Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Pope Bl. John XXIII

According to Which 20th Century Pope Are You? I am like Pope Bl. John XXIII apparently. Thanks to Snr Prozzillo for that.

Other than assessing my similarities with various heads of the Catholic Church I've spent a lot of time recently studying Atomic Physics, and I've found that I'm really enjoying it. OK so I'm a geek, but please don't stop reading here.

Last Tuesday I bought myself a bargain electric toothbrush for £8 (half price, score!) in Boots, and I'm proud to announce that I've survived a whole week without accidentally spraying toothpaste round the bathroom. :)
Suggestions on how to celebrate the milestone would be much appreciated...

Isn't it strange how little things can get you down? I've just found out that earlier a group of friends had travelled to Oxford to go punting, and didn't even bother to tell me they were in the area. Nice to know that I'm valued...

I shouldn't whinge really, as life is actually very good.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Back from The Darkside

Lunchtime. Time to update my blog.

I spent yesterday in Cambridge visiting friends and listening to my dad preach in Downing College chapel, which was fun.

I travelled there by bus for a change - normally I would get the train but I felt the need to add the dreaded X5 to my list of experiences. So Saturday evening was spent on winding A-roads and enjoying endless roundabouts in Milton Keynes and towns with Cornish names where none of the buildings appeared to be more than a few weeks old. Apparently 3 1/2 hours was quick for the X5, which can take up to 5 hours (!). Still, it was cheap - only £4.50 courtesy of megabus.com.

On arrival I enjoyed sitting outside in Downing with some wine, catching up with the one and only Cousin Dave and watching the resident hedgehog. Nice.

Thanks to Mark, Esther and Simeon for taking time out on Sunday to see me; much appreciated guys, and all the best with your exams.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Daay Wun in the Big Brover Haus

I've only gone two days since my last posting, and I've already accumulated a lot which I wish to share with you.

It's been a busy couple of days, and though I've been quite productive in the library I've also enjoyed being quite relaxed. Yesterday the sun was shining (the weather was sweet, yeah) and three of us went punting mid-afternoon. We punted from Magdalen down the Cherwell, mooring up at the point where it joins the Isis to watch Summer VIIIs - that's the summer intercollegiate rowing regatta for those of you outside the bubble that is Oxford. I very much enjoyed a pint of Pimms and lemonade at the Brasenose boathouse before punting back to Magdalen and playing a bit of croquet. It all sounds quite poncy, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.

I'd always thought that Bar Med and the Spice Girls were two pleasures enjoyed only if you were a teenage girl, but I was proved wrong last night. Zoo (Oxford Student Union's entertainment arm) have regular student events on a Friday at Bar Med, and I headed there last night to celebrate with some friends who'd finished finals. Maybe it was the free cocktail on arrival which did it (or maybe not, given that it seemed to be orange juice) but I had a really great time. And the music did improve as time went on, with such classics as 'Don't Stop Me Now' by the legendary Queen, and "Somebody Told Me" by the Killers.

I see that Big Brother 6 is underway. In fact I caught a bit of it before I went out last night and had the dubious pleasure of seeing the last few housemates enter. Hmmm. From the guy who thinks it's cool to be called "Science" to the male belly dancer who tried so hard to make an impression by turning up in stilettos and make-up I was left wondering where on earth they find some of these people. And how thick was the "unlucky 13th" candidate?

Walking through town over the last couple of days I've seen a lot of cool people - the guy with the hat juggling down Brasenose Lane, and the African drummers and dancers on Cornmarket were of particular note. I've also been stopped by a Mormon, and seen a group of Muslims running a stand giving information about Islam, and I can't help but wonder where the Christians are. I'm not advocating the stereotypical 'hellfire and damnation' street preaching, but if the Muslims can have a low key stand providing information about their faith, why can't we?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Afternoon Ramblings

One of my friends finished finals at lunchtime today and I took the opportunity to head over to Merton Street to meet him. It's quite an experience, and the street was rammed with all sorts of people meeting finishing finalists - ready with champagne, balloons etc. Even the silly 'Code of Conduct' (even confetti is banned) didn't affect the atmosphere as much as it could have done.

After a celebratory pint of Hoegaarden in The Turf my lunch break became rather extended, but it's back to work now - in the All Souls library, I think.

Thanks to Davey for starting the trend of leaving comments on my blog. I've had a few problems with setting permissions for leaving comments, but hopefully I've solved them now and you can all have your say at the click of a button.

Ignorance Is Bliss?

Today I want to share my thoughts about something I've been reflecting on for a while.

If you invited me to a party, or a concert, you would probably think it very rude of me if I simply ignored the invitation. So why does it seem acceptable for people to ignore invitations to events which have a Christian theme?

I am a practising Christian and believe that the Christian message is of great importance; it's something everyone should consider. I find it infuriating when some people ignore invitiations to church or to events which might give them a better understanding of what Christianity is about. If people don't want to come I just wish that they'd say so.

Personally I've been thinking about why some people like to simply ignore us as Christians and I think that there are several reasons. For some people I'm guessing we're just an irritant which might go away if ignored. For others we're probably seen as a waste of time and space. And I'm sure that there are some to whom the Christian message is of interest, but fear getting sucked in and becoming like "one of us" with all the unfortunate stereotypes that's perceived to involve.

If you're not a Christian, I'd love to hear what you have to say on the matter, so please leave a comment below. I'd also love it if you would take some time to consider for yourself the Christian message - being a Christian is not about going to church religiously every Sunday and singing "I'm so joyful" in the most miserable voice you can manage. It's not about being self-righteous, and it's not about wearing open-toed sandals. It's purely about accepting Jesus, and I'm sorry for the times that we as Christians have screwed up and made Christianity conform to the stereotype; everyone makes mistakes...

A slightly cheesy summary of the Christian message can be found here and if you're not sure about the existance of God, why not pray and see what happens?

Right, preaching over. Sorry if that was a bit heavy for 10am on a Thursday, but I did feel the need to get that off my chest. I look forward to reading the comments...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New York Transvestites

Who's heard of "Walk on The Wild Side" by Lou Reed? It's a classic 70's track containing such lines as " Shaved her legs and then he was a she" and "And the colored girls say, doo do doo do doo do do doo" which is probably not very politically correct but if you've heard the song it's all quite funny.

Anyway, I heard it for the first time in ages whilst visiting a mate on Monday, and decided to download it from tescodownload.com, expanding my eclectic music collection yet further. Listening to it closely however I became intrigued by the meaning of the lyrics. It's probably actually quite obvious, but being naive I did a Google search, and Songfacts.com informs me that
"This is about transvestites who come to New York City and become prostitutes. "Take a walk on the wild side" is what they say to potential customers."

So there you go...I still think it's a cool song however.

And on that happy note I'd best go and write up my computing project.

One small step for man...

Well, here I am. I have landed on the Blogosphere (what a cool word...) and am now setting up camp. My reasons for having a blog seem to be largely down to my lemming like desire to jump on the bandwagon, but I hope as I share my thoughts that you, dear reader, will find something of interest here in my little corner.