(first apologies for neglecting this blog for so long, there is much to say, but that will have to wait.)
The last couple of years have been up and down in terms of my health, but yesterday I had some kind of resolution.
the up shot is I shall go on to live a long and prosperous life (or there abouts) once I have made some major dietary changes.
You see, I was told, on my birthday, that I have coeliac’s disease (and while I might need a couple more tests to confirm, it looks certain).
In my cursory reading on the internet one thing jumps out, people with coeliac’s call themselves ‘coeliacs’. Well, I refuse this defining of who I am. I am Tobit, and now I am also a person with coeliac’s.
The hardest thing thing about this will be giving up bread. My love for bread has been nurtured over the last 35 years… and while the next few days and weeks will help me gain perspective, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness that I can no longer eat bread.
Memories of San Francisco sour dough loaves will be just that. Memories.
Apparently, there are loads of people with coeliac’s, so if you are, or know someone, feel free to add your advice or help me filter the internet please!
grace and peace
Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments
2012 has been a bit of a year. I feel like have been plagued by coughs and colds for most of it, probably not true.
Lots has happened, and I am glad it has.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
Parkology collective and lent (and advent)
We are blogging over here, and our community continues to grow. I am looking forward to all the exciting things 2013 will bring. It is great and a privilege to be part of this emerging community.
It was a pleasure to be involved in this event as production manager. The 2013 event is promising to be even better.
A beautiful wife that sews amazing things
Mary is amazing. It is a privilege to be her husband. She is so generous with her time and skill. I write this thinking particularly of the quilts she made for the charity Siblings together
Friends that are still alive
Working in mental health can be hard at times. I see a side of life I never hope to experience first hand. There are few perks in the NHS, but being able to visit friends when they are admitted post suicide counts as one of them. I realise it is now 18 months since I wrote this post in response to a friends crisis, but it is still as relevant now as it was then. I am glad that my work allows me to see things the way others might, and that I can use this to help make a bit of the NHS better.
and now I look forward to going back in 2013 for #GB40
Listener have turned out to be my must listen to band this year, and I eagerly await a new album
There is something about the way they craft stories into poems and add spoken word to music that is simply amazing.
Learning to longboard
Geekdad called up Comet Longboards and Comet sent longboards, and I have acquired cuts and bruises, but have had oh so much fun. I just wish it would rain less so I could get out more!
Making prize winning films
A while back now, I made a short film with two friends – called always hope
It won a prize and you can watch my acceptance film here!
So there you go, a snapshot of my 2012, and some insight to what I am hoping and working for in 2013
grace and peace
Filed under: longboard, media, missional, random, tech and innovation |
Ant’s book, Riddance, is his ”poetic account of the experience of diagnosis, treatment, misdiagnosis of relapse, and coming to terms with survival from this disease.”
The loss of my dad to cancer when I was in my early 20′s means this subject is one I still find difficult. Listening to Ant though, was a joy, for the hope it offered. And that he was there reading.
I am looking forward to re-reading Riddance, reading it and allowing the full weight of the words to rest. And, I suggest you do the same.
On the poetry front, I have recently discovered Listener the Band. Listener offer a mix of spoken word, trumpets, percussion and guitar that I never encountered before. Their album Wooden Heart is really quite something.
our lives are a bridge for us to give, I want to build a better bridge
from every wrong we’ve done to each other, if I forgive will you forgive?
cause one day we’re gonna close our eyes for death or rest
and abandon ourself, this weak mind and breath
and the columns we made, and roots we grew down deep
will be pulled and gathered in to firewood, and burnt for heat
but when the tension shifts, and these braces turn
I’ll try and build a better bridge
and when all our piers burn, and the hinges miss
I’m gonna build a better bridge
our hearts are abridged, let’s build bridges to each other
so we don’t take ourselves under
Check out this amazing live version of Failing in love with glaciers
Motorbikes. Well, this is a long story, one that is re-emerging like a mid life crisis!
Back when I was a lad, and working in mountain biking, one of the highlights was to be able to jump on a scrambler and belt along forest tracks, fixing signage, safety tape and so on. Given my ‘bike’ skills were acquired when at 17 I had a Honda CB50 I fixed up and rode for a season, I was never in to big air, but there is something really quite magical about riding a bike. Later, and when living in France I frequently rode pillion with some locals who befriended us! There is something about experiencing wheelies at 200 KPH that stays with you.
Well, my inexperienced hidden biker is trying to get out. Like I said, it may be the mid life crisis but whatever it is, it has arrived with a desire to get my bike licence and buy a Triumph Bonneville T100. Sigh.
Not entirely practical, quite how it would fit in with life or how I might acquire the finance (maybe a Kickstarter project?) are just two of the questions that need significant attention, if this is ever going to go anywhere.
Filed under: Uncategorized |
I am a couple of weeks in to riding my Comet FSM, learning to carve, foot break, but most of all, trying to get to grips with a Coleman Slide. This is generally acknowledged as the quickest way to safely take a whole lot of speed out of a moving board.
The only issue is you need a whole lot of speed to make it work.
But that just scares me.
As I am sure we all do when wanting to learn something, I have watched a load of videos and read a lot of blog posts.
I like this video the best – this is actually with the man himself teaching his namesake trick
I mention commitment - I read a particularly funny forum thread about learning to slide – someone asked where they were going wrong, and the response was
you need more commitment.
The reply came back something like
I have searched all over the internet and can find nothing about this commitment, please can you explain what commitment is?
I can only imagine the poster thought “commitment” was some kind of accessory, or trick they had never heard of!
Today, I went out on my board, after the drizzle of the day was beginning to dry up, but used the slightly damp ground to my advantage and added in a little extra commitment and, yep, you’ve got it, my board slid!
OK, I was only on the basketball court, but it felt good to actually experience what is meant to be happening. I did try again on our road, which has a nice little dip, and I am getting there, but I still have a way to go, but give it a few months, and this will be me:
Filed under: longboard, philosophy |
Back in January I blogged about a few thing I would like to do in 2012. Well, now seems like a good time to post an update, so here goes (but not necessarily in the same order as the first post)
1. The photo project. OK, this one is not going too well, I am not sure I have even managed one a month. Actually, that is not true, I just have not bothered to tag or group them as part of a photo52 or photo12 project.
Perhaps I will do that in retrospect! I continue to perfect my skills taking photos for Mary and her fantastic sewing adventures and Etsy shop.
2. Make more films. So I have made a little progress here, I helped out on a film called Landscape, now in post production.
3. Learning to ride a longboard. Well, this has been a late starter, but we are now off the ground, by a couple of inches, and skating. I am the proud owner of a Comet Flying Spaghetti Monster, or FSM for short.
Boy is it hard. I need to invest in some more protective gear, and a large dose of courage. There is a story behind getting a board, but more of that to follow another time.
4. Blogging. Well, its going ok!
5. Running. The less said the better – I have hardly managed to run at all. Perhaps this should be rescheduled as an Autumn project?
Filed under: film, photography, random |
I picked up a copy of How God became King recently. When I say picked up, I actually mean that.. I went into my local branch of Waterstones and pulled it off the shelf and took it the counter.
Well I am two chapters and a preface in and am really enjoying it. To be honest, I am taking it slowly, trying to savour the weight of the words, sentence, reading it ‘out loud in my head’ (something as a dyslexic reader I generally do anyway). Hearing Wright’s voice as I read is helpful, it is a way of finding the metre, the rhythm and flow.
Anyway, why part 1 / 539? Well along with Martin, Andy and maybe some others from the parkology crew, we have decided to read it together, and I wanted to make notes along the way. So, in reality, I have no idea how many parts this is going to be, but it has the potential to be a few!
(And if you want a rapid summary, try Andrew Jones (aka TSK’s review))
Chapters 1 and 2, along with that all important preface have been all about setting the scene, and, it is well done.
What has stood out for me so far though, is Wright’s arguments on how the creeds, politics and philosophy have shaped years of theology. Darwinism, he argues is a natural evolution on understanding the how the world is, when ones stating assumptions don’t include God.
Likewise, the creeds shape how the last 1500-2000 years of theology have basically been missing the point. What the point is, I haven’t got to, but there have been some hints so far.
The important stream of thought it has started for me, and one I hope to take to parkology gatherings is how our doctrines, beliefs or values shape how we read the Bible, shape the questions we ask of our sacred text and predict what the answers will be. Now this is not a new way of thinking for me, my MSc essentially took a version of this methodology to understand the whole story of research papers, including their tradition, etc.. But for some reason I haven’t really applied it myself and my beliefs until prompted by this book.
My challenge then, it to take a look at the canonical gospels with the parkology values at the forefront of my mind, along with whatever else I might learn from Wright.
ps. I have just also bought Kester Brewin’s new book Mutiny and that is also proving to be a good read so far.
Filed under: church, faith |
I grew up riding bikes, doing some crazy things as well. I remember the time age 11 or 12 (and indeed, I still have the scars) when I snapped the handle bars clean off my Raleigh Striker in a ‘who can get the biggest air of a caravan levelling ramp’ competition. At 15 or so, I was regularly racing mountain bikes and road bikes from time to time. Cycling ran through my veins, it was part of my life.
For a season or two I had the fortune to work for a pro mountain bike team, looking after Steve Peat, Rob Warner, and a bunch of others. This led (although it helped I was working for the BCF at the time) to working with the Olympic Mountain Bike Squad (including David Baker and Tim Gould) in the lead up to Atlanta.
There was something about the carnival of the professional mountain biking circuit I loved (although plenty I was less keen on). Hanging out, working with and travelling the world with some of the worlds best cyclists was a blast. There was a fun trip to Budapest, where I happened to ‘forget’ to tell my crew I turned 21 on the final day of racing, knowing what they were planning for the evening. (But that might just have to be another blog post, as I have not even got to the Albion yet!).
I did my research online, but then took it up a level. I called the Boarding House and reserved a board and helmet. We had to pop back and swap the helmet, (due to colour and size!) and when we were there, Mary picked up a copy of the Albion.
So, as you do, I tried reading it. First pass – well, I looked at the pictures. Second pass I skimmed a few articles and was a little put off. I found it barely comprehensible “Access Barpin to Dog Kennel Manual” etc.. I had no idea. Then there were the road trip-esk stories of dodgy bars, girls, drunken journeys and injuries – it reminded me (maybe too much) of life on road as I had observed it. So I reverted to looking at the pictures.
And, to my surprise, once I got through the issues that put me off first time round, I started to enjoy it.
There are some really interesting articles – one titled “Quitters” was an interview with James Brooks, former VANS uk rider, which in part, tells a tale of how Brooks realises that while he still rode his BMX, he had essentially quit four years before. It reminded me that for a while I was like this: week in/week out, I went to church, then one day, I realised I had quit, possible years before. Brooks didn’t really manage to quit properly, until he found other things to do (like get married). In the article, he reflects how it got to the point when he just had to let go. Let go of ‘owning’ a dirt track. Let go of thinking he had to be the main one. And the delightful answer to the question “what about now you are not there?” is “I have no idea.”
hmmm. Interesting. People still do things, even if I am not there.
So, I guess what I am saying in this Friday night ramble is this: get yourself to a real skate / BMX shop, buy something, and see if you can pick up a copy of the Albion. And then read it, enjoy it, be shocked, confused, but whatever you do, make an effort, and then reflect on the experience.
I will continue to do the same, and I might even blog some more about it.
grace and peace
Filed under: philosophy, random | 2 Comments