Sunday, May 28, 2006


Beer bottles and hands and tealight candles!
Marielle and Nathanael. (Marrying on December 16)
Tealight candles make up a heart... although a few of us thought it looked more like a pacman. :)

Lately I have been pondering the idea of marriage, quite possibly because my friend has just got engaged (photos from last night's engagement party above). Obviously marriage can be a fantastic thing and I am really happy for Marielle and her fiance, Nathanael. All the same, I wonder if perhaps we Christians take marriage a little too far, especially when we're NOT married.

So many Christian girls I've met are so desperate for a boyfriend that I find it quite sad. They also seem to have the attitude that you can't go out with boys unless you know they're The One. I have a feeling that because these days you hear so much of the ideal of waiting for marriage or marriage is so special and so on that we get the idea that to be a whole person, we must be married, that marriage is crucially important to the Christian faith.

I have a feeling we need to have some more self-worth as separate, worthwhile human beings. A significant amount of Christian marriages break up these days - so what's left over of us if this happens to us? I think we should view marriage as a partnership focused on God and what we can do for him together. At the very least many girls are going to be very disappointed when they discover marriage isn't some constant paradise.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I know I'm good

I have written a wonderful story on my other blog - if you want to see it in its original context, This Is The Link (or it's also a link on the index of this page). It is so beautiful I just had to share on here as well. :)

Allie sat in the corner of the crowded bar, strangely detached from the crowd of dancing people. She sighed and bemoaned her fate. "Oh, woe is me," she cried to herself. "Oh, misery! Oh, calamity!" She watched the dancers, whizzing by, brightly coloured and enjoying themselves, ignoring the dark blighted shadow in the corner that was Allie.

Just then, her eye was caught by a tall mysterious dark cloaked handsome man (who looked peculiarly like Mr Darcy or perhaps Aragorn) who had stopped dead in the door, staring at her amazing beauty.

"Oh, he sees me like no one else sees me!" she cried. "I'm in love!!!"

They ran into each other's arms, pushing aside all else, and stood kissing passionately in the middle of the room while the dancers pulsed around them. "Oh, my love!" cried Allie, her voice breaking. "You have saved me from a fate worse than death!"

He tucked a tendril of hair gently behind her ear and kissed her tenderly on the mouth. "I would save you from thousands of fates worse than death if only I could hear you say you loved me!"

They left the bar, walking on air, entwined in each other's loving arms. He bent down on one knee, surrounded by the lights and noises and smells of the city, and gazed pensively into her face. "My love, I don't even know your name, but will you marry me?"

"Yes, oh yes!" cried Allie in raptures of delight.

But just then a black car with evil gangster druglord people in it drove past and shot him. He was dead!!!! "Oh, woe is me! Oh, misery! Oh, calamity!" screamed Allie, and in her anguish promptly shot herself with the gun the evil gangster druglord people had conveniently dropped out of their car. She sprawled on the street, and a crowd slowly gathered. Their blood mingled as their hearts bled and their souls floated away - together at last... together forever.

Doesn't that just make you want to sob with anguish??


I am swamped with work but feeling pretty good about life. How weird is that. Obviously I'm not happy that I have a test, an essay and a short story due in two weeks. Yet somehow I am thriving on busyness. I've been roped into being one of the new 'organisers' of youth group and suddenly find myself trying to start up a kids club as well but somehow I find it quite exciting.

I'm also enjoying the fact that I'm making a few non-school-related friends at uni. I actually see people around and say hi to them and even study with them or something now; would never have happened last year. The day before last, I actually sat down and had an hour-long conversation with a guy I've never really talked properly to before. Am I gaining more social skills or something? I used to be totally unaware how to meet people. I don't think I've gained much awareness but maybe everyone else is also sick of walking around uni alone without seeing anyone they know and has decided that desperate times call for desperate measures. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

flat whites are the best coffee ever

I was shocked recently to learn, via blog comments, that Patty doesn't know what a flat white is!!!!!!!!!! And then I remembered that when my brother travelled round the States, he couldn't find a flat white anywhere. I feel very sad for you, Patty. :) A flat white is a coffee. It's got more expresso in it than a capuccino, but depending where you go, it can be very strong or only moderately strong. I like mine strong.

I had a lovely weekend in Hanmer with seven of us from my small group. The pools were wonderful, as usual, but we also got fantastic weather. It's really pretty there in autumn; it all looks very alpine. On Saturday, Amy (one of the leaders) and I went shopping while the others played mini golf, and the boys did some mountain biking. Then in the evening we went to the pools, and watched the end of the Super 14 semi-finals at the pub across the road (yay, the Crusaders won! Finals in Christchurch!). Sunday we just hung around and talked and went for walks and so on, which was also nice.

Had my Linguistics test today. Would have gone okay had I had time to finish the last question; isn't that just so annoying?! I think I'll still get a good mark but an excellent one - nope.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the springs

Weird photo I know! It's my sister's kitchen window from outside in the early evening with the flash turned off.

I am going to Hanmer tomorrow morning with my Navs small group. Hanmer's claim to fame is its heavenly natural hot springs, but as well as fermenting in hot water all day there's many other things to do!! (Within reason.) One of the boys is very keen on getting up early on Sunday morning and walking up a mountain to see the sun rise. It sounds nice but maybe not. :) It'll be nice. Most Navs small groups go to Hanmer for a weekend at some point in the year. Last time it was great, I felt like I got to know my group so much better, so fingers crossed for another great weekend. Only problem is I won't be able to study for my test on Tuesday but what the heck, there's still Monday, and I'm not that desperate to study!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I have spent an entire day at uni studying for my linguistics test and researching for my next history essay, on Gorbachev. (I find it fascinating thinking almost all this stuff I'm researching happened in my lifetime and I didn't know a thing about it at the time.) Now I am sick of that, and so am hanging around waiting the last couple of hours before my creative writing workshop at 6pm. Am nervous nervous nervous. I've written a story that is basically non-fiction with changed names, about what happened at the time of Mum's death. I'm not sure if it was just good therapy or if it's a good story as well. I'm unsure how I'll cope if they start criticising it or saying it's unrealistic or anything. Last time the teacher said she didn't think I knew my character well enough and why was I writing this? If she says that again I'll probably scream. :)

Monday, May 15, 2006


The novelty of winter has already disappeared. We have had pounding rain all Sunday and today, Monday, it's continuing, and it also happens to be freezing. Yuck. Winter was nice for a while, being able to use electric blankets and dress up all nice and snugly. Then I realised it's also wet and cold and miserable and that I don't have enough nice snugly winter clothes and no money to buy new ones. :( At least Christchurch is generally so dry that it can't continue like this forever... *crosses fingers*

I played in a concert yesterday, a fundraising one for the recorder ensemble I'm in. It went really well, I think. I also got to play in a smaller group of Renaissance recorders, and other old instruments like the shawm (old oboe), dulcian (old bassoon), and cornamuse (I don't think there's any modern instrument like the cornamuse, or crumhorn - suffice it to say that it sounds like a duck). So that was fun! I was quite stoked because my sister and her husband and two boys came along, and my dad, and two people from church. Usually even Dad can't come along. It's really nice when people take an interest in things that are important to you, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I feel like I know some of my friends' interests in sports etc inside out but they're not even aware I love music so much.

Photos: some more from Castle Hill, on my trip with my father. Note Dad's shtylish mustard coloured coat; he refuses to get a new one.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

long time no see

... well, not really, but it does seem like a very long time since I graced this blog with my presence... like a week, perhaps?

My week has been - interesting. Monday and Tuesday were absolutely frantic - I was basically only at home to sleep. At the start of the semester I thought perhaps I'd enjoy this timetable, with no early morning lectures and some evening ones; I have fast become velly velly sick of it. Tuesdays I am at uni from 10am to 5pm, go straight to Music at 5:30, from that go straight to Navs (Christian group) at 7:15, don't get home till 11:30ish. I feel slightly under pressure too, having been given the job of co-leading our church's youth group this year. The guy who's leading it with me is very enthusiastic about it, which is great, but it makes me worried about how much time I am meant to put into it.

Wednesday-Friday, by comparison, are very lazy, but I'm still recovering from Monday and Tuesday so I spend basically the whole week being totally exhausted. Next weekend I am going to Hanmer Springs with my Navs small group which I should be very excited about but I have a feeling it means I will have absolutely no rest from this Monday until next Wednesday.

Sorry to spend all this time complaining. It really isn't that interesting. Good things that have happened this week:
- I got to play volleyball at youth group last night. I hardly ever get to play my favourite sport so I had such a great time.
- I read The Da Vinci Code and realised that as well as being historically wacky it's very badly written; yippee! I was expecting it to be at least amazingly written, Harry-Potter-style - but no. Next time when someone treats the novel as if it's the gospel truth I will have actually read it and know what I'm talking about!
- On Thursday night my sister Viv rang up as it was her birthday and we had a really good, long talk. Yay!
- On Thursday the light began to dawn midst the darkness of Linguistics class. I am beginning to understand.
- On Tuesday night I got home from Navs and lay in bed with the electric blanket on, eating a chocolate bar and reading the first chapter of a Georgette Heyer novel. Heaven...
- On a similar note, today was an absolutely lovely crisp autumn Saturday after a Friday of pouring rain and I went for a stroll and had a flat white at the local cafe while reading another Georgette Heyer novel.
So there you have it, I have actually had a very good week if I just take the trouble to think about it.

Photos: university campus. I didn't do a very job of capturing how pretty it is at the moment, but trust me, it's lovely at university in autumn. The buildings are really ugly, having been built in the 60s or so when the uni moved from the central city to Ilam, and designed by someone who adored square blocks of concrete. But the grounds are lovely.

Monday, May 08, 2006

my computer is being repaired

Stupid laptops; they have to go and lose the screws holding them together... and then when I take them in to get the right size screws, they say there's actually a broken plastic bit inside which is why the screws fell out. Grr. It's the sort of thing that probably isn't under guarantee because Compaq can blame it all on me for dropping the computer or something (which I have NEVER done). So right now, no photos, because my laptop is unavailable and our home computer doesn't have a USB drive (it's oooold).

Interesting thought - remember the guy (let's call him Egbert) who said my writing was moralistic and conservative? The other day in a creative writing workshop we were all discussing some other guy's (Boris) piece of writing, and Egbert and I disagreed. Egbert thought the part of the story that was very socialist was very good - ie referring to the "hapless victim of humanity's progress huddled in a street corner" and people "conditioned by capitalism" and so on and so on - and I thought it was too political, a little preachy. This morning I realised that Boris's piece of writing was no different to mine if mine was moralistic; Egbert only called it moralistic because he didn't agree with me. Loser. :)

At church last night an old man stood up and started talking, and I noted down one thing he said: he referred to "angelic angels." :) Gosh, those angelic angels are so angelic compared to those human-y humans and demonic demons!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

hmmm... yes

At Navs on Tuesday we found out that a girl in the group has just got engaged - so someone decided we should dress up some boys as brides using newspaper... Yeah. Tasteful to the extreme. At least the bottom photo isn't the one my group did. Agh. My group dressed the guy in the top photo (who WON!!); and for a dress made of newspaper, we think it actually looks quite elegant. :)

Do you know, I'm finding creative writing class very depressing at the moment. I got my mark back and although I never expected a good mark I still managed to be disappointed by it... sigh... but that's okay, I'm over it now. It's just that yesterday we had a workshop, and we had to critique three people's writing. One of them was just one of the most terrible things I've EVER read; I just can't describe it. I photocopied it before I gave it back to him just so I could keep a memento of how absurdly terrible it was. He actually managed to use the word 'somnambulistically'. But the teacher and several others in the class loved it, and got all these extremely profound things out of it! Go figure. I just feel, at the moment, like this class wants us to write a certain way - you know, very postmodern and unintelligible and plotless. I just want to write things that people take pleasure in reading.

Monday, May 01, 2006

musica generica

Does anyone else find so-called 'worship music' insufferable? I call it musica generica because it is so boring and generic! Just had to vent.

I went to a big crusade-type thing last night in my hometown, with the evangelist Greg Laurie of the Harvest church in California. It was very very cool. Hundreds of people responded to the altar call; I've never seen something on as large a scale as that before. There were several bands there like Audio Adrenaline, the Katinas, and Steven Curtis Chapman, and an extremely cool guitar player called Dennis Agajanian (???? spelling ????) who used to play for Johnny Cash. The message was good, really sound and interesting, which was nice to see when the word 'evangelist' often means 'wacko' to people in my culture.

But the worship music! There was a band put together from different churches throughout Christchurch. It was so loud it was actually unbearable at points, worse than any of the real musicians who played; all the singers were gyrating around to these immensely predictable and boring songs with words that don't quite make sense because the person who wrote the lyrics can't rhyme and that are the most modern songs out so only people from "cool" churches know them. Sheesh. To me, worship music has got to be the most boring style of music ever created. Sure, some people can do good stuff with it, but in the main it seems to me to be tuneless, repetitive and immensely predictable in its chord structure etc. Why can't we take a leaf from African Americans' book and do cool gospel stuff?

Sorry to complain. It was actually a great evening. It's just embarrassing that the only band/musician there from Christchurch was terrible. Usually I don't mind worship music too much, but this - this was different.

A very cool thing that happened yesterday, however - my friend got engaged. :) She and her fiance met us at the event and was waving her ring hand around with a big sparkly diamond on it. It was so nice to see because they were so happy; just grinning and grinning all night. Ah, young love... It's also slightly weird because it doesn't seem like people my age are mature enough to get married - it makes me feel old. But mostly, it's all just very very cool. They've been going out since they were about 16 or 17 so it's not like they're just rushing into it or anything.

(Just realised I've used the word 'cool' about a million times in this post.)

Photos: my dad yelled for me to come running yesterday morning when he spotted these hot air balloons out the window. It was great seeing them so close up/low to the ground.