Apr 082011

Hebridean PrincessFor the last five years, every time there has been ‘holiday’ break, I’ve never really had the opportunity to take advantage of it. Quite apart from the lack of funds, it seemed that every Christmas and Easter break was spent either revising for exams or doing stuff for placements. It has been a long time since we’ve just had the luxury of saying, “Fancy going away for a few days?” In fact, so long that we had forgotten what to do with the opportunity.

However, I needed to take a break from work, it happened to be during the school holidays, and so we thought we’d go for it. Nothing fancy, just a few days away with nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do. A few days of easy touring around the West Highlands fitted the bill perfectly. Except it didn’t quite pan out that way.

The original plan was for three of us to go away and then there was the sudden realisation that a concert had already been booked for a night right in the middle. Problem easily solved – just two of us will go and then all get together afterwards. That all went to plan and Inverness was the agreed (and already booked) rendezvous. But it also meant that the planned sight-seeing didn’t work out and to see everything we ended up retracing our steps, adding to the driving mileage, but ensuring everything got fitted in (I’m sure I said something earlier about not having specific commitments… hmmm!).

It did actually work out for the best. Our third day was a washout – seriously heavy rain. But, as we were mainly driving, it wasn’t too big a deal. The forecast for our last day was much better and so it turned out to be. So now we got to see all the things we couldn’t because of the rain. And they were worth waiting for – very spectacular scenery in the main. All-in-all I ended up doing 800 miles of driving, 350 on the last day alone. But it was great just getting away.

So, here’s where we ended up going:

Falkirk – Erbusaig (we stayed 2 nights in the Tingle Creek Hotel – very nice) – Skye (as ‘around’ it as possible, including a trip to Dunvegan Castle) – Plockton – Lochcarron – Applecross – Torridon – Kinlochewe – Inverness (overnight – then return journey) – Kinlochewe – Torridon – Applecross – Lochcarron – Kyle of Lochalsh – Armadale – (ferry) – Mallaig – Glenfinnan – Oban – Crianlarich – Callander – Falkirk

Photos are here.

Jul 192010

It’s been almost a month since I last blogged anything (and then, only briefly). I’m not on placement at the moment, so there are fewer things to reflect on in that regard; I took a break from the academic work to catch up on some house maintenance that has been sadly neglected over the last few years; I’ve been on holiday with the family (photos can be found here); I’ve even found the time to read some non-theological books.

I suppose I could have blogged on some of these things, but then I didn’t really feel any great urge to do so – a bit of a break from blogging as well, I guess. Stewart has been covering the issue of resting and priorities with recent posts on ‘always available‘ and ‘busyness‘ – a useful reminder that we need, and benefit from, taking time out from our routine and the demands that are placed upon us. It’s also not been an issue of having nothing to have a rant about (OK, I admit it, I love a good rant) – there have been numerous things which have got me grumping (mostly associated with misrepresenting the Church of Scotland, misunderstanding the Reformation(s), and generally being utterly contradictory (that’ll be church services then). But again, I haven’t felt the need to rush off and blog about it (well, I was tempted, but really couldn’t pluck up the enthusiasm).

But perhaps the main purpose and benefit from this blogging/academic/placement interlude has been to clear the decks somewhat in anticipation of a panicked and pressured dissertation-writing drive. I’ve put off the writing for as long as could get away with as ideas and thoughts and readings all bubbled around in my head. But now it’s time to get that lot down on paper and see where it all ends up. So, chances are, this is not really an end to the blogging interlude, but it’s certainly an end to the timeout from academic obligations.

Aug 102008

Another long gap between updates but my excuse this time is that I have been on holiday. and then had some catching up to do. Add to that two weddings and a joyous day spent trying ot get to a meeting at 121 and I’ve not had the time to think about blogging.

First wedding was a young couple from the church. It’s funny thinking back at how they met. They were both helping (as teenagers) at a summer mission. Richard drove us all mad asking how he should go about asking Yvonne out. But it all worked out eventually. The wedding was quite something. Everythikng from doves to horse-drawn carriages. It may sound a bit over-the-top but it was actually a fantastic day. One of the best weddings I’ve been to.

Then it was off on holiday to Center Parcs in Holloand. Weather was great (mostly) and a fun time was had by all. The return ferry crossing started a bit ominously. It was very windy and the sea was a bit choppy but it never amounted to anything and we had a smooth sailing.

Next was the trip to 121. What a nighmare! it was the morning after the torrential rain and so the lines around Waverley station were under water and what should have been a 35minute trip was over 2 hours. All that for a meeting to ‘introduce’ me to the next stage of the candidates’ process – 30 minutes of meeting in total. Anyway, did bump into a fellow new college student afterwards who was having coffee with another new candidate so we joined them for a good blether (gossip, whatever).

Then another wedding. Neighbours this time and only the evening reception, but it was a good party. The evening buffet even had bacon rolls and brown sauce to go with the usual fayre of sannies and sausage rolls. Excellent!

Anyway, that’s the bulk of the stuff and nonsense.

Still ploughing my way through NT Wright on Paul and ordered a few more of his books from Amazon. I think some of his work will form the basis of my dissertation which I’m still trying to get a handle on but is slowly becoming clearer. I think it’s still going to be looking at the ressurection body – the idea that we don’t go to ‘heaven’ but rather become part of a new (renewed) creation, one more closely allied to heaven.