This is my proper ‘holiday post’… The last two were actually written at various stages in the holidays, but cos I wasn’t online, they’ve only just been posted…
Anyways, holidays were good! None of this “staying ’til 2:47 in the morning writing documents” business 😉
So, what did I do?
Well, mainly spending time with friends and (extended) family. Showed various people a few of my Kenya photos (+apologies for unorganisation of the presentation.) Saw some of the kids DVD’s on my laptop, convincing me that my laptop was plenty good enough for me. As were the sweet wee portable USB speakers I got from James for my birthday. Esther discovered the joys of phoning my mobile, then hanging up on me before I answered. And she’d even done the job properly… she knew how to hide her number :S:P.
Went sledging on Christmas Day, and ended getting invited into the house of total strangers to get warmed up and eat mince pies… 😛 That was cool, especially as they also took us out ski-ing afterwards for the first time in our lives! They came to ours on Monday to go a walk with us. Always nice to make new friends… even if their minister isn’t exactly our bestest friend. (Incidentally, I *did* run into him in passing too… while on skis :P… but hey, it’s him that insists on all the ‘problems’ between him and ourselves so there’s nothing for me to be ashamed of. I’m perfectly willing to be friendly towards him, and would sure appreciate the common courtesy of having that friendship returned. But I guess its not to be :S)
Watched the news and all. 2004 will be remembered as “the year of the tsunami”. Many thought-provoking ideas/events surrounding it, as well as the awe-some reality of the event itself. It is a reminder to us how quickly vast numbers of people can die. Praying for the people still alive who have to cope with it all, and also for those who are working to help save their lives. It has troubled me to know what I could/can do to help. Many people have been giving money, but apart from that, there’s nothing else, short of going out there and doing what I could. But I do not believe it is a situation I am well-qualified to help in. I have a duty to finish my degree, I believe, and then see what is in store for me. At present, it would not have been the wisest decision to “go out and help”, tho’ the desire was there. But then, there’s not anything uniquely commendable about that, given the world-wide sympathy and help that has been forthcoming to the countries affected. Anyways, for me as an individual, I am to be sensible and realistic as well as doing good… the hard part is getting the balance… Giving up my degree now would mean not-using/realising my talents to whatever potential they have. And then I would be limited in what ways I was able to help in future. This therefore leads me to the conclusion that it really is my duty just to knuckle down and get this degree done.
To continue the story.. Dr Sutton arrived at our house on New Year’s Eve. It was good to see him, still alive and healthy (except for the 10-ish pills he takes every day)… now coming on for five or six years since he was ‘predicted’ to have died from cancer. He’d even been to India at the start of the year, “to see the railways” as had been a life-long dream. Looking back on it, he said he hadn’t quite realised what he was letting himself in for. He had his video of the railways, that gave a wee flavour of the kind of mentality that the Indians have. It was just so cool seeing it all like that! Just all the characteristics that make up a people, especially one that has such a ‘basic’ western influence. (Brought back memories of Kenya and all.) He told some sweet wee stories, for example, one of the hotel manager who lent him the use of his own personal car and driver to take him to church on Sabbath, after searching through the city for a christian church for him.
New Year was spent in Gairloch. This was quite a precious little dreamworld of a day. Tho’ it was about as dreach as is usual, the kindness of Rev Alfred, his wife, and Marwin, was particularly appreciated. As was the good-will of any in the Gairloch congregation who went out of their way to be kind to my Dad. Dr Sutton was there with us of course. He has a bit of a liking for Rev Alfred’s preaching, methinks. Apparently he had been at the three prayer-meetings in Gairloch in the last three weeks of the year! He has to travel a distance of the order of 100 miles, over “west coast roads” to get there, as well. It was thanks to his thoughtfulness that he took my Dad and me there for New Year. I now count Marwin a good friend. I never really knew her before, but now I do.
Made a website template for my Dad. He’s not sure if he’ll actually use it, but it was useful to me from an educational point of view anyway. If he can get any use out of it at all, so much the better. Dad seems quite keen on getting on with his website development plans… Once he got an efficient system up and running, he would have quite a minefield of information to put up there.