Monday, February 02, 2004

What a weekend...

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Proverbs 23:12

I read this the other night when I was doing devotions; it caught me on a certain level... I don’t mind school but lectures and papers are by no means my favourite things in life. When I sit in my 2pm lectures right after a morning at the library and a huge lunch in the dining hall, I don’t always apply my heart or ears to what’s going on. I listen, yes, I take notes, yes, but it’s more of a reflex thing, I haven’t been actively applying myself to these lecturers that I’ve been so blessed to be able to hear. Thus my confession. It’s easy to get through classes, it takes a lot more to apply myself to them.

On Friday, Sam, Cara, Erica, Julie and myself took part in the chapel at Regent’s Park College. Sam, of course, played the bongos, while the rest of us sang. There was also someone playing the cello, the flute, and two on the guitar. The lady who was directing chose a great selection of songs. All (except the last one) were sung in English but had verses for Spanish, french, Dutch, or Swedish. The last song we sang is called “Siph’ Amandla,” and I have no idea what language it’s in. The main verse is:
Siph amandla Nkosi (English, roughly, I think) O God give us power
Wokungesabi And make us fearless
Sioh’ amandla Nkosi God give us courage
Siyawadinga To walk in Christ’s way

I really enjoyed this song quite a bit, it’s South African, I think, so the beat to it was phenomenal, it was so much fun to sing.

On Sat morning, we gathered together and drove out to Warwick Castle, and managed not to get lost on the way. This place is breath taking. It rained pretty much all day, but it somehow managed to fit in with the atmosphere. I believe the castle was ordered to be built by one King Richard sometime in the 11th C, and has undergone additions and restorations for the past 10 centuries. Our first stop was the dungeon, where we managed to lose Tina. In the armoury, on a shelf behind a piece of glass was Oliver Cromwell’s death mask. Quite strange to study a play like “A Man for All Seasons” that has these people in it and then go to a place and walk through the halls of the castle that they visited and whatnot. One of the Earls of Warwick was a presiding judge over the trial of Joan of Arc, and is buried in St Mary’s church in town. Coming from a country so young as Canada, I feel quite insignificant in this country in which so many centuries of history has taken place. Odd.
My favourite part of the day was standing on one of the older towers, looking out on the countryside, when the sun was shining behind the clouds. The grass looked both hunter-green and neon-green where the sun rays came down, the trees all looked like they came out of a fairy tale book, and I almost had to hang onto the railing to avoid being blown down the hill. The air was mild but it sprinkled rain every now and then, and it just felt so fresh and renewing.
The drive home was another adventure... we were apparently on the right path until we got to a round-about and none of the signs seemed to point to the town that we wanted to get to. So, we drove around again, to see if we could figure out which way to go. And again. And again, and again and again and again. I didn’t start counting right away, but I know that we went around at *least* 18 times, in all probability it was over 20. This does nothing good for the stomach, let me assure you. What made it worse was there was a gas station on one of the corners- after the 15th time around, we started trying to convince Doug to pull in and one of us would ask for directions, but, nothing doing. Finally we pulled over, checked out the map, pulled back onto the round about for another two circles, made an educated guess, and continued on our way. Ten minutes from the church in Charlbury, we ran over a curb, which wasn’t so bad, but the second curb we went over two minutes later was a little higher, there was an awful noise, and then as we continued on, Sam and I decided that there was an unnatural noise coming from under our seats at the back of the bus. And seconds later, there was a smell to accompany this noise, and both grew stronger very quickly. We suggested to Doug that maybe we should pull over so that we didn’t have to be sitting right on top of whatever it was that was going to blow up, but he kept driving till we got to the church... by this time it smelled as if we were having a bonfire made of tires in the back. Upon exiting the vehicle, we found that the back tire was smoking and had blown completely. But, we arrived safely.
Sam, Tina and I went to Joel’s place for the evening and watched BlackAdder the 3rd for a couple hours, which is always good fun.
Sam’s quote for the night (to Tina):
“If I was a sailor, and you were a porpoise, and I was drunk, you’d look like a Mermaid.” (way to go sam)

This morning, (today being Sunday) Tina, Sam, Joel, Erica, Julie and I all went to the Catholic mass. It was the first Sunday Catholic mass that I’ve been to, so it was quite interesting. There was so much incense that it was hard to breath sometimes, and they say the Nicene Creed as opposed to the Apostle’s creed, but it was quite a nice service. The Arch-Bishop’s right-hand man for Oxfordshire was there today, and he really did look a lot like Father Todd, which really wasn’t a good thing cause that show’s really not the most wholesome... But the people were all so very welcoming and had us come to a little luncheon social after lunch, so that was really encouraging, it’s a great parish community.

After this little lunch, Joel’s hosts had everyone in our group over for a phenomenal lunch. They had all sorts of hors d’ouvers, and then we sat down to a meal of chicken, stuffing, potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, chilli, stew, salad, bread, and wine, followed by desserts including grapes, after eight mints, eclairs, strawberry shortcake, and peach cheesecake. It was nothing short of amazing. This afternoon, I watched my first Rugby match on TV, and I must admit, it’s quite a bit of fun to watch, provided that there’s someone there to explain it. The don’t stop the clock except if there’s an injury, so it takes about half the time of a football game. They don’t stop the plays every two seconds, they just let them scrum for the ball and whatnot.
Tomorrow we don’t have lectures, it’s Groundhog’s day, and I’m not sure what the two have in common but I won’t complain. I was going to go to London but plans have been changed so I’ll be working on a paper instead... And then probably go to Joel’s at night to watch Groundhog’s day- can’t skip that. And happy 21st birthday to the beautiful Natasha Moore! Enjoy your day of eating junkfood, ladies!

Sorry for the length today, I do have a tendency to ramble sometimes...

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