form they imagined it to. Furthermore, even if it did, there is no 'treasure' in the world that can truly satisfy all the desires and frustrations of a human heart.

At this point, it's easy to say, 'Oh those silly pirates, what were they thinking?' But the truth is, I am a silly pirate too! Now I might not have a silly hat or eye-patch or wooden leg or parrot but hear me out. I find it way too easy to find myself preoccupied with things that I suppose would make me happy; buying a house, finding a husband, being the best dancer in the world to name but a few. I think to myself, if I just had 'insert treasure here' then I would be so happy and a much better person and I'd tell people about Jesus all the time. But would I?

Well, only if I set my mind on one treasure particular, that being the very One who said the words quoted at the start. The more I get to know Jesus, the more I appreciate the massive lengths he went for me so that I could call him my big brother and his father my Father, the more I fill my mind with all the promises that he eternally keeps, the more I meditate on the facets of his marvellous character, then the more I will discover how satisfying real treasure is and find fulfilment in living the way he knows is best for me. 

So I need to daily abandon the treasures I store up here on earth and find myself delighted as I dwell on the true treasure who is in Heaven.

What about you?
Do you find yourself treasuring things which can't fully satisfy?
How do you make Jesus a treasure in your life?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.