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Hello and welcome

Some introductory text to go here. Probably. Maybe soon now that I have FTP access again.

The Blog of Life

His First Trip to A&E

The little man had his first visit to A&E today, he even got to go in a proper ambulance an all - something I've never had the chance at, which is fairly impressive given my accident prone track record. I didn't get the chance today being as I was at work and so already two thirds of the way to Addenbrooks so I made my way by bike. It wasn't a sirens job, but apparently the GP was concerned enough with his 200 BPM heart rate and low oxygen (90%) that admittance was called for. Today was the second junior doctors strike and so the A&E waiting room was heaving, but thankfully they were straight into a bed and seen by the consultant before I made it. I arrived to an improving little boy having had some becconaise inhaler in the ambulance with Dr K impressively not panicked. We dosed him with electrolytes and then he had a nap - the first in nearly 24 hours - while I went off to find some snacks and got side tracked by M&S hot cross buns which originally last year saw us through his birthing! when I returned with coffee Dr K had even received some cheese sandwiches, good service and a little while later with his oxygen up and pulse down to 145 we were discharged with a take home baby inhaler to ease his wheezy breathing. hopefully tonight we will get at least a little sleep and by tomorrow he will be on the improving side of this virus.


The Blog of Photos - past 30 days

Out of Focus

How annoying it is when I take a photo of my little boy capturing a lovely expression but out of focus. To delete such photos or not? I can never decide

My Boy. © Nick Bailey
damn you slow focus!


Sprautumn already and only January

It is the end of January 2016 and the cherry plum blossom is out. I noticed this last weekend, the odd emergin flower, but then this week as I've cycled to work, more and more plum blossom has been emerging until whole trees are out. This can't bode well for a plum harvest this year can it? Fingers crossed for no frost/snow even though I like a good blizzard.

spring or autumn. © Nick Bailey
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Do I want one of these? I think I might, but I can't be certain.


Home Made Christmas Tree

For our Christmas tree this year I've taken inspiration from my favourite computer game of all time - Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis (now sometime referred to as ARMA). Some of you might have heard me drone on about it, which I shalln't do now, suffice to say it is most excellent and there is a compass and map with which you can navigate completely by dead-reckoning. In that game, as with many early 3D games, volume was achieved by having two textured plains dissecting each other at 90 degrees. (actually, if I think about it, this is also exactly how one might make a cardboard tree - like the sort we used to have at Christmas which would "flower". WOW! THEY STILL EXIST: Tobar Magic Growing Christmas Tree). I pruned the neighbours laylandii hedge and shoved the branches into holes drilled in a wooden post. So far it seems to be holding up and has taken the decorations. It certainly first the bill making the house feel much more like Christmas than it did beforehand.

2015 Laylandii Christmas Tree. © Nick Bailey
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Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis
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This shouldn't make me as happy as it does

I've found my preferred oil bottles and now I have my own set of own-branded oil. The bottles are from Aldi, their Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil (which is nice and remarkably good value). I'm thinking some people might be getting these bottles for Christmas...

Aldi Rapeseed Oil bottles. © Nick Bailey
rough labelled oil


Sunday Fellowship: Church without the church, but also mostly just church.

When we went down to Southampton a couple of weeks ago we joined our friends for the Monthly Quaker "youth" outing to the Southampton Sunday Assembly. For those of you who don't know, the Sunday Assembly was started in 2013 as an idea to take the best bits of church such as communal singing and gathering together, but without any of the crappy religious bits that obviously makes actual Church rubbish. Here are their four point summary (see, they even shirk the three point sermon):

  • We are a secular congregation that celebrates life.
  • We have an awesome motto: Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More.
  • A super mission: A Sunday Assembly in every town, city and village that wants one.
  • An awesome vision: To help everyone live life as fully as possible.

So we went along and it was just like church. Actually, it was closer to some of the funkier churches in Southampton such as New Life or Vineyard, perhaps even a little CU at a push. There were the funky folk, the quirky outsiders, the poets and the rebels. After an initial slightly awkward meet and greet time with coffee and tea the service got under way with some singing of traditional pop songs (Cold Play's "Fix You" was rather enjoyable) followed an excellent poem on apathy by an American member of the congregation. The main sermon was also good, by local poet come song writer Grant Sharkey about maintaining a line between love and anger (and included the term 'binge thinking' which I rather liked). This was followed by the short five minute talk (which went on for nearer 30) and tried to get us to share nice things that had happened in the past week. We then prayed together. No, I mean we thought together. There was even a collection!

It was good. Nice people and a friendly atmosphere, just like a good church should be and quite often are. It was markedly young, as seen by their twitter banner and I suspect most of my church would feed out of place and not as a result of the lack of God. Indeed I barely felt there was a lack of God, just that no one mentioned him or tried to avoid mentioning him (actually Grant accidentally did). This was simply church re-imagined by young people who failed to be taken along to a CU while at university. Or perhaps they were taken along to a CU, or similar funky modern church where they were prayed at or otherwise intimidated into being saved, resisted but secretly enjoyed the whole thing.

Perhaps I'm being a little facetious. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons why people were there, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if a number were ex-evangelicals, some of them had that look. Either way there is something other actual churches could learn: people like to sing together, and do pretty much everything else that Church does. It's not even the preaching that puts people off, though no doubt some of the older traditional stuff has. We just need to loosen up a little and funk it up. But at the same time I certainly don't want to loose all the lovely silver backs we have in my local Church - they bring such warmth, love, vision and stability that should be treasured. Also they are most certainly not all stuck-in-the-mud bores who don't want change. Lets all sit together and learn from each other. It is hard to be a cohesive living church of all ages, but God really can help, even if some have to pretend not to have heard about him.

PS. The idea of giving new people different coloured mugs so everyone knows who's new and who's not is a wizard idea.


Listening to: Michael Nyman
Where The Bees Dance
From: NYMAN: Piano Concerto

23 knife wounds
Recently:Slipped while sharpening cleaver and sliced deep right across the proximal interphalangeal joint

£ 3.20
Change from our first outing with baby

I love ecover

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