The year so far…

It’s been a while, so here’s a bit of a catch up!
Yesterday I went to Liverpool Cathedral to hear Rob Bell talk about his new book – ‘Love Wins‘. I’d seen him do a Q&A at Greenbelt last year, so was quite interested to hear him in person talk about his new book which has already caused a bit of controversy within the church.

It was quite bizarre because quite a few influential people were highly critical of it via Twitter, even before the book had actually been released, so I decided I’d rather make my own mind up, rather than listen to emotional ramblings from people who can come across a bit arrogant at times!

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I went with Tom Green from Vinelife, and met up with Dave Bateman (who’s now living in Liverpool), and I also bumped into Tim Follin and his wife who were both there too. The place was pretty packed, and it was really interesting to hear his thoughts, but even though I think some of the stuff he said was quite though-provoking, I’m not totally sure I agree with all the points he put across.

After he did his main talk bit, he was ‘interviewed’ by the host of the evening, but he wasn’t really very good at it and asked pretty rubbish questions.  And then they invited people from the audience to ask questions, but again I thought there were a lot of missed opportunities, and Tom went forward to ask a question, but they wrapped up just before he got a chance to which was a bit annoying!

I bought the book afterwards, and I want to read it myself to see what I reckon – I certainly think it’s good that he’s causing people to ask questions about it.

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Also, two weekends ago, I went over to Ellesmere Port to celebrate John Roberts’ 30th birthday at Frankie & Benny’s at Cheshire Oaks.  I’d not seen him for a while, because he now doesn’t live in Manchester, and there was actually quite a decent turn-out for his birthday meal considering there was a bit of travel involved!  It was a good night – and it was nice to hang out and spend quality time with some of the guys I don’t really see that much of any more.

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And a couple of weekends before that, Steph had a birthday picnic at Tatton Park, so I went along, but for the first bit it was basically me and Dave with a load of people we didn’t know!  So we went for a bit of a walk around the grounds until a few more people that we knew turned up!  It was supposed to be ‘Birthday Fun In The Sun’ but someone had forgotten to tell the sun to turn up!  It was quite cold for a picnic, but we still had a pretty good laugh!  There are some photos from the day here.
Back in February, I decided to pop over to Wales for the day to go to some of the Reach weekend away.  I’d gone a few years ago for the whole weekend, but not been to anything since then, but it was also a bit of an excuse to catch up with some of the old gang!

To be totally honest, it did feel a bit weird when I first turned up, and everyone was already in the middle of the first morning session, so I hung around at the back until there was a mid-morning break.

Throughout the day, I mostly hung out with Dave – he’d texted me first thing to say that he felt like the oldest person there, so was wanting me there to help tip the age balance!
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Was a really enjoyable day in the end… we went for a walk up one of the hills near Cefn Lea, and some of the stuff being spoken about was pretty interesting – it was a bit of a trek back in the early hours of Sunday morning though – it’s not ideal driving a long distance after a long day!  Photos from the day are here.

Right back to January now, and I got a step closer to the kitchen being finished with Rob giving me a hand fitting a new floor.  It’s a light laminate floor, and it looks really good with the gloss white units and wood-effect worktops. Now all I’ve got to do is sort out some splashbacks, fit a narrow piece of worktop down the side, box in some pipes, and get a new washing machine and fridge freezer… so not much really!!

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Also, January saw Tom and Alice’s wedding at Platt church in Rusholme.  I’d agreed to video it for them, and I nearly fell at the first hurdle when the day before, the church said I needed to pay for a wedding videographer licence to be able to film in there!

Anyway, I managed to buy a single licence to allow me to do it, although the church was a bit of a nightmare to film in because it has tightly-packed pews, and it was difficult to get tripods to fit anywhere!

The reception was at The Lowry, and it was a great night. Got some really cool footage as well, so hopefully the video will turn out alright!  There are some photos here.

Now onto more house news! The kitchen isn’t a million miles off being finished, but in the meantime, I’ve also been having the bathroom redone!  It’s been totally gutted, and I’ve had the door to a cupboard blocked up, which has given me back the corner of my back bedroom, and allows me to move the bath onto the other wall with the shower unit where the door used to be.  It’s still a work-in progress, but it’s getting there!

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On top of all that, I’ve been dieting a bit since New Year – using an iPhone app called MyFitnessPal, which you use to keep a food diary so that you can see how many calories you’re eating each day, and it’s a real eye-opener!  It’s quite hard work, and not sure how well I’ll be able to keep it up, but already I’ve lost just over 2.5 stone!  I really need to get into a good routine with exercising, and eating at regular times, but often with work that’s quite difficult!  I’ll see how it goes anyway!

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