Joined April 2017 Message
  • Day49

    Goodbye Europe, Hello Australia

    June 6, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Even Heathrow seems quiet today,
    And so are we.
    Glad for a lifetimes worth of experiences
    Ready for the lifetime of loving and serving that lay ahead (well, after a few more mini holidays in the next month).Read more

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  • Day48

    Uncle Fred

    June 5, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    I reckon many people have an uncle Fred, but you don't have mine. A character all his days, he now lives quietly on the edge of London. This was our first chance ever to see him in his own home, town, and of course pub. The bonus: discovering a family tartan; Galloway, my grandmother's name and heritage. Thanks Fred.Read more

  • Day47

    Still enjoying London...

    June 4, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Sunday. Hours after, the terror ripples on through the city. But it does not stop us. We all go quietly, gently, respectful of the pain felt across this community.
    For us it meant worship and lunch at City Temple ( Norwood's old church). Then we headed up to Camden. Funky markets, winding canals, ancient churches, and sprawling Regent's Park all in a few hours.
    We also had dinner and a delightful catchup with some old friends... Thanks Edi and Raff for a wonderful evening.

    Just a day to go now.
    Read more

  • Day47

    Praying for peace and people

    June 4, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    Hi. Just a moment to say we are ok but praying with, for, and in this city again. We happen to have been to all three eventful places within this city in recent days.
    G+H xx
    P.S. A terrorist attack here has left at least eight lives, many wounded, and a city stirred and steeled. We were in the area two days beforehand; here's my photos from nearby. Picaso's weeping woman seemed fitting too- she is in Tate Modern gallery, ten minutes walk away.Read more

  • Day44

    I wasn't planning to dance, but...

    June 1, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    That's exactly what happens when special moments come around, like my absolute favourite singer songwriter does an impromptu acoustic concert. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. In London. Ten minutes away from our unit.
    The concert was on his day off before a gig in Northern England. It was only organised four days earlier. Maybe 300 people there...

    There wasn't even a set list of songs . Jon literally asks people to write requests and pass them forwards on to the stage. That leads to a stage of concert passes, bus tickets, store receipts, letters to others, whatever people had to write on...
    It was highlight on highlight, celebration on celebration. Time to live life forwards, for delighting in life's song.
    Read more

  • Day43

    Creative beauty - God's, and St-Martin's

    May 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We saw PLENTY of churches. St Martin-in-the-Fields could have been easily overlooked amidst busy Trafalgar Square. So glad I was encouraged to look harder. Transformation lives here - creative sculpture, public art, buzzing cafe for hospitality, and meaningful engaging faith. We lingered nine times longer than I anticipated.Read more

  • Day42

    Back where we began. London.

    May 30, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Lots to love in London. Up high and down low, inside and out.

    We stayed in Citadines in Holborn for three nights, then at an Air BNB in Pimlico for four nights. Oyster cards meant travelling on the tube or the busses was easy enough. One afternoon we walked from Holborn to Leicester Square to St Pauls and back.
    Next day was mostly with our niece Jess, strolling through Covent Garden and Oxford St. I then shot through to the Imperial War Museum. Nowdays this summarises conflicts across the 20th century, including the cold war and recent conflict in Afghanistan and Syria. A large Holocaust in IWM display presses home that tragic reality.
    Thursday saw us head to the Shard via London Bridge [soon to be touched by tragedy]. We walked the south bank and dropped into Tate Modern.
    Then I tried to buy some concert tickets, which made fresh plans for the rest of the day...
    Read more

  • Day42

    Leaving our home away from home.

    May 30, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    It had to happen. After almost forty days we handed back our camper van. We (mostly) enjoyed 4000kms and almost 80 hours of driving. We've been quite comfy with soft beds, hot water, shower, kitchen, separate toilet, fridge, even central heating.
    The camper gave us the freedom to make our plans as we went, stay longer or move on as we wish. The continent loves campervans and with lots of free campsite options we paid about $20AUD per night on average at campsites.
    Now staying in London: that's a different story...
    Read more

  • Day40

    Winning the war, one byte at a time.

    May 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    It was early in World War 2.
    The problem : break the code that communicates Hitler's strategic plans to his generals. These messages were coded AND encrypted by an unknown machine. This code was so hard it made the usual German Enigma code seem easy as a paper bag.

    The Solution: boffins + machines*

    The boffins (engineers, code breakers, linguists etc) invent the computer to reverse the encryption. They do it without EVER seeing the original machine (the Lorenz SZ 42).

    In the process they invent the electric powered computer in the first dedicated computer facility.
    The movie doesn't tell you half of it...

    All this is now rebuilt on site at Bletchley Park where the secret allied intelligence work happened.
    It has become the national museum of computing. Computers of all eras are there, including the old school retro stuff I've used over 20 years... XT computers Palm pilots, Segas...

    My inner nerd, which isnt so inner, had a ball.

    *(which we now know is the long standing formula for making nerds)
    Read more

  • Day39

    Making Yorkshire + Yorkshire making me

    May 27, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    How to make a Yorkshire city. Take Melbourne's Hawthorn with all its narrow wriggly streets and dense housing. Put it on top of Mt Dandenong. Add all 'Footascrays' factories down below. Leave it all out in the rain for 400 years. It's green and sandstone and chimneys and shopfronts all around.
    The countryside though, well that's entirely God's sweeping hand, lightly decorated by our ancient stonewall fences and some bemused sheep.

    Yorkshire making me: that's God's particular way in my story, in the forming and loving that flowed to me through many generations of Yorkshire folk. Here both my mum and dad learned simplicity, generosity, and striving. From here dad and five of his eight siblings stretched their wings globally through action in WW2 . That ultimately led to emigrating to Australia, which led to me.
    Here mum and dad also learned faith in God's vast grace. That gift continues now as well.

    I do so wish I could tell mum and dad what I'm doing and seeing and feeling. That opportunity has passed, as now they have both died. Yet for now I can still share with my dad's brother and mum's sister. The looks and mannerisms and values have all prevailed across the decades. I can still sense this distinctive Yorkshire life in them as we listen laugh and wander. And I sense this Yorkshire life in me, making me still.
    Thanks mum. Thanks dad. Thanks God.
    Read more

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