Tag Archives: wibmeet

Mini wibmeet

I had a very lovely time this afternoon meeting up with fellow wiblogger Semele for tea and cake (mmm cake). She’s over here from Oz and we’d tried a few times to come up with dates to meet and we were both starting to worry that we wouldn’t manage it before she returned home. But hooray we did and very lovely it was too to meet her. Unfortunately can you believe I left my camera at home?! I know she has a picture of the cake but you’ll have to wait for her to post that.

And now I’m off out to have pancakes (made by a friend from church). Mmm pancakes.

Greenbelt

I’m here, we’ve had the wibmeet, flapjacks were consumed (all of them!), I’ve been to a talk, done some worship, seen some music, met loads of people, not slept as it was so chuffing cold last night, ate plenty, drank some beer, not sang hymns yet but will probably do so (with beer) tomorrow. All in all I’m enjoying myself 🙂

It struck me at the wibmeet (which HD also attended) that we (well, I!) was talking to lots of different people about our life, and because it was Greenbelt and it’s great to see people it was all “yeah, I live here, he lives there, it’s a bit stressy, big smiles, pass the flapjacks” sort of thing. And it was wonderful and fun and all the rest of it. But he’s the one who sees me when I’m in tears because I’m so exhausted from all the travelling and stressed about all the work I’ve got to do and all the rest of it, and it struck me that life online and IRL is really complicated, because both of these aspects are true. I *am* knackered, I do get tearful, but I can also be really energetic and animated when I’m talking about it. I suspect I need to get a bit more balance, so it’s not just HD who’s stuck with the whingey me and not just faraway friends who see the happy smiley animated face. Either that or have another beer 😉

Anyway – how fantastic to see everyone again. I am aware (hours after the event) that I forgot to give Dave’s sister money for the tea. I hope she wasn’t too much out of pocket and I shall look out for her over the next 2 days. But this is just to acknowledge my embarrassment and that I didn’t mean to sponge!

We’re seeing Seth Lakeman perform tonight. Am very very excited about that!

Wibmeet at Greenbelt

Just in case anyone hasn’t seen the latest on the wibboards, the meet scheduled for Saturday at 4.30 at Greenbelt at Dave and Maddie’s van isn’t now going to happen as the van won’t be there. But we’re still looking to carry on with the meet, so at the moment it’s looking like same time – Saturday 4.30 – but at the Organic Beer Tent, unless anyone has a suitable tent that could host us instead.

I have made flapjacks again. Unfortunately the recipe is in Scotland (unlike me!) so I had to make it up a bit, and they’re a bit soggy and crumbly. But the crumbs are delicious 😀

We’re off tomorrow evening, so I doubt I’ll update this again, but just so you know.

Public service wiblogging – glad to be of service.

Greenbelt (part 2)

Back in Wales now (I head back to Moldova at stupid o’clock tomorrow morning). HD is working from home so we are doing our familiar his ‘n’ hers laptops in the living room thing.

We actually left last night so I am blogging having actually had a decent night’s sleep (Sunday night/Monday morning’s sleep was not decent at all, too cold and our tent was on a lumpy slope so I had a ridge in my hip and kept waking up halfway down the tent). I’m trying not to think about going back tomorrow (argh, too much to do!) so will think about Greenbelt instead.

For me, I think this has been my best Greenbelt for ages. I encountered God, I met good people, I chilled out, I relaxed, and feel like life is pretty good right now. I’ve mentioned the Trance mass already which was wonderful, and other highlights include Kando Bongo Man (utterly joyful and infectious), a very interesting seminar by my old vicar on genealogy, the wibsite get-together (including getting together with kerensa of Lost in Translation and Real Life fame and fortune), meeting up with London church people on Monday, amongst lots of other highlights. Oh and Beer and Hymns! How could I forget Beer and Hymns? It was fabulous, and I agree with sophs that it really was worship at its best! Disappointed to miss Peterson Toscano though, everyone I know who went raved about it. But the queue was so long, it was full up long before we got anywhere near the venue.

There were some cool kites yesterday too, I took lots of pictures. I think the rainbow ray was my favourite, though the gecko was cool too.

Lowlight was probably the salsa – we were persuaded by a friend (who also went) that the salsa lesson was fun, so we pitched up to find the CMS tent heaving with people, and to be honest I didn’t think the teacher was very good – she probably hadn’t expected that many people, and seemed to be assuming either that everyone had at least a bit of a clue of what to do (we didn’t) or that we would pick it up really really quickly with minimal instruction (we didn’t). After not very long I had all sorts of flashbacks to school PE lessons when I was just as uncoordinated and dorky and just-not-getting-it, and so we left because I thought I would end up needing therapy if I stayed. So that was sad, but maybe we’ll try again some other time.

I think I need to write some streams of consciousness in my (occasional) (well, that’s an exaggeration – virtually unused more like) written diary about what happened inside this year, and maybe I’ll give you the selected highlights of that some other time. But yeah – a good Greenbelt this year, very good indeed. Looking forward to next year already.

Photos

Here are some photos from the last few weeks.

Firstly, the shipmeet at Cardiff (which includes a picture of HD and I which I rather like) (well except for the fact that I look plastered, must’ve been the mineral water): here.

Here’s a couple of photos of the National Coal Museum of Wales, which I think give a bit of an idea of the atmosphere of the place:

National Coal Museum of Wales (Big Pit, Blaenavon) National Coal Museum of Wales (Big Pit, Blaenavon)

Newport's latest bridge

Right is a picture of the newest footbridge in the town where HD lives. It’s about a year old, I took lots of arty shots of it as it rather lends itself to that sort of thing. It’s certainly very very distinctive!

Benjamin at Caswell Bay, Gower

And here are my photos of the day I spent in Swansea and Gower. The one on the left is benjamin at Caswell Bay, shortly before he leapt into the sea fully clothed, and the second is of alice at Rhossili, showing the lovely golden sands and perfect beach (it was a bit cold though!).
Alice at Rhossili, Gower

Finally a picture of the assorted wibgathering – my picture hasn’t come out that brilliantly, I think it was a bit bright.

Swampea mini wibmeet

[How’s this for speedy service, just 7 mins after Miss Lisa’s comment: l-r ee, alice, me, nessa, lemly, benjamin]

Swampea wibmeet

Today it was over to Swansea to see the lovely Alice (plus benjamin obviously). We had a lovely day – first of all to the seaside (at Caswell, where benjamin demonstrated his rather good jumping fully clothed into the sea technique), where we had lunch (b didn’t have too much of his, but he made up for that by scarfing food from both me and Alice! Especially the olives, what good taste that boy has. I didn’t get into olives till I was in my 30s). Then while b was reclining and sleeping off lunch, Alice and I had a quick walk along the cliff path at Rhossili (which I’m *sure* I’ve been to before, I’ll have to dig out my old photo albums and hope there’s not too many hideous pictures of me in leggings in amongst the mid-90s pictures where Rhossili, if I was indeed there, will be found). Then we had a quick scenic drive round Gower and a detour to take a peek at her wedding reception place, and then we went to nessa’s and Ian’s and heathcliff’s for tea, where we were joined by lemly and another friend of theirs who obligingly took photos for us. My pictures of all these various adventures will appear next week sometime when I’m back to my own computer. It was lovely to meet everyone, I really enjoyed myself.

Tomorrow I’m hopefully finishing off the marking – hooray! So normal moaning service will resume then no doubt.

Here’s a couple of Count Your Blessings to be going on with, copied from the long list further down the page:

Monday 26th March 2007
Every month more than 2,000 people are killed or maimed by landmine explosions. Most are civilians who are killed or injured long after hostilities have ended.

Give 20p every time you return to your home safely today.

Tuesday 27th March 2007
In Bangladesh, it is estimated that a million people are forced out of their homes each year by river erosion. Many can never return.

Give 20p for every insurance policy you have.

What’s this in aid of? Count Your Blessings is a daily Lent plan to help raise funds for the work of Christian Aid.

[PS My Hero: HD has just ejected a spider from the living room. It wasn’t as big as Smudgie was, but it was very scuttly, in that 8-legged way they have, so I was a bit pathetic and made him catch it and evict it. I wish spiders were cuter – I like the idea of them, and I know they’re good and eat bad bugs and whatnot, but they’re still scary.]

Greenbelt – more details

My biggest musical highlight this year was Courtney Pine. That man is awesome! We also managed to almost be in the front row in Centaur, and almost in the middle, which meant that for large parts of his show it felt like he was playing just for us. See what I mean? :-

Courtney Pine 2Courtney Pine 3

At one point, as well as the soprano and tenor saxes, he played a silver electronic-y sort of thing shaped like a sax and using sax fingering which (so I’m told) hooked up to a synth, which meant that it had the most amazing range (the clarinet has a range of nearly 4 octaves which for a woodwind instrument is pretty impressive, but this thing had high and low notes far in excess of that). It also had a beautiful clear sound, and he played a modern reworking of a Thelonius Monk tune (I think it was called “Around Midnight” or something like that) which was so beautiful I just wanted to cry.

The other highlight had to be the utterly bonkers Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. I probably shouldn’t confess this, but I took a couple of little surreptitious videos of them on my camera – mostly I just have snatches of songs, but got almost all (apart from the beginning) of their wonderful encore, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Sadly I wasn’t able to get the utterly surreal “Theme from Shaft”, which was just superb and probably the highlight of their set for me, although a ukeleled “Yes Sir I can Boogie”, “Life on Mars” and “Slave to the Rhythm” (Grace Jones! On the ukelele!) were also something else (to put it mildly). Here’s a not very good picture of them:

main stage

I also saw – and enjoyed – King Creosote, a Scottish band who are plugged quite a lot up here but who I’d never got round to hearing before. That’s also sorted out a birthday present dilemma – a friend of mine (who never reads this) (I hope) would really like them so I shall sort out getting a CD of theirs for him.

I also renewed the classical highlight from a couple of years ago, when I’d sat and watched the Festival Orchestra and Scratch Choir do Faure’s Requiem with iGeek from the Ship. We’d both enjoyed that very much, so this year, along with a few others, listened to them do the Mozart Requiem which is one of my favourites (it also reminds me of Amadeus, which is one of my favourite films).

As predicted, I managed to miss Cara Dillon because I was in the shower queue. I had thought I’d have time to do both, but having been in the queue nearly an hour already when her set started, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it. That queue was unbelievably slow – I was half expecting to be a cobweb-covered skeleton by the time I was actually able to get my tickets. It did seem to bring out something of the Blitz spirit in people queueing though, and it was nice to be unexpectedly be behind some Scottish shipmates I’d not seen for a while. And hooray for the YMCA workers who dished out umbrellas.

Talks-wise I (yet again) hardly got to anything. I did see Dave Tomlinson, who is always good, though as I’d not slept very well the night before (woke up at 5am! For no good reason!) by the time he was mid-way through his talk (on Psalm 23) I was nodding off, even though he was very good. I just couldn’t help myself.

Worship-wise, it sounds like having a shower during communion wasn’t such a great idea this year. I’d heard so many moans about last year’s communion service that I’d felt really smug that I’d booked a shower at that time, but this year as I came out of the shower and made my way back to our camping area I passed by the main stage and must admit it sounded so good I did regret not going. I mentioned previously that the only worship I’d managed to get to was Rev Gerald, which was (obviously) a time full of anointment and ministration, but I did feel the need to try to get to something vaguely seriously worshippy, and was going to go to a contemplative worship thingy just after I blogged. I did go …. unfortunately it turns out that it wasn’t happening, and was a misprint which wasn’t supposed to have been included on the programme, so I ended up in the Organic Beer Tent instead. I really will do more worshippy stuff next year. Honestly. (I’m such a great Christian)

Like last year I also did a couple of shifts on the Angels desk – the Angels are the people who support Greenbelt with regular financial giving, and I enjoyed my time talking to festival-goers and hopefully signing a few people up. It wasn’t as manic as last year – I remember being hoarse after every shift last year, but it seemed much quieter this year, although apparently they signed up as many new Angels this year as last, so that’s good.

And last but not least, the wibmeet – wine (lots thereof), crisps (lots thereof), wonderful people (lots thereof). Roll on next year – as I mentioned to Dave and Maddie I’m really hopeful that I will make it to GB07 despite officially being in Moldova then but just flying over for the festival before flying back for my last month of fieldwork. So flapjacks probably won’t happen next year either, as the tupperware is more than a bit on the big side for my luggage, but I’d be really disappointed to miss it.

So overall verdict: much enjoyed, fantastic, will do it again 🙂